If you have experienced childhood trauma, you can speak with a Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellor including for support and applications around national redress

1300 657 380
Monday - Sunday
between 9am - 5pm AEDT
or via email helpline@blueknot.org.au


Do you live with disability?  Have you experienced abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation? 

For support for Disability Royal Commission or general support contact our National Counselling & Referral Service

1800 421 468
9am - 6pm AEST Mon- Fri
9am - 5pm AEST Sat, Sun & public holidays

September 2020Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via eMail Share on LinkedIn

From the Editor

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our day to day lives, and we’ve had to rethink the way we do things.  Sometimes when we do things differently, it opens our eyes to new opportunities and forces us to become a little bit more creative in our approach.  This is particularly true for us here at Blue Knot, as we tried to work through how Blue Knot Day would look this year.  The impact of COVID-19 on the well-being of the community in general but our community in particular, coupled with social distancing, inspired us to think of ways to try and build positive and engaging connection.

To this end we have created the Festival of Healing.  On Wednesday the 28th of October on Blue Knot Day, we will be conducting a full day of interactive and engaging content which we hope will inform, entertain and inspire.  The full-day event will be hosted on Facebook, and should have something for everyone.  Feel free to pick and choose what appeals to you, and get involved as much or as little as you like…. It’s up to you… 

There will be sessions such as a trauma-informed yoga and meditation session, a creative interlude, panel Q&A discussions with some of our Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service counsellors as well as counsellors from the National Counselling and Referral Service (disability).  Included in this newsletter is information about how to submit questions for consideration for our panel.  We would love to hear from you and we will try to answer any questions that you might have about our services, the support they can offer, and anything else you’d like to know about the work that we do at Blue Knot Foundation.

Most importantly, the emphasis of the day is on possibilities around healing.  Everyone’s journey of recovery is different, and we are here to connect with you and our community to help support that journey.  We welcome you to our community, and hope that you will join us on the day.

We've also developed a new fact sheet: Emotions and Arousal (including Dissociation).  It breaks down the characteristics of each of these responses when triggered.  Often, people with trauma experiences can find them difficult to manage or regulate, so we hope you find the fact sheet useful and informative.


Warm regards

The Blue Knot Team

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Festival of Healing

Submit your questions



Our Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service is the backbone of our organisation, and provides invaluable support for adult survivors of childhood trauma and people inquiring about or applying for redress.  The National Counselling and Referral Service (Disability) is an essential service to people with disability with experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation or who are engaging with the Disability Royal Commission as well as their supporters, advocates and carers.  

Have you considered calling our services, but wanted to understand more about what they offer?  Would you like to know a bit more about how our counsellors can support you?  As part of Blue Knot Day and the Festival of Healing, our counsellors will be speaking on panels and answering questions about these services.  If you would like to submit question for the panel, including any questions around redress, we would love to hear from you.  

Please submit any questions by Friday 16th October for consideration.  

Separate panel sessions will be conducted for each service and will be shared via Facebook on Blue Knot Day.

Submit your question for Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service here

Submit your question for National Counselling and Referral Service (Disability) here


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Restoring Hope are looking for men to share their story

Seeking people who are interested in speaking to the media

From time to time Blue Knot Foundation is asked to speak to the media around a range of different topics related to complex trauma, childhood trauma and abuse, the redress scheme and others. This can involve print, radio, TV media as well as social media channels. As part of some of these interviews, journalists ask if Blue Knot knows of any survivors or family members, partners or friends who would be comfortable being interviewed either anonymously or using their name. If you would like to register your interest in speaking to the media should an opportunity arise and feel well enough supported and ready to do so please email ckezelman@blueknot.org.au with your contact details and we will get back to you. 

It is important to know that the media often wants to explore a particular topic and angle and in this case, that will be the focus of a particular interview, rather than your full story. Every survivor’s experience and story deserves to be honoured and we will always do what we can to ensure that the media we work with is sensitive and informed.  


