COURAGE, RESPECT AND A STEP TOWARD FREEDOM
It's never too late to come out of the shadows to report a historical sexual assault.
I'm deeply indebted to the professionalism of Ballarat police, initially Josh then detective senior constable Sheree Boyle of the Ballarat Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT)
Thank you for listening deeply under very challenging circumstances, for always treating me with respect, validating my experience and restoring my sense of dignity when you said my response to what happened was 'normal'.
Silence, shame and withdrawing completely from society perpetuates the trauma response. So does anonymity. It's time to speak up after nine years and put and end to all this and begin a freer, happier future.
I am deeply grateful. Thank you Josh and Sheree.
Janet McCosh, Lake Wendouree
NB: An earlier version of this story carried an incorrect spelling of Ms McCosh's name. The Courierapologises for the error.
HIGH STANDARD OF CARE
I am 32, and two years into a diagnosis of stage IV bowel cancer. It's uncommon for this cancer to show up in someone of my age. What is even more uncommon is the quality of care I have received from the nurses at the Ballarat Day Procedure Centre.
Every two weeks I get chemo, and every two weeks I leave knowing I've had the best possible care.
My oncology nurses are the lowest paid in the Ballarat region.
This is in no way a reflection of the quality and value of their work.
I fully support their industrial action to bring their entitlements in line with those of their Ballarat Health Services and St John of God colleagues, and hope they soon receive the level of respect and remuneration they deserve.
Jess Crowe, Lucas
ACTION OR EMPTY PLATITUDES?
Foreign Minister Marise Payne has visited Kabul to "affirm Australia's support for the people of Afghanistan and express our deepest condolences for the cowardly terrorist attack on teenage girls in school".
Does the minister really think that attacks on the Hazra minority are something new in Afghanistan? Will her government now release all the Hazara refugees who have fled such terrorism in their country and have been imprisoned in Australia for up to eight years? Failure to release these innocent people would, in the face of the Minister's avowed sympathy and support, make nonsense of her words and smack of hypocrisy.
Maureen Riches, Ballarat Rural Australians for Refugees
HELP IS AVAILABLE
I write in support of Lynne Redman (The Courier, May 15) on her comments made regarding the article on Walk off the War Within (The Courier, May 8) that the Ballarat Veterans' Assistance Centre is the only Ex -Service Organisation (ESO) that did not require to be a member to receive assistance. Ballarat Vietnam Veterans have for 40 years provided assistance to any veteran that needs assistance, membership or not. There are any number of ESOs that provide assistance including Ballarat RSL to any who ask. Despite the assertions, Ballarat Veterans' Assistance Centre is not listed as a recognised ESO by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Gordon Hunt, secretary, Vietnam Veterans' Association, Ballarat sub-branch