Aaron Snodgrass video message to Old Boys

Script to a video that Aaron Snodgrass, Chairman of the Dilworth Trust Board, shared with the Dilworth Old Boy community.

Kia ora fellow Old Boys.

This month marks two years since we first apologised to those who suffered abuse while they were at Dilworth, and announced that we would be taking proactive steps to address the issue of historical abuse at our school.

Whether it is through the independent Listening Service, or supporting Old Boys in their complaints to authorities, or participating in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. We have been, and remain, committed to confronting this issue with our community openly and honestly.

When I last spoke to you in July, I said one of our priorities is how best to approach redress for survivors of historical sexual abuse. This is something that Dilworth has been wanting to do for some time and it’s in keeping with our philosophy of wanting to care of our Old Boys.

So, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with some insight into our approach to developing a redress programme which includes the provision of financial redress.

Over the last eight months, the Board has been working with leading experts in New Zealand and Australia to understand how others have approached redress for survivors of sexual abuse.

We have also taken note of the interim findings and recommendations from the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

We are determined that our redress model will be best-practice, adhering to the fundamental principles of being survivor-focussed, comprehensive and restorative.

It will be open and accessible to all Old Boys who have been impacted by sexual abuse during their time at Dilworth.

Our next step is to consult on the proposed model with key stakeholders that will include a representative group of our Old Boys. In addition, we are consulting with the complainants who have brought proceedings before the Human Rights Commission.

We are working to a goal of being able to launch our redress programme in the first half of 2022.

In the meantime, our focus remains on supporting our community and those amongst us directly impacted by abuse.

In the coming months, we’ll face more confronting details as those who are accused of harming our friends and brothers face justice in the courts.

Please continue to support each other and encourage your fellow Old Boys to use the Listening Service if you think they could benefit from it.

I will continue to update you, including developments on the redress programme.

I know many of you will have questions. We won’t have a full picture of how the programme will work until we’ve fully consulted on it, but I will try to answer any questions you have.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our school and each other during these challenging times.