Today the Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered an apology to victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse in institutional and church organisations. This apology accompanied a national redress scheme for victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse in government institutional and church organisations.
On behalf of Children of Phoenix we acknowledge this momentous occasion for victims and survivors and their families and friends and for Australia and it is our wish and hope that today’s event contributes to your recovery and healing.
We also acknowledge also the majority of victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse who were and continue to be sexually abused within the social institution of the family.
From communications to our charity we are very aware that today’s event has and may trigger distress and an ongoing sense of abandonment and silencing.
I was privileged to be invited to one of the nationally held meetings to give advice, support and direction for the PM’s Apology and did raise the potential for distress and my hope that awareness of this would be acknowledged to ensure every victim and survivor regardless was able to feel a sense of support for the array of emotions they might feel and be encouraged to seek support from those they trust.
I have advocated for and supported victims and survivors of every form of abuse including sexual trafficking, online child abuse, and child sexual abuse in any kind of setting. Our charity is committed to all victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
I hope that as a community, society and country that we can hear and bear witness to EVERY child sexually victimised and recognise where the greatest vulnerabilities lie. The ongoing struggle and challenge is to create that space to hear the silenced victims whose experiences and stories tell an unpalatable truth and reality.
I honour every victim and survivor and ask that you care for self and love your self.
And may we leave none behind in our commitment to end the abuse of every child and bring recovery and healing to every child and adult victim and survivor.
If the PM’s apology has caused any victim and survivor to experience adverse emotions please seek support and help and make your wellbeing a priority.
And for those who are subject to the Apology, I hope this expression of sorrow and restitution gives you greater comfort and aids recovery for you and those who support and love you.
Sincerely and in kindness
Professor S. Caroline Taylor
We are VERY excited to announce the date for this year’s Children Of Phoenix CupCake Morning Tea fundraising event – Thursday 6th September – in association with National Child Protection Week 2018 which runs from the 3rd through to the 9th!
We will be contacting our many loyal supporters of our 2016, 2015 and 2014 events over the next few weeks to order one of our freshly made, hand decorated cupcakes. Alternatively we invite you wherever you are to consider hosting a morning or afternoon tea during this week to raise funds to support the unique work of our charity. Please see the attached information about our event to help you plan your morning or afternoon tea and if you would like further information please don’t hesitate to contact Emma at email@example.com
Children of Phoenix Org is proud to be a supporter of the 2018 AUSTRALIAN SUMMIT AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION being hosted in Melbourne. Please drop by and see our stall and support our not-for-profit registered charity that is unique in Australia, providing educational scholarships to those whose educational pathways have been compromised and affected as a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse makes a child homeless in their own body. Help us to restore the dreams and educational goals of those affected by childhood sexual abuse because educational achievement is powerfully linked to positive recovery. For further details please click here.
Join with us and help change a victim’s life from surviving to thriving!
The Children of Phoenix Foundation is a registered not for profit charity with full DGR status. We are a local charity (Victoria, Australia) and we have provided significant assistance to victim/survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), children, youth and adults in this community over many years.
We receive no government assistance and rely solely on donations and the fundraising events run by our volunteers.
Our charity is unique in that it is the only one of its kind to provide educational scholarships and mentoring to victim/survivors of CSA, to facilitate and provide educational pathways for those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse – and lost their educational pathways as a consequence of the abuse.
As such, we invest in the child, the young person and adults to enable them to achieve educational goals that transform their lives giving them an asset that can never be lost or taken away from them.
The sensitivity of the subject matter, CSA, and the fact that our work is conducted in privacy, guided by principles of confidentiality, means that we are not able to ‘promote’ the positive impact and help we give as most other charities can and do.
With the initiation of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, our charity is being inundated with requests for assistance, advice and help and we are stretched to our limit and are doing much pro bono and volunteer work well beyond our capacity and our budget.
During the 2017 National Child Protection Week (September 3rd – 9th) we are asking businesses, groups and organisations to host a ‘Cupcake’ morning or afternoon tea on September 6th, 2017. This is a perfect way to positively recognise National Child Protection Week and the value and preciousness of children and their needs, whilst helping to raise much needed funds for our charity.
Over the past 3 years Woolworths Sebastopol has been our wonderful sponsor for this very important event however, this year Woolworths Alfredton (Lucas) has offered their generous support as our sponsor for the 2017 CoP Cupcake Morning Tea and we are again asking folk to purchase our cupcakes which will be personally delivered in the local Ballarat and surrounding suburbs. These cupcakes are $5 each and they will be professionally baked and hand decorated in our charity colours of purple and silver.
For our supporters who are based outside of the local Ballarat and surrounding suburbs, we encourage you to participate by hosting your own 2017 CoP Cupcake Morning or Afternoon Tea, and if we have a Woolworths Partner in your area, we will co-ordinate with them to ensure your order for cupcakes and your delivery are on time and delicious!
For a donation to the charity I will be available to attend the morning tea or afternoon tea in some areas and provide a short talk to staff or public about the theme of National Child Protection Week 2017.
We would be delighted if you would have your organisation host a morning tea/afternoon tea or host a private morning tea/afternoon tea seeking donations for our charity.
Childhood sexual abuse occurs in every community and sadly Ballarat has been identified as a site of historical significance with regard to CSA in institutional settings however, what you may not know is that the majority of childhood sexual abuse occurs within family settings.
Our charity is contacted by so many victim/survivors seeking our help and our Board Members work very hard in a very private capacity, in fact tirelessly, to address this issue and to help those in our communities. All our Board Members and our volunteers work for free i.e.: they do not get paid for any work they do. Your support of this event will be a positive and powerful message to the wider community and to victim/survivors that people all across Australia, do care and do support our efforts to assist them in the proactive and unique ways that the Children of Phoenix Foundation does.
We feel that the ‘Children of Phoenix Cupcake Morning Tea’ is a positive way to generate reflection and clear messages about children and CSA and raise funds to help us maintain the invaluable work we do.
Sincerely and with warmest wishes,
Professor S. Caroline Taylor AM
Founder and Chair, Children of Phoenix Organisation
The sexual abuse of children remains one of the most urgent and unremitting issues across the globe.
The current Royal Commission Inquiry into child sexual offending in institutional settings (Australia) has given national currency to an entrenched and critical social problem.
While the current and ongoing Royal Commission is viewed by many as an unprecedented examination of child sexual abuse in this country, the reality is that it avoids any focus or recognition of where the majority of child sexual abuse occurs, which is within a family setting.
Child sexual abuse is a heinous and shocking crime, however history reveals an ongoing propensity for society and governments to avoid a thorough examination of the social institution of family as a site where the greatest forms of violence and offending against children occur (Taylor, 2014).
This has enormous ramifications both for our understanding of child abuse and where the greatest risks lie. The general public’s concerns about child sex offenders and ‘paedophiles’ as mostly males who target other people’s children has funneled the focus in ways that, whilst highlighting the presence and prevalence of child sexual abuse, have negated in many ways the reality of where child sexual offending is likely to occur and who is likely to be responsible.
Child sexual abuse and concern by the community about keeping children safe from such abuse have tended to generate a fixation with adult males who come into contact with children in settings outside of the immediate family. Whilst children must be protected from offenders, this fixation has avoided looking closer to home, as it were (Taylor, 2014).
As it stands, the voices and experiences of the majority of child sexual abuse victims are silent because they have no government or public inquiry into their abuse at the hands of parents and other family members. A large body of peer reviewed research highlights that trauma from child abuse is greatest for children abused by a parent following closely by those abused by another family member.
The trauma impact and social impacts across the lifespan are greatest for those abused within a family setting as the majority of victims are expunged by their family of origin; locked out of access to family resources or support; lose a sense of belonging, place and family biography that is shown to have devastating lifelong and generational impacts.
Every form of child abuse is an abhorrent attack on the physical, psychological and spiritual integrity of the child. However as a society we need to have the courage and willingness to bear witness to the silent majority in this country and around the globe who have no government pushing for a royal commission into intrafamilial child abuse; no media interested in addressing the issue with the same rigor as other forms of abuse; no lawyers interested in pursing offenders for civil remedies to help victims rebuild lives because there are no corporate or business assets to go after in family related child sexual abuse.
Please help us be part of a voice for every child.
Media interview with Professor S. Caroline Taylor AM regarding the danger of accepting sex offender stereotypes
Ballarat Professor Caroline Taylor is a world renowned and respected expert and advocate for dealing with Child Sexual Abuse. She spoke to Garrath on Ballarat Today about the perpetrators and how the public can make the common mistake of forming stereotypes when comes to who they believe offenders may be.
To read more and to listen to the interview, please click on the link below:
New legislation has passed Victoria’s Parliament today, introducing a Reportable Conduct Scheme to better protect children from harm.
The scheme requires certain organisations providing services to children to report centrally on any abuse allegations, ensuring individuals who pose a risk to children can be excluded from working with children, even if they don’t have a criminal record.
The Commission for Children and Young People will oversee the scheme and monitor how organisations are responding to allegations of child abuse and misconduct.
The Commission will then report back to the Government and share information with the Working with Children Check Unit to improve child safety.
There will be a phased implementation of the scheme with schools and government services needing to comply from 1 July 2017, other institutions providing services to children by January 2018 and public institutions children visit by 1 January 2019.
The Reportable Conduct Scheme is designed to work in conjunction with the Child Safe Standards and other existing child safety measures to help organisations reduce the risks of and respond to allegations of child abuse or child-related misconduct.
The scheme will maintain the primacy of an investigation by Victoria Police of any allegations of criminal misconduct and will require allegations of suspected criminal conduct to be reported to Victoria Police as a priority.
The introduction of a Reportable Conduct Scheme is in response to the findings of the bipartisan Betrayal of Trust inquiry. The government has already responded to the majority of the report’s recommendations.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Children are some of the most vulnerable members of our community and the Andrews Labor Government is doing what it can to protect them. Child safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
“This scheme is the next vital step in keeping Victorian children safe and improving organisations’ responses to allegations of child abuse and misconduct.”
Quotes attributable to Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People Liana Buchanan
“History tells us we need strong, comprehensive systems in place to make sure allegations of child abuse in organisations are taken seriously, properly investigated and acted on.”
“Organisations working closely with children have a responsibility to make children’s safety a priority. The reportable conduct scheme will help organisations to understand and acquit that responsibility.”
Tickets will be $20.00 each (less for Students and Concession Card Holders)
With all profits going to our foundation – providing educational scholarships to survivors of child sexual assault, providing educational pathways and fulfilling dreams, assisting in the rebuilding process where education may have been interrupted due to the heinous crimes committed upon them.
To purchase tickets, it’s as easy as clicking on thebutton on the upper right hand side of this page!
In the Notes/Details area of your purchase please indicate that this is for the film ‘Don’t Tell’, however, if you are unable to attend on the night, please consider making a donation instead and know that your money is going toward an educational scholarship that will provide a Survivor with life long benefits!
Please join us for pre / post film screening drinks
and catering is available on the night with the film screening time at 7pm!
all tickets must be purchased prior to the film screening date i.e.:
Tickets are not available for purchase on the night of the film screening at the venue
Stay tuned for more dates and venues which will be decided in the coming days
and join with us in a fund raising event with a difference!
We look forward to sharing this special event with you!
‘Don’t Tell’ won the Audience Award for “Best Feature Film” at the
Newport Beach Film Festival!!
Up against over 300 films at the festival ‘Don’t Tell’ proved to be a universal story that is as relevant in the US as it is here in Australia.
The feedback from the premiere was clear, this story needs to be told
and shared as wide as possible.
The Children Of Phoenix Foundation is proud to announce we have been selected as a Charity Partner that has been afforded the honour of hosting special screening events of the upcoming film, ‘Don’t Tell’ which releases in cinemas nationally on May 18th 2017!
The film starring Jack Thompson, Rachel Griffiths, Aden Young, Sara West, Jacqueline McKenzie, Gyton Grantley, Susie Porter, Martin Sacks, Robert Taylor and Sara West, tells the story of a young woman who fought back after enduring sexual abuse at a prestigious private school.
With a dogged and determined local lawyer by her side, Lyndal took on the powerful church that denied her abuse for over a decade.
Based on true events that changed Australian child protection laws, it is a poignant story about finding the courage to stand up, speak out and fight against injustice.
Producer Scott Corfield said of the film, “An important Australian film like ‘Don’t Tell’ can only ever be brought to the screen when you have a cast and crew that completely invest themselves in the story and that’s exactly what we had with this film. I am so incredibly proud of the work everyone put into this inspiring true story and am thrilled to be finally showing it to an audience.”
“Considering the outstanding work Children of Phoenix Organisation does with survivors of sexual abuse, and also in raising awareness to help prevent future cases of child sexual abuse, your values align strongly with those of the team behind ‘Don’t Tell'”
The film provides an opportunity for open discussion of this important subject matter, and emphasises the imperative for zero tolerance towards sexual abuse to be shared in an entertaining and powerful way.
One of Australia’s most loved and respected actors, Jack Thompson has appeared in numerous Australian and American films including the classic SUNDAY TOO FAR AWAY (1975), THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH (1978), BREAKER MORANT (1980), – which won him an Australian Film Institute award for Best Actor in a leading role, and the award for Best Supporting Actor at the Cannes International Film Festival. Other credits include THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER (1982), MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (1983), THE SUM OF US (1994), MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL (1997), THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON (2003), AUSTRALIA (2008), DON’T, THE GREAT GATSBY (2011), and most recently THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.
In 1986 Jack was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for his services to the Australian film industry. In 2009 Jack was awarded the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to Australian Film and Television.
