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NSW Woman of the Year
(L-R) FAs Wilma, Pamella and Lily

Congratulations to Pamella

Origins HARP Coordinator

Congratulations to Pamella our representative on the Forgotten Alliance and alternative Non-Indigenous NSW Delegate for the SGA, for all her hard culminating in a well deserved nomination for “NSW Woman of the Year 2011” Pamella was nominated by Clover Moore for her  dedication to the issues of Forgotten Australians in relation to housing etc,

Opening of Wattle Place



Pamella's powepoint presentation at the opening

Opening of Wattle Place Harris Park

 Wattle Place Opening for Forgotten Australians

This service provides support for Forgotten Australians we have attached the link for those who identify as FAs and who may find the services helpful. We would also like to thank Pamella for representing Origins and those of our members who are also considered FAs and also for her

professional presentation at the launch of Wattle Place (Relationships Australia) 

Pope's sorry is an empty gesture

By Angela Sorinis

July 10, 2008 10:15am

Article from: Herald Sun

THOUSANDS of pilgrims will line Sydney Harbour on July 17 to watch the Pope arrive for World Youth Day.

Look past the flotilla and the flags of the world display, and you will catch a glimpse of the latest leg of the Pope's world apology tour.

On a visit to the US, Pope Benedict said sorry to people who had been sexually abused by Catholic priests.

His contrition followed payouts of more than $2 billion to these victims.

Australian abuse victims and their families are anticipating another apology in Sydney - but on our shores the Pope's words will ring hollow.

The highest Catholic in Australia has been accused of misleading a victim of clerical sexual abuse.

ABC's Lateline this week revealed Cardinal George Pell informed abuse victim Anthony Jones that his claim of aggravated sexual assault by Father Terence Goodall had not been substantiated by a church investigator, and that there had been no other complaint of sexual assault against the priest.

It appears however, that Cardinal Pell knew of one other complaint against Goodall. It is alleged he had written to the two victims on the same day, according to Lateline.

Although Goodall was later revealed as a serial offender, the rejected victim Jones was never informed.

Cardinal Pell says his letter to the victim was "badly worded and a mistake" - not a cover-up.

But history tells us the church will go a long way to avoid responsibility for people abused by priests.

The Catholic Church in this country has denied victims justice in the courts, hiding behind a corporate veil that makes it immune from many legal actions over historical sexual abuse.

A shameful saga began in 2004, when former parishioner John Ellis made a claim against Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, and the trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Sydney Archdiocese.

Mr Ellis alleged that he was sexually assaulted by an assistant priest at Bass Hill parish between 1974 and 1979.

The trial judge found no basis for action against Cardinal Pell, because he was not the Archbishop of Sydney at the time of the abuse.

However, the judge ruled the trustees of the Roman Catholic Church could be sued, and granted Mr Ellis extra time to pursue his claim.

The trustees of the Roman Catholic Church appealed against the decision.

They argued that there was no legal entity that could be sued by Mr Ellis.

The church took this action to avoid accountability, even though it conceded that the evidence filed by Mr Ellis established an arguable case.

The church argued that as the trustees played no role in the oversight or appointment of priests, they could not be sued for clerical sexual abuse.

The church also argued that as there was no other legal entity that could be sued, Mr Ellis's claim should be dismissed. This argument was upheld by the NSW Court of Appeal.

Mr Ellis then went to the High Court.

His counsel argued: "If the Court of Appeal's decision is correct, then the Roman Catholic Church in NSW has so structured itself as to be immune from suit, other than in respect of strictly property matters, for all claims of abuse, neglect or negligence, including claims against teachers in parochial schools.

"That immunity, they say, extends to the present day in respect of the parochial duties of priests. We say such an immunity would be an outrage to any reasonable sense of justice."

Last November, the High Court agreed with the Catholic Church and refused special leave to appeal.

The legal position is now clear, and the church in NSW - and by extension Victoria - is immune from litigation in many cases of sexual abuse.

This is not a matter of historic record. This is the Catholic Church in 2008 using legal devices to avoid responsibility in court for parishioners raped, sodomised or otherwise abused in its "care".

James Hardie was pilloried when it incorporated offshore to dispose of asbestos claims. The Catholic Church, which the community expects to be a model of virtue, is hiding behind a similar legal device.

Cardinal Pell should be asked exactly who instructed the church's lawyers to raise these technical legal defences in circumstances surely more morally reprehensible than James Hardie's conduct.

This litigation shows up any apology by the Pope to victims of sexual abuse as meaningless, hypocritical rhetoric.

The Catholic Church has set up its own commissions, such as "Towards Healing", to deal with complaints of sexual abuse. The purpose is to run private hearings with a view to minimising payment to victims.

It protects perpetrators and the Catholic Church brand.

For example, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has its own compensation panel, which allows for maximum payments to victims of $55,000 - less than what might sometimes be awarded in the courts.

It is no substitute for accountability.

Sadly, if claimants dare to go court, the church argues the "Ellis" defence, as the Marist Brothers are in many cases before the ACT Supreme Court.

All Australians should be uncomfortable with the notion that the quality of justice for rape victims should be dependent on the rapists' employer.

So this World Youth Day, as the Pope arrives, spare a thought for victims of clerical sexual abuse, denied moral justice by the Catholic Church.

- Angela Sdrinis is a partner with law firm Ryan Carlisle Thomas


Church pays out over sex abuse claims

July 8, 2008 - 12:59PM

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Louis in Missouri has reached a financial settlement with six men who claimed they were sexually molested by priests as far back as the 1960s, a victims' advocacy group says.

The men will be paid $US312,500 ($A327,088), with settlements ranging from $US90,000 ($A94,200) to $US20,000 ($A20,935), the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said today. The group said the settlements, involving five priests, were finalised through mediation.

Bernard Huger, a lawyer for the archdiocese, confirmed several abuse cases had been resolved through mediation.

The victims' advocacy group said the priests sexually preyed on six boys between the ages of eight and 15 at parishes and primary schools from the late 1960s to the late 1980s.

The settlements brings the number of cases of clergy sexual abuse resolved through mediation to nine for $US467,500 ($A489,325) in the fiscal year ending June 30, the diocese said today.

The settlements come from the sale of archdiocesan buildings, insurance, and investments, not from parishes and weekly collections, the archdiocese said. The most recent allegation was from 20 years ago, and all priests that were involved have been removed from active ministry or have died.

"I don't think people realise how horrific sexual abuse is, and how it affects their whole life," said Mary Ellen Kruger, whose son committed suicide three years after his perpetrator was sentenced.

Kruger spoke today at a news conference of SNAP activists who called for restoration of the names and addresses of more than 4,300 past sex offenders to a state registry.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that sex offenders convicted of crimes before Missouri's registry law took effect in January 1995 cannot be required to register.


Pell would back apology from Pope at WYD

George Pell says he will support an apology by the Pope to Australians sexually abused by clergy.
Pope's comment on sex abuse will be appropriate: Pell

Sydney Catholic Archbishop George Pell has left the door open for the Pope to apologise to Australians who have been sexually and physically abused by Catholic clergy.

Cardinal Pell said would support an apology from Pope Benedict XVI when he visits Australia for World Youth Day (WYD) next month, but is not expecting him to do so.

The Pope apologised to American abuse victims on a visit there in April.

"I'm not expecting him to make any dramatic statements. He is a wonderful teacher and he will give Catholics here plenty to think about," Cardinal Pell said in an interview with Sky News.

"Certainly, there's plenty for which we're not proud.

"We faced up to it, I think, pretty well for quite some time now.

"I think it would be appropriate for the Pope to say something on that score."

Cardinal Pell also defended the World Youth Day event which, he said, would attract more than 200,000 pilgrims from overseas and Australia.

The six-day event has been criticised by Sydney's atheist, gay and environmental communities, as well as the Greens, who say taxpayers should not foot the bill.

Cardinal Pell said taxpayers were not bearing most of the financial burden, with half of the estimated $150 million cost coming from pilgrim registrations.

The federal government will provide $35 million, the Sydney archdiocese $20 million and individual donors and corporate sponsors $15 million, he said.

The NSW government will provide $86 million for services and amenities.

"The whole of Australia will gain and particularly the City of Sydney, so it's a good financial investment for government," he said.

"The Sydney residents ... will be direct winners."

Cardinal Pell said about 134,000 pilgrims had already been registered and between 60,000 and 90,000 additional registrations were being processed.

He said about 120,000 pilgrims from overseas were expected to register along with up to 100,000 young Australians.

Bishops look for forgiveness as World Youth Day looms

Marcus Kuczynski

June 19, 2008 12:00am

THE Catholic Church is seeking forgiveness for past hurts as part of its biggest initiative to attract lapsed members back to its fold.

Comparing the church with any family which has its differences, the nation's Catholic bishops have embarked on a national outreach to non-practising members ahead of World Youth Day, which will bring 250,000 young followers to Sydney from July 15 to 20.  

The international Catholic youth festival also will mark the first visit to Australia by Pope Benedict XVI.

More about World Youth Day in-depth

While it is still unknown whether the Pope will make a formal apology to victims of sexual abuse during his visit, the bishops have sought forgiveness for any unspecified past hurts which may have been caused through the church.

"The church is God's family. Sometimes people are hurt by other family members. We ask your forgiveness if you have been hurt in some way through the church," the bishops said.

As part of their campaign, they placed advertisements in Sunday newspapers across the country last week in a bid to welcome back Catholics who have stopped attending worship.

The ads encouraged people to come to mass, to talk to their parish priest or phone a special hotline, 1300 4 FAITH.

The advertising blitz will be followed by a pastoral letter this weekend to all Catholic parishes, calling on them to be places of welcome.

The church has also issued two new programs, Reconnect and Rewired, to help lapsed Catholics return to regular worship.

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane, who chairs the church's national Commission for Mission and Faith Formation, said there were many reasons Catholics had drifted away from regular worship, but he thought one of the main factors was the pressure of daily life.

"Lots of people say they believe in God, but say they can't find the time to attend church," he said.

Archbishop Bathersby, 71, who will attend his fourth World Youth Day next month, said the festival would help to put the question of faith at the forefront of people's attention and challenge them to look at their own lives more closely.

The results of a National Church Life Survey found that while Catholics remained the largest religious denomination in Australia the numbers attending worship each Sunday were continuing to fall - from 15 per cent in 2001 to 14 per cent in 2006.

Congregations also were ageing.

The closing date for compensation claims by people who were abused as
children in Queensland institutions has been extended.

State Communities Minister Lindy-Nelson Carr said the closing date was being
extended by three months to September 30 in view of strong interest from the

Ms Nelson-Carr said more than 14,500 application packs had been distributed
and more than 5200 applications recieved since the scheme opened in October.

The redress scheme was established in response to the Forde inquiry into the
abuse of children in Queensland institutions.

Application forms and scheme guidelines can be obtained by calling the
Redress Scheme Information Line on 1300 769 291 from 8am to 8pm Monday to
Saturday. Forms can also be downloaded from

Premier Mike Rann

Minister for Social Inclusion

Hon Jay Weatherill

Minister for Families and Communities Tuesday, 3 June, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY APOLOGY TO SURVIVORS OF ABUSE

Premier Mike Rann will move an apology on behalf of this and previous Parliaments to people who were abused when they were children in State care, on Tuesday June 17.

The formal apology will be followed by a ceremony in Old Parliament House, which will allow leaders of the Government, members of Parliament and heads of churches and other institutions to acknowledge the occasion with survivors of abuse.

"In April I tabled Commissioner Ted Mullighan’s report on the Inquiry into Children in State Care and the first commitment I made was a parliamentary apology on behalf of the Government and the people of South Australia and all previous parliaments and Governments of South Australia," Mr Rann said.

"This week’s Budget will include an extra $190.6 million over four years to be spent on keeping children safe, intervening early to support families when children are at risk of abuse or neglect and supporting carers of our most vulnerable children.

"The increased funding will help the Department for Families and Communities implement responses to the Mullighan Inquiries and details of those responses will be provided soon."

Over the past two months, the Government has consulted dozens of survivors about the appropriate form of an apology. Heads of churches and other institutions involved in providing care to children in State care in the past have also been consulted.

Families and Communities Minister Jay Weatherill encouraged all survivors who were harmed, neglected and physically abused while under the care of the State, to attend the apology.

"We recognise the profound impact that the appalling treatment of some children who grew up in State care has had on their lives, and the important role that a public apology can have in the healing process," he said.

"Since the release of the report, I have met and spoken to many people who were victims of terrible abuses, and have grown to appreciate some of the pain they have experienced.

"This apology is another step in the healing process that began with the Commission of Inquiry.

"I would strongly encourage anyone who has been involved in the Mullighan Inquiry to attend the apology ceremony."

People wishing to attend the apology need to register their interest by telephoning Post Care Services on 1800 188 118.

News Relese

Pope to make apology in Sydney to Aussie abuse victims

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

By Garry Linnell, Editor-at-Large

May 08, 2008 12:00am

THE Pope is set to make an historic apology when he visits Sydney in July - to the tens of thousands of Australians sexually and physically abused by predatory Catholic priests.

Church sources have told The Daily Telegraph there is mounting expectation that Pope Benedict XV1 will use his Australian trip to express his shame and regret over the church's long-running abuse scandal - and may also meet with victims.

The likelihood of an apology increased yesterday when one of the Catholic church's most senior figures, the bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Michael Malone, gave his backing for a papal apology.

Bishop Malone said the Pope had set a precedent by apologising to American abuse victims on a recent tour of the US and "I would certainly be supportive" of an Australian apology.

It is believed The Vatican will consider the wording of any papal apology in the weeks leading up to Pope Benedict's arrival in Sydney on July 13 for the World Youth Day festivities.

One Catholic church source said: "It's hard to believe that after making the sort of apology he did in America a few weeks ago that he would leave Australia without doing the same thing."

Pope Benedict told American abuse victims last month that it was "difficult for me to understand this was possible that priests betrayed in this way their mission to give healing

"We are deeply ashamed and we will do all that is possible that this cannot happen in future."

Groups representing Australian victims of church abuse said a papal apology was long overdue.

"The scale of abuse in Australia has been far greater than in the US," said Dr Wayne Chamley, a spokesman for Broken Rites.

"There are tens of thousands of victims from Catholic-run institutions who were denied education, they were used as slaves, they were sexually and physically abused.

"We don't believe the Pope has been told the full story about the level of abuse here. The bishops have not briefed him. If the Catholic church was a private company these bishops wouldn't have a job."

A spokesman for the organisers of World Youth Day, which is expected to draw more than half a million Catholic pilgrims to Sydney in July, declined to speculate whether the Pope would issue a formal apology while in Australia.

"We cannot comment on what the Pope may or may not say. That will be a matter entirely for him."

Hundreds of catholic clergy have been accused of abusing children in their care dating back to the 1950s, with the church rocked by repeated scandals and accusations of cover-ups by senior officials.

In the past decade the church has settled more than 1000 claims of abuse as part of its 'Towards Healing' process.

It has also made several significant multi-million dollar payouts in recent years, including $3.6 million four years ago to 24 men with intellectual disabilities who were abused in residential care units.

Leonie Sheedy, a spokeswoman for Clan, another victims rights group, said it was "unbelievable that we have had to wait this long for even an apology to be contemplated.

"We'd welcome the sorry word. But so much more needs to be done to look after these people who have suffered for so long."

Broken Rites has written to the Vatican's representative in Australia, the Most Reverend Guiseppe Lazzarotto, requesting a meeting between Pope Benedict and a small group of up to 30 abuse victims.

It has also called on the Vatican to launch an inquiry into the behaviour and performance of senior Australian Church officials and their involvement in the abuse scandal.


Taint sticks to Bryce

Piers Akerman

AN unprecedented legal challenge may prevent the appointment of Australia’s first nominated female Governor-General, Queensland Governor Quentin Bryce.

Documents lodged with the Queensland Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee on February 14, two months before Ms Bryce was nominated as Australia’s next Governor-General by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, have created a Constitutional nightmare for the Queensland Government and the Prime Minister.

The papers are contained in the nine-volume Rofe Audit, by leading Sydney barrister David Rofe, QC, into the long-running and unresolved Heiner Affair involving approval by the Goss Cabinet in 1990 of the illegal shredding of documents relating to investigations into allegations of child abuse at a Brisbane detention centre.

Ominously for Ms Bryce, the PCMC has already conducted what it terms a “preliminary examination’’ and has sought further advice on aspects of the material which contains a list of 68 alleged prima facie criminal charges and specific evidence and arguments in support of those allegations.

In response to that request, lawyers representing Mr Kevin Lindeberg, a former public servant who sought the involvement of the PCMC, last week told the committee that “recent events’’ had made the need for action “more urgent’’.

They reminded the committee that since their complaint was lodged in February, Mr Rudd had announced his appointment of Ms Bryce as Governor-General designate to take up her duty on or about September 5, 2008.

“The PCMC would be well aware that Mr Rudd is named in (alleged) prima facie criminal charges 1 and 2 of Volume 1, and the Hon. Quentin Bryce AC in the (alleged) prima facie criminal charge 67 of Volume IX of the Audit respectively,’’ the lawyers wrote.

The letter also notes a recent judicial appointment in Queensland and says that with that appointment, the PCMC now held evidence alleging prima facie criminality in respect of six serving Queensland judicial officers, Justice Catherine Holmes, Justice Tim Carmody, Judge Julie Dick, Her Honour Leanne Clare, His Honour Noel Nunan and State Magistrate Michael Barnes.

Ms Bryce sought a report on the Heiner Affair from then Premier Peter Beattie on October 23, 2003.
Premier Beattie presented the report to her in April, 2005, almost two years later, but did not make the document public, in stark contrast to the manner in which he handled the Anglican Church’s report into abuse which he tabled in the Queensland Parliament before the resignation of former Governor General Peter Hollingworth in May, 2003, as a matter of “public interest’’.

Rev Hollingworth, a former Archbishop of Brisbane was the subject of a relentless campaign during which he faced allegations that he had participated in a church cover-up and failed to act against church officers engaged in sexual abuse.

A fortnight before Mr Hollingworth’s resignation, then Labor Opposition Shadow spokesperson for Children and Youth and the Status of Women, Ms Nicola Roxon, told Federal Parliament on May 13 that: “… We cannot afford to brush it aside, keep it behind closed doors or say it is someone else’s issue. We need to be prepared to take a leadership role here. It might be awkward for the government. We need to take some action so this terrible issue is dealt with. The community thinks that leaders in this country are covering up what has happened in the past. Whether they think it is church leaders, politicians or other powerful people, we must make sure that we are never part of that conspiracy. We on this side of the House and, I am sure, the people on the other side of the House do not want to cover up this issue ...’’

The following day, Victorian Labor Senator Stephen Conroy continued the attack, telling the Senate that: “Victims, parents and the community do not want any more cover-ups. They want their stories told, they want perpetrators brought to justice and they want further generations of children to be protected from such suffering.’’

He was followed by South Australian Labor Senator Nick Bolkus, who said “In our performance, in our response, we also will be judged on whether and how we respond to this important challenge. If we as a national parliament do not take the right and proper moral stand on issues relating to paedophilia that affect our children, then we too could be condemned - and I think quite fairly so - by the public of Australia for turning a blind eye to paedophilia, its victims and those who tolerate it.’’

On May 26, three days before the Mr Hollingworth resigned, the then Opposition leader, Simon Crean, told the House “you cannot have people in authority who have covered up for child sex abuse. It is as simple as that’’, and “Isn’t a person of authority who failed to act on issues of child sexual abuse guilty of moral turpitude? Of course he is. This is a person in authority. This was a person to whom the allegations were made, and he failed to act.’’

The key to the allegations made against Ms Bryce and several other senior Queensland politicians and judicial officers echoes the point made by Mr Crean: they were made aware of allegations and failed to act.

Under the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 and the repealed Criminal Justice Act, government authorities must act if they receive allegations of “suspected’’ official misconduct. Failure to do so falls into the category of “abuse of office in commission’’.

The Rofe Audit makes it clear there is evidence that goes well beyond this low threshold.

The PCMC review follows the release last August of the so-called Judges’ letter which stated that “any action by Executive Government which may have breached the law ought not be immune from criminal prosecution where and when the evidence satisfies the relevant provision’’.

It would seem that the best possible course for Mr Rudd and Ms Bryce is to insist on all matters being investigated and resolved before the Governor General designate takes up her new post.

Until then she should decline to be sworn in to prevent a significant taint being attached to the highest public office in the land. For that matter, Ms Bryce should stand aside in Queensland until a proper investigation clears removes forever this taint from the Queensland government and the office of Governor in that State.

Were you a Ward of the State in Queensland and spent time in an institution there?
If so you may be entitled to a one off payment for your experience, the following link for information to claim redress
is listed under this message.
The  Queensland Government Redress Scheme expires at the end of June 2008 so please put in an application as soon as possible. If you have difficulty filling in you application call Lily
on 02 87861035

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Origins HARP Healing and Recovery Project for Forgotten Australians