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The fence at St Patrick’s Ballarat in 2017 (ABC News/Dominic Cansdale)

Ribbons will be tied to the fence at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat this weekend, while discussions for a long-term memorial for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse continue. Source: Ballarat Diocese.

In 2015, during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the LOUD fence organisation began tying ribbons to fences in Ballarat and beyond, as a sign of solidarity and support for those who suffered child sexual abuse in institutional settings.

These ribbons were removed from the St Patrick’s Cathedral fence earlier this year, following consultations between members of LOUD fence and representatives of St Patrick’s Cathedral parish, to allow maintenance work to be undertaken. 

The parish council and LOUD fence representatives began discussions for a long-term memorial on the grounds of St Patrick’s Cathedral to acknowledge victim-survivors, their loved ones and supporters who experienced child sexual abuse in Church settings and elsewhere. 

The memorial will provide ongoing recognition of those who experience the continuing impact of child sexual abuse, be a reminder for the continuing attention to safeguarding children and vulnerable people in the community and promote healing across the Ballarat community. 

With the fence maintenance work completed, Ballarat Bishop Paul Bird, the parish council and LOUD fence announced yesterday that a LOUD fence will be installed on a dedicated section of the cathedral fence on Sturt Street, while discussions about a long-term memorial continue.

Parish representatives will gather with LOUD fence members at 11am on Saturday to tie ribbons to the dedicated section of fence. 

Parishioners and the LOUD fence invite anyone who wishes to tie a ribbon as a sign of support for victims/survivors, their loved ones, and supporters and as a reminder to continue safeguarding children and vulnerable people everywhere. 


St Patrick’s Cathedral Loud fence (Ballarat Diocese and LOUD fence)