Dilworth Response Director appointed

In April, the Dilworth Trust Board appointed Brigid Inder OBE to the role of Dilworth Response Director, a newly created position that is part of its senior executive team.

As Dilworth Response Director, Ms Inder has been leading and managing Dilworth’s preparations for the Independent Inquiry and the establishment of the Wellness Unit supporting the Inquiry. Both of these programmes were launched on 1 July, 2022.

She is also providing programmatic and operational support within a team of external advisors towards finalising the Independent Redress Programme for Old Boy survivors.

Ms Inder will oversee Dilworth Response as a whole, including ongoing cooperation with and support for all three programmes.

Ms Inder is a recognised leader in the international justice field and is a former Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. She is a human rights and gender justice advocate and has extensive experience working alongside survivors of sexual and other forms of violence who seek access to justice, recovery and reparative processes. Her peacebuilding work in countries affected by armed conflict in east, central and north Africa involved the development of community-based truth-telling, reconciliation and recovery programmes in collaboration with survivors and survivor-communities.

Dilworth Trust Board Chairman Aaron Snodgrass says Ms Inder’s appointment comes at a critical time.

“We are delighted Ms Inder has accepted this role. She brings extensive and unique experience and expertise to the position and will assist the Dilworth community with our efforts and ongoing process of acknowledging and reconciling with our past.”

Ms Inder says: “The Independent Inquiry and Redress Programme are important truth-telling and reparative opportunities for Old Boy survivors and their families to feel heard, believed and supported and for Dilworth to reconcile with its past recognising the deep and long-term harm caused to some of those in its care. The intention and hope is that these programmes and the Wellness Unit will contribute to the healing process for Old Boy survivors, their families and the wider community, in a meaningful way.”

The Dilworth Response project encompasses;

  • An Independent Inquiry that will provide an understanding of the causes, nature and extent of the abuse experienced by former students at Dilworth School; the acts and omissions of the School, its trustees, officers and staff in responding to, or addressing, complaints of abuse; and examine the adequacy of the policies and procedures in place at the School today to prevent any future abuse.
  • A Redress Programme designed to support Old Boy survivors through various forms of redress including financial awards, access to counselling and therapy, an apology, and other forms of personalised redress.
  • A Wellness Unit comprising a dedicated team of professionals who have experience working with survivors of abuse and trauma. The Unit will assist those registering to participate in the Inquiry. It will also provide support, referrals and access to counselling and other support services for those participating in this process. The Wellness Unit is independent of Dilworth.
  • A free Listening Service available to all Old Boy survivors, their families and others affected by the abuse.
  • Dilworth’s ongoing cooperation with the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the New Zealand Police.