Our story so far...
The Catholic Bishops of Victoria formed an operational working group to develop a new, consistent and contemporary model to respond to allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church.
The development of Pathways Victoria considered a number of reviews of the Melbourne Response and Towards Healing models, along with public consultation and direct engagement with advocacy groups. There was specific focus on the impact of abuse on individuals and the effect and nature of the trauma. The need for restoration and connection between survivors, victims, and the Church, to offer a much-needed road to healing has been acknowledged.
The Pathways Victoria name.
A small brainstorming group was formed to generate discussion and consideration of a proposed name for the new model. This group consisted of a survivor of abuse who has engaged in the Melbourne Response who is also a counsellor and spiritual director alongside a communications manager and a pastoral wellbeing team leader.
Following discussion and further reflection, the group brainstormed possible names/phrases, arriving at the final name of Pathways Victoria.
The group proposed Pathways as:
It describes a program with multiple options; multiple ways—flexible and dynamic rather than there only being one right way
Pathways speaks to action and movement; there’s a sense of ownership and choosing to be a survivor—it’s a journey that I choose
Whichever way the survivor may feel, we believe they enter the process with hope—as does the Church—and it becomes a process of accompaniment.
The Catholic Bishops of Victoria formally announced the development of Pathways Victoria and sought submissions to the working group.
Consultation with government and statutory bodies
Pathways began consultation with Victoria Police, Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Attorney-General.
Pathways invited consultation from a broad section of the community particularly from those with a lived experience of institutional abuse, victims/survivors who had engaged in the Melbourne Response/Towards Healing processes, their advocates, psychologists and counsellors, community members and other professional support persons. This feedback has assisted in shaping the model which will seeks to offer a fair, transparent and person centred response to complaints of abuse.
Community Consultation: First Phase
The first phase of the consultation period ran from the 13th April 2021 until the 14th May 2021. This included:
Direct feedback and discussions with victim advocacy groups
Submissions directly from adults who have experienced abuse
Submissions from personal supports
Submissions from statutory bodies
Submissions from academics and other professionals with expertise in institutional abuse, safeguarding, trauma and redress.
A community survey ran through Survey Monkey with anonymous submissions from a wide range in the community.
Community Consultation: Second Phase
Following the initial consultation period ending 14th May 2021, the below timeline second consultation occurred:
End of May 2021:
Round table with nominated representatives from advocacy groups and survivors
1st June 2021:
Consolidation of first phase feedback and presentation.
Mid June 2021:
Second phase direct consultation with -
Professionals with an interest in institutional abuse
Others who have indicated they would like direct consultation
Finalised Pathways Model
Initial Pathways Victoria Board announced
Registration of Pathways Response Victoria
Pathways Victoria commences operations in 2022.
Pathways Victoria sincerely thanks all who participated in the consultations: survivors, families, advocates, organisations, and institutions who provided feedback to the draft proposal. In reviewing these responses a variety of points of view held by contributors have been carefully considered and have contributed to further work on this model.