The VSS SA Symposium gathered representatives from around Australia for the voices of victims of crime and abuse. The purpose of "Surviving in exile" was to share experiences, knowledge, ideas and best practice in Trauma Informed Care.
"I wanted to reach out to you for a few reasons, first being to say congratulations. The day went so well and the coordination of all panellists from around the nation was a feat in itself. I caught up briefly with a few of the Victorian and Brisbane panellists on my way out of the Wine Centre and they noted the event was one of the best they’ve been to. I know this was a common theme amongst attendees. For a non-industry attendee, I gained so much insight, knowledge and information and found the day incredibly interesting."
Keynote speakers were:
Key topics for discussion included:
The Symposium was a CPD endorsed event through both the Australian Association of Social Workers and Australian Counselling Association.
Surviving in Exile – Trauma to Recovery was proudly sponsored by The Office for Ageing Well , Fletchers Lawyers and Bronwyn Killmier, Commissioner for Victims’ Rights
Victim Support Service SA is the leading organisation addressing all aspects of trauma associated with crime and providing a trauma-informed response service. The Symposium aligned with forty years of Victim Support Service advocating for South Australians in providing integrated safety, counselling and justice support services to people impacted by crime and abuse in South Australia.
Dr. Cathy Kezelman AM is a medical practitioner, mental health consumer advocate,
President of Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma,
and member of the Mental Health Community Advisory Council (NSW).
She is a current member of NSW Child Safety Standing Committee
for Survivor and Faith Groups, member of the Advisory Panel of Tzedek.
Alannah Hill Exclusively represented by Saxton
Jeanette Walters is the Director of Office for Ageing Well in SA Health.
| Professor Patrick O’Leary is an internationally recognised researcher
with significant expertise in child protection, domestic violence/gender-based
violence, and the long-term impact of child sexual abuse (especially in men).
He has worked extensively overseas in low and middle income countries.
Professor O’Leary was an Expert Academic Advisor to the Royal Commission
into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with a particular focus
on male victims and the long-term effects.
He is currently a Senior Research Fellow with UNICEF’s Office for Research.
Felicity Gerry is an international QC at Carmelite Chambers, London and
For additional enquiries contact Symposium@victimsa.org
Dr. Kezelman worked in medical practice for 20 years, mostly as a GP. Under her stewardship Blue Knot Foundation has grown from a peer support organisation to a national centre of excellence combining a prominent consumer voice with that of researchers, academics and clinicians advocating for socio-political trauma-informed change and informed responsiveness to complex trauma. She is a prominent voice in the media and at conferences, as well as author of a memoir chronicling her journey of recovery from child sexual abuse: Innocence Revisited- a tale in parts.
She is co-author of multiple seminal Blue Knot Foundation documents - Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery, The Cost of Unresolved Childhood Trauma and Abuse in Adults in Australia and Trauma and the Law: Applying trauma informed practice to legal and judicial contexts , the Talking about Trauma series and The Truth of Memory and Memory of Truth. On Australia Day 2015 Cathy was awarded an AM "for significant service to community health as a supporter and advocate for survivors of child abuse".
In 2018, Hardie Grant published Alannah’s bestselling memoir, Butterfly on a Pin. Part rebellious fairytale, part rags-to-riches story, it is also a timely cautionary tale. This fierce and poetic account of how a freckle-faced teenage runaway metamorphosed into a true original reveal how ‘against all odds’ Alannah Hill created one of Australia’s most successful fashion brands from scratch.
Alannah inspires people from all walks of life with her courage, wit and intelligence, and her ability to stare down adversity and find humor in the darkest places. The memoir was also nominated for memoir of the year.
Alannah is currently writing a book titled Pearls of Wisdom: How to go from knowing nothing to everything – Sticky beak Style. The book revolves around ten autobiographical confessions that grapple with emotions that have often overwhelmed Alannah. Resentment, greed, complacency, despair, and teenage rebellious activity are just a few. Veined throughout is the acknowledgment that our failures can elevate us.
Failure can give us a vantage point from which we can help others. Pearls of Wisdom shows how not getting what we want can inspire us to search for new meaning, change and personal growth.
Fashion Designer: After leaving her abusive, poverty-stricken childhood behind, Alannah moved from Tasmania to Melbourne where she unleashed her wild talent for reinvention. Alannah adopted a veneer of fearlessness, embracing the breaking New Wave of 1980s Melbourne, immersed in glamour and make-up. She knew intuitively what women wanted to wear and built an instantly recognizable brand ~ she didn’t want to look like anyone else, but welcomed the army of girls and women who adopted her look. The upstart from Tasmania set the fashion world on fire.
In 2013, after eighteen years, Alannah parted ways with Factory X, her financial backer, sending shock waves through the industry. Unable to use her own name, Alannah understood launching a new fashion label would be problematic. With her typical all-or-nothing drive, and drawing on all her creative forces, she threw herself into writing her story, to call a truce with her own troubled past and offer other ‘unjoined girls’ the glorious hope of reinvention.
In 2015, Alannah launched her new fashion brand LOUISE LOVE online, retailed exclusively through David Jones.
Alannah has also been a stylist for such big names as INXS, Danny Minogue, Kylie Minogue, Debrah Conway, Ross Wilson, Neighbors.
Film: In addition to her work in fashion and entrepreneurship, Alannah has also had multiple film appearances, most notably in U2's Documentary When Love Comes to Town, where she had the privilege of interviewing the band's lead singer Bono and even David Bowie.
Click here for Client Comments about speaker Alannah Hill
As the Director of Office for Ageing Well, Jeanette is actively involved in the new dementia precinct at the Repat and the CCTV pilot in aged care within SA Health, Jeanette also is interested in exploring new models of aged care that consider resident choice and the meaningful connections that are important to build and maintain - no matter where you live. The newest initiative in Office for Ageing Well is the implementation of the Adult Safeguarding Unit under the new Adult Safeguarding legislation.
Port Lincoln (Lower Eyre), Whyalla (Upper Eyre), Port Augusta (Far North), Port Pirie (Yorke & Mid North), Berri (Riverland), Murray Bridge (Murraylands), Mount Gambier (Limestone Coast)