National and Regional Engagement and Communication Toolkit

Development of culturally appropriate and place-based communication materials, including print and video content and messaging in-language.

Opening the National Redress Scheme to all Indigenous Applicants

The National Redress Scheme is administered through the Department of Social Services.  It was created in response to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Survivors of abuse had been encouraged to submit an application to the Redress Scheme, detailing the abuse suffered as children, and receive support and compensation if deemed eligible following approval of the application.

Unsurprisingly, the Scheme acknowledged the low number of applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants, nationally, despite the presence of culturally appropriate redress support services.

Everywhen adopted an innovative, interactive approach during COVID restrictions to maximise touchpoints across a diversity of cultural, language and geographic demographics

Everywhen’s virtual workplace enabled the team to work closely with nominated Redress support services (nationally and regionally) and speak with local communities on a national scale.

This personal interaction led to the development of tailored, culturally safe/appropriate and trauma-informed communications to support Indigenous applicants experience of the Scheme.

Everywhen’s personal approach created a better understanding of barriers and enablers

Everywhen believes a trauma-informed approach to care empowers individuals, families and communities. It positions community at the centre of engagement to ensure survivors have access to a culturally safe environment and healing places, and it enables individuals to identify safe people to support their healing.

  1. We listened – worked with nominated Redress support services (nationally and regionally) to best understand the potential audience and the desired impact. Initial discussions covered the existing communications in place and were assessed for cultural safety and uptake. We sought further validation and insights from the support staff themselves and end-users where appropriate and possible.
  2. We design – worked closely with Redress support services to ascertain how a participant might come across information on the Redress support service. We then worked closely with support staff to understand the barriers and enablers that might contribute to a potential participant seeking further information or engaging in the application process.Our communications were designed around simplifying messaging and utilising existing communication channels to reach a broader cross-section of people in different areas. This in turn encouraged further discussion with the Redress support services to provide cultural safety and support throughout the process.
  3. We enable – we successfully developed a National and Regional Engagement Toolkit for the National Redress Scheme for use by Redress support services. Our communication materials included targeted messaging, in-language material, and video content. We also developed a network of alliances through the Redress support services, and a conceptual model of trust circles articulating the importance of consolidated touchpoints in the community to build trust and culturally appropriate solutions.
  4. We grow – we continued to provide counsel for Redress support services to address areas for improvement post adoption of Communication Toolkit.

National Redress Scheme now has a user-friendly Communication Toolkit with safe engagement pathways for Indigenous applicants

The success of the Redress Scheme across Indigenous communities will be enabled and determined by relationships, and by the sense of autonomy and control returned to individual survivors.

  • Enhanced skills and capabilities – Everywhen acknowledges that the National Redress Scheme needs to be survivor focussed and incorporate trauma-informed practices to attract more applicants. With this top of mind – and with the aim to support the Scheme’s integrity – we designed the new engagement methodologies and communication toolkit to enhance the skills and capabilities of the Redress support services – enabling them to deliver health and well-being solutions for many Indigenous peoples who have suffered abuse.
  • Safe engagement pathways – The provision of a safer engagement mechanism helps facilitate greater accessibility and support to survivors and provides a more trauma-informed experience that is responsive to survivors of institutional sexual abuse.  It also illustrates that the Scheme is a survivor-centred, humane and less onerous option than civil action.
  • Interactive communications – End-to-end support for survivors is recommended, acknowledging the inherent trauma involved in making the application.  Targeted communication strategies to reach and respond to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people with disability is a pre-requisite for the Scheme to be perceived as a helpful healing mechanism.
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We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and First Nations, Traditional Custodians of Australia’s lands and waterways. We also acknowledge the dispossession of First Nations people from their lands, the dispersal and relocation of communities, the erosion of traditional customs and languages, and the removal of children from their families, have resulted in the disconnection of generations of families from their traditional homelands, languages and culture.

We pay our respect to Elders of the past, those of the present and those of the future for they hold the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people