|| Australian Royal Commission Heard His Testimony
Shortly afterward he passed on - his legacy endures
LEWIS BLAYSE PUBLIC MEMORIAL EVENT
University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus: 1 March, 2014, 1-4 pm, Alumni Court
On the 31st of January, long-time social justice, child protection / anti-paedophilia activist, and Forgotten Australian, Lewis Blayse (born Lewin Blazevich, in Tully), passed away, aged 64, at his home in Benarkin, Queensland. It was just after he had conducted an interview with the ABC's 7:30 Report about the current Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the re-airing of the 2003 ABC Four Corners story “The Homies”, which featured Lewis's story.
Before he died, he had been writing a daily blog about the Royal Commission and associated matters at www.lewisblayse.net, which had gained a popular following for its trenchant and fearless commentary on institutional responses to child protection issues.
Lewis was also well-known for being active throughout his life, both publicly and behind the scenes, on issues such as Children's Homes (Forgotten Australians), anti-Vietnam war activism, better treatment of welfare recipients, indigenous rights, women's rights, prisoners' rights, rights for the sight-impaired, child migrants, forced adoptions, child sex tourism, educating the medical professions about the impacts of abuses in Children's Homes, rights for farmers, mandating seatbelts on school buses, activism for the right to protest publicly, and teaching practices, amongst many other areas.
Royal Commission Chief, Justice Peter McClellan, thanked Lewis publicly on the Monday following his death, for his work in bringing about the Royal Commission. Lewis began calling for a Royal Commission in the early 1990s when he started, with his wife Sylvia, the support group Formerly in Children's Homes (FICH).
A public Memorial Event celebrating Lewis's extraordinary life and discussing the work of the Royal Commission was held at the Alumni Court at the University of Queensland's St Lucia campus (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) on Saturday, the 1st of March (1-4pm). The broad themes of the event are “Where are we now and where do we need to go from here?” and “The whole world is watching.”
from Aletha Blayse:
The edited film of the Lewis Blayse / Lewin Blazevich public memorial, held on 1 March, 2014, at the University of Queensland, is now available at: http://lewisblayse.net/2014/03/22/lewis-blayse-lewin-blazevich-public-memorial-film-and-summary/
It follows on from a personal tribute to Lewis by his family at: http://lewisblayse.net/2014/03/21/blayse-family-personal-tribute-to-lewis-blayse/
The focus of the public memorial was the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on the themes of (a) “Where are we now and where do we need to go from here?” and (b) “The whole world is watching.”
The speakers were me, Dr Cathy Kezelman (www.asca.org.au), Chris Wilding (Broken Rites founder and activist), John Ellis (www.ella.net.au), Karyn Walsh (www.micahprojects.org.au; www.lotusplace.org.au), Nicky Davis (www.snapaustralia.org), Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, Jim Luthy (www.clan.org.au), and Kevin Lindeberg (www.heineraffair.info).
I also read a lovely letter written by Julia Gillard, which can be downloaded and read on the post.
Many topics were covered by the speakers, but a few that stood out were:
|(a) the need to translate Royal Commission recommendations into law;
(b) the impacts of abuse on society, the economy, and families as well as survivors;
(c) the inadequacy of current institutional responses and the need to take matters out of their hands;
(d) what form compensation really must take; and
(e) the fact that we could be making real changes now, without having to wait until the end of the Royal Commission.
I'd also like to mention here the decision of the National Library of Australia to include www.lewisblayse.net in their digital archive project, the PANDORA project. You can read about this here: http://lewisblayse.net/2014/03/20/www-lewisblayse-net-on-pandora-national-library-of-australia/
I hope you watch the film.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION : HELP OBTAIN JUSTICE FOR LEWIS BLAYSE FROM THE SALVATION ARMY: http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/andre-cox-deliver-justice-to-lewis-blayse-and-his-family?utm_medium=email&utm_source=promoted_petitions&utm_campaign=promoted_petition_activation