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National Redress Scheme falls short for survivors

The Healing Foundation says the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse is falling short of delivering trauma aware healing informed responses.


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New approach needed to prevent human rights violations for people with disability

Experts say Australia must recognise people with disability as “critical to all aspects of life”  

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Principal to be extradited to Australia to face sex charges

A court has ordered former principal Malka Leifer be extradited to Melbourne from Israel to face dozens of charges of child sexual abuse allegedly committed during her time at an ultra-orthodox school.

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Disability care watchdog has issued just one fine

Just one fine has been issued and only one provider banned by the disability watchdog despite more than 8000 complaints being lodged in the past two years.

Read more

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More institutions now covered by National Redress Scheme

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston announced additional institutions are now covered by the National Redress Scheme allowing more than 50 applications to be processed.

Read more

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Blue Knot Day - Festival of Healing

Wednesday 28th October 

As we approach Blue Knot Day, it is time to reflect that this year is very different to any that any of us have experienced before. It is hard to deny that these are challenging times - times of lockdown, quarantine, restrictions, and border closures. There is little doubt that these challenges can add to the trauma so many of us have already experienced. Yet this also a time during which we have observed and sometimes experienced incredible acts of kindness, of kinship and of support. This year more than ever it is important for us to all come together in support and solidarity as a community of and for survivors.

That’s why this Blue Knot Day, we are planning something very special. Many of us have been physically isolated, socially distancing even from those with whom we are close. For some of us this has meant a lack of connection, as our usual supports and the nurture of contact and relationships have been less immediately available. Many of us have engaged more in a digital world which has brought not only contact but also an often, unanticipated closeness and camaraderie despite it all. That’s why this year for Blue Knot Day, Blue Knot is not only going digital but holding a whole day Festival of Healing to which anyone can tune in at any time throughout the day, or all day if you want.  

Blue Knot Day is about uniting as a community in support of people who have experienced violence, abuse and neglect, from childhood but also as an adult. It is also about holding hope about the possibility of healing and recovery.

There are many ways in which people who have experienced trauma can heal. What we do know is that when we have experienced trauma at the hands of other people, it is important to connect in with others, as much as we can. As when we connect, we can start to build trust, and ultimately safe connections and the possibility of different relationships – healthy relationships that can support our healing and recovery. 

"Healthy relationships can foster an improved quality of life and greater resilience.” -Donald Meichenbaum

The Festival of Healing we hope will bring people together creating connections and providing different resources and experiences to foster healing.  So please mark Blue Knot Day, October 28th  in your diary. 


The festival will include experiences such as:

• An interactive Grounding Session

• A light trauma-informed yoga session

• Q&A panel discussion with our Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service; and National Counselling and Referral Service (disability)

• A creative interlude with discussion on how creativity can assist healing

• Survivor stories of healing and hope

• Plus much more….

We will be in touch in the coming weeks with more details on the final program and how you can join in. The program will be conducted through our Facebook page. Please feel free to join for as much or as little of the day as you choose. 

And remember, this is about you and what you want and need on the day. We all have different needs and different ways to heal. We hope that you will join us and the Festival of Healing community!

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Blue Knot welcomes Rida Aleem Khan as our Ambassador

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that we welcome Rida Aleem Khan as ambassador for the Blue Knot Foundation.

Rida is a proud Pakistani-Australian-Baloch-Muslim Sufi-Chocoholic with first language Japanese and seventh language Chinese Mandarin. She wholeheartedly embraces her intersectionality and the complex trauma that comes with it. She is a multicultural and youth advocate and is the recipient of 2018 Sir John Monash High Commendation Award for Youth Leadership. She works at a multicultural women’s organisation called Wellsprings for Women, and is currently the youth chair for Federation of Ethnic Communities of Australia (FECCA). In her book “Living & Loving in Diversity”, Rida speaks about the struggle that women of colour experience with mental health, and regularly appears on Australian and Pakistani media highlighting the emerging issues of multicultural communities and youth. 

