The Salvation Army's response to child sexual abuse will again come under scrutiny as hearings return to Adelaide, beginning today.
It is examining the experiences of former child residents of four boys' homes run by the Salvation Army in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia between 1940 and 1990.
Allegations of sexual abuse at the Eden Park Boys' Home in South Australia, the Box Hill Boys' Home in Victoria, Bayswater Boys' Home in Victoria and the Hollywood Children's Village (formerly known as the Salvation Army Boys' Home) at Nedlands in Western Australia will form the basis of the hearing.
The commission will hear about the Salvation Army's responses to the allegations and examine its current and past policies, practices and procedures for responding to claims of abuse.
The South Australian Supreme Court has previously heard horrific details about a regime of violence and abuse at the Eden Park Boys' Home at Wistow, near Mount Barker.
Candice Marcus @CandiceMarcus
Counsel assisting @CARoyalComm says evidence shows Salvos knew of sexual abuse at Eden Park Boys' Home as early as 1940s #RCSalvos
In 2009, former Salvation Army officer William John Keith Ellis was sentenced to 16 years' jail with a non-parole period of 12 years for 13 child sex offences against four victims between 1960 and 1971.
Justice Michael David condemned a culture of violence and cruel punishments against defenceless and vulnerable boys at the home, which he described as a "horrific place".
Ellis's trial was plagued by delays due to the elderly paedophile's medical episodes, which resulted in him being taken from the dock by an ambulance on two occasions, including when the guilty verdicts were delivered in April 2009 and Ellis screamed and collapsed.
One of the former residents who was sexually abused by Ellis at the Eden Park Boys' Home, Graham Rundle, said the hearing would be an important step.
"I think it's very important because at least now the truth is going to come out, it will be good for victims," he said.
Candice Marcus @CandiceMarcus
.@CARoyalComm hears victim who reported sexual abuse to Salvo officer was punished by being placed in a fire escape for 3 nights
"I'm hoping obviously the truth will come out but that hopefully this time the southern division does something, because the eastern division did nothing, they fought it all the way."
Mr Rundle was finally given compensation from the Salvation Army after a long-fought civil case in the New South Wales Supreme Court, which ended in a confidential settlement in 2010.
But he said some victims, including those whose cases had not been tested in a criminal court, had not been given adequate compensation.
|William John Keith Ellis leaving court by ambulance officers, April 2009|
The Salvation Army's eastern territory operations have already been examined by the commission, which heard harrowing details and accounts from victims of sexual abuse in four boys' homes run by the charity organisation in New South Wales and Queensland.
In a report released in March the commission found that the Salvation Army did not protect young boys from being abused in the homes in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
Many victims have told their stories in private hearings leading up to the commission's public sittings.
It is the second time the commission has held a public hearing in Adelaide.
In March 2014 the commission held its first public hearing in Adelaide to examine sexual abuse at St Ann's Special School in the 1980s and 90s.
In June, the commission released its findings into the case and identified a number of failings by the school, the police and the Catholic Church.