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​​​​YMCA Redress Scheme

Our support for survivors of child sexual abuse

YMCA Redress ​Information Booklet​​ Apply here for YMCA Redress Contact Us FAQs

As a community organisation that has provided services for children and young people for over 160 years in Australia, we have a profound responsibility for the care and protection of the children and young people we serve.

We now know that in the past, some children experienced sexual abuse while attending YMCA programs or activities.

The YMCA considers any form of child sexual abuse to be intolerable and inexcusable under any circumstances. We recognise the lifelong impact that child sexual abuse may have on the health and wellbeing of individuals, their families, and communities.

We are deeply sorry for anyone who has experienced sexual abuse at a YMCA program or service as a child, and the suffering caused not only to those directly affected but also their partners and families.

See full YMCAs of Australia Public Apology here

Our approach to redress is part of the action we have taken to provide some support to those who have been harmed, and to ensure that children are safe in our care and the broader community now and into the future.

In seeking to address the wrongs of the past, alongside being able to assure survivors that we are doing everything possible to ensure the protection of children, we are also paving the way for what we sincerely hope is a better future for survivors, ensuring that we learn from the past and protect all children in our care, long into our future.

If you choose to come forward and share your story, we are committed to listening to you, and working with you.

All YMCAs in Australia have a deep and abiding commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people. While we know we cannot erase the pain caused by abuse in the past, YMCAs are doing everything in their power to ensure that children and young people are protected from harm, today and in the future.

Please be assured that in any communication with the YMCA your right to privacy will be respected. 

About YMCA Redress and how to get in contact with the YMCA

Redress is an acknowledgement by the YMCA in Australia that the sexual abuse of children is wrong and that we acknowledge the impacts of sexual abuse on people's lives. YMCA Redress may include the offer of an apology, support to access counselling and psychological care, and/or the offer of a monetary amount. A monetary amount offered through redress is not the same as compensation for damages.

If you would like to contact the YMCA in relation to redress, please contact:

Redress Manager
YMCA Australia
Level 1, 88 Market Street, South Melbourne VIC 3205
E: redress@ymca.org.au

Ph: 1800 981 123 9.00am-5.00pm AEST/AEDST Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Men's Help Line: 1300 789 978
Blue Knot: 1300 657 380 

To be considered eligible to apply for redress through the YMCA in Australia, the following criteria applies:

You are eligible to apply for redress if:

  • you were a minor at the time of the abuse: and

  • the abuse was perpetrated by a YMCA employee or volunteer whilst the employee or volunteer was pursuing, promoting, or carrying out the activities or operations of the YMCA in Australia; and

    • the abuse occurred at a YMCA owned or operated facility in Australia; and/or

    • the abuse occurred during a YMCA program or activity in Australia including those operating outside of YMCA facilities; and/or

    • the abuse occurred outside YMCA premises/activity where there is sufficient connection between the abuse and the YMCA in Australia.


If you have any questions about your eligibility, please feel free to seek information or clarification through the contacts listed above.

It will be important to confirm that you meet the above criteria before making your application, to ensure we can manage your application in a timely manner. 

The YMCA considers all forms of child sexual abuse to be intolerable and inexcusable under any circumstances. We recognise the lifelong impact that child sexual abuse may have on the health and wellbeing of individuals, their families, and communities.

In seeking to address the wrongs of the past, and to assure survivors that we are doing everything possible to ensure the protection of children, we are also paving the way for what we sincerely hope is a better future for survivors, ensuring that we learn from the past and protect all children in our care, long into our future.

Our Approach to Redress is based on the following ten principles.

YMCA Redress PrinciplesWhat does this mean for you?
PRINCIPLE 1
Our approach is survivor-focused
We are committed to ensuring that your rights and choices are respected and supported. This means we will consult with you on your priorities and needs and that your choices will be at the centre of what we do.
PRINCIPLE 2
Our approach is transparent, independent and accountable
We are committed to a redress process that supports independent decision-making and oversight of what we do. This means that decisions about redress will be made in collaboration with independent experts on our Panel, and the relevant detail for any decisions will be communicated to you.
PRINCIPLE 3
Our approach will be timely and responsive
We are committed to a process that is timely, but one that will allow you the time that you need.
PRINCIPLE 4
Our approach is nationally consistent
We are committed to ensuring that you will receive a response that is fair and consistent, regardless of where or when the abuse occurred, and regardless of when you choose to come forward.
PRINCIPLE 5
Our approach is trauma-informed
We are committed to an approach that is underpinned by a clear understanding of the nature and impacts of child sexual abuse.
PRINCIPLE 6
Our approach is accessible
We are committed to ensuring our approach to redress is accessible to survivors regardless of their location, circumstance, ability, cultural or language group.
PRINCIPLE 7
Our approach is not subject to time limitations
We are committed to a process that means you will have the opportunity to access our approach to redress in a manner and at a time which suits you. There is no closing date on applying.
PRINCIPLE 8
Our approach applies a standard of proof of 'reasonable likelihood'
We are committed to a process that is non-adversarial and non-legalistic. The Panel will apply a standard of proof of 'reasonable likelihood' when assessing your redress application. This is a lower standard of proof than the 'balance of probabilities' that is used in most civil litigation.
PRINCIPLE 9
Our approach must be sustainable
We are committed to an approach that will underpin the ongoing sustainability of the YMCA Movement in Australia for the benefit of survivors and the Australian community into the future.
PRINCIPLE 10
Our approach maintains survivors' rights to civil litigation
We are committed to ensuring that in accessing our approach to redress you maintain your common law right to civil litigation.

