posted on December 17, 2018 06:59
Blue Knot Foundation is delighted to congratulate Chrissie Foster and Justice Peter McClellan AM who were jointly awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal on Friday 14th December for their `enormous contribution’ to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Together with her late husband Anthony, our patron Chrissie has been tireless for many years in her campaign for justice for survivors of child sexual abuse. This is despite and also because of the pain this crime has wreaked on her own family. She described receipt of the annual award by the Australian Human Rights Commission as `for Emma, Katie, Aimee, and Anthony and for all children who have suffered from this insidious crime’. Justice McClellan led the Royal Commission which has been ground breaking in its addressing of this crime, comprehensive in the recommendations it has made in relation to it, and inspiring to countless people in Australia and world-wide.
In their respective award acceptance speeches and tributes to one another, Chrissie described Justice McClellan as `a strong, gentle, intelligent judge and we could not have asked for better’. Justice McClellan said Chrissie has `suffered so much and given so much’ and that he regarded her as his `heroine’. He also described the crime of child sexual abuse as `a whole of community problem and there must be a whole of community response’.
Blue Knot Foundation salutes Chrissie Foster and Justice Peter McClellan on receiving the honour that the 2018 Australian Human Rights Medal bestows. Recognition of their work is significant in what must be the ongoing `whole of community response’ that Justice McClellan affirms and we are proud to represent the needs of adult survivors of childhood trauma in all its forms.
In her acceptance of award speech Chrissie said that `the Commission and the extensive staff of the Royal Commission have changed our world’. We will continue to work to ensure that the recommended changes of the Royal Commission are implemented, and we honour Chrissie Foster and Justice Peter McClellan for their major contributions to the necessary steps to this outcome.
Pam Stavropolous PhD
Head of Research
Blue Knot Foundation