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Werribee Farm Abuse Compensation Forces Church Property Sell-Off

The Uniting Church in Western Australia has initiated a profound and responsible journey towards providing redress for victims of historical child abuse. Central to these claims is Werribee Farm School, a boys’ home operated northeast of Perth from 1929 to 1962, now widely recognized for its troubling legacy.

Property Sales for Compensation Funding

In a significant move, the church has decided to sell various properties to fund compensation claims, demonstrating its commitment to acknowledging past wrongs and supporting survivors. This strategic decision involved meticulous coordination across several church governance branches.

Key Players in the Decision-Making Process

  • WA Synod: As the regional governing body, the WA Synod played a critical role in identifying which properties were selected for sale to support the anticipated compensation claims.
  • Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (WA): Established under the Uniting Church in Australia Act 1976, this trust manages property ownership and was pivotal in the decision-making process.
  • Property Services and Risk and Insurance Office: These departments provided essential advice and managed the insurance services and claims processes, ensuring a streamlined approach to asset management and risk assessment.
  • Presbytery Property Committee (PPC): This committee reviewed and approved property projects, including the strategic sales necessary to fund the compensation efforts.

The Scale of Abuse at Werribee Farm School

The number of victims coming forward with claims related to their time at Werribee Farm School underscores the extensive nature of child abuse within such institutions. Werribee Farm operated in northeast of Perth between 1929 and 1962, and it was started by the Methodist Church, now an arm of the Uniting Church. Although the exact numbers are confidential, the church’s proactive approach to compensation reflects a deep recognition of the severity and impact of the abuse.

Continuing Efforts and Institutional Accountability

As it navigates this challenging landscape, the Uniting Church in Western Australia exemplifies the importance of institutional accountability and the ongoing journey towards healing for many survivors.

The Uniting Church’s commitment to redress is critical in addressing the scars left by institutional child sexual abuse cases and fostering a path towards recovery and reconciliation for the victims.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know has been affected by institutional child abuse, Koffels Solicitors and Barristers are here to offer professional advice and support. Contact us to learn how we can assist you in your compensation claim.

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