Reference Group

The Australian Government appointed an independent, survivor-focused Reference Group to advise the Australian Government on the form, content and delivery of the National Apology.

The members of the Reference Group included:

  • The Hon Cheryl Edwardes AM (Chair)
  • Ms Caroline Carroll OAM
  • Ms Sharon Claydon MP
  • Ms Christine Foster
  • Senator Derryn Hinch
  • Mr Craig Hughes-Cashmore
  • Mr Steve Irons MP
  • Ms Hetty Johnston AM
  • Ms Leonie Sheedy OAM
  • Senator Rachel Siewert
  • Mr Richard Weston.

The diverse membership of the Reference Group ensured the views of a broad range of victims and survivors, their families and Members of Parliament from across Australia were represented.

The Reference Group was supported by a secretariat based in the Attorney-General’s Department​.

On Friday 12 October 2018, the Reference Group provided its advice to the Australian Government to the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP. The advice was provided with the intention of ensuring that the preparation and delivery of the National Apology reflected survivors’ experiences and wishes for the occasion, and to ensure that survivors’ wellbeing was placed at the heart of this national commemoration.

The key themes from the national consultation process are below: