Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Royal Commission’

Nancy Cato’s hopes for the Royal Commission into Institutional sexual abuse of children

In Nancy Cato, Sexual Abuse on April 29, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Royal Commission

Created by Alan Moir  http://www.moir.com.au/

By Nancy Cato
April 29, 2013

This is my final attempt to face my demons, or at least some of them. It’s only taken 37 years.

In 1976 as a young mother with a newborn babe – my third child – I read a story of a shocking case of Child Abuse; it told of a father shaking his baby and throwing her against a wall after molesting her.

It traumatised me – still does – my hands are shaking as I recount this story. I‘ve been in denial for many years and because I wish to make a positive contribution to the scourge of  Child Abuse that’s in out midst (as I tried to do in my early television days) I must face it.

My catalyst is the recently appointed Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. At its first hearing on 3 April 2013 Justice McClellan AM, the chair for the Royal Commission, acknowledged that there had been harm committed against children that has caused lasting damage.

It’s a start.

I will admit that I’ve been further stung into action by the recent suggestion from a well-known radio broadcaster that a young girl may have herself  provoked the sexual attack she suffered.

This piece is dedicated to victims of Child Abuse wherever you may be, no matter your age or circumstances. It was not easy to write, albeit fantasised and is probably less easy to read – and for that I do apologise. I hope some of you will persevere to the end.

It is not aimed at any one Institution, person, place or thing… but rather, we ourselves; this society that would seem to want to protect its borders more fiercely than its children. Read the rest of this entry »

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Community Cabinet: Policy sounding without the press gallery fury, froth and bubble

In Democracy, Federal Election on April 20, 2013 at 8:01 PM

By Kevin Rennie
April 20, 2013
Source:  Labor View from Bayside

There were quite a few surprises at Julia Gillard’s Community Cabinet on 17 April 2013, hosted by Norwood Secondary College in Melbourne’s eastern suburb of Ringwood.

Cabinet members held one-on-one interviews before a public forum that lasted over an hour. The government school is in the Federal seat of Deakin held by Labor’s Mike Symons. Deakin only needs a swing of 2.41% to change hands but Mike certainly is not conceding anything.

First surprise was that the protesters outside came from only one interest group: the Animal Justice party had mustered over 100 supporters. There were no climate sceptics, no refugee advocates, no University students highlighting funding cuts, no representatives of the monied classes protesting class warfare. This was despite the school being well served by public transport and freeways.

Secondly, the usual suspects did not appear to be inside the event either. Registration was open to all-comers, taking three days to fill apparently. Questions were taken at random. If they were rigged then the PM’s slip, in nominating a woman incorrectly as a man, belied that notion.

Someone was handing out the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia newspaper. It is a very reality-challenged organisation – see footnote*** for a taste of their parallel universe.

Somewhat unexpected was the very warm and loud reception Julia Gillard received from the standing-room only crowd. At times it felt more like one of Gough Whitlam’s public meetings, with plenty of true believers in attendance. In addition, the government’s DisabilityCare program seemed to have attracted a significant number of the participants.

The level of civility was also surprising given the depths of public abuse and denigration our political discord has reached recently. Exchanges were good-humoured and without interjections. Great to see that democracy can flourish without descending to some parody of a survivor reality TV program. No testosterone, and no belittling!

In fact, there was very little spin. Don’t take my partisan word for it. Watch the video. It isn’t very entertaining unless you’re a political junkie. (I met one of those at Ringwood station afterwards, a young man complete with suit, who was bitterly disappointed that he had not managed to have his photo taken with Julia. I had to settle for a brief encounter with our outstanding Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.)

Issues raised by the participants included: climate change, legal aid, same sex marriage, the Royal Commission into child abuse in religious institutions, gay rights in aged care facilities, school education funding, industrial relations, pensioners.

One question that brought agreement from much of the audience was a non-policy one: “The Labor Party has been making a difference for the whole of Australia. Why on earth doesn’t the general public know?”. Might sound like a Dorothy-Dixer but it wasn’t: “Labor’s promotion and publicity is absolutely woeful.”

The Community cabinet was sound rather than sensational. Julia Gillard certainly hasn’t given up and her focus was on what distinguishes her government from Abbott’s austere opposition: good policy. Substance over noise!

[*** From the CECA’s The New Citizen: “Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II have openly, repeatedly proclaimed their intent to kill some six billion human beings, in order to consolidate permanent, worldwide British imperial rule.” Won’t waste your time by including a web link.]