I went along to Parliament House last week to watch the apology by the Prime Minister and to make some portraits for some of the survivors of institutionalised sex abuse. It was a somber and sobering event, but when I approached people asking if I could give them a portrait, they were all so welcoming.
This is Chris and Leslie.
“Leslie and I are alike in that we are both actors/artists and our mutual friend Tom E Lewis sadly passed away earlier this year. I knew Tommy from St kilda and acting friends.
Tim played Jimmy Blacksmith in the movie The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith.
Leslie played his brother in that film.
That was 1978
I had just started drama at VCA. I am very interested in art/music/drama...as performance but also as therapeutic methods to help survivors or anyone.
Thank u for your kindness and sympatico.....” #nationalapology#canberra#sorry
The rest of the portraits are on my blog , link in bio
@JuliaGillard at the #nationalapology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra. Gillard, who delivered the royal commission during her Prime Ministership, took her place not with the dignitaries on stage but in the bleachers alongside the survivors. “I do want to take this opportunity to record my thanks to all of you for your courage, your determination, for your stoicism," she said. “It took many years to get to this moment but we are only at it not because of me, but because of you.”
Photo by @mikepbowers for the Guardian.
NATIONAL APOLOGY. [Trigger warning]
I don’t really have the right words but... The fight for survivors to be heard & supported hits me right in my heart.
Phillip Nagle told the court: “I have a photograph of my Grade 4 class at St Alipius. There are 33 boys in that image. Of the 33 boys in that image, I know that 12 are dead.
“I believe they committed suicide.” .
As a St Alipius kid myself it breaks my heart that others walked the same halls I did but instead of the wonderful memories of friendship, fun & joy, their memories are ones of terrible pain & sadness. I am so proud of the survivors coming fwd. Look at the movement they have created.
In 2016 I was privileged to help the wonderful, empowering people of LOUD FENCE design the NO MORE SILENCE t-shirt that helped raise funds to send survivors to Rome to watch George Pell give evidence… I was proud to see the t-shirt worn in Rome by so many of them.
I hope that todays apology has gone some way to heal or begin to lighten the load for the survivors. May they feel seen, heard & supported and may big people be reminded to listen to little people. 📷 by Loud Fence
Last photo is of a loud fence hubby the kids and I made in Park Orchards at the request of a survivor. It opened the doors to discuss “Tricky people” at an age appropriate level with our kids. Sadly it is a talk you need to consider having with your little people. I have a friend who works in educating children on this matter and she has been a great resource. If you are interested in any info or books she recommends comment below or DM me and I’ll share recent info she sent me.
On this day of the #NationalApology , Archbishop Mark said abuse perpetrated by priests, brothers, sisters and lay people was “an utter betrayal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it should never have happened”. The Church renews "our profound and heartfelt apology to all victims and survivors of abuse and to their families, friends and supporters, who have shared their suffering".
It is simply unimaginable that people you trust with the responsibility of looking after children would prey on them.
Each story breaks your heart. Each story is a happy life stolen. Each story is a person.
We believe you and we are sorry.
In Canberra today for the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. Aside from Scott Morrison briefly coming out to talk briefly to survivors on the lawns, I didn’t see any other Liberals (or Greens) MPs. #nationalapology#canberra#loudfence
Today Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered the National Apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse on behalf of the Australian Government. Learn more about what he said, how he's responding to the Royal Commission's recommendations and what happens now via the link in our profile. ⠀
I am not sure if the significance in our history of today will hit me until one day I see the work has been done. For so many today was a battle long fought and today was a small win for many. Yes there is a lot of work to be done, and don't think that it is our politicians that will do that work. This apology did not come about because of Scomo or Bill, it didn't come about because of the government or the politicians. It came about because brave, incredible souls who offered their truth to the Royal Commisssion and have been fighting long and hard to have those stories, those realities heard and believed. It came about, and so will the work that needs to be done, because those children who were abused took a pain and hurt beyond understanding, and a life of struggle and stood up for who they are and showed us all a courage to keep fighting. This apology happened because of people like me. My experience as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse influences my life, it influences my work, my parenting, my relationships but is does not and will never define who I am. So thank you for your apology today Australian government and believe me when I say I like so many will keep fighting until all those voices are heard, until all our stories are heard #awareness#nationalapology#sorry#welldonebill#notbadscomo#canberra#mylife#mystory#blueknotfoundation#survivor#proudofwhoiam#exhausted#emotional#strength#courage#bravery#nomoresilence#ourstoriesmatter#strongertogether#myjournalpost x
Very moving to join Minister Farmer @di4bulimba and listen to the National apology to victims of child sexually abuse with Queensland survivors. A landmark day.
The significance of which will best be judged by our ongoing efforts to redress past injustices and improve the prevention of child abuse. #qldpol#nationalapology
Only those who have dealt with these issues, seen the aftermath first hand years later know it, but I was happy to see my Mum smile about this today.
A Partial day of Justice for my Mum, after decades of Trauma and other on going issues from the abuse as a child today with the Apology. Not enough was done, or is being done, including the on going public funding of certain Institutions.