For more information on Rida’s work, check out her website

Copies of the Awards & Certificates

“It is extremely exciting to become an Ambassador of the Blue Knot Foundation that has a legacy of helping adult survivors recover from childhood trauma, especially child sexual abuse that leads to complex trauma. I look forward to expanding this Ambassadorship to Multicultural Australia and become the face of the People of Colour (POC) who struggle with childhood trauma.” - Rida Aleem Khan



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New Fact Sheet -

Emotions and Arousal (including Dissociation)

People with trauma experiences often have strong emotions. They can find them difficult to manage or regulate. When triggered, a range of arousal response can be experienced, including dissociation which is a type of freeze response.  This fact sheet outlines the characteristics of emotions, arousal and dissociation.


Download the fact sheet here

Download the PLAIN ENGLISH Arousal fact sheet here

Download the PLAIN ENGLISH Feelings fact sheet here

Download the PLAIN ENGLISH Dissociation fact sheet here

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National Redress Scheme Review Feedback Study

The National Redress Scheme review is seeking responses from survivors and support services/carers/advocates to a feedback study on experiences with the Scheme and especially with the application process. The findings from this study will inform the findings of the review and are therefore very significant. The study is being conducted by the University of New South Wales and is confidential. The review needs your input to inform its findings and recommendations to improve the operation of the Scheme. The links to the study are as follows – there is one for survivors and the second is for survivor supports – advocates, carers, family members and support services. Please have your say. 

National Counselling and Referral Service (Disability)

The National Counselling and Referral Service is now not only supporting people affected by the Disability Royal Commission. It is a key trauma-informed support for people with disability, family members, carers, advocates and workers who have experienced or witnessed abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation during these difficult times. Anyone who wishes to access this support does not need to make a submission or have any prior involvement with the Disability Royal Commission.

Who can call?

If you are living with disability (or are a family member of or caring for a person with disability) and 

- have experienced abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation 
- are currently experiencing abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation
- are distressed or anxious about coronavirus
- are affected by the Disability Royal Commission

If you are a family member of or caring for a person with a disability

If you are a support worker, advocate or provide a legal or financial service

You can call the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.   

This service operates from: 

• 9am-6pm AEST/AEDT Mon-Fri and 
• 9am-5pm AEST/AEDT Sat, Sun and public holidays.

The service provides:

- short-term trauma-informed phone counselling and support 
- education around trauma and distress
- a gateway to frontline services
- supported transfers with the Disability Royal Commission
- supported transfers to advocacy and legal services
- information and referrals to other services

What happens when you call?

- Our counsellors are here to listen and support you
- Everyone’s experience of trauma is different, and everyone has different needs
- Counsellors will provide support in your call based on your needs

Ways you can contact us

Telephone:  You can call 1800 421 468 or 02 6146 1468 to speak with a counsellor

Video Conference (VC):   You can use videoconference if you can not or find it hard to use the phone.  Please  first email us at ncrscounsellors@blueknot.org.au  or call 1800 421 468 with a support person 

Webchat (WC): 
Webchat is for people who need support, information or referrals.  It is found at the bottom of our webpage. It is not a counselling service. 

SMS: SMS is for people we have connected with by phone or webchat. We use it to  provide information or referrals. For SMS contact 0451 266 601. It is not a counselling service. 

If in crisis, in need of immediate support or concerned for your safety:
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call 000.


If you find it difficult to hear or speak you can contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS). Please phone 133 677.

If you need support in another language you can use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) for free by:

- Calling the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 and asking for an interpreter, OR

- Calling TIS on 131 450 and asking to be connected to National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468


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Disclaimer - Blue Knot Foundation makes every effort to provide readers of its website and newsletters with information which is accurate and helpful. It is not however a substitute for counselling or professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify all information provided, Blue Knot Foundation cannot guarantee and does not assume any responsibility for currency, errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the information provided.