The final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will be made public today, after four years of hearings.

The Newcastle Herald‘s Joanne McCarthy was instrumental in pushing for the commission. She won the Gold Walkley in 2013 for her reporting — which at that time already spanned seven years — on child sexual abuse in the Hunter-Maitland diocese of the Catholic Church. She used her reports to repeatedly push for a royal commission. Today the Herald has marked the final report’s release on its front page:

The Newcastle Herald‘s city stablemate The Sydney Morning Herald also ran with the commission on its front page today, focussing on the standing ovation at the end of yesterday’s final hearing.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s federal editor Bevan Shields marked McCarthy’s contribution by tweeting a copy of the letter former Prime Minister Julia Gillard — who ordered the Royal Commission — sent to McCarthy before she left office.

The ABC’s 7.30 had special coverage of the royal commission on its program last night. Gillard spoke to the journalist Paul Kennedy about the royal commission she ordered in 2012, saying that while she initially had doubts about whether the inquiry could cause more harm than good to victims, she now believes Australian children are now safer because of it. 7.30 host Matt Wordsworth hosted an in-studio panel discussion with four people who’d played a role in pushing for the royal commission. And journalist Anne Connolly reported on the commission’s final day, which she spent with the former Anglican bishop of Newcastle, Greg Thompson. 

Earlier this week, Kennedy’s documentary Undeniable aired on the ABC, which profiled some of the individuals who’d taken on the institutions involved to push for the commission.

The report will be handed today to Governor-General Peter Cosgrove in Canberra:

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today and get your first 12 weeks for $12.

Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey