Child sexual abuse, memory and the law: ANU Law Professor co-chairs Royal Commission discussion

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Photo by Matthias Ripp/ Flickr
One of the great challenges of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is its reliance on the memories of witnesses. It has taken alleged victims, perpetrators and bystanders back many decades to recall events most wished they could forget. Addressing that challenge, ANU Law Associate Professor Mark Nolan, Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty from Charles Sturt University and Dr Evianne Van Gijn-Grosvenor, a PhD graduate from the University of Cambridge have co-chaired a public roundtable discussion on Memory of Childhood Sexual Abuse and the Law for the Royal Commission.
"The roundtable was a unique chance to gather leading Australasian researchers on memory, child development, clinical treatment and forensic assessment of adult and child complainants of childhood sexual abuse in one place for a focussed discussion,” A/Professor Nolan said. The academics and clinicians who participated brought experience in the fields of law, psychology and child and adolescent services.
  • Professor Richard Kemp, Professor and Director of Master of Psychology (Forensic) Program, School of Psychology University of New South Wales
  • Dr Chris J. Lennings OAM, Director, Lennings Seidler Collins Psychology
  • Dr Helen Paterson, School of Psychology, University of Sydney
  • Professor Martine Powell, Personal Chair, School of Psychology Deakin University
  • Dr Stefanie Sharman, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, Deakin University
  • Associate Professor Karen Salmon, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Katie Seidler, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Lennings Seidler Collins Psychology
  • Professor Frederick William Seymour, School of Psychology, The University of Auckland
  • Mr Dale Tolliday OAM, Clinical Advisor, New Street Adolescent Services, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
  • Professor Don Thomson, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Health Deakin University
The roundtable will help inform the Royal Commission’s Criminal Justice Report and final report for the Commission which are due for release by the end of the year. The transcript from the roundtable is available online.

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Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team