As part of our Approach to Redress, the YMCA may offer a direct personal response, support to access counselling and psychological care and/or the offer of a monetary amount.

Direct personal response

If you are applying for redress, you do not have to meet with anyone from the YMCA if it is your preference not to.

However, if you wish, you can meet with a senior representative of the YMCA. This may be the CEO of your local YMCA or the National CEO or a member of the Board. You may prefer to meet with the Chair of our Redress Panel, who is independent from the YMCA. You are very welcome to bring a support person with you, to any meeting you choose to attend.

If you would like to receive an apology from the YMCA this can be provided in person and/or in writing.

If at any stage you change your mind about the kind of personal response you would like to receive, please just let us know.

Support to access counselling and psychological care

In providing redress the YMCA may also offer an additional amount of up to $5,000 towards any counselling or psychological care needs you may have.

If you require counselling support throughout the redress application process, the YMCA may also meet the reasonable costs of these needs.

Monetary amount

As part of our redress response, the YMCA may also offer a monetary amount as a tangible acknowledgement by the YMCA that the sexual abuse of children is wrong and that we acknowledge the potential life-long impacts of abuse. A monetary amount offered through redress is not equivalent to compensation for damages.

The Redress Panel will apply a consistent methodology to each redress case taking into account the severity of the abuse, the impact of the abuse and other relevant considerations. The amount that may be offered for the most severe cases will be a maximum of $90,000 and all amounts are determined according to a scale. The amount offered may be in addition to support provided for counselling and psychological care.

If you have received a financial payment in the past from the YMCA in relation to the abuse, you will not be eligible for a monetary amount under YMCA Redress, but will be eligible for a direct personal response if you choose.

The decision of the Redress Panel and the relevant detail for their decision will be communicated to you in writing.

In accepting an offer of redress, you will maintain your common law right to bring civil litigation against the YMCA.  

You will not be asked to sign a Deed of Release or any confidentiality agreement. 

The YMCA has established a Redress Panel to make determinations about redress applications. The Chair of the Redress Panel is independent from the YMCA. The Panel includes two additional independent experts in the fields of psychology/social work and two representatives of the YMCA (national and local).

The Chair of the Redress Panel has the authority to make a final determination of any offer of redress

Making the decision to apply for redress may be challenging and difficult and our intention is to make the process as simple as possible. If you require some assistance in completing the application form, please let us know.

To make a complete and accurate assessment of your redress application, it is important that you provide as much information as possible. To assist in this, the Redress Panel will require from you:

(a) A letter from your GP outlining any physical health impacts of the abuse; and
(b) A letter or report from a qualified psychologist outlining any mental health impacts of the abuse; and
(c) A description of the incident of the abuse that occurred, including any relevant details such as dates, locations or names in the form of a statutory declaration.

We understand that applying for redress may be a difficult process, however the Redress Panel is relying on information provided by you to make an appropriate assessment of your application.

When your application is received you will be contacted by the YMCA Redress Manager. You can indicate your preference about how you are contacted on the application form.

All materials you include in your application will be provided to the Redress Panel, which will consider the information in order to make an offer to you. You may also wish to meet with the Redress Panel or the Chair, but this is only if you wish to do so.

The Redress Panel will apply a standard of proof of 'reasonable likelihood'. This means that the Panel needs to be satisfied that there is a reasonable likelihood that abuse occurred. This is a lower standard of proof than the 'balance of probabilities' that is used in most civil litigation.

At any time during the process, prior to the Panel's determination, you can bring additional information or documents to the Panel if you feel they are relevant to your redress application.

The Redress Panel will provide its decision and any offer to you in writing. You will have 90 days in which to consider this offer, seek independent advice if you wish and then let us know whether you would like to accept the offer or not.

In accepting an offer of redress from the YMCA, you will not be required to sign a Deed of Release or a confidentiality agreement. Your common law right to bring civil action against the YMCA will remain open to you.

By accepting an offer of redress from the YMCA, the YMCA does not consider you would be precluded from applying for redress through any future scheme that might be established by either the Commonwealth or state/territory governments, in the event that the YMCA is a participant in such schemes.

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