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St Kilda redress scheme reasoning remains secret

The St Kilda Football Club has formally joined the national redress scheme but its reason for doing so cannot be released, the social services department says.

The AFL club's formal participation in the scheme was confirmed by Minister Amanda Rishworth this month.

The declaration followed media revelations its Little League team was host to pedophile coaches in the 1960s and 70s.

More than a dozen former players revealed they were sexually abused by coaches in a 2021 ABC investigation.

The Department of Social Services told AAP it could not comment on the reasoning behind the move due to "strict protected information provisions".

But the department encouraged all institutions with a history of working with children to join the scheme.

Victims of institutional child sexual abuse can claim monetary compensation and psychological counselling provided the abuse occurred at an institution involved with the redress scheme.

Former Saints star Rod Owen told the ABC he was sexually molested by then Little League coach Darrell Ray and manager Albert Briggs.

Ray's brother-in-law and child sex offender Gary Mitchell was also involved at the club, driving boys to and from games.

A precursor to Auskick, the Little League was conceived by the VFL in 1967 to promote junior participation.

Matt Finnis, Saints CEO at the time, apologised to Owen and other victims in a club statement in 2021, describing the abuse as "shattering".

The scheme was established in 2018 following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Saints are the only AFL men's league club to have opted into the scheme.

The AFL joined the scheme in 2021 with CEO Gillon McLachlan encouraging victims of abuse to come forward.

St Kilda has declined to comment, beyond confirming its participation in the scheme.