knowmore legal service is taking part in an important Victorian Koori-specific forum on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
Commissioner Helen Milroy from the Royal Commission will speak and answer questions at next week’s forum, on Tuesday July 22nd, at the Ballarat Lodge. The forum will be Koori specific, inclusive and accessible.
knowmore Executive Officer Jenny Hardy said that there was understandably some apprehension in Aboriginal communities about discussing the issues of child sexual abuse, but given the high levels of institutionalisation and abuse of Aboriginal children over the last 50 years, it is important that they have the chance to tell their stories.
“We know that these issues can be incredibly difficult to talk about. Some people may prefer not to talk about them at all – it’s about making sure that everyone has the information and the opportunity to come forward if they want to.
“At knowmore we have a strong commitment to cultural safety and listening respectfully to the deeply personal stories of survivors.
“The forum in Ballarat that is specifically for Victorian Koori people is an important chance to talk about the options for engaging with the Royal Commission and the supports available to people who might need or want them.
“knowmore is committed to conducting outreach to communities and working with local organisations to try to break down some of the legal barriers that vulnerable people face.
“knowmore is an independent and free legal service that can advise people based on their individual circumstances. We have counsellors/social workers on hand, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural liaison officers for people to talk to if they wish,” Ms Hardy said.
Anyone in the area who wishes to ask questions can call 1800 605 762.