Governance of Tuart Place and its forerunner services

Christian Brothers Ex-Residents and Students Service (CBERSS), Subiaco, WA: 1995-2005

  • An independent agency set up to assist people who had suffered harm in Christian Brothers’ orphanages or schools, as recommended by the ISERV (Independent Services for Residents and Victims) Panel.
  • A self-governing Management Committee was tasked with implementing CBERSS’ Terms of Reference (cbers.org/archive/about.asp.htm ) and ensuring the functional independence and confidentiality of all services, which included: family tracing, literacy classes, no-interest loans, advocacy, counselling and funded travel for family reunification.
  • In 2001, CBERSS extended its services to women who had been in Sisters of Mercy or Sisters of Nazareth institutions.
  • Closure of the UK child migrant travel program in early 2005 led to decreasing client numbers and, following a consultation process, CBERSS Subiaco closed its doors in December 2005.

 

  CBERS Consultancy, 24 High Street, Fremantle WA: 2006–2012

  • Established as a part-time service in January 2006 to provide continuing support to clients of the former CBERSS.
  • Relocated to the ‘Cleo’s Hotel’ site in Fremantle, a property owned by the Christian Brothers and rented to CBERS Consultancy via a property agent.
  • A confidential, independent agency that was financially accountable to, but functionally independent of, the Christian Brothers. See cbers.org.
  • Services included advocacy, counselling, assistance to access records, assistance with historic abuse complaints.
  • Announcement of the ‘Redress WA’ scheme in December 2007 led to a dramatic increase in demand for services. CBERS Redress Service developed in response to this demand.

 

  CBERS Redress Service, 24 High Street, Fremantle WA: 2008–2012

  • CBERS Redress Service commenced operation in May 2008, having successfully tendered for WA Department of Communities’ funding to operate a confidential, independent support service for people applying to the Redress WA Scheme. See http://www.cbers.org/redress.html
  • The client group expanded to include people who had experienced childhood abuse or neglect in any form of state-governed out-of-home care.
  • CBERS Redress Service became the primary support service for the WA Government’s initiative, assisting 883 (one-sixth) of applicants over the course of the scheme.

 

  Tuart Place, 24 High Street, Fremantle WA: 2012–present

  • Tuart Place was launched in 2012 under the auspices of Forgotten Australians Coming Together Inc. (FACT).
  • FACT Inc was established by the late Laurie Humphreys, a former child migrant and ex-resident of Bindoon Orphanage, whose longstanding dream was to provide a ‘drop in centre’ for all care leavers.
  • The FACT Board of Governance comprises Australian-born care leavers, former child migrants, and professional members elected for their expertise in areas such as law, social work, and service management.
  • Services include counselling, advocacy, assistance to access records and a range of other supports.
  • Tuart Place receives its core funding from the WA Department for Communities, along with unconditional donations from a range of non-government past providers, including the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy and Nazareth. See https://www.tuartplace.org/about-us/funding/
  • Since 2012, Tuart Place has played a major role in supporting federal initiatives such as Find & Connect and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.