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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 30


Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (13:55): I want talk about one of the strongest women I have ever met. Leonie Sheedy is one of seven siblings who were sent to 26 different institutions during their childhood. Leonie's brother Anthony was a victim of horrific abuse while a ward of the state at St Augustine's Orphanage in Geelong. Anthony died in 2011. He never saw justice for the horrific abuse committed by people who should have been responsible for his care. Tragically, many survivors did not live long enough to see justice. Anthony's life and the abuse he suffered underline the importance of the royal commission. That is why Australians like Leonie have fought so hard for so long for justice, for the truth, for redress. I say to all of the survivors: I know that nothing will make up for the trauma and for the crimes committed against you. For decades you were ignored or not believed, for decades you have been waiting for justice, and yesterday's shocking evidence at the royal commission was part of that that long journey toward justice and healing. Labor is committed to ensuring you all get the redress that you deserve, to ensuring we do all in our power to prevent these crimes in the future and to make sure that children are loved and protected.