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Bill Shorten says redress for victims of child sexual abuse is personal for him because his childhood parish priest was jailed for abusing boys.

Bill Shorten managed to avoid a monster.

Now he wants the needs of survivors of child sexual abuse to be properly addressed. 

As a boy, the Labor leader belonged to the same Melbourne parish, Sacred Heart in Oakleigh, where notorious pedophile priest, Fr Kevin O'Donnell, abused 12 children in the 1970s.

Asked about Cardinal George Pell facing the royal commission this week, Mr Shorten said it was a personal issue for him. 

"It's very personal," he said.

"One of the terrible cases was a story from Sacred Heart church in Melbourne - that used to be my parish. 

"The priest who went to jail, who did terrible things which has caused such tragedy in the lives of some of those families, was my parish priest.

"But through the actions of my mum and others I think I avoided a monster."

Mr Shorten said the church needed to "respond fully".

And many people were calling their MPs to express their disappointment that the government is "not going the full way of the journey with the victims and survivors".

"Nothing less than full redress matters," he said.

"And if Labor is elected we will do our part at a national level working with the institutions, working with the victims and survivors."

See original article published here:


# Khole
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 3:22 AM
How would this realistically affect those survivors whose attackers received a judicial slap in the wrist from legal proceedings and a minimum sentence for committing decades of heinous assaults? There are so many who were failed horribly by the legal system. So so many.
# Celeste
Sunday, 10 April 2016 2:29 PM
I wholeheartedly agree. As a victim of horrendous childhood sexual abuse over 12 years and as a victim who has gone through the judicial system, I can tell you first hand that this system supports the perpetrators not the victims. They then fail to protect others in the community by allowing these monsters to walk off with a warning and no jail times.
Paige Bluhdorn
Saturday, 16 April 2016 3:14 AM
Help needed
Karen Lizasoain
Sunday, 17 April 2016 4:27 PM
Yes, parish priests and others in authority positions are getting off lightly after committing crimes against children BUT parents who commit ongoing heinous atrocities to their children ,although sometimes having them removed ,are then allowed to continually see them and commit further trauma ......because they have rights to access their children when in OOHC. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDRENS RIGHTS to be safe and free from further trauma. ? Child Protection policy and courts bot state and federal continually insist that parents must keep in contact with children -even though most children will suffer further.
# Greg
Wednesday, 4 January 2017 9:04 AM
Yet he stands by in silence despite being aware of child abuse victims in NSW being intimidated by elected ALP members after disclosing their abuse. It seems abusing kids is wrong, unless you're good friends with someone influencual in the Labor Party.

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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.”


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