Interview with Missy Higgins about her song Torchlight written and performed for Don’t Tell:
“The most exciting thing is that I have a single coming out THIS FRIDAY, a song called ‘Torchlight’ that I have written for an upcoming Australian film with an all-star cast called ‘Don’t Tell’. It is quite an extraordinary film: a true story about a courageous young girl seeking justice against the church. I really felt like I’d seen something special when I walked out of the preview the other day. I cried many, many tears (and it’s not often I cry during my own songs!) so please go and see it when it comes out. I feel incredibly honoured to have been a part of it. I should also add that the film was shot up in Toowoomba, so we decided to film the video clip up there also, at the Empire Theatre.” – Missy Higgins facebook post.
2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the first World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and the 10th anniversary of the UN violence study.
In the 2016 Year Of Action, the Council of Europe will be hosting the first ever Global Survivors’ Forum in Strasbourg France on the 18th & 19th November. This forum will involve 10 survivor/advocates from around the world who have been nominated and chosen for their outstanding advocacy. The forum will be conducted entirely by survivors in front of an audience of government advisers and professionals from 82 countries around the world.
Internationally known Survivor/Advocate Professor S. Caroline Taylor AM has been nominated by the recently retired Head of Interpol’s Global Sexual Crimes Against Children to be one of those 10 survivors.
The prerequisite for Nomination was for a Survivor/Advocate to have an outstanding record of contribution in addressing child sex abuse and exploitation. Professor Taylor’s internationally recognised reputation is highly regarded by her peers, by professionals and by the global communities she has assisted. Her groundbreaking research has been the benchmark for law reform and policy making in Australia and elsewhere. Professor Taylor has, by invitation, provided her expertise and advocacy on behalf of children, to police, lawyers, judges, medical practitioners, communities and survivors around the world including developing countries. She has provided her expertise to London Met Police, Scotland Yard, Interpol in Europe, the US and Australia, and to police in South Africa, the US, The Hague, Thailand and Papua New Guinea. Professor Taylor has published books including “Surviving The legal System” and “Court Licensed Abuse”, and peer reviewed articles dealing with law reform and child abuse; trauma impacts and recovery, child trafficking and child abuse material.
Professor S. Caroline Taylor AM has been officially chosen as one of the 10 Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse in the World, and the only Australian Representative, invited to address this first ever Global Forum on all forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation. Her trip is being hosted by the Council of Europe.
This Forum is bringing together Research, Reports and Consultations held with Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse from around the World and will help inform the discussions, deliberations and recommendations that will come from the forum. The forum agenda will advance all aspects of victim impact; cause and prevention; legal response; discrimination and stigma experienced by many survivors; barriers to accessing help and support and therapeutic needs to aid recovery and healing.
Caroline is truly humbled to be nominated and to accept this once in a lifetime opportunity to advance a Global Agenda that will benefit survivors of all kinds of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Professor Taylor reiterated that the vast majority of children are abused or exploited within the family and have little or no recourse to help or support or compensation.
Professor Taylor’s nomination recognised her long standing commitment as a Survivor Advocate and, as she was a pioneer in this field both personally and academically, her courage and fortitude established a platform more than 20 years ago for Survivors to be recognised and amplified, all at great personal cost to her given the unwillingness at that time of the community and many professionals to acknowledge, engage and address the crime of child sexual abuse and associated social and psychological trauma impacts.
In 2004 Caroline launched her Foundation, Children Of Phoenix. The Foundation provides educational scholarships to survivors of childhood sexual abuse to enable survivors to rebuild their lives in ways most often denied them.
She also serves on the Clinical Advisory Board of SAMSN, which is the peak body for male survivors in Australia and is the Patron of NSW Victims of Crime Court Support Network.
Caroline flies out of Melbourne on Sunday 13th November. At the completion of the Forum, Caroline has also been invited to England to observe and advise on professional sexual assault training that forms part of the UK’s national benchmarking for professional competency in the area of child sexual abuse.
Tuesday, 25 October, 2016 NEW LAWS TO BETTER PROTECT VICTORIAN CHILDREN introduced new laws to better protect Victorian children by strengthening Working with Children Checks.
The Working with Children Amendment Bill 2016 will make the application process more rigorous, addressing five key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Under the reforms, any criminal charges laid against an applicant for serious sexual, violent or drug offences will be considered as part of Working With Children (WWC) Check assessments, regardless of whether they resulted in a conviction or finding of guilt.
The WWC Check Unit can now consider non-conviction charges that may have been dismissed on a technicality, or did not proceed because of the impact on the victim, when deciding on whether to grant an application.
The amendment brings Victoria into line with other states and territories.
Kinship carers – a family member or other person of significance to a child who has been placed in out-of-home care – will now be required to obtain a WWC Check.
From May next year, all new kinship carers will be required to obtain a WWC Check within 21 days of becoming a carer.
Existing kinship carers will have three months from May 1 to apply, and all applications for new and existing kinship carers will be free of charge.
The laws remove the element of supervision from the definition of child-related work – ensuring WWC Checks are required whether contact with children is supervised or not.
Children will be better protected from online predators under the new definition of direct contact, which now includes written, oral and electronic communication and technologies.
An applicant will also be forced to produce further information if they are suspected of breaching the Working with Children Act 2005, such as engaging in child-related work without a current WWC Check.
WWC Checks were first introduced in Victoria in April 2006 and more than 1.95 million checks have been issued during the past 10 years.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“The safety of our kids is our top priority. That’s why we’re introducing new laws which will make the application process for Working with Children Checks stricter and more thorough.”
“Every child deserves to be safe while in the care of others. These laws address key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to help protect our kids from harm.”
Children of Phoenix Educational Scholarship applications are open to survivors of childhood sexual assault who are ready to continue or further their education. Applicants need to demonstrate how their education was disrupted as a consequence of childhood abuse to help the Scholarship Committee assess applications. Children of Phoenix scholarships are provided for primary school, high school, university and also vocational/adult community education levels.
Applications close: 1st November 2017
Our Vision: Children of Phoenix, is an empathetic and trusted National Organisation focused on:
Effecting legal and policy reform to ensure fair and equitable treatment of survivors of sexual abuse
Promoting the value of education in rebuilding life after abuse
Facilitating educational opportunities for survivors of sexual abuse
Client focus To deliver specialized, quality and ongoing support to members of the community through sensitive responses to the needs of all clients.
Confidentiality To offer a comfortable, appropriate and safe environment; operating with the upmost discretion, security and privacy.
Integrity and Empathy A commitment to serving with honesty, respect, trust, care and compassion.
Equity To treat all with fairness and integrity.
Leadership To provide continual education, direction and guidance to the wider community on issues of child sexual abuse.
What Children of Phoenix Scholarships can and cannot fund:
School uniforms; camps and excursions; after school programs and extracurricular activities; sport; transport to and from school; tutoring; school fees.
Computer and internet access; items from book lists; uniforms; fees; extracurricular activities; clothing to a specified amount; excursions and camps; advice on part time work opportunities; tutoring; travel passes.
Books and educational needs; fees (if mandatory & upfront); advise on part time work; travel passes; computer and internet access; relevant voluntary opportunities to extend work experience
Living expenses; clothing
Fees; computer and internet; books and educational requirements of the course to be undertaken; travel costs related to study.
Living expenses; clothing
Please note: Educational scholarships are capped and materials and fees funded will be limited to the maximum scholarship cap as set by the foundation.
How to apply for a scholarship:
Children of Phoenix can offer advice and assistance to applicants at any stage of this process. Applicants should not feel alone or isolated.
A counselor or other professional will need to complete the referee questionnaire with the survivor. It is preferred that the professional person is known to and is currently assisting the applicant. Unfortunately we cannot accept parents, guardians or other family members completing these forms.
Step Two The survivor is to complete the applicant’s questionnaire with assistance from the professional person. Both this document and the referral document need to be either emailed or sent to Children of Phoenix together and must be received by the 1st of November 2017.
The Children of Phoenix Scholarship Committee will select potential scholarship recipients from the applications received.
Step Four An informal interview will be conducted with potential scholarship recipients by the members of the scholarship working party.
Step Five All applicants will receive notification as to whether the request for assistance has been successful for the current funding round.
With only days left before our 3rd Annual Cupcake Morning Tea Fundraising event – Tuesday 6th September 2016 – we wish to say a big THANK YOU to all our supporters and volunteers without which we could not achieve our success to date – $100,000 in Educational Scholarships granted to survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have been negatively impacted by the heinous crimes committed upon them!
These Educational Scholarships provide survivors with lifelong skills, skills that offer pathways to improve lives, lives that will heal through building their self esteem and their confidence, through which opportunities of employment in preferred working environments are created, allowing them to follow their dreams and achieve their goals, many of which have been stifled through the inability to complete their educational studies due to the many ways in which the crimes of childhood sexual abuse affects its victims.
THANK YOU for helping us help those who are most vulnerable, those who cannot help themselves – we are needed, we are valuable, we matter – and together we can make a lifelong difference!
Please donate today and join us in making this difference as we are the only foundation of its kind that offers lifelong healing through education – all donations over $2 are fully Tax deductible!