I recently spoke with XXX, he told me of a recent experience by a fellow survivor who recorded a message and I determined to follow up with a brief message about my own experience in the hope that more people get to learn of the horror of such experiences so that others will never get to experience what I have or perhaps like the instance he referred to someone may have more information or be able to assist, so here I am today with my attempt at that. I provide my approval for this to be provided by XXX as he sees fit.
Firstly I would like to thank XXX and those who support him for the support he has provided me as a result of his ????? program - I simply would not have made it this far without that assistance.
My experiences of abuse began in my hometown of Yea in Central Victoria in 1952. I was 3.5 years of age when I was put in the care of the nuns at the local convent while my mother was in hospital giving birth to a sibling - this was needed as a result of a bully brother whom she was unable to protect me from (this came as a result of his experience of being sexually abused by a refugee from the War neighbour). That resulted in ongoing sexual and physical abuse by both nuns and priests in the convent, the presbytery and the school. I was treated as being special therefore requiring special treatment which in fact turned out to be being used to satisfy the sexual needs of people living in bizarre circumstances. I was more fortunate than most in that I had two special people who tried to protect me.
At age 8 I was repeatedly raped by the paedophile priest Kevin O'Donnell in 1957; this was reported to the Church who promised that he would never again be allowed near children. If they had kept their word Chrissie Fosters daughters and many others would have been protected. Many in the congregation chose to publicly vilify, slander and to physically abuse me wile history now shows that the actions of the Church aided this rapist and allowed him to extend his range of abuses of many more innocent children.
At age 14 I witnessed a younger sister pulling away from a new priest in Yea (Desmond Cameron - I am led to believe that police are aware of some of his activities). This was possibly the most bizarre nightmare that I have ever experienced. My sister reported her abuse to my mother who then reported it to the local policeman who was a member of the Knights of the Southern Cross. My friend and protector attempted to intervene and was beaten with a shovel and ended up in hospital. I was told I was not to visit him by the local policeman. I did visit him several times and was eventually thrown out of the hospital by that policeman. My friend and supporter Herbert Kemp was making a good recovery until that day; he was scheduled to come home in a few days when the next we heard was that he had been taken to Melbourne by the priest Des Cameron and was declared dead the morning of his arrival. This event caused a great deal of distress as a local nurse informed my mother that Herbie never left Yea at any time. On that supposed journey Herbie's Will was changed leaving everything to the Church or to Cameron - all his possessions were burned; I was not permitted to have a memento of someone who had stood up often on my behalf. My mother and father kept insisting that the local policeman investigate until he informed them that my father would be ex-communicated if they kept insisting. Herbie was blamed as being the abuser of my sister and she holds with that false understanding to this day.
In the mid 2000s as a result of bizarre events in my marriage relationship and the threat of rape of my child by his mother in law who was related to the then bishop of Toowoomba Bill Morris (My wife had spent almost 9 years detailing of her abusive childhood experience which included many references to Bill Morris). I had made contact with the Melbourne process. Initially I was acknowledged and the Melbourne process paid for psychology sessions that I had undertaken. Eventually Susan Sharkey from Carelink came to Toowoomba to interview me - they wanted to record the interview and I agreed while putting my own recorder on the floor next to theirs. The next day my psychologist received a phone call from Kathy McGovern who had accompanied Sharkey demanding that I destroy that recording as it would jeopardise her and Skarkey's jobs if it were released. I refused and that began a whole slew of bizarre interactions with the Melbourne process and Carelink that persists to this day.
My bully brother wrote to Brian Lucas claiming that he had evidence that I was a fraud and only making a claim for the money (I later came to understand what that evidence was supposed to be). The Melbourne process interviewed 3 of my sister siblings, two of whom acknowledged that I had been abused. They also interviewed my sister who had been abused by Des Cameron - it was on the basis of that interview that O'Callaghan refused my claim while insisting that events that occurred during a marriage breakdown some 20+ years after my abuse were evidence that my claim was invalid. I sought copies of transcript of those interviews only to be told that the two transcripts of those sisters who acknowledged my abuse were not able to be found, however the transcript of the interview with my sister who was abused by Cameron was forwarded to me - the crux of that very sparse interview was that my sister who had yet to be born was unaware of my abuse as an early child and who would have still been in nappies when I was abused by O'Donnell was unaware of my abuse - this was deemed to be sufficient evidence by O'Callaghan to deny (letter to lawyer 2016) my claim. I have made several attempts to move my case forward via the Melbourne process to no avail. I am currently making an application to VOCAT which I hope will be completed sometime in the next 6 months so that I can then obtain proper counselling support for my son who has been adversely affected by all of this.
I did try to record this as a telephone message however I still experience PTSD and re-experience moments of the trauma and anger re my abuse when attempting to relate some portions of my experience verbally so I felt that I can explain these bizarre events better when I have more time to put these experiences into writing. There is a great deal more that I can add to this very brief description; I have copies of the letter by O'Callaghan and other communication from him re his rejection of my claim, the email from my brother to Lucas, the transcript of my sister with the Melbourne response and the recordings of the interview by Susan Sharkey.