Surviving in Exile: Trauma to Recovery

Friday 31st May

National Wine Centre – Adelaide

VSS SA Symposium will be held on May 31st 2019 at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide to gather representatives for the voices of victims. The purpose of Surviving in Exile is to share experiences, knowledge, ideas and best practice in Trauma to Recovery. 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 aligns 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.

Keynote speaker Dr Cathy Kezelman from the Blue Knot Foundation will join Alannah Hill, UniSA’s Professor Wendy Lacey, Dr. Patrick O’Leary and Felicity Gerry QC as lead panelists along with professionally practicing experts in the field, survivors, academics and researchers, public advocates and representatives of victims of crime. Discussion panels will focus on narrative, current research trends and trauma informed practice in the transition to recovery.

Key topics for discussion include:

  • Autonomy and Elder Abuse
  • Systemic Responses to Domestic Violence and Abuse
  • Memory and Triggers- Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Invisible Women - Trafficking and Justice

View Full program:      

Download and Print Full Program


Full Symposium Program to come.

Early Bird special concludes 30 March 2019

Register Now

The Symposium is a CPD endorsed event through both the Australian Association of Social Workers and Australian Counselling Association. CPDbanner  

The Symposium commences at 8:15am and concludes at 5:30pm. Entrance is via the Hackney Rd Concourse.

Surviving in Exile – Trauma to Recovery is sponsored by The Office for Ageing Well.

Keynote Speaker Dr Cathy Kezelman

 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.

LEAD PANELLIST Professor Wendy Lacey


Professor Wendy Lacey is the Dean and Head of the School of Law at the
University of South Australia Business School, where her teaching and research
focuses primarily in Australian public law (constitutional and administrative) and
international human rights law. However, since 2011 her research has largely centred
on law and ageing, with a focus on the prevention of elder abuse and promoting the
human rights of older persons.
More details




 Felicity is an international QC at Carmelite Chambers, London  and
 Crockett Chambers, Melbourne, largely defending in serious and complex trials
 and appeals, often with an international element.  She is admitted in England and Wales
 and Australia and has had ad hoc admission in Hong Kong and Gibraltar. 
 She was Legal Personality of the Year 2016 and has been recognised in the Legal 500  
 as a leading silk and as “Fearless and independent minded”.  

Felicity led the appeal in R v Jogee in the UK Supreme Court which was described by the BBC as a ‘moment of genuine legal history’. She is one of the few women silks to defend in a terrorism trial  and recently led a team of academics and practitioners who were given leave to file an Amicus Curiae Brief in the ICTY Radovan Karadžić Appeal.

She is  Professor of Legal Practice at Deakin University where she lectures in Criminal Law and Modern Slavery and is involved in the clinical programs. She is also an Adjunct Fellow at the University of Western Sydney and Charles Darwin University where she has lectured on International Criminal Law, Transnational Law, Terrorism, Cybercrime, Criminal Law, Evidence Law, Science & Law and Feminist Legal Theory. Her current PhD candidature involves researching Using Technology to Combat Human Trafficking.




For additional enquiries contact

    Cathy 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 DeliveryThe 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".

 Professor Lacey holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with Honours, a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB), and a PhD in Law from the University of Tasmania. She has previously held academic positions at the University of Adelaide and the University of Tasmania, and has provided independent academic opinions to lawyers involved in cases before the High Court. Professor Lacey has published widely in public law and human rights and her work is frequently cited, including on 4 occasions in the High Court of Australia.

Professor Lacey is a founding member and co-convenor of the Australian Research Network on Law and Aging (ARNLA), was a member of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Advisory Committee assisting the Commission in relation to its national inquiry into elder abuse in 2016-2017 and was a member of the Minister for Ageing's Steering Committee tasked with overseeing the South Australian Strategy for Safeguarding the Rights of Older Persons 2015-2021. She was previously a Director of the Maggie Beer Foundation and her research into elder abuse has been highly influential in the various state and federal inquiries in recent years. Her work in this field resulted in her playing an instrumental role in the drafting and consultation processes related to South Australia’s proposed new laws on safeguarding vulnerable adults in 2018.

1800 VICTIM (1800 842 846)

1800 842 846

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)