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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