Back to All Events

A Matter of Trust: Writing Sexual Abuse

  • The Wheeler Centre 176 Lonsdale Street Melbourne, VIC, 3000 Australia (map)

In 2013, Joanne McCarthy from the Newcastle Herald received a Gold Walkley Award for her reporting on the sexual abuse cover-up in the Hunter Valley Region. Accepting the award, she thanked the survivors, who had placed their trust in her as a journalist, and in their local paper. ‘People who have every reason in the world not to trust – they trusted us,’ she said.

When it comes to writing and reporting, there aren’t many subjects as sensitive or painful as that of sexual abuse. In this discussion, we’ll hear from two writers who have broached this topic in their work: McCarthy, whose investigations led to the royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse and Manny Waks, author of Who Gave You Permission?, a memoir of the abuse he suffered at the ultra-orthodox Yeshivah Centre Melbourne. Waks has worked as a victim advocate and his researchculminated in a public hearing into Australian Jewish institutions at the royal commission.

Hosted by Trauma-scapes author Maria Tumarkin, the pair will discuss the processes and ramifications of this difficult but essential work: interviewing survivors and perpetrators, the challenges of trust and verification and the frustrations of institutional cover-up.

This discussion includes topics that some attendees may find confronting. Audience questions from this event will not be recorded and published.