IT’Sparticularly sad that it has taken decades for the voice of many men like Steve Fisher to be heard.
But to the credit of the Tasmanian advocate, and a number like him, they have been vindicated by the Royal Commission into child sex abuse.
The fact that it took such a major inquiry to finally force major church groups to face the demons within their ranks is more than disappointing.
The exposure this week of a “network of perpetrators” within the Church of England Boy’s Society in Tasmania and beyond was a watershed for the campaigner.
Mr Fisher says it brought an immense feeling of justification.
No doubt those seeking to keep the crimes under wraps formany years had hoped that those making the now proven claims would give up if they just held their line.
Thankfully they didn’t.
Mr Fisher says the hope is now that children will be believed, and anyone trying to take advantage of young people won’t be able to hide it easily.
“There were times…when you just felt like giving up, but it was that resolve of knowing you were right and wanting to prevent it happening to other children –that’s what kept us going,” he said.
More broadly the recent findings, and those over the progress of the royal commission, must serve as a warning to organisations and institutions of all shapes and sizes.
Every child is precious and they deserve to be protected and cherished.
The early response of the Anglican Bishop of Tasmania Richard Condie is promising. He has initiated a process of church discipline against former Tasmanian church leader Phillip Newell, who, the report says was aware of the complaints about the boy’s society.
It can only be hoped that the church will follow through with the process, and Mr Newell will be called to account for his role in this harrowing history of just one organisation.
For most of us it is hard to contemplate how the reputation of an organisation can be put ahead of the safety of young people. Explaining that will be something to behold.
If there are to be any positives from the long running royal commission, it will be that the light is shone upon the final dark corners of the places where predators lurked, and they will never prevail again.
And hopefully someone will say thanks to Steve Fisher for his dedication.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.