Now-Remembered Australians

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Posted by Shawn Paris on May 24, 2015 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (10)

Now-Remembered Australians have a new meeting place and permanent premises thanks to Lismore YWCA.

The YWCA at 101A Rous Road in Goonellabah has offered the group a meeting room with an attached kitchenette for making our coffeeand tea, and a little courtyard outside which has a BBq in it.

We have also been given a storage area there for our growing accumulation of literature and other assets.

Meetings will be held at the YWCA rooms from Friday June 5, 2015.

If anyone needs a lift to any Now-Remembered Australians meeting at the YWCA premises, pease call Barbara at least one day prior to the meeting on 0408769766. The bus will pick up anyone needing a lift.

Newsletter April 2015

Posted by Shawn Paris on April 5, 2015 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)






President’s message


Hi everyone! Welcome to Now-Remembered Australians first 2015 Newsletter. Sorry it has been a while since the last newsletter. We now have a new editor so thanks Peter and welcome to the position.

For those who don't already know, the group purchased a twelve-seater bus at the beginning of the year. We are now able to offer more outings and activities. Thanks to Wattle Place we also have some petrol vouchers so let us know where you'd like to go on an excursion and we'll see if it can be arranged.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who give to Now-Remembered Australians by attending meetings and supporting other members, by donating funds or helping out in any way. Some have been loyal members from the beginning and some are members who joined recently, but to all who have contributed to this group in any way: Thank you.

We have been doing more excursions lately, some of which are described below. Keep in touch to find out about upcoming events.



Woody Head Excursion


On Sunday 1st of February we had the first excursion of the year. Some members were picked up in our twelve-seater Toyota Hiace Commuter bus and we went for a trip first to Black Rock and then on to Woody Head.

The weather was perfect for this trip. Once we arrived at Woody Head we had a picnic that Barbara had prepared. After eating, some went snorkeling while others walked or swam or just sat talking or lay down enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Once back in Lismore, we went to see the movie “Wild” before everyone went home.



Taking in the beach at Black Rock


Kevin Hogan Visit


The Federal member for Lismore Kevin Hogan was invited to attend a meeting of NRA at the Lismore Worker’s club on Friday March 13.

The group asked for his support and a number of issues were discussed including:


Having a Now-Remembered Australians collection tin at his office

Writing a letter of support for the group

The need for a national redress scheme

Asking him to support the Royal Commission's recommendations about redress and civil litigation

The failure of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to address the needs of care leavers who suffered psychological and physical distress and were denied basic needs but were not “sexually abused”.

Help with locating premises for an office/ meeting room/ art space/ training centre for NRA,

A mention of NRA in his weekly column in the Echo

His offer to help people who are having issues with Centrelink and other federal government departments






Lake Ainsworth Excursion


On Saturday 8th of March we had an excursion to Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head. The day started out looking pretty wet but by the time we got there it was fine. We took the scenic route via Evans Head so we could pick up members from down that way. Luckily there was a man selling delicious mangoes at a very good price opposite one member's place and we stocked up!

We took the kayak out on Lake Ainsworth, with lots of people trying it out. A certain someone seemed to think you had to lie down in it.... or perhaps she was just feeling particularly “laid back” that day!

We made a sandcastle on the beach before heading back.




Group members, complete with kayak at Lake Ainsworth

Group Camera


The group now has it's own camera and official photographer for all of our events. Wattle Place agreed to reimburse us for the cost of the camera. Thanks Wattle Place! It is an Olympus Tough camera that is shock proof, waterproof and dust and freeze proof so hopefully it will last us a while! Tina has agreed to be the official photographer for these events. She will ask permission for taking photos and ask if you are happy for them to be used by the group or published in our newsletters or for promotional purposes. If you don't want your photo taken or used, just feel free to say so.







Based on modelling assuming that 65,000 eligible survivors would receive payments of $65,000 each, the total cost of redress would be $4.38 billion according to the report.

Unfortunately the Federal government has squibbed it on redress. They made a two page submission to the Royal Commission in which they argued a national redress scheme would be to costly and take up to much in time and resources. Without a federal government backed national redress scheme some victims may not be able to receive any cash payments. While the Victorian, Tasmanian and South Australian governments made submissions the governments of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australian have not responded.

So it looks like the issue of just and fair redress is far from settled and we need to continue the pressure for a more humane response from government.

Peter Gould


Child sex abuse royal commission: Victims condemn Federal Government opposition to national support scheme, referral of responsibility to institutions

By Jessica Kidd, ABC news.

Updated 26 Mar 2015, 8:08am


Photo: Justice Peter McClellan

A survivor of institutionalised child sexual abuse has condemned the Federal Government for opposing a national support scheme for victims in its submission to a royal commission.

Thirty-eight government and non-government organisations were invited to present spoken submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, to outline their proposals for a redress scheme for survivors of abuse.

The commission released a consultation paper in January that outlined a number of options for redress, including a single national scheme led by the Commonwealth.

But in a written submission to the royal commission, the Federal Government made it clear it did not support that option because of the significant time and resources it would require.

"The Commonwealth does not see itself as having a role as funder of last resort," commission Chair Justice Peter McClellan said.

Justice McClellan went on to say the Federal Government's view was that the institutions responsible should foot the bill.

"The Commonwealth submits that the royal commission should make recommendations that institutions must accept the legal, financial and moral responsibility for failing to protect children," he said.

Nicky Davis from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the Commonwealth was shirking its responsibility to victims.

"What the Government was saying this morning to survivors was that they would prefer us to suffer in silence, to not reveal their shortcomings, to not make them face their financial responsibilities," she said.

"That's just not acceptable to survivors. I think that we'll see survivors banding together and insisting that this is what we need."

Pressing need for survivor assistance: commission chair

In his opening remarks to the commission, Justice McClellan said an appropriate redress scheme was needed if survivors were to receive justice.

"In our work so far, many institutions have acknowledged that their previous response to survivors has been inadequate," he said.

"Many survivors have a pressing need for assistance, including effective and just redress."

The Coalition of Aboriginal Services said there should be recognition of cultural abuse in any support scheme.

Coalition representative Meena Singh told the commission the institutionalisation of Aboriginal children alone was grounds for redress, regardless of whether they suffered sexual abuse.

"The very act of removal of children meant a breakdown in families, meant a breakdown in traditional languages, meant the inability to observe cultural practices. Ancient traditions were severed," she said.

The commission invited all Australian governments to make submissions to its latest inquiry.

All but two governments, Queensland and the ACT, accepted the invitation to make written submissions to the commission.

But just three governments, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, have chosen to present spoken submissions to the commission.

The inquiry will run for the next three days.




North Coast Children’s Home

Royal Commission releases findings on the North Coast Children’s Home

27 October, 2014

A report published by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has found the Anglican Diocese of Grafton denied responsibility for sexual abuse that took place at a children’s home established by its local rector on church land.

Other findings include that the Diocese denied financial compensation for some victims abused at the home, failed to comply with its own policies and procedures, and dealt with victims insensitively.

The report of Case Study no.3, examining the Anglican Diocese of Grafton’s response to child sexual abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home, was tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament today.

The report explores how the Diocese responded when former residents revealed their experience of child sexual abuse after 2005 and considers how the Church’s structure, policies and financial arrangements affected the way it managed abuse claims. The report also examines how the Diocese dealt with the clergy who were accused.

The Royal Commission’s public hearing on the matter heard evidence of frequent sexual, psychological and physical abuse perpetrated against nine former child residents at the Home between 1940 and 1985 and the profound, long lasting impacts on their lives and mental health.

Witness Tommy Campion shared his story about being sexually abused as a child between 1949 and 1962. He was invited to the minister’s residence for crumpets and honey, only to be taken into a spare room and sexually abused.

Another witness revealed abuse at the hands of Reverend Kitchingman who was convicted for indecent assault in 1968 and 2002


If you have any stories, articles or anything you would like to see in the Newsletter you can send them to the editor, Peter Gould, via the email below.


Now-Remembered Australians Inc.

PO Box 894 Lismore 2480   Australia


Email: [email protected]






Wattle Place visit

Posted by Shawn Paris on October 23, 2014 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Now-Remembered Australians Inc recently had a visit from Nicole Cunningham, Manager at Wattle Place.

The group took a bus trip in our bus to Lake Ainsworth on Thursday, September 25th and had a delicious seafood feast by the lake.

On Friday, September 26th, we had lunch at Lismore Sports Club.

It was an excellent visit and we appreciate Nicole's taking the time out to come and see us way up here in the far north!

Thanks to NRCF

Posted by Shawn Paris on October 23, 2014 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Now-Remembered Australians Inc. would like to thank the Northern Rivers Community Foundation for funding which allowed us to purchase a towbar for the bus and a trailer for group use. Thanks NRCF for your assistance and provision of a wonderful asset for themembers to use.

Royal commission media release

Posted by Shawn Paris on June 12, 2013 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)




Tuesday 11 June


Royal Commission arrives in Queensland

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has arrived in Queensland. The Royal Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Janette Dines, announced that face-to-face private sessions with Commissioners started today in Brisbane and will continue for at least four weeks.

Private sessions have been running in Sydney for the last month and Ms Dines said that the Royal Commission is very happy with the response to date. “People who have come to a private session tell us that it was a positive and very worthwhile experience.”

Private sessions are conducted in an informal setting in the presence of one or two Commissioners.

“We understand how difficult it can be for people to come forward and talk about what happened to them. There are trained counsellors available to provide immediate support to anyone in distress. We also encourage people to bring a support person with them such as a friend or family member.”

Ms Dines said that a large number of people are telling their story for the very first time. “Many people have said that after years of keeping silent, they feel safe to speak out.” Ms Dines said that people have different reasons for coming forward. “Some people want the Royal Commission to know what happened to them as a child and the impact it has had on their lives. Many people are telling us that they want to help make institutions safer for children in the future.”

“This will not be the only opportunity for Queenslanders to come forward to tell their story. We will be in Brisbane for a month and will return to Queensland as many times as it takes to hear peoples’ stories.”

The Royal Commission encourages people affected by child sexual abuse in an institution to register to tell their story to the Royal Commission by:

1) Telephoning 1800 099 340

2) Emailing [email protected]; or

3) Writing to GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW 2001

If you need more information, including about support services, visit the Royal Commission’s website at


Gympie Muster trip

Posted by Shawn Paris on September 11, 2012 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (2)

Now-Remembered Australians Inc. members recently went on a trip to Gympie Muster. 

We stayed at the beautiful Big4 Noosa Bougainvillia Holiday park, where the service was great, and we enjoyed the facilities- a heated pool; games room with pool, table tennis, air hockey and arcade games; giant chess set and jumping pillow.

We arrived in time for a barbecue lunch on the Friday before heading out to the Muster in the late afternoon. With three days of live music, and plenty to choose from, there was something for everyone. Some chose to visit the beach at Noosa on Saturday morning, while others opted to spend as much time as possible at the Muster.

We managed a huge breakfast of bacon and eggs in the camp kitchen at Noosa before departing on Sunday morning to spend the rest of the day at the Muster. 

Thanks to all who came, to all who helped out during the trip, and to all who worked to make it possible!

Newspaper Article

Posted by Shawn Paris on May 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Forgotten no longer


Andy Parks | 10th May 2012 12:27 PM At the beginning of a Senate Committee report into the “Forgotten Australians” is a quote from Nelson Mandela.






Some of Lismore’s ’Now Remembered Australians’: (l-r) Paul Stephenson, Vanessa Amy, Graham Wilson, Barbara Lane, John Bigelow and Peter Gould.


At the beginning of a Senate Committee report into the "Forgotten Australians" is a quote from Nelson Mandela. It says; "Any nation that does not care for and protect all of its children does not deserve to be called a nation".


But for decades children living in institutions and orphanages run by the State or the Church in this country were subjected to all sorts of physical, mental and sexual abuse. It is a shameful secret that was kept hidden away from most of us until 2009 when a formal apology was offered by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.


The Senate report estimates that up to half a million children were affected from 1930 to 1980.


The apology was seen as a significant step towards healing and redressing some of the issues that had been identified by the Senate report, but nearly three years down the track many of those affected feel that the bipartisan apology offered from our Federal Parliament was a "waste of time".


In Lismore a group that calls itself the 'Now-Remembered Australians' meets once a fortnight to provide support to those affected and to keep pushing for justice, recognition and compensation.


Paul Stephenson is one of them.


The story of his damaged life is but one of many.


At the age of about seven Paul and his brother were taken to St Joseph's Orphanage for boys in Kincumber because his "violent, alcoholic" father and "ill-treated" mother could not look after them. They had one sister who was taken by his mother's family and another sister who was adopted.


Paul described the environment where he was brought up as "very regimented".


"There was no emotion, no love. We were treated as second class citizens and used as cannon fodder," he said. "When you are deprived of emotions you don't grow up. You live in the mind and (I became) an immature, scared, frightened boy inside.


"I couldn't trust anybody because I was bashed and hit so much."


Paul described one morning when he woke up with an erection and one of the nuns beat him at least 100 times with a cane.


"I thought 'what have I done'?"


For Paul, the splintering of his family and the years of emotional and physical abuse led to years of alcoholism and counselling.


"My psychiatrist told me that for someone to go through what I went through as a child was the equivalent of 48 years of abuse for an adult... But they haven't crushed me yet," he said defiantly.


Paul proudly tells me he has been sober since 1985 and that he has a strong spiritual belief that has helped get him through.


"The one thing they couldn't touch, no matter how emotionally broken, humiliated, flogged or bashed I was, was my spirit."


He is now the proud grandfather of 10.


"They love me to death. They trust me," he said with a smile.


Paul believes he deserves $1 million in compensation.


"I'd spend it all on the grandkids. You should leave your children and your grandchildren a heritage and I'd like to leave them something."


The Now-Remembered Australians meet for lunch every second Friday at Pulse cafe and they invited The Echo to come and listen to their stories.


The group came together after the 2009 apology. After going down to Canberra, there was a strong desire to keep something going when they got back.


Several people told me that being part of the group makes them feel as though they are "not alone".


"Some people have been through worse than me and we all give each other a lot of support," Vanessa Amy said.


The president of the group (and the glue that binds them together) is Barbara Lane.


"That woman deserves a medal," Paul said enthusiastically.


Barbara said NSW is lagging behind other states in terms of providing financial redress to victims and would like to see that changed.


"People are living with a lower quality of life; with physical disabilities, post- traumatic stress disorder and a lack of education that has affected their capacity to be financially independent. (Financial compensation) is not the total answer. People will always have the scars of their trauma, but at least we should achieve parity with other states," she said.



If you would like to get in contact with the Now-Remembered Australians, phone Barbara on 0408 769 766 or John on 6624 5567.



Southern Cross University PhD candidate Gregory Smith would like Forgotten Australians to participate in his research so that future government policies can be developed.


"I spent time in institutional out-of-home care intermittently from 1965 until 1974, and the childhood experience has influenced my life greatly," Mr Smith said.


The interviews will last for approximately one hour and will be audio recorded with the permission of the participant.


Gregory Smith can be contacted during on 6659 3151 or via email: [email protected]

New meeting place

Posted by Shawn Paris on February 5, 2012 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

   Hi Everyone!

Now-Remembered Australians Inc. will now be holding the fortnightly meeting at the PULSE CAFE in the Northern Rivers Conservatorium and Arts Centre on the corner of Keen and Magellan Streets, Lismore.

It is still at 1pm every second Friday, the day after pension payday.

Hope to see you there!

You can easily see the entrance to the cafe from Keen Street. There are purple and white signs with arrows pointing the way.

New Meeting Place

Posted by Shawn Paris on February 27, 2011 at 7:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Now-Remembered Australians Inc will, from March 4, 2011, be holding its meetings at Gunnawannabe in Union St., South Lismore.

They will continue to be held at 1pm every second Friday (the day after pension payday).

Hope to see you there! 


Posted by Shawn Paris on October 9, 2010 at 1:39 AM Comments comments (1)


Thanks to everyone who sent entries in to the logo competition. The competition was drawn on August 31st, and above is the winning entry, submitted by Marc Pearce.

It represents a winged creature, but there are holes in the picture (Just like there are holes in the picture for many of us!). The holes represent the missing pieces of our stories and of our lives.