posted on January 28, 2015 11:54
ASCA is proud to announce that its president Dr Cathy Kezelman, was awarded the prestigious Member of the Order (AM) of Australia, on Australia Day, with an investiture ceremony to follow.
The AM to Dr Kezelman, formally recognised her unwavering commitment to providing hope, optimism and pathways to recovery for the millions of Australian adult survivors who are living with the long-term effects of prior trauma and abuse.
Dr Kezelman is a prominent voice on the subject of childhood trauma and abuse. She is co-author of ASCA’s Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery – a global first in setting the standards for clinical and organisational practice. She is also the author of a memoir chronicling her own journey of recovery from child sexual abuse, Innocence Revisited- a tale in parts.
As ASCA President, Dr Kezelman has been instrumental in supporting the work of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and being an influential voice in many of the roundtables.
Under Dr Kezelman’s stewardship ASCA has grown from a peer support organisation to a national thought leader - combining the voice of survivors with that of academics, researchers and clinicians.
The Member of the Order, introduced forty years ago to acknowledge exceptional achievement and service, is one of the highest honours in the country. Reflecting on the award, Dr Kezelman said she was honoured to receive a national award for an issue which is a national public health challenge.
“The needs of adult survivors and the work of ASCA are a personal passion and long-term commitment. I am so grateful for the opportunity this AM presents for ASCA’s mission,” she said. “I hope that it garners even greater awareness, acceptance, understanding and community support for adult survivors who are trying to reclaim their lives. As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues its substantial work, I hope that the issue of childhood trauma in all its forms will remain front and centre of the national agenda. This includes abuse perpetrated anywhere, including the home, family and neighbourhood. It will also necessitate a focus on what a child doesn’t receive, either by way of neglect or when parents, as a result of their own unresolved trauma are unable to provide for a child’s needs as they might wish. Through the Royal Commission child abuse is being de-stigmatised and victims are speaking out and being heard. It is a beginning but with the collective efforts of us all we will see further positive change for victims of childhood trauma and abuse over time.”
“We know experiences of childhood trauma can seriously affect individuals– their health, wellbeing and relationships with themselves, their loved ones and the wider community as well. The legacy of childhood trauma and abuse also has a large effect on the national economy. My aim is to show this clearly to Government – by investing in professional education, training and specialist services towards treatment and trauma informed practice responses we can not only help survivors on their path to recovery but also help to address our long-term budget challenges,” Dr Kezelman said.