Hundreds went to Canberra to hear the prime minister’s national apology to child sex abuse victims.For some survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions, Monday’s official apology was a powerful step.
Others left Canberra’s Parliament House in anger.
Rick Venero only came forward when his best friend took his own life after they had both been abused at a Marist Brothers school in Sydney.
“It meant a great deal. It’s fantastic to get that (apology) from the Australian people,” Mr Venero told AAP on Monday.
But now he wants action against the institutions who destroyed records and moved pedophiles.
“It’s pretty shattering actually, to come here and everyone’s behind it, and the power of these institutions means that nothing’s really happening,” he said.
Phylis Read was put in an orphanage in Ballarat and used to call out to people outside trying to tell them what was happening to the children.
“Sorry is never going to be enough, I think, with a lot of people. It’s better than nothing, is my view,” she told AAP.
“I’m grateful I’ve at least been heard, my siblings have been heard. We’re not being punished any more and continuously being told that we’re lying.”
Ms Read says governments need to stop taking children from their parents.
“Stop taking children and lying about it and saying they only come from abusive homes,” she said.
Niall Baird was raped by a chaplain on HMAS Leeuwin, as one of 271 victims from the same base.
He yelled out several times during Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s speech because there was no mention of military victims.
“I thought today was going to be a great day. I came here expecting closure,” he told AAP.
“I’m ropeable, absolutely ropeable.”
Mr Baird said he wanted the federal government to acknowledge it was responsible for what happened to people in its care.
“We’ve got some people here who did report it at the time and got kicked out,” he said.
“They’re just still covering it up and that’s wrong.”
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Jason Davidson made his A-League debut for Perth Glory against the Western Sydney Wanderers.Perth Glory recruit Jason Davidson is hungry for a Socceroos recall – so hungry he has lost five kilograms.
Davidson starred in his A-League debut on Sunday, with his relentless running a highlight of Glory’s 1-1 draw with Western Sydney.
The left-back was just 22-years-old when he started in all three games for Australia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He was also part of Australia’s Asian Cup-winning side in 2015.
But his international career has stalled since then and he hopes Glory coach Tony Popovic can help propel him back into the Socceroos’ set-up.
Davidson had a brutally honest chat with Popovic upon signing with Glory.
Popovic has always rated Davidson but felt the 27-year-old was carrying too much weight.
Davidson has worked tirelessly to fix that over the past three months.
“Since I’ve come I’ve lost five kilos,” Davidson said.
“I’ve been drinking a lot more water and eating smaller portions.
“I feel a lot better for it. I feel healthier, stronger, faster, quicker.”
Davidson has played in Croatia, Portugal, the Netherlands and England during his well-travelled career.
But he jumped at the chance to link up with Popovic when the master coach arrived at Glory.
“The biggest reason I came here was to work under him,” Davidson said.
“His attention to detail is unbelievable, and that makes the difference.
“He’s a hard task master but he’s simple as well. What you see is what you get with him.
“He’s tough on me and I appreciate that.
“If you work hard and put your body on the line for the team he’s the type of coach that rewards that behaviour.”
Glory skipper Diego Castro (hamstring) and former Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic (hip surgery) were among five players who missed the draw against the Wanderers.
The duo will be assessed at training this week to determine their availability for Sunday’s clash with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
Momentous: Julia Gillard, as Prime Minister, announcing the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on November 12, 2012.Today is an exceptionally important occasion for the survivors of sexual abuse in institutional settings and their loved ones.
For those who have suffered so much, whether they gather in Parliament House or watch and listen from elsewhere, the apology being delivered today is an overdue acknowledgement. Finally, the nation is saying we see you, hear you, believe you, value you and we are sorry.
As Prime Minister, in consultation with my Labor colleagues, I determined to establish the royal commission that ultimately came to recommend the apology we will hear and witness today, along with a multitude of other actions our nation should take to try and make some amends for the past, and to better protect children in the future.
The decision to instigate the Royal Commission was not an easy one to make.I wrestled with it.
Related content:Sorry, but a national apology is not enough
Based on what was apparent in 2013, which was barely a fraction of what we would come to understand, I wanted the most powerful form of inquiry to investigate and uncover the harm done to children behind closed doors and veils of secrecy.
But I deeply worried about the impacts of a royal commission probing peoples’ hurt. I was anxious too about the fact that such an inquiry would inevitably take a long time and cause frustration.
These fears might seem like odd ones now, given how successful the royal commission has been.
But when I look overseas, it is clear to me that my worrying was not irrational. You only have to consider the UK’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the litany of problems it has faced, including resignation and replacement of its lead commissioner three times, to understand how the flaws of an investigation can worsen the grief of survivors.
In the end, I decided that not having a royal commission would in fact bea further betrayal.
People who have experienced so many doors being slammed in their faces when they tried to tell the truth would once again experience the distress of another banging shut. I also believed that the commission would find new insights about how to protect our children in the future.
Having decided as a government that we should act, we selected the royal commissioners with the greatest of care.
Jenny Macklin, Nicola Roxon and I worked over many weeks to get the most experienced and expert team of people to be the commissioners. Wayne Swan provided some wise counsel along the way. We knew that those agreeing to take on a role of commissioner would be immersing themselves in years of evidence filled with pain and distress, a task that would take a toll on even the most resilient.
The nation owes a debt of gratitude to commission chair The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM, and commissioners the Hon Justice Jennifer Coate, Bob Atkinson AO APM, Robert Fitzgerald AM, Professor Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray, who all agreed to take on this society-changing task.
Day after day they read and listened to the most horrific and distressing personal stories. By its final report, over 16,000 individuals had contacted the commission, and over 8000 stories were heard in person.
