November 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to In Good Faith Foundation’s first monthly newsletter!


Welcome to our first monthly newsletter! We’re excited to be establishing these emails as a regular way of sharing news updates, important information and other links with you.

Please feel free to email us at if you would like a copy of this newsletter as a more accessible Pdf file. If you would like to share our sign-up form with anyone in your network who might be interested, the link is:

This month’s email contains information about:

  • Our Comedy for a Cause fundraiser night, from 6pm on Friday 29 November
  • The Melbourne Victims’ Collective Annual Public Witness Award for 2019
  • Strategic follow up to Friday 23 August MVC meeting with Catholic Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli
  • Marking the anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
  • Recent Australian news coverage on religious institutional abuse
  • An ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses Protest happening in Melbourne this week

IGFF has been as busy as ever over recent months, as we continue to provide advocacy and support for our wide client base, while also planning our end-of-year fundraiser.

Comedy for a Cause

Keen for some laughs? Or looking for somewhere to hold office drinks?
In Good Faith Foundation is holding a Comedy for a Cause night at the Flemington & Kensington Bowling Club!

Buy your tickets for Friday 29 November now, to celebrate our good cause with comedians from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Tickets can be purchased at, and we will also be holding raffle and silent auction with over twenty prizes worth over $2000! There will be a barbecue and Von Crumb food truck, so make sure to book your place now!

Melbourne Victims’ Collective Public Witness Award

With the holiday season drawing near, we are excited to share our MVC Annual Public Witness Award recipient for 2019, as announced at the Friday 8 November MVC meeting: Paul Holdway, principal lawyer of Lewis Holdway Lawyers. Our thanks and congratulations again go out to Paul.

In 2010 Paul received the Law Institute of Victoria’s President’s Award for Access to Justice. He has extensive experience in acting for Survivors of religious institutional abuses, and hosting and chairing MVC meetings during the past 12 years.

We are truly grateful for his work with IGFF, as a former President of the Board and as a tirelessly empathetic Advocate.







Whether you are the Archbishop or a victim makes no difference to me. I don’t mind where you come from, it’s your actions and what’s just for everybody in the situation that counts.

I am extremely honoured to act for victims. I am honoured that they share their story with me and trust me with it.

For some people, it’s one of the first times they have told it and I think it is incredibly courageous for them to come forward to share that. – Paul Holdway

Strategic follow up to Friday 23 August MVC meeting with Catholic Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli

At the 8th of November MVC meeting, our CEO Clare Leaney gave the following presentation about strategic follow up with Melbourne Catholic Archbishop Comensoli on the Collective’s observations and recommendations for Survivor-centric models of care and support.

For a Pdf version of the full presentation, or any other information about the MVC meeting, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at or call (03) 9940 1533.





In recent Australian news:

Sleepless nights, no end in sight for victims of Pell, fellow priests
via The Age, November 2019

With last week’s announcement of the High Court’s decision to hear George Pell’s appeal request, Survivors, their relatives and advocates are feeling distressed.

Reporters Lydia Lynch and Bianca Hall spoke to IGFF’s CEO Clare Leaney, who said:”I think Survivors have been very much encouraged by the strengths displayed by the witnesses in this case, particularly the Survivor himself.”

‘My mob is telling their story and it makes me feel good’: here’s what Aboriginal survivors of child sexual abuse told us they need
via The Conversation, October 2019

“It is so much better to heal together. It is so hard to heal in isolation.”

As last month marked the anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, The Conversation reported on an empowering, Aboriginal community controlled healing program for Survivors run by the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

As at least 15 per cent of the estimated 60,000 survivors in Australia are Aboriginal, community controlled programs like these that address the unique experiences of multiple layers of traumas, disconnection, loss and grief for First Nations peoples are essential to healing, hope and empowerment.

‘But you don’t look sick’: Living with an invisible disability
via The Sydney Morning Herald, October 2019

One in five Australians has a disability, according to The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. But many with invisible disabilities and illnesses like CPTSD experience others dismissing their pain.

Several people living with invisible disabilities spoke to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald to share their experiences of stigma and misunderstanding.

Many Survivors and IGFF clients experience these difficulties, and we understand how not being believed can be re-traumatising.

Spike in claims against Church prompts calls for Andrews to intervene
via The Age, September 2019

More than 800 new legal actions for child sexual abuse have been launched against Victoria’s Catholic Church as Survivors are now able to sue the institution itself and challenge unfair compensation agreements that involved forcibly signing away their rights to further legal action.

This unprecedented spike and removal of significant legal barriers to justice has resulted in often traumatising court delays, and we encourage Survivors to contact IGFF for support during this process.

Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses Protest in Melbourne 2019

During the weekend of 22-24 November, up to 60,000 members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith will be gathering for an international religious convention at Marvel Stadium.

To coincide with the religious convention a peaceful protest has been initiated and coordinated by Renee Pickles. Every day of the convention protesters will gather outside the stadium to draw to attention to the religion’s harmful practices, including:

  • Shunning and social ostracism
  • Child abuse and child protection issues
  • Failure to join the National Redress Scheme
  • Adverse treatment of former members

The theme of the protest is ‘LOVE NEVER SHUNS’, and we encourage anyone able to attend to go to support Survivors and our ex-JW clients. For more information on the protest, please follow the link below. is a comprehensive advocacy and support organisation for ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses.








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