Public hearings

About public hearings

The Board of Inquiry held public hearings over seven days between late October 2023 and late November 2023. Hearings were conducted across three phases exploring the following topics:

  • Phase 1: Experience (23–24 October 2023)
  • Phase 2: Accountability (15–17 November 2023)
  • Phase 3: Support services and healing (23–24 November 2023).

Public hearings were an important part of the Inquiry’s process and were a valuable opportunity for the Board of Inquiry and wider community to hear publicly from victim-survivors about their lived experiences.

Public hearings also involved a range of witnesses for the purposes of examining the response of the Department of Education at the time, appropriate ways to support healing, and how to deliver effective support services to victim-survivors.

Some people provided witness statements without giving oral evidence. Some people gave oral evidence, whether they had provided a witness statement or not. For some victim-survivors, an account of their experiences (described as a ‘narrative’) was read out in the hearing by Counsel Assisting or formed part of Counsel Assisting’s address to the Chair.

The Board of Inquiry also conducted private sessions with victim-survivors and secondary victims (such as their families, friends and supporters). Private sessions provided a way for victim-survivors, secondary victims and affected community members to speak directly with the Board of Inquiry and share deeply personal experiences in a safe, private and trauma-informed environment.

Daily schedules, written transcripts, witness statements and other relevant documents from each day of the public hearings, can be viewed under the dropdown menus below.

Please note: Anyone who publishes any information or evidence given to or received by the Board of Inquiry must adhere to restricted publication orders that have been made by the Board of Inquiry. These can be viewed on the Orders and Rulings page.

Public hearing documents

Looking after your wellbeing

Please be aware that witness statements and transcripts of public hearings contain content that may be distressing. If this content raises any issues or concerns for you, we recommend getting in touch with one of the support services on the Support and wellbeing page.