Alison Quigley

Who Are We?

The Owls aims to keep the Australian government honest and accountable in the realm of child sex abuse.

We are specifically interested in keeping watch on the progress of recommendations made in 2017 by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The government invested $380 million into the Commission and it made 409 recommendations for change, across state, federal and territory governments.

That’s a lot of recommendations. Some changes were more important than others.

Four years have passed since the recommendations were made.

How many have been enacted? What kind of recommendations are still languishing? Why can’t they get up?

These are the question the Owls want answered. But finding the answers is a challenge.

With respect to the Federal Government, the Commission directed it to make 206 changes.  To date, 122 recommendations have stalled. Annual reports indicate which ones are languishing, but there’s little information on why they’re not progressing.

State annual reports also raise issues. In 2018 the Queensland government agreed, in-principle, to make 274 changes. Four years later only 138 are complete, representing half of its quota.

To make matters more challenging, Queensland’s latest annual report was lodged in December 2019, fifteen months ago. A new annual report, due five months ago, still has not been tabled. The Owls note that previous annual reports don’t make it clear which specific recommendations have been acted upon. This makes it impossible for Queenslanders to know which specific laws and policies have stalled.

The Owls of Justice want reporting integrity and accountability as part of a more transparent future.

Survivors deserve to see action.

Money donated to the Owls goes to employing legal researchers to find out:

  • which recommendations still need to get up
  • which are most important
  • why there are delays
  • lobbying for change

The Owls was incorporated in March 2021.  As a new organisation, we’re interested in spreading the word. If you’d like to join our cause or donate, please use our Contact portal.

Come see why our management team joined the Owls.

And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter, free to subscribe, and a real hoot! Just click here:

Welcome to our 2021 management team…

Treasurer

Lyn Frencham

Lyn is a dynamic operator in the non-profit sector and comes to this role with a wealth of experience in financial management systems and committee management team experience. Read more about Lyn below.

President

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Alison Quigley

Alison has three years’ experience on the management team of a charitable creative writing organisation and the same for a gymnastics club, the first in Australia to cater for special needs children. To learn more, scroll down.

Secretary

Claire Smith

Claire brings a wealth of experience and skills to this management role, including grant-writing, mentoring and working in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. For more on Claire, see below.

Lyn Frenchham

I have a financial background along with highly-developed skills in administration and commercial property management. Whilst I was living on the Sunshine Coast, I was actively involved in many community roles for the Maleny and Mooloolaba chapters, including chairperson, secretary and treasurer. I have also managed the finances for Rotary’s Maleny Show Food Stall, Walk for Mental Health, Masked Ball at Bli Bli castle for Dumanis Orphanage in Sth Africa, and the Maroochydore Inaugural Book Sale.

Whilst a club member I have also mentored through the Rotary International/Shell Livewire Program for young adults. I have previously had my own businesses including Self Employed BAS agent.

 

There needs to be action not just words. The government has all these commissions but how much gets done? Plus I know multiple victims. They can’t keep sweeping sexual abuse under the carpet.

Lyn Frencham

Alison Quigley

My background is with journalism, but I’ve also sailed the world, worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language, secured degrees in arts and law, as well as a Masters in Creative Writing. I set up Australia’s first gymnastics club catering solely for kids with special needs, and for several years worked as secretary of the Sunshine Coast Literary Association, a charity helping writers with resources and skills development. I am looking forward to bringing my legal research skills, my love of team work and my yen for social justice to this role. Here is why I’ve become an Owl.

 

In 2016 I took my story to police and they began investigating the offending of my perpetrator, a former gymnastics coach. Unbeknownst to me, the timing was fortuitous. Only months before, the Royal Commission had lobbied for significant changes to the laws of evidence to assist more survivors to secure justice. Owing to these new rules, and the diligent work of police and prosecutions, I received my day in court and the offender was imprisoned. Securing justice changed my life. Now I am passionate about bringing the rest of those Commission recommendations forward so our nation’s precious legal legacy isn’t lost. Change doesn’t happen on its own; the law makers need to know we are watching and we are prepared to act. Let’s keep lobbying for those changes so our next generation enjoys a safer future.

Alison Quigley

Claire Smith

My career path has taken many fascinating turns, but to all my roles I’ve brought an unflinching sense of enthusiasm, intelligence and humour. Starting out as a musician, I became a newspaper owner and editor, before migrating to Australia and working in the field of research and development. From 2016 I’ve been the managing director of Forbes Meisner, which offers bespoke R&D Tax Incentive Administration along with project development and management services to clients across Australia. More recently I’ve also served as business mentor at the Innovation Centre on the Sunshine Coast and joined the board of Interchange, an organisation that empowers and supports local businesses focussed on generating positive social impact. My passion for protecting Australia’s wildlife led me to found the Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast Inc. Don’t be surprised if you call me while I’m out rescuing a kangaroo or possum. My motto is that talk changes nothing. Getting active will.

 

My reason for joining the Owls for Justice is simple; without a Watchdog to keep governing bodies accountable, transparent and honest, sexual abuse will keep finding a home under the carpet where it has been swept for too many years. It’s time to shine the spotlight right into the darkest corners so that perpetrators, and those who cover-up abuse, have no-where to hide. It’s also time to construct a National framework to support, protect and empower victims to come forward, and tell their stories without fear. That’s why I’m an Owl.

Claire Smith