Adsafe Ltd (Adsafe) would like to pay tribute to those who went before in establishing appropriate responses to sexual and physical abuse within the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church. We would like to particularly acknowledge the work of Pastor David and Cheryl Robertson, who established the service and consulted widely with persons of expertise to develop and refine a robust set of principles and processes to protect the most vulnerable persons in our church community. It should also be acknowledged that many more passionate church members volunteered their expertise and time to assist, in so many ways, the development of the service and its various functions.
The leaders of the SDA Church in Australia and New Zealand became increasingly aware of the problem of sexual abuse perpetrated within the church through the mid to late 1990s. The SDA Church responded by forming a dedicated service called Adventist Support, that commenced in February 2000.
Over the following 16 years there were a number of significant events that impacted on the delivery of protective services to children and vulnerable persons and are summarised in the timeline of events below.
Summary of Key Events
|Adventist Support commences
|NSW Supreme Court Judgement
|Policies and procedures reviewed
|Appointment of external firm to conduct investigations
| Service Name changed to 'Safe Place Services' & Safe Place Committee model
proposed for Local Conferences
|Platform of policies reviewed
|Targeting of investigations to employee/appointed volunteers
|Targeting of investigations to child-related cases
| Australian Government announces a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to
Child Sexual Abuse (Australian Royal Commission)
|Australian Royal Commission commenced
|Adsafe Ltd (Adsafe) commenced operations in Australia and New Zealand
|Australian Royal Commission concluded
|Adsafe commences operations in the South Pacific
As a response to matters uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission, coupled with an internal review and recommendations from various investigations, the SDA Church Administrators acknowledged that greater resources were required for the prevention of and response to abuse and a new model of operation was needed to ensure consistency or practice. Hence, Adsafe was established as an independent company funded by the four Union Conferences within the South Pacific Division.
Adsafe's constitution stipulates the provision of protective services for children and vulnerable people relating to sexual and physical abuse within Australia, New Zealand and the wider South Pacific region. Since 1 January 2017 Adsafe has been operating within Australia and New Zealand, however, operations will be expanding to the South Pacific region in starting from October 2021.