16 Sep 2013

Child sex abuse hearings begin in Sydney

8:16 pm on 16 September 2013

Public hearings for the royal commission into child sex abuse in institutions have begun in Sydney.

Justice Peter McClellan has delivered his opening speech, saying many stories aired at the inquiry will shock people.

Mr McClellan said more than 400 private hearings with witnesses and victims have already taken place.

The inquiry was commissioned by the Federal Government to investigate allegations of systemic abuse within religious and state-run institutions.

Monday's hearing is looking at what children's services organisations knew about allegations against a convicted paedophile, Steven Larkins.

The former scout master and head of a not-for-profit support organisation for Aboriginal children was convicted in 2012 of a number of offences, including aggravated indecent assault of minors.