Interviewer: 60 Minutes presents a live interview with lawyer, Jason Parkinson.
Interviewer: Jason, welcome to our live online chatroom tonight :)
Jason Parkinson: Thank you very much for having me, I am looking forward to answering questions.
Rp1723 asks: I have heard that Catholic school fees are being used to pay for compensation for the victims. Is there any truth in this?
Jason Parkinson: That is absolute rubbish. The orders have their own funds and there is also recall of Catholic Church insurance.
Information2 asks: Is this the most difficult case you have ever done?
Jason Parkinson: It's the most heartbreaking and the largest in scope.
MurraySlee asks: What is the best way for the general public to show our support for these courageous men?
Jason Parkinson: Just remain informed to ensure that Catholic Church and Catholic Orders do not try and minimise the harm they have done to these men. Public support is very high and apparently these men's time has come.
jolee asks: how does this royal commision help other victims abused within other church organisations (other than the catholic church)
Jason Parkinson: The Royal Commission is non-denominational and indeed is far reaching in it's enquiries. Any organisation whether it be an orphanise, juvenile detention or a school, will be the subject of the Royal Commission.
MILLY asks: I myself as a mother has had my beautiful adult son had his innocence taken away by a parasite. I have been there for all the hard times and I so grateful he did not succeed in trying to take his own life at the age of sixteen.
Jason Parkinson: Sadly, alcohol and drug abuse and suicide attempts are normal behaviour in child abuse cases, that's what makes them so dangerous. It is not just the physical abuse to a young child, but it is the serious psychiatric damage that is a result of child sexual abuse. This damage lasts for all time which is why action must be taken. I'm sorry for your son.
Jam1e asks: How many brothers are involved and are you aware if any remain teaching young boys?
Jason Parkinson: There is a significant number of brothers who were at Boystown and who are involved. These brothers went on to teach at other De La Salle schools, however it appears that none of them are teaching children at the moment.
MILL asks: The church should be paying or the Vatican they are richer than any govt
Jason Parkinson: That is a very important point. At the moment the Australian taxpayer is underwriting priests and brothers paedophilia. All of these men who are victims, are on Centrelink benefits for psychiatric injuries and need substantial care through the Medicare system that we all pay for. The Catholic Church, who pays no tax should be made to pay all the compensation.
stock asks: So now this Royal Commission is happening, what happens now for the victims? What do they do?
Jason Parkinson: Once the terms of reference are announced, the Royal Commission will advertise for interested parties to come forward. We will know more in the coming weeks.
janemind asks: What is a Royal Commission? Why is it so important?
Jason Parkinson: A Royal Commissioner has more powers to investigate than any judge or police force. The Royal Commissioner will have his own police investigators and has powers to obtain documents with police force of entry if required. Any information that is brought to the Royal Commissioner, can subsequently be used as the basis of police criminal investigations. Hopefully those that covered up child sexual abuse in any institution will be a part of the Royal Commissioner's enquiries.
Katana asks: In your view, Should Aboriginal groups - Elders, Co-ops, ATSIC (Jeff Clark) Land Owner committees, be investigated as part of the Royal Commission?
Jason Parkinson: Child abuse is an insidious and serious crime, we will have to see whether the Royal Commission will extend into those areas. It may be that institutions will be the focus of this Royal Commission, but we will have to wait and see.
Tracie asks: Cardinal Pell is not helping their situation, he needs to come clean, what are your thoughts on his actions?
Jason Parkinson: I make it a policy not to comment about anything Cardinal Pell says about child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
JackieC asks: Mr Parkinson, I feel terrible. I have bought tickets for "BoysTown Art Union" raffle. Is this supporting these terrible places?
Jason Parkinson: During Boystown's existence, it was. However, the funds now go to various programmes to help children.
Robbie asks: How can you be contacted by victims Jason?
Jason Parkinson: Go to my website which is www.porterslawyers.com.au - thank you.
PaulColley asks: Hi Jason - I have been a victim of a De La Salle brother and would like to get in contact with you? What would be the best way?
Jason Parkinson: Please leave me a message on my website as above, and I shall contact you. Thank you.
wheels asks: Why hook up with Parkinson? Now the royal commission is on why not go straight to them?
Jason Parkinson: The Royal Commission is investigating into child abuse in all institutions. The police are interested in investigating and then charging abusive pedophile brothers with a view to having them convicted. We act for victims with an aim of obtaining them proper compensation for the harm that was done to them. Such a large and horrendous problem needs a multi-faceted approach.
felix asks: Jason, I read in the paper yesterday about statute of limitations exceed and therefore no action can be taken against the perpetrator. Is this likely to ever happen here in Australia?
Jason Parkinson: Very good question. The statute of limitations is not applicable in criminal matters but it does seriously hinder victims getting compensation through the civil courts. There are various exemptions that allow claims to be made out of time. Governments should be placing a moratorium on the statute of limitations for a 3 year period, so that all child abuse victims can have their day in court.
Robbie asks: Jason, where can victims go for counselling and support?
Jason Parkinson: Firstly, they should be speaking with their general practitioner for referral to a psychologist who has experience in these areas. Also, Broken Rites is a support group for victims of clergy abuse and Samsaa deals with male victims of sexual abuse. Unfortunately there is a fractured response to adult survivors of child sexual abuse in Australia.
nathan asks: hello jason will the royal commission better the case of victims??
Jason Parkinson: Yes it will, because for the first time victims voices will be heard in a public forum where people will listen and act.
Peter asks: Jason, do you believe abuse is still happening in organisations? And will this Royal Commission be effective in weeding this behaviour out and hopefully making the world safer for all?
Jason Parkinson: Sadly, paedophiles are still abusing children in institutions if they are given the opportunity. We expect that the Commission will be shining a very bright light on very dirty corners of institutions, which will have the effect of improving accountability and therefore the safety of children in care.
alfred asks: I have a question, I am a Boystown Boy and I am on the Old Boys site and there are boys saying not to do civil but to do criminal first, this is confusing me dearly as my wife and I know that criminal action will take many years if at all and yet certain boys seem to get upset that some are going civil first, I would like some input please
Jason Parkinson: Because of difficulties with the statute of limitations and the fact that, all claimants are arguably out of time to make claims, it is very important that civil claims are filed as soon as possible. This will in no way affect any criminal claims at all. I have done two other large school matters involving 50 victims at each school. The abuser went to jail and there was no adverse affect on the criminal proceedings whatsoever.
Interviewer: Unfortunately we are out of time, any further comments before we finish up?
Jason Parkinson: The calling of the Royal Commission is unprecedented in Australian history. It will certainly be the broadest Royal Commission we have ever had. I am pleased for the victims of child sexual abuse that such an important Royal Commission has been called for their benefit. The children of yesterday and the children of tomorrow need the protection of this Royal Commission. Thank you for having me tonight.
Interviewer: This concludes our chat with Jason Parkinson, Sunday November 18, 2012.