FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY: Panel Discussion //

5.30PM TUESDAY 30 MARCH 2021 -

Bringing together a spectrum of voices, this panel will discuss child sexual abuse within religious institutions, the power and protection provided to the perpetrators, and the ongoing trauma for victims, survivors and their families.


5.30PM - 7.00PM TUESDAY 30 MARCH 2021

Drinks and exhibition viewing from 5.30PM. Panel discussion begins at 6.00pm.

The Lock-Up’s exhibition FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY highlights the ongoing abuse of power within institutions, particularly those that are considered to be structures of safety and protection. Featured in this exhibition, is the work of artist Doug Heslop, whose paintings address these power structures within the church through powerful depictions of clerical perpetrators.In response, this panel will discuss the child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church especially in the Hunter region, the power and protection provided to the perpetrators by the Church, and the devastating impacts on survivors, their families and local communities.

Rosemarie Milsom – Director Newcastle Writers Festival

Doug Heslop – artist featured in The Lock-Up’s current exhibition FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY.
Dr Kathleen McPhillips - Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science (Sociology and Anthropology)
Bob O’Toole – Chair of the Clergy Abuse Network (CAN)
Suzanne Smith – journalist and author of The Altar Boys, 2020

FREE EVENT. Tickets can be booked by clicking here.

If this topic raises any concerns for you, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, DV Connect on 1800 811 811, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.


Award-winning journalist Rosemarie Milsom is the founding director of the Newcastle Writers Festival. She has had work published in Vogue Australia, Sydney Morning Herald and Medical Observer and has worked as a member of the ABC emergency broadcast team since 2016.

Working between painting, sculpture, installation and performance art, Doug Heslop has been developing his practice since starting at the National Art School (NAS) in 1998. Heslop holds a Masters of Visual Art from VCA (Melbourne University), a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from Byam Shaw, (Central Saint Martins) London, and studied two years of a Bachelor of Fine Arts at National Art School, Sydney. Doug Heslop is interested in power structures, human psychology and emotional switches. He has exhibited in Australia, the U.K. and France. He now lives and works in Newcastle, NSW.

Dr Kathleen McPhillips is a senior lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science (Sociology and Anthropology) at University of Newcastle. Kathleen is looking into the difficult issue of child sexual abuse in religious organisations in Australia. As a sociologist of religion, gender and mental health, Kathleen has been investigating the impacts of child sexual abuse on survivors as well as the responses from institutions.

Bob O’Toole is a founding member and Chair of the Clergy Abuse Network (CAN). He has been an integral member of CAN, supporting and advocating for survivors of abuse within the Hunter Region.

Suzanne Smith is a six-time Walkley Award- and two-time Logie award-winning journalist. Her 27-year career in journalism includes senior editorial roles at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, including on Foreign Correspondent, Background Briefing, Radio National, ABC News, and Radio Current Affairs. She was the senior investigative reporter and producer at Lateline on ABC TV reporting stories on the cover up of clerical abuse, which helped trigger the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia. Her recently published book The Altar Boys is an explosive expose of widespread and organised clerical abuse of children in Newcastle.

IMAGE: Doug Heslop Heads 2017-18, 12 of a series of 26 oil on canvas. Image by Ben Adams.