15 Sep 2013

Abuse inquiry opens in Sydney

3:27 pm on 15 September 2013

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse opens in Sydney on Monday and will focus on how three New South Wales organisations handled allegations about a convicted pedophile.

AAP reports that in its first public hearing, the commission will shine the spotlight on branches of Scouts Australia, Hunter Aboriginal Children's Services and the NSW Department of Community Services.

They will be asked what they knew of allegations levelled at convicted pedophile Steve "Skip" Larkins.

The former chief executive of a Newcastle-based foster care agency for Aboriginal children was not revealed as a child sex offender until 2011 when police investigating child pornography claims uncovered sex abuse complaints from the 1990s.

Larkins is now in jail for these offences.

The hearings are open to the public and are expected to run up to a week.

The commissioners will want to know what checks were carried out on Larkins' suitability to exercise parental responsibilities for very vulnerable Aboriginal children.