Royal Commission to hold public hearing into Australian Christian Churches

Royal Commission to hold public hearing into Australian Christian Churches

The Royal Commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney from 7 October 2014 at 10.30am.

The public hearing will inquire into the responses by Australian Christian Churches (a Pentecostal movement in Australia) and two affiliated churches to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

  1. The response of the Sydney Christian Life Centre and Hills Christian Life Centre (now Hillsong Church) and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) to allegations of child sexual abuse made against William Francis “Frank” Houston.
  2. The response of the Northside Christian College and the Northside Christian Centre (now Encompass Church) in Bundoora, Victoria and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) to allegations of child sexual abuse made against former teacher Kenneth Sandilands.
  3. The response of Australian Christian Churches to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Jonathan Baldwin.
  4. The systems, policies, practices and procedures for the reporting of and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse of:
    a. Australian Christian Churches,
    b. Hillsong Church,
    c. and Northside Christian College and Encompass Church.
  5. Any other related matters.

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 23 September 2014.

Applications for leave to appear should be made using the form available on the Royal Commission website entitled ‘Application for Leave to Appear at the Royal Commission' and include a short submission setting out the basis on which it is said the applicant has a substantial and direct interest in appearing.

The form and the submission should be lodged with the Royal Commission via:

For more information on lodging your submission email solicitor@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au 

The public hearing will be streamed live to the public via webcast on the Royal Commission’s website.

Interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to view the proceedings via the webcast.