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Our inquiry

Volume 1, Our inquiry introduces the Final Report, describing the establishment, scope and operations of the Royal Commission. Key terms used throughout the Final Report are listed in the Glossary within this volume.


This volume is the introduction to the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The report represents the culmination of our five-year inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and related matters. It presents the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission. It also documents the experiences of people affected by child sexual abuse in an institutional context.

The volume outlines the circumstances that led Australian governments to determine there was a need for a national inquiry. It describes the establishment of the Royal Commission, the scope of the inquiry and its key considerations, as provided by the Terms of Reference.

The volume also outlines the purpose of the report as a whole, its intended audiences and how we have integrated population-specific issues throughout. It includes a discussion of key terms used in this report, and the Final Report Glossary containing a comprehensive list of terms, which follows the appendices.

The volume describes how we went about our task and the three pillars of the inquiry: hearings; private sessions; and policy and research. Finally, the volume describes the structure of the report, and how the report and related materials may be accessed online.

More detailed information about the Royal Commission, how it operated and its publications is contained in appendices to this volume:

  • Appendix A provides our Letters Patent
  • Appendix B provides further information about our finances
  • Appendix C outlines the case studies we examined at public hearing
  • Appendix D provides a summary of our policy consultations, including issues papers, consultation papers and public and private roundtables
  • Appendix E provides a summary of prior publications of the Royal Commission, including earlier reports, research publications and case study reports
  • Appendix F describes our research themes
  • Appendix G describes our model for supporting staff wellbeing
  • Appendix H is a list of staff of the Office of the Royal Commission
  • Appendix I details other major government inquiries and reports relevant to the work of this inquiry.

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