July 05, 2014



Thanks very much to Leonie and everyone at CLAN for having me here today.

It really is an honour to share this very important occasion with you.

My good friend and CLAN supporter Julia Gillard is sorry that she was unable to join me here today, but she has sent a message of support that I will read shortly.

But before I do, if I could just take a few minutes to congratulate you for the incredibly important work you are doing, and then of course I’d like to pay tribute to Joanna, as we present her with a lifetime CLAN membership.

As you all know, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse just last week handed down its Interim Report. And it is fantastic that Justice Peter McClellan will be talking to you today.

CLAN knows better than anyone the harrowing nature of the work the Commission is undertaking; I want to thank you all for continuing that work, in your tireless pursuit of justice.

It is my very great privilege to present Joanna with her lifetime CLAN membership today.

Joanna, you are a woman of remarkable intelligence, compassion and fearlessness. Some years ago you were awarded an Order of Australia Medal – a very worthy recipient of our nation’s honours system.

But I have a feeling, this award will mean just as much.

You have taken on some remarkable roles in your life. A documentary television researcher, writer and interviewer, an author, and PhD.

And, not least, co-founder of CLAN, along with our good friend Leonie.

One fateful day, Leonie responded to an ad Joanna had placed in a newspaper. And Australia is a better place because of the meeting of these two beautiful minds, driven by a shared purpose. 

Joanna, we are all inspired by your dedication to providing information and advice to every single person who comes to CLAN for help, knowing that many of these people have nowhere else to go.

It is my great privilege to present you with your CLAN lifetime membership today. My heartfelt congratulations to you.

I will now read a short message from former Prime Minister and CLAN friend Julia Gillard.