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Ngarra Jarra Noun - Supporting you on your journey to redress

The National Redress Scheme has been set up to acknowledge the harm done to people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

Our Ngarra Jarra Noun team provide culturally safe support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are thinking about applying for redress. Ngarra Jarra Noun can help you with every aspect of your redress journey.

The National Redress Scheme Application form includes questions about your experience of institutional child sexual abuse and the impact of sexual abuse on your life. These questions are confronting and the task of completing the Application Form may be very distressing.

We encourage all survivors to access support as they undertake their redress journey.

You can contact us by phone: 03 9459 7030 or email: ngarrajarranoun@vacca.org

 

What is the National Redress Scheme?

What is the National Redress Scheme?

The National Redress Scheme has been set up to help those mob who were sexually abused as children in institutions. It is to acknowledge what was done, the harm it has caused and the ways it has affected your life. The National Redress Scheme was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

A lot of our mob will need help to take the redress journey; help to know what’s involved, help to decide whether to begin this journey, help to decide if it’s the right path and what happens at the end of the journey.

The Redress Scheme could provide three things:

  • Access to counselling and healing
  • A direct personal response, such as an apology
  • A monetary payment

Which institutions are included?

We know that child sexual abuse has happened in places that care for children. These places are called institutions and include:

  • schools
  • religious organisations, such as churches, mosques and temples
  • church and/or government run missions and reserves
  • sporting clubs
  • child-care centres or facilities
  • children’s homes, foster care, kinship or respite care that is provided on behalf of an organisation
  • hostels
  • other organisations in the community

The abuser may be:

  • a worker
  • a volunteer
  • a member of a club
  • someone who provides services to the institution
  • any other person who is connected to the institution.

The child sexual abuse might have happened at an institution, or in another place. For example, the abuse might have happened while a worker was caring for a child at the child's home.

What is sexual abuse? Please be aware that this definition is explicit and uses language people may find confronting.

A child or young person is sexually abused when any person uses their power over the child to involve the child in sexual activity. It may include fondling of the child’s genitals (or getting the child to fondle the perpetrator’s genitals); masturbation (with the child as either observer or participant); oral sex; vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, finger, or any other object; fondling of breasts; voyeurism (peeping/observing) or exhibitionism (flashing). It can also include exposing the child to pornography or using the child for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Applying for Redress

What help is available?


There are three different kinds of support services to help you on the redress journey. You can use 1, 2 or all 3 of these, and they are all free for you to use.

  1. Support Services - to help guide you through every part of your journey. There are both mainstream and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific services. Ngarra Jarra Noun (pronounced Nar Ra Jar Ra Noon) is the Aboriginal Redress Support Service for Victorian Aboriginal survivors.
  2. Legal Support - to help you to understand what the various paths that you could take are, and help you decide which path is best for you. This is provided by a service called Mnow More and they have Aboriginal workers if you want to yarn with an Aboriginal person.
  3. Financial Support - to help you to decide what to do with any money you might get so you can make the most of it and achieve what you want from any

 

Who can apply?


You can apply to the National Redress Scheme if you:

  • Experienced institutional child sexual abuse before the 1st of July, 2018,
  • Are aged over 18 years,
  • The institution responsible for the sexual abuse has joined the Scheme, and
  • Apply between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2027.

How do I apply?


The National Redress Scheme started on 1 July 2018. It will run for 10 years. You can make an application at any time between now and 30 June 2027. You can take as
much time as you need to complete the application and you will have 6 months to decide whether to accept the offer of redress.

You can call Ngarra Jarra Noun on ph: 03 9459 7030 or email us at ngarrajarranoun@vacca.org and we will come and yarn with you about applying.

Applications that will be assessed differently:


For some, their application will be assessed differently:

  • Younger than 18 years
  • Convicted of a crime and sentenced to 5 or more years in prison
  • Currently in prison
  • Have already received a payment in relation to the abuse

Ngarra Jarra Noun will explain this and help if this applies to you.

Getting help from a trusted person:


The Redress Journey could be a hard one, and you might decide you would like another person to speak and act for you. This is called a Nominee. This person might be a
trusted friend or relative or could be your support worker. If you want them to speak for you with the Redress Scheme you need to fill in the Nominee Form. Ngarra Jarra Noun can also be your nominee if you choose.

Completing the National Redress Scheme Application form:


You do not need to complete this form on your own. Your Ngarra Jarra Noun worker can help you with your redress journey including assisting you to complete this form.