The commissioners fulfilled their roles with dedication and care, gaining the confidence of survivors and those who support them. Crusading journalists like Joanne McCarthy, of the Newcastle Herald, ensured the truth they uncovered was known throughout our nation.
All commissioners remained with the investigation from the beginning through to the final report. There can be no stronger demonstration of their commitment to a just outcome for victims, survivors and their families.
But those who did the most to make the commission work, and to ensure its report endures, are the survivors who came forward.What incredible courage. What a profound contribution to our nation’s future.
I would like to personally record my thanks to the survivors, the commissioners and those who supported them.
Your truth-telling and diligent work means we have achieved something remarkable as a nation.
Australia is one of the only places in the world to complete such a comprehensive government-instigated nation-wide inquiry into institutional abuse. We are also one of the only nations to have such far reaching recommendations to guide us for the future. Other countries like New Zealand are now following Australia’s lead and initiating inquiries of their own.
Today’s national apology is about more than just the word “sorry”. The institutional failures and cover-ups that compounded and prolonged the suffering of victims are a stain on our country’s history. While we cannot fully erase the pain of the past, we can help to ease its burden.
My hope is that today stands as an important milestone on the journey of healing and reflects our commitment to walk forward hand-in-hand with survivors.
I also hope it is a moment when we all commit to doing everything possible to prevent this dreadful systematic abuse of children’s trust ever happening again.
Julia Gillard was the prime minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013 Read More
LEAD ROLE: Sam Poolman will captain Australia in the Fast5 World Series. Picture: AAP/Craig GoldingThere were times when Sam Poolman questioned whetherthe hard work and sacrifices were worth it.
The towering Newcastle defender made every NSW and Australian junior teambetween the ages of 16 and 21 and travelled to Sydney several times a week chasing her dream to become a professional netballer.
On Tuesday, the Rankin Park 27-year-old will benamed Australian captain for the Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne this weekend.
Read more:Sam Poolman back in Diamonds camp
“You don’t get the opportunity every day and it’s something that I will hold on to all week,” Poolman said.
“I wilI do what I normally do but be proud and remind people that everything that you put in puts you into situations like this.A girl from Newcastle captaining Fast5 is pretty awesome.”
The Australian Institute of Sport graduate played four seasons with Adelaide Thunderbirds in the now-defunct trans-Tasman championship before joining the GWS Giants for a breakout season inSuper Netball last year.
Read more:Sam Poolman has been selected for the second successive year in the Australian netball team
Her efforts for the Giants earned Poolmana spot in theAustralian Fast5 squad for the 2017 world series.The last Newcastle player to make a national squad had been former Sydney Swift and Hunter Jaeger Raegan Jackson in the late 1990s.
But Poolmanadmitted there were times when she wondered “is it all worth it?”.
“I was thinking, ‘How long can I keep committing like this?’,” she said. “I was working at Rebel Sport to pay for my fuel to get me down to Sydney and back several times a week.
“There’s hard work and sacrifices but it’s pretty awesome now to be playing week in and week out at a professional level, being in a leadership position and playing Fast5.”
The Australian team, which has seven debutantes, are in camp this week preparingfor the two-day Fast5 tournament.
Read more:Newcastle’s Sam Poolman makes first Australian appearance at 2017 Fast5 World Series
It will be contested by the top-six netballing nations in the world, including defending champions England, New Zealand, Malawi, Jamaica and South Africa.
GWS Giants defender Sam Poolman in action during the Super Netball season this year. Picture: AAP/David Mariuz
Australia open their quest for an elusive Fast5 title against Malawi on Saturday. Poolman hopedshe could be the first captain to lead the nation to success.
“Australia has never won Fast 5 before,” said Poolman, who was a part of the team which won bronze last year.
“Because of the success of the Diamonds, everyone just assumes we won it. We’ve been through to the grand final butnever won it, so obviously that’s one of our goals.
Read more:Sam Poolman’s GWS Giants playing for the Super Netball minor premiership
“If we can play quite smartly, we’ve definitely got the players to do that and hopefully we can get through to that gold medal match and then to win it would be awesome.”
Fast5 hasless players with no wing defence or wing attack. There areshortened quarters, multiple point shots and power plays.
Each match is24 minutes in duration.
FEATURED SPEAKER: Demographer Bernard Salt will be at the symposium.You will not want to miss the Second Cities: Smaller and Smarter Symposium, scheduled for Newcastle from October 29-31.Thought leaders will engage with key figures across business, government, and community sectors from Greater Newcastle, Geelong, Wollongong, and other ‘second cities’.
It is an event of national significance.
Experts will discuss what is needed for us to take the next step. What do ‘second cities’ have to offer businesses, individuals and the national economy? What government policies are required, and what private sector coordination would help?
Themes are infrastructure, innovation and liveability. They will be addressed by expert speakers and panels. Featured are demographer Bernard Saltand respected economic commentator Michael Pascoe.
The symposium’s lead partners include Hunter Water, Hunter Development Corporation, Hunter Research Foundation Centre, and AECOM. The event is supported by federal, state, and local governments, leading businesses and professional peak bodies.
The symposium provides the cross-sector collaboration called for in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan. The plan is significant both locally and nationally. We are the only Australian city outside the capitals to have a Metropolitan Plan, according to NSW Chief Planner, Gary White. Hesees the plan as providing a framework for the city and the region to transcend political cycles and influence its own future. A key part of the plan’s vision is ‘collaborative governance that makes it a model to others in creating and adapting to change’.
Collaborate in creating the Hunter’s future as a globally recognised second city by attending this symposium. It will conclude with a list of action items to benefit Greater Newcastle in the long term.
Kyle Loades is the host of theSecond Cities Symposium Read More