The National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (the Memorial) was a recommendation (17.6) of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission).The Australian Government has committed funding towards the establishment of the Memorial in Canberra. Following the funding commitment, an Advisory Group was established to assist with the development and delivery of this important project. The Advisory Group membership includes people with lived experience of institutional child sexual abuse alongside other experts to advise on key aspects of the Memorial's design, including the purpose, location, and key attributes.
The NCA is overseeing the design and construction of the Memorial on behalf of the Department of Social Services (DSS), which is responsible for the delivery of the Government’s commitment in response to the recommendation of the Royal Commission.
For victims, survivors, their families and friends, the Memorial can provide a place of reflection and recognition of the truth, and offer a symbol of hope.
For the broader community, the Memorial will acknowledge the experiences of victims and survivors. It will recognise the courage of those who have fought for justice. It will honour lives lost and those whose voices were not heard.
Changes to the Memorial design
The National Capital Authority ran a national design competition in 2021 to select a suitable design for the Memorial.
The brief for designers was developed with the National Memorial Advisory Group (Advisory Group). The brief considered feedback from a public online consultation process. Read the Consultation Summary Report.
The Hon Peter McClellan AM KC (former chair of the Royal Commission) was chair of a jury established to select the design. The jury included victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and design industry professionals.
The selected design, ‘Transparency and Truth’, by architects Jessica Spresser and Peter Besley, subsequently underwent technical assessments that revealed complex construction challenges.
Following extensive consultations involving the Department of Social Services, the National Capital Authority, the Advisory Group, and Mr McClellan, the Government decided to terminate the original design and to commence a new design selection process.
The Government remains deeply committed to building a Memorial as soon as possible to recognise the courage and experiences of victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, to provide a place of reflection, contribute to healing, and educate future generations to better protect Australian children.
As a priority, the Department of Social Services is working with the National Capital Authority, in consultation with the Advisory Group and Mr McClellan, to develop and conduct a new design procurement and selection process.
The new process will commence in the first half of 2024, with construction to commence in 2025. The Memorial is expected to be completed in 2026.
Further information on the design process will be available in the coming months.
Further information regarding the Memorial is available on the Department of Social Services website
For further information around the Memorial and next steps, please see the Frequently Asked Questions
Please direct enquires associated with the design and construction of the Memorial to: RCMemorial@nca.gov.au
All other questions should be directed to the Department of Social Services at: RCMemorial@dss.gov.au
Child sexual abuse can be a difficult issue to hear, think or read about. To access support at any time please contact: