National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (National Memorial)
Entries to the National Memorial design competition are now closed.
National Memorial Design Competition
The department’s key project partner, the National Capital Authority (NCA), has conducted a national design competition on behalf of the Government to determine a suitable National Memorial design. The design brief was developed in consultation with the National Memorial Advisory Group (Advisory Group), taking into consideration feedback received through the public online consultation process.
On 9 April 2021, Minister for Families and Social Services and Minister for Women's Safety, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston (Minister Ruston) and Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Hon Nola Marino MP, announced the opening of the national design competition from Monday 12 April 2021. The competition closed on Friday 21 May 2021.
The competition was open to all Australian design professionals (architects, landscape architects or engineers) to lead collaborative teams, including members of the general public and where practicable, individuals with lived experience of institutional child sexual abuse.
A jury will select the preferred design, subject to endorsement by the Canberra National Memorials Committee. The jury is comprised of the chair, the Hon Peter McClellan AM QC (former chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse), individuals with lived experience of institutional child sexual abuse, and design industry professionals.
In its Final Report, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) recommended the Australian Government establish the National Memorial (recommendation 17.6) , which the Government accepted.
In the lead up to the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (National Apology), the National Apology Reference Group (Reference Group) consulted stakeholders on the Royal Commission's recommendation.
Following these consultations, the Reference Group advised the Australian Government to 'establish a national memorial for victims and survivors which is both educative in nature but also offers a place of support and reflection for survivors'. The Reference Group also recommended that 'a further process should be undertaken to settle the design and location of the national memorial, in consultation with survivors.'
In delivering the National Apology on 22 October 2018, the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, honoured the courage and strength of those with lived experience of institutional child sexual abuse, and committed to establishing 'a place of truth and commemoration, to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse.'
On 6 October 2020, the Government committed funding towards the establishment of the National Memorial in Canberra.
The Advisory Group, appointed by Minister Ruston, has been established to assist the department on this important project. The Advisory Group includes sector representatives with lived experience and other experts to advise on key aspects of the National Memorial's design, including the purpose, location, and key attributes.
The Department of Social Services (department) also conducted a public online consultation process in November 2020 to provide interested stakeholders, particularly people with lived experience, with an opportunity to share their views on the National Memorial. Read the Consultation Summary Report.
- Australians invited to take part in survey for National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
- Design competition opening
The department will provide National Memorial updates on this webpage.
The department has developed responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the National Memorial, including questions sent to the National Memorial mailbox and those raised through the National Memorial survey. The FAQs will be updated regularly.
For more information about the Royal Commission, visit the Commission's website.
For more information about the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse, visit the Redress website.
For any other enquires please email RCMemorial@dss.gov.au.
If you need emotional 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
- 1800 Respect 1800 737 732
If you need support from a Redress or Find and Connect organisation, you can reach them via the following links: