Breaking Free – October 2023

Thank you for your support!

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the incredible individuals and communities who have joined hands with us to make a difference on this Blue Knot Day.

On October 26th, Blue Knot Foundation called upon Australians to unite in support of the more than 5 million Australian adults who have experienced complex trauma. This form of trauma is often silent, and hidden, but its impacts are far-reaching. It includes repeated ongoing interpersonal trauma, encompassing abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation. Complex trauma can be experienced at any stage of life, leaving survivors facing significant challenges such as low self-esteem, difficulties in relationships, education, employment, and mental and physical health.

The response by our community across social media was incredible. By sharing our message of hope, and showing your support by wearing a blue knot, we have been able to reach even more people with our mission, helping to shed light on the journey of survivors and providing them with the understanding and compassion they need.

Your support is invaluable, and your commitment to raising awareness and being part of our trauma-informed community is making a profound difference in the lives of survivors of complex trauma. Together, we can create a more compassionate and understanding world.

Thank you once again for your unwavering support, and we look forward to continuing this journey with you as we continue to spread the message of hope and healing.

If you would like to access the resources from Blue Knot Day such as fact sheets to share with your community, please go to the Blue Knot Day webpage

Reflections on the 5th Anniversary of the National Apology to Child Sex Abuse Survivors


Sunday 22 October 2023 marked the fifth anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

The National Apology was delivered by the then Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison. It followed a five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – a watershed time for this country.

We watched as more than 17,000 victims and survivors came forward with countless others impacted but who were unable or chose not to speak. Nearly 8,000 victims and survivors told their stories in private sessions with a Commissioner. For many, it was the first time they had recounted it and a unique experience to be listened to, heard and believed.

The apology that followed honoured those whose childhood had been decimated, those who didn’t make it and those who struggle every day with the impacts of their abuses and violations. It is contingent upon us to continue to honour every single victim of child sexual abuse, whether within an institution or within the family and home. But of course, sexual abuse is certainly not the only abuse and it is critical to acknowledge and offer support to every single person experiencing the impacts of all abuses, neglect, violence and exploitation. There is no hierarchy of trauma and although apologies play a part a lot more needs to be done to ensure all people who have been harmed have opportunities for healing and recovery.

National Centre’s first Annual Report highlights victim and survivor voices at its heart

The National Centre announced the release of its inaugural Annual Report 2023.

Founded in late 2021, as a key recommendation from the 2017 Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, the National Centre is a partnership between three respected organisations with strong histories of leadership in responding to child sexual abuse – Australian Childhood Foundation, Blue Knot Foundation and the Healing Foundation.

Since establishment, the National Centre has focused its efforts on setting a strong foundation to deliver on its vision to create a community where children are safe, and victims and survivors are supported to heal and recover, free from stigma and shame – a future without child sexual abuse.

Over the past year, achievements and highlights at the National Centre include:

  • Building a robust and comprehensive governance structure that draws in expertise across the sectors and across the country
  • Establishing the Survivor-led and First Nations Colleges to guide and inform the direction and work at all levels
  • Finalising and publishing Here for Change – Our Five-Year Strategy
  • Commissioning $2.99M in research grants to build the evidence base on the subject of child sexual abuse and its responses across Australia
  • Creating a strong visual brand identity using co-design and human-centred design principles
  • Launching the “In Conversation” webinar series to explore critical issues related to child sexual abuse, prompt public awareness and action.

Read more here

Your Reference Ain't Relevant

your reference aint relevant

In May, Harrison James and fellow survivor-advocate Jarad Grice launched Your Reference Ain’t Relevant, a campaign aiming to prevent child sexual abuse perpetrators from receiving “soft and inadequate sentences based on [the use of] irrelevant character references”.

The campaign has made swift, “signifcant progress” in NSW, and Harrison and Grice have now set their focus on the nation’s capital.

“Jarad and I have always seen [NSW] as the first step toward creating a nationwide standard for the rights of survivors,” Harrison told

“Our goal wasn’t ever just to bring about change in NSW – it was to set a precedent that will resonate across all jurisdictions. We want survivors in every corner of Australia to have access to the same rights and protections.”

Read more about their story, and the remarkable progress they’ve made so far to create “a legal system that prioritises the safety and wellbeing of survivors over the reputation of perpetrators”:

Read more here