In our experience supporting survivors, the process of completing applications for redress can prompt survivors to remember more about their abuse. While you can only make one application to the National Redress Scheme you can add to your application up until a determination has been made on your application. If you remember additional information after you have completed your application, please let your support worker know. What should I do before accepting an offer?

We strongly encourage you to access support before accepting an offer. If you accept an offer you can not take civil litigation against the responsible institution/s. Ngarra Jarra Noun can discuss options in your specific situation and give you the information to help you decide whether to accept the offer.

What happens if I ask for a review?

We strongly encourage you to access support before asking for a review. A review may mean you get less, the same or more money than the original offer. Please discuss with Ngarra Jarra Noun if you are thinking about asking for a review.

Is the National Redress Scheme my only option for getting compensation?

It is also really important that survivors are aware of the different options available to them and the implications of each option. We are aware that the legal aspects of the National Redress Scheme can be technical, hard to understand and confusing. Applying through the National Redress Scheme may not be your only option; civil litigation may be another option to consider. This is where you sue an institution through the courts or settle out of court. Ngarra Jarra Noun will discuss options in your specific situation and give you the information to help you decide which path to take.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the process take?

The National Redress Scheme should be a quicker process than civil litigation however it is anticipated it may still take up to a year in some cases. However, applications can be fast-tracked where survivors are unwell or elderly.

How can I get culturally safe support?

Having the support you need is really important. The redress journey will be a difficult journey. Ngarra Jarra Noun can provide culturally safe support and make referrals for survivors.

Please do not hesitate to contact Ngarra Jarra Noun to discuss your counselling needs whether this be before, during or after your redress journey or unconnected to redress. We are committed to ensuring survivors’ counselling needs are met so please reach out and let us help.

How much compensation will I get?

There is no amount of money that can undo the pain, losses and traumas caused by institutional child sexual abuse. What we know is that the maximum payment is $20,000, $50,000 or $150,000 depending on the type of abuse suffered. Very few survivors will receive the maximum payment. There is an assessment framework that independent assessors will use to determine individual payments. In deciding whether to access the National Redress Scheme or civil litigation the amount of money that will likely be awarded is an important consideration. Therefore it is important to get advice before deciding which path to take. Please feel free to contact Ngarra Jarra Noun to discuss your options. We will do our best to ensure the best outcomes for you.

What happens to survivors who have died?

For survivors who have passed, their next of kin are not able to access the National Redress Scheme. If a survivor has put in an application for redress and then dies their next of kin can receive their payment. It is therefore important that survivors have a current will when they put in their application so that there is no uncertainty about who the payment should go to.

How to make a complaint about the National Redress Scheme

You can make complaints or provide feedback about the National Redress Scheme in the following ways:

  • Email: complaints@dss.gov.au
  • Mail: DSS Feedback, GPO Box 9820, Canberra ACT, 2601
  • Online Form: Click here for the Online Form

If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you can make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Commonwealth Ombudsman contact details:

  • Phone: Indigenous Line 1800 060 789
  • Mail: Commonwealth Ombudsman, GPO Box 442, Canberra ACT 2601
  • Online Complaint Form: Click here for the Online Complaint Form
More information about Redress

There is a lot of information to take in. You can contact Ngarra Jarra Noun for more information and support.

Ngarra Jarra Noun - Supporting you on your journey to redress

The Ngarra Jarra Noun team has been set up at the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) to provide culturally safe support to Aboriginal people who are thinking about applying for redress. Ngarra Jarra Noun can help you with every aspect of your redress journey. You can contact us by phone: 03 9459 7030 or email: ngarrajarranoun@vacca.org

The National Redress Scheme Application form includes questions about your experience of institutional child sexual abuse and the impact of sexual abuse on your life. These questions are confronting and the task of completing the Application Form may be very distressing. We encourage all survivors to access support as they undertake their redress journey.

Ngarra Jarra Noun Contact:

Ph: 03 9459 7030 or email us at ngarrajarranoun@vacca.org

Mainstream service are also able to help you:

  • knowmore: A free and confidential legal service can help. You can call them on 1800 605 762.
  • Open Place: 03 9421 6162 or 1800 779379
  • Relationships Australia: ph 1800 052 674
  • Drummond Street: ph 03 9663 6733
  • National Redress Scheme: you can contact the scheme directly on 1800 737 377

If you need immediate support, 24-hour telephone assistance is available through:

  • beyondblue: 1300 224 636
  • 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

 

Download our Ngarra Jarra Noun Brochure

Our Ngarra Jarra Noun Brochure is available to download here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement to Country, click here.