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 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, recognition of the truth and offer a symbol of hope.
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.
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. The brief considered feedback received from a public online consultation process. Read the Consultation Summary Report.
The competition was open to all Australian designers. This included architects, landscape architects and engineers. Teams could include victims and survivors.
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 jury selected the design concept called ‘Transparency and Truth’ by architects Jessica Spresser and Peter Besley.
In this short video you can hear from some of the jury members about why the Memorial is important to victims and survivors.
Content warning: Child sexual abuse can be a difficult issue to hear, think or read about. To access support at any time please refer to the Support Services section below.
The image above and those included in the video are an artist’s design concept. The complex design concept is currently undergoing technical assessments and refinement prior to construction.
15 December 2017
|The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its Final Report. The Australian Government accepted Recommendation 17.6 to establish a Memorial for victims and survivors in Canberra.|
|22 October 2018||
The National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (National Apology) was delivered on 22 October 2018.
The National Apology Reference Group (Reference Group) consulted with victims, survivors their families and support people about establishing a Memorial. It advised the Government to establish a national memorial for victims and survivors. It also recommended further consultation with survivors on the design and location of the memorial.
Funding of $6.7 million over 4 years was provided to establish the Memorial in Canberra. This funding includes the design, construction, launch and ongoing maintenance for the Memorial.
The Government provided additional funding for support services for victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. These include the Find and Connect Support Services, Redress Support Services and the National Redress Scheme.
An Advisory Group was appointed to assist the department on this important project. The Advisory Group includes people with lived experience of child sexual abuse and other experts. It advises on the Memorial's development including its purpose, location and key qualities.
The department undertook a national consultation process via an online survey. This enabled all Australians to share their views on the Memorial. In particular, people with lived experience of institutional and other forms of child sexual abuse.
The survey received 287 responses. More than 60 per cent were from people with lived experience of child sexual abuse. Read the Consultation Summary Report.
A summary of the consultation findings was provided to the Advisory Group. This supported their consideration of the Memorial's site and commemorative intent. This was reflected in the design brief for the national design competition. The design brief outlined the requirements to assist design teams to produce suitable designs for the Memorial.
The Canberra National Memorials Committee approved the location for the Memorial on Acton Peninsula in Canberra.
The NCA ran the National Design Competition between April and December 2021. The preferred Memorial design was selected. Further information on the design competition, including the Jury Report, is available on the NCA website.
|16 February 2022||The selected Memorial design was announced following approval from the Canberra National Memorials Committee.|
|2023-24||The design concept is undergoing technical assessment and refinement prior to construction. The NCA will manage the construction process.|
- Design unveiled for the National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
- Australians invited to take part in survey for National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
- Design competition opening
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 design competition enquiries, email the NCA at RCMemorial@nca.gov.au.
For other enquiries, email the department at RCMemorial@dss.gov.au.
Child sexual abuse can be a difficult issue to hear, think or read about. To access support at any time please contact:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
- Mensline 1300 78 99 78
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732
- Find and Connect Support Services 1800 16 11 09 (Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm)
- National Redress Scheme 1800 737 377 (Mon to Fri 8am-5pm)