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St John of God Hauora Trust supports the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care and its comprehensive work to support survivors of abuse and to understand the failures of individuals and agencies tasked with their care.

The scope of the Inquiry includes an investigation of the events that occurred at Marylands School, run by the Catholic religious order the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of St John of God, from the 1950s to 1984.

St John of God Hauora Trust is a Registered Charitable Trust formed in 2008 to assume the services formerly operated by the Brothers of St John of God. Those services include what is now the organisation’s 60-room residential care facility in Halswell and social services agency in Christchurch East.

St John of God Hauora Trust Chief Executive Officer Sarah Hillier said “we condemn and deplore all forms of abuse, including against the most vulnerable in our society, and have the utmost sympathy for all survivors of abuse at Marylands School and Hebron Trust. They endured abuse at a time when they were most vulnerable, most in need of responsible, qualified and monitored support.”

“We acknowledge the bravery of victims to speak up, and support their efforts to seek answers that helps them heal and to grow. In telling their stories they affirm our collective commitment and responsibilities in protecting children, particularly those from vulnerable communities.”

“Our organisation supports the important work of the Royal Commission in seeking answers for survivors of abuse and in their efforts to support their individual needs. Our own Catholic Ministry is a healing one, based on compassion and respect for human dignity. We are committed to continued learning and growth in the development of care that provides healing, hope and a greater sense of dignity especially to those most in need.”

St John of God Hauora Trust maintains independently audited partnerships with a range of agencies involved in the care and protection of vulnerable young people including the Ministry of Social Development, Oranga Tamariki, Canterbury District Health Board and the Ministry of Health.

The organisation maintains checks and balances to ensure a safe environment for residents, clients, visitors and employees. This includes Child Protection Policies and safeguarding frameworks, and training for all staff on appropriate workplace and clinical behaviour. To the best of our knowledge, no allegations of child abuse have ever been raised against St John of God Hauora Trust.

Enquiries relating to care provided by the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of St John of God should be directed to the National Office for Professional Standards of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch (Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Virginia Noonan on 03 366 9869 or safeguarding@chch.catholic.org.nz), or the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of St John of God (Provincial Office Br Timothy Graham on +61 02 97471699 or provincial@oh.org.au).

For more information or to arrange an interview contact George Anderson, General Manager Communications and Marketing on george.anderson@sjog.org.nz or 021 244 9274.

About St John of God Hauora Trust

St John of God Hauora Trust is an operating division of St John of God Health Care, that operates 27 facilities comprising more than 3,300 hospital beds in Australia and New Zealand.

St John of God Hauora Trust is a provider of health and social services in New Zealand. The organisation operates 124 rooms of residential care and rehabilitation and therapy services in Canterbury and the greater Wellington region, alongside a youth development agency in Canterbury.

The Health and Ability Services Division of the organisation operates two residential care facilities in Christchurch and Wellington, and five community living homes in those districts. The organisation’s residential Model of Care, known as My Life, supports residents to live and experience life. My Life coordinates care in a home-like environment, in which individual lifestyle planning is central to facilitating an enriching and fulfilling life. Along with comprehensive rehabilitation and therapy services, the service manages a comprehensive in-house and community activities programme.

More information is available about the organisation at www.stjohnofgodannualreport.nz and www.sjog.org.nz.

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