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Monday, 12 November 2018
Page: 7716


Senator KITCHING (Victoria) (13:58): In rising to speak on the motion moved by Senator Cormann, the apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, I would like to acknowledge the contributions made by those who have already spoken: the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cormann, Senator Wong, and members and senators from all parties and the crossbench. There are times when our parliament needs to rise above party divisions, and this is certainly one of them. I recognise the sincerity of the emotions experienced and expressed by all of the speakers.

I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she announced the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in November 2012. It will be, perhaps, her finest legacy. As she said at that time, too many children have suffered child abuse but have also seen other adults let them down. They've not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so. There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil. Julia Gillard was determined that Australia could no longer avert its eyes—

The PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Kitching, you'll be in continuation when debate on the matter is resumed.