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Blue Knot Foundation- National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma

What we do:

  • Empower recovery and build resilience for the 1 in 4 Australian adults who experience the impacts childhood trauma
  • Provide support, education and resources for the families and communities of adult survivors of childhood trauma 
  • Develop and disseminate best practice and research evidence around complex trauma
  • Build national workforce capacity around complex trauma treatment, trauma-informed practice and managing vicarious trauma
  • Drive innovation in complex trauma policy, practice and service delivery
  • Embed trauma-informed policy, practice and systems change within organisations and the community

 What is complex trauma?

Complex trauma is trauma which usually involves people. In some cases one person/people abuse/s, neglect/s or is/are violent to another person or people. In others it’s because a parent or person who is caring for a child (care-giver) experienced their own traumas. And that trauma is  still affecting them (because they haven’t had the right help or support to heal from it). Sometimes it’s because a parent or care-giver has a mental illness or misuses drugs or alcohol, or because a parent is not physically or emotionally available to a child. There are many ways in which complex trauma can occur.

The abusive or violent events usually happen more than once, sometimes often, as well as over a period of time, and are often extreme. Being traumatised time and again causes impacts which build on one another, and can seriously affect people’s health, wellbeing and capacity to live a meaningful connected life.

Regardless, it is important to also acknowledge the strength and resilience of people who have trauma experiences. To honour their survival and  hold a sense of hope that life can get and often does get better. The fact is that research, and survivors’ own stories tell us that people can and do recover from all sorts of traumas. And that when parents have worked through their trauma their children do better.

Learn more 

When complex trauma occurs in childhood it can have serious effects on the child, although not necessarily. These effects are often experienced not only in childhood, but also in  adolescence, as an adult and even into old age (when people don’t find the right help and support). Blue Knot Foundation’s core work is with adults who have experienced childhood trauma – which comes in many forms – their families, and communities.

Many people we support struggle with their self-esteem, their relationships and/or their emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing and health. Despite this a lot of evidence shows that hope around recovery makes sense. That when adult survivors receive the right help and support, they can start to heal. Blue Knot Foundation provides that help and support in various ways. If you are a survivor and need information or support click here. 

Trauma in childhood does not only affect those who have experienced it. It affects their family, including their children and their communities.  If you are a family member, friend, neighbour or colleague of a survivor and you need information or support click here.

Adults with complex trauma experiences use lots of services, some directly because of their trauma, some related to their trauma, and others for general purposes.  Our National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma is a national and international leader in research, policy, practice, training, resources and direct service delivery, in the clinical treatment of complex trauma, and the underpinning paradigm of trauma-informed practice.

You will find more relevant information as you read through this website.



Latest Articles

Christian communities unite in support of justice and healing for survivors by admin
on Friday, 8 December 2017.
Fighting Against The Culture Of Disbelief And Denial by admin
on Thursday, 7 December 2017.
Fighting Against The Culture Of Disbelief And Denial by Lydia
on Thursday, 7 December 2017.
Trauma, memory and human dignity by admin
on Wednesday, 22 November 2017.
Blue Knot welcomes the announcement of Redress Scheme Legislation by admin
on Thursday, 26 October 2017.


Health Direct


Head to Health


“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”


“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”


"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”


Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman AM
0425 812 197 or

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Jo Scard
0457 725 953 or