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Blue Knot Day


Blue Knot Award 2012

The Blue Knot Award was established this year to recognise those who uphold the principles of Blue Knot Day and further the needs of adult survivors of childhood trauma; someone who does inspire communities to unite in support of survivors. It is presented to a person who stands out in their community, or nationally to further the needs of adult survivors, either by breaking the silence and taboo and speaking out, who erodes the stigma of abuse and helps survivors overcome their shame, who fosters hope and optimism that there is help available and who promotes recovery and pathways towards health and wellbeing.

Blue Knot Award 2012 was presented to Maggie Dawkins by John Teer, ASCA Chair, at a Blue Knot Dinner for corporate supporters in Sydney  on November 1.
“For courageously speaking out about abuse in her community and her ongoing support of survivors”

Maggie Dawkins is the wife of John Dawkins, ex-labour treasurer. She was a group leader for Westrek - a WA government youth training and employment project - in 1985. She tried to lift the lid on the actions of notorious serial paedophile Dennis McKenna in the small community of Katanning but was effectively run out of town. Her complaints were not taken seriously and as a result McKenna continued to perpetrate against child victims in his care, as hostel warden at St. Andrews Hostel. The Blaxell inquiry which reported recently exonerated Maggie’s behaviour. Throughout the inquiry she has continued to support victims in the town and 27 years later has been vindicated.

Maggie Dawson alerted a town to the actions of an insidious perpetrator. She courageously spoke out against the crowd, tackling the stigma of abuse and the secrecy and silence which perpetuates it. In so doing so raised awareness about its existence. During the court cases against Dennis McKenna, decades later she has supported the victims; she has supported them through the recent Blaxell inquiry in WA fostering hope and as they have become empowered, promoting recovery, and she continues to support the community in an ongoing basis.

Maggie Dawson receives Blue Knot Award 2012 from ASCA Chairman, John Teer on November 1, 2012
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“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.”


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The information and resources on this site are provided for general education and as information and/or a guide only. They do not replace, and should not be used as a substitute for, counselling, therapy or other services, and should at no time be regarded or treated as professional advice of any kind. Personal needs and circumstances should always be carefully and thoroughly considered to determine the optimal approach in each individual case.