National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) recommended building a national memorial in Canberra for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.

The Department of Social Services (the department) is working with the National Capital Authority (NCA) to design and build the National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Memorial). It will be located on Acton Peninsula in Canberra.


For victims, survivors, their families and friends, the Memorial can provide a place of reflection and recognition of the truth, offer a symbol of hope and a place to gather.

For the broader community, the Memorial will acknowledge the experiences of victims and survivors. It will recognise the courage of those who have fought for justice. It will honour lives lost and those whose voices were not heard.

The Memorial aims to educate people of the harmful and lasting impacts of institutional child sexual abuse.

The Memorial provides a reminder of the continued responsibility we all share to protect children now and into the future.

Changes to the Memorial Design

The NCA ran a national design competition in 2021 to select a suitable design for the Memorial.

The brief for designers was developed with the National Memorial Advisory Group (Advisory Group) and considered feedback from a public online consultation process. For more information on the consultation, read the Consultation Summary Report.

The Hon Peter McClellan AM KC (former chair of the Royal Commission) was chair of a jury established to select the design. The jury included victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and design industry professionals.

The selected design, ‘Transparency and Truth’, by architects Jessica Spresser and Peter Besley, subsequently underwent technical assessments that revealed complex construction challenges.

Following extensive consultations with the NCA and the Advisory Group, the government decided to terminate the original design and to commence a new design selection process.

The Australian Government remains deeply committed to building a Memorial as soon as possible to recognise the courage and experiences of victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, to provide a place of reflection, contribute to healing, and educate future generations to better protect Australian children.

New design selection

The new Memorial design will be selected through an open Approach to Market process, which will commence in the second quarter of 2024. Construction of the Memorial is expected to begin in 2025, following the selection of a suitable design through the procurement process. The Memorial is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

In May 2024, the Australian Government committed a further $1.1 million toward the Memorial. This additional funding will ensure the real value and build quality of the Memorial is not diminished by inflation increases in the construction sector since the project commenced in 2020. The National Capital Authority has also committed an additional $300,000 in funding to support the design selection process. These additional commitments brings the total Administered funding for the Memorial project to $7.9 million.

Future open Approach to Market opportunities to provide services associated with the establishment of the Memorial will be published on AusTender (

For further information around the Memorial and next steps, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

The Department of Social Services would like to extend its sincere thanks and appreciation to the National Memorial Advisory Group and Mr Peter McClellan for their work on the Memorial and their continued work and commitment in this next stage of the project.

More information

Learn about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 
Learn about the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

For other enquiries, email the department at

Support services

Child sexual abuse can be a difficult issue to hear, think or read about. To access support at any time please contact:

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