Sessions with a Commissioner
At a session, you will be able to speak directly with a Commissioner about your experience and any views you may have about what needs to change to prevent child sexual abuse and improve responses to, and reporting of, abuse. Information provided at sessions will assist the Commission to understand the current gaps in the Tasmanian Government’s responses to child sexual abuse and will help the Commission to make recommendations for change.
Sessions may be held with:
- victim-survivors of child sexual abuse
- family, friends and supporters of victim-survivors of child sexual abuse, and
- people who wish to provide information directly to a Commissioner, such as information regarding child sexual abuse that has occurred at a Tasmanian government institution.
The Commission will determine who will be able to attend a session based on the nature of the information a participant may wish to share and its relevance to the scope of the inquiry.
Sessions will be held from August 2021 until late 2022 in locations around Tasmania. Sessions can also be conducted online.
If you are interested in attending a session, please register your interest by contacting the Commission on 1800 950 110 between 9.00am and 5.00pm on weekdays or by email at email@example.com.
What happens at a session?
Sessions enable participants to speak directly with a Commissioner. Sessions will usually run for up to an hour and the participant will decide how they would like to use the time available and what they would like to speak to a Commissioner about.
If a session is held, the room will usually only include the following people:
- a Commissioner
- a Commission staff member
- the participant who is giving information at that session, and
- the participant’s support person of their choosing.
If a participant has a lawyer and wants them to attend the session, they may do so. Any support person who attends a session must keep any information disclosed at the session confidential.
A qualified counsellor or psychologist will be available to support participants before and after the session.
Can information be provided confidentially?
Yes. The Commission will respect the wishes of any person who wishes to provide information privately to the Commission.
Participants can decide if they want their session to be conducted as a private session. A private session is run in the same way as other sessions, but the information provided is treated confidentially.
Private sessions are held in accordance with the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1995 (Tas). Information given to the Commission at a private session will not be used in the Commission’s final report unless that information:
- is also formally given in evidence to the Commission other than at a private session (for example, in a written submission or at a public hearing), or
- does not disclose the identity of, or lead to the identification of, the participant.
More information is available in the fact sheet:
What protections does a person have if they provide information?
In providing information to the Commission, participants also have rights and protections under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1995 (Tas), including that:
- your employer cannot prejudice or dismiss you
- others cannot try to prevent you from providing information to the Commission, and
- others cannot punish you or cause you damage, loss or disadvantage because you provide information to the Commission.
These rights and protections, and the treatment of information provided to the Commission, are outlined in:
- Providing information to the Commission: Information for members of the public (PDF, 446.8 KB), and
- Providing information to the Commission: Information for public sector employees and officers (PDF, 255.2 KB).
Can the Commission meet the expenses of participants?
Yes. Participants may apply to claim certain expenses associated with their attendance at a session with a Commissioner, including travel expenses, meals and loss of income, in accordance with the Sessions with a Commissioner – Participant Expenses Policy. (PDF, 424.6 KB)
Claims must be made in writing by completing the Sessions with a Commissioner – Participant Expenses Claim Form (PDF, 605.4 KB), or MS Word version (DOCX, 920.3 KB)