22 October 2018 Australia says sorry to the victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. “A sorry that dare not ask for forgiveness, a sorry that dare not try and make sense of the incomprehensible, or think it could, a sorry that does not insult with an incredible promise, that sorry that speaks only of profound grief and loss.” - @scottmorrisonmp #nationalapology
Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered a speech today issuing a formal #nationalapology to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard who courageously initiated the Royal Commission in to sexual abuse was present in the House of Representatives. Bill Shorten also stated “amongst the vile & unforgivable things that these perpetrators did, perhaps the most devious & manipulative was to put the blame on the child itself...it was never your fault, not at all, not then, not now.” To all of the survivors of CSA, I hope today has given you formal validation & reassurance. To families, let the lines of communication open and prioritise each other’s connections. This will support healing within yourselves & the home. To workers who support these people, well done. Transparent and accountable institutions are very important and today is a big step in the right direction. If symptoms persist, engage in the help of a professional. Play therapy supports this process for children.
Pic by @triplejhack
Words are mine.
Healing and forgiveness starts with one very powerful word. "Sorry". A momentous moment in modern Australian history. I hope and pray that this allows all children who have suffered abuse to begin to heal in time. We as a modern, wealthy, developed country systematically failed you time and time again. I am truly sorry to every person who has suffered sexual abuse in any way, shape or form and and every person who has suffered physical, emotional, cultural or spiritual abuse at the hands of another and / or an institution. As a straight, white male I acknowledge my position of power in society and promise to do EVERYTHING within my wherewithal to stop any abuse and call it out and report it whenever I see it. Let's protect children, indigenous people, womyn, gay, trans, queer and LGBTI people, people of colour and all those in a minority or a position of vulnerability. My especially deepest sorry to indigenous children who were stolen from their families and suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of white strangers. May you heal in time. We are undeserving of your forgiveness. ❤❤❤ #nationalapology#royalcommissionintochildabuse#royalcommission#royalcommissionintoinstitutionalsexualabuse#survivors#staystrong#stopchildabuse#alwayswasalwayswillbeaboriginalland#sorry#auspol#australianparliament#juliagillard
DVAC staff gathered this morning to watch the National Apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
This apology is long over due. “Today as a nation we confront our failure to listen, to believe, and to provide justice ... we say sorry”
Watch here: https://amp.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/watch-live-apology-to-victims-of-institutional-child-sexual-abuse-20181022-p50b59.html
Very proud of my father for being an agitator and launching the inquiry into pedophilia within the church - a contribution to the large scale national inquiry leading to this moment today:
Australian PM delivered #Nationalapology to generations of sexual abuse victims in institutions. Recounting a survivors story following his abuse - “death takes many forms, in this case a life never lived and a life denied”. An acknowledgment and pledge for meaningful change in Australia.
The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay joins the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, in its own apology to those who have been hurt by the crimes of members of the Church, and by attitudes and structures that have further damaged them. It restates its commitment to learn from the stories of pain, to renew its commitment to the life of the Gospel, and to the safeguarding of all, especially of children and vulnerable adults.
Today's Apology has honoured voices of pain with national acknowledgement. May these voices now find themselves part of a national chorus to protect the rights of our children and the future of our society.
Statement from the Catholic Diocese of Australia:
National Apology: In his speech to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse Opposition Leader @billshortenmp has acknowledged the work of previous Prime Ministers @MrKRudd, @JulieBishopMP, @TonyAbbottMHR, @TurnbullMalcolm and former Minister for Families Jenny Macklin. #nationalapology#7News
It’s quite something to listen to Scott Morrison apologise for the systemic abuse of children in institutional care while children of asylum seekers languish, under his care, in the most appalling conditions.
When he says words like this I wonder if he thinks about the children of Manus and Nauru and how one day we will be forced to apologise for lives damaged beyond repair.
Does @scottmorrisonmp even hear what he’s saying?
We are thinking of you.
We support you.
We believe you.
Sexual Assault Crisis Line
(Victoria) 1800 806 292
(Australia) 1800 737 732
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Family Drug Support 1300 368 186
Today marks a big day for my family. 2009 - i was with my mum for the the national apology - we represented mum and her brothers and sister who were put in homes. Now today my sister will be with mum while the prime minister issues another national apology for the sexual abuse they endured while at the homes. #nationalapology#importantday#family#united
For the 1 in 5.
Stop child sexual assault.
Tomorrow at 10.45am the PM of our country will give a national apology to the victims and survivors of child sexual assault.
Alll political bullsh!t aside, this is important!
The most simplistic view of how our nation has ended up in this position is a complete failure of governance in the biggest and most influential institutions in the country.
Governance fails when individuals are too afraid to speak up when others will not. Too afraid to act, when others will not. Too afraid to do something, when the safety of a child is at risk.
That's the only reason I just ran a Sunday evening marathon. It's completely meaningless, just a gesture that shows my commitment to do something when others may not.
Superpowers don’t happen on our own. No matter how successful we consider ourselves to be, we don’t always have all the skills and knowledge we need. I believe we can only achieve what we need by being aware of our own limitations and asking for help. I am really challenged by an emotional and personal project this weekend so it was great to reach out to one of my wise friends today to offer me the skills I need as well as the confidence to take on this project, thank you @miaderauch for your time, your expertise and your wisdom. You offered me the confidence I needed to take this on. Being aware of what we need help with and being able to reach out doesn’t make us any less successful, it means we can do what we want with passion and new learnt skills #awareness#friendship#shessmart#skills#lessonslearnt#confidencebuilt#letsdothis#life#work#mystory#nationalapology#survivor#gratitude x
In the spirit of this years National Reconciliation Week “Don’t let history, be a mystery”, I’m sharing a bit about the significance of Sorry Day in this blog. It’s a very short, but important one. Please have a read.
Thank you Julia. #Repost @walabor with @get_repost
Five years ago on 21 March 2013 Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered the National Apology for Forced Adoptions.