Survivors of ??abuse in Salvation Army to Protest at Lucy Turnbull’s Launch of Red Shield Appeal
April 1, 2016
|Lucy Turnbull and her husband, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. A child sex abuse survivors’ support organisation is to protest her launch of a Salvation Army fundraiser. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP|
Survivors of abuse in Salvation Army institutions plan to protest outside the hotel where the prime minister’s wife will launch the Salvos’ annual Red Shield Appeal.
Former Sydney lord mayor Lucy Turnbull will launch the charity’s major annual fundraising drive at the Westin Hotel in Sydney’s Martin Place on Wednesday 6 April at an event attended by NSW premier Mike Baird and other high-profile supporters of the Salvation Army.
Child sex abuse survivors’ support organisation Care Leavers Australia Network (Clan) announced on Friday it would hold a silent protest outside the hotel to draw attention to the Salvos’ failure to fully back a national redress scheme for abuse survivors.
Clan executive Leonie Sheedy says there is great sadness that “the wife of Clan patron prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is launching the Red Shield appeal while we are still waiting for a firm commitment from the Salvation Army” on a national redress scheme.
Clan represents hundreds of people who were physically and sexually abused as children when they were housed in now notorious institutions such as the Riverview training farm in Queensland, where boys were allegedly locked in a cage and made to eat food donated by townspeople for animals.
The Salvation Army has been the subject of three royal commission hearings into abuse at homes they ran in NSW, Queensland and South Australia and into its recent handling of compensation claims by survivors.
Sheedy described the army’s commitment to national redress as “vague”.
The Salvation Army has said publicly it supports a national compensation scheme, but Sheedy says it has indicated it wants control over the process and the money.
She pointed out the Catholic church had made a firm commitment to an independent national scheme, which is expected to cost the church up to $1bn.
But Sheedy said the Salvos are yet to provide that “no-strings attached” commitment.
In response to a query on Friday, the Salvation Army referred to press releases issued in September and October 2015 restating its commitment to a national redress scheme.
The Salvation Army, which runs a vast network of social projects across Australia, expects to raise up to $74m in the Red Shield appeal.
Comment has been sought from Turnbull through the office of the prime minister, where Clan has registered its concern.