The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse
The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse

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National Centre’s Survivor-led Adult College meets for second time

by The National Centre on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

On Monday 9 May, the National Centre’s Survivor-led Adult College met in person in Sydney to discuss the organisation’s strategic agenda for the next five years.

As a part of its vision to address the harm from child sexual abuse, the National Centre prioritises the voices of survivors and others with lived and living experience at the centre of its work. It achieves this through three Colleges, which ensure survivors, First Nations people and children and young people can provide input on the overarching strategic direction of the National Centre’s work and share knowledge with and from their communities. 

Monday marked the second meeting of the Survivor-led Adult College and resumed discussions from the group’s initial meeting in March of this year. The College considered and discussed the priorities to be included in the National Centre’s five-year work plan and strategic agenda, which they examined through the lens of four outcome areas:

  1. Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have access to opportunities to heal and recover.
  2. Children and young people feel and are safer in families, communities and organisational environments.
  3. Services, organisations and the workforce are better equipped to prevent child sexual abuse and meet the needs of victims and survivors.
  4. Australian government drive and deliver public policy, program and service system reforms designed to prevent child sexual abuse, better support victims and survivors and promote healing.

Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, Deputy Chair of the National Centre and co-Chair of the Survivor-led Adult College, reflected on the remarkable energy, passion and drive of the participants to progress the National Centre’s work to enact change.

It was a delight and an inspiration to meet the members of the Survivor-led adult College from around Australia, and to hear their passionate insights and reflections. 

“The core of the National Centre’s work is the lived and living expertise of survivors of child sexual abuse, and through and with their voices, the strategic direction and Centre work plan will be poignant and targeted,” Dr Kezelman said.

In addition to discussing the National Centre’s strategy, College members talked about the importance of:

  • Promoting an understanding of the prevalence of child sexual abuse, the behaviours that surround it (such as grooming) and the impacts of child sexual abuse on individuals, families and the wider community.
  • The availability of information and resources for victims and survivors to support recovery and healing, ranging from self-help strategies to specialist supports.
  • Access to supports, services and programs that are safe, informed and capable.
  • The use of a wide range of approaches, including self-help strategies, that support victims and survivors to heal and thrive.
  • Understanding and overcoming the barriers to disclosing child sexual abuse.
  • The need to educate and support families and organisations about how to respond to and support children who disclose.

The National Centre keenly anticipates further meetings and consultations with the Colleges as well as diverse stakeholders to guide the Centre’s work over the short, medium and long term.

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