Child abuse survivors speak of trauma in Heal For Life ads

The Conscience Organisation has developed a new campaign for the Heal For Life Foundation which has launched to coincide with Mental Health Week this week.  

The activity includes TV and press ads and aims to highlight the link between mental illness and childhood trauma and the work the foundation does for victims of child abuse.

Media outlets were called upon to run the ads as Community Service Announcements as the cause receives no ongoing government funding.

Clive Burcham, founder and CEO of The Conscience Organisation said the stories of the victims are ones that need to be told.

“Our ambition is to tell more of them to empower Heal for Life and the work that they do to empower survivors. The TCO team spends a lot of their time working on ‘conscience’ projects outside of our brand client work. It’s rewarding. I want to thank Kylie Rogers at Network Ten and Tim Worner at Seven for their support,” he said.

The agency has donated the costs of creating the campaign to the foundation.


  • Client: Heal for Life Foundation
  • Creative Agency: The Conscience Organisation
  • Creative Director: Clive Burcham
  • Account Director: Cate Stewart & Fei Wang
  • Production –
  • Director: Toby Morris
  • Producer: Cara Geraghty & Kevin Lim
  • Director Of Photography: Chris Meier
  • Sound: Bronson Wilson
  • Production Company: The Conscience Organisation
  • Post Production: The Conscience Organisation
  • Photographer (stills): Chris Meier


  1. Ben
    11 Oct 11
    12:52 pm

  2. Seriously. That headline. Don’t you mean victim rather than survivor.

  3. Worried
    11 Oct 11
    1:49 pm

  4. Cured in a week??

  5. Anonymous
    11 Oct 11
    2:17 pm

  6. She’s not a victom, she is a survivor Ben

  7. bob
    11 Oct 11
    2:17 pm

  8. “You can heal from child abuse and trauma in our five day program”

    don’t they mean “You can start the healing process with our five day program”?

    Other than the Foundation’s credibility being undermined by clumsy copywriting, this is noble work. It’s a pity it was pitched to Mumbrella as a story though. Good works should be discovered rather than spruiked.

    And rather than saying donated the costs of making the campaign to the foundation doesn’t it make more sense (and appear less self-serving) to simply say TCO did it pro-bono? it’s what all other professions do.

  9. Gezza
    11 Oct 11
    2:37 pm

  10. Well done to those involved. It seems, to this observer, right on so many levels.

  11. not a cult fan
    11 Oct 11
    3:15 pm

  12. Does the foundation have no government funding because its considered a cult?
    The wikipedia page on Liz Mullinar is pretty full on…

  13. Gezza
    11 Oct 11
    3:30 pm

  14. I think that deserves a response re cult comment.

  15. Sam
    12 Oct 11
    7:58 pm

  16. Wow if that wikepedia page is even half true, then it does seem to be a scary cult and spruiking largely discredited theories


    “promoting beliefs in recovered memories and the practice of satanic ritual abuse within the community.”

    “Psychologists acknowledge that a definite conclusion that a memory is based on objective reality is not possible unless there is incontrovertible corroborating evidence.”

    Canadian Psychological Association, Position Statement on Adult Recovered Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse, 1996.

  17. Sam
    12 Oct 11
    8:09 pm

  18. From the website it appears to be a homophobic Christian organisation as it doesn’t include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination statement

    “To assist survivors without discrimination by age, gender, physical ability, spiritual beliefs or cultural background.”

    – recovered memories have been totally discredited but the hysteria associated with them led to a spate of child abuse and satanic rituals at pre-schools in America in the 80’s leading to the McMartin preschool trial which was the longest criminal trial in American history and had no convictions

    “The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case of the 1980s.

    Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care.

    Accusations were made in 1983.

    Arrests and the pretrial investigation ran from 1984 to 1987, and the trial ran from 1987 to 1990.

    After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990.

    When the trial ended in 1990 it had been the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history.

    The case was part of day care sex abuse hysteria, a moral panic over satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.

  19. kate
    16 Oct 11
    10:50 pm

  20. As someone who has been and worked out there can i just say to all these people, that it is certainly not a cult. it is also not religious unless you chose to go to a specialised christian healing week. It is also the farthest thing from a homophobic place. if you have no idea what you are saying besides speculation, then it may be best to not say anything. You people have just upset some extremely hard working and generous survivors.

  21. Betty
    18 Oct 11
    1:28 am

  22. Sexual orientation is not listed as one of the ground they won’t discriminate on so one can only take them at their word and assume that they will discriminate about it.

    If they are genuine survivors (and not repressed memory so-called ‘victims’) then its sad they were upset, but if they are going to truly recover, they will have to learn to cope with outside opinion.

    And recovered/repressed memories have rather comprehensively been discredited as Sam noted above.

    Anyone who is a genuine sexual abuse sufferer has my complete sympathies.

  23. a_survivor
    21 Oct 11
    11:42 pm

  24. Hi. I’m a survivor, not associated with Heal for Life. The judgmental tone of some of these posts makes me really anxious. I’m just starting to get the confidence to speak the truth to my psychologist about my relationship with my father, and for the sake of myself and others like me, please think twice about what you post on this topic. It is an incredibly frightening and confusing situation to be in. Please don’t make it any harder.

    That said, I’m confused about the suggestion that you could overcome the effects of a lifetime of abuse in one week. I’m 31 and I have only just started to feel like I am making real progress in dealing with the trauma that I suffered throughout my childhood and teenage years and occasionally in my 20’s. I need time to process things. I can’t force it. It has to be done at my pace. I have no doubt about my father’s behaviour because he still tries to do it occasionally. The only solution I have at the moment is not to see him. Comments like the ones on this board make me very nervous about reporting him to the police because I fear that I won’t be believed.

    I can’t find any reference to Heal for Life on any of the CASA websites. I think I will ask my psychologist what his thoughts are. Whenever I see anything that confuses me like this, I ask qualified and respected authorities what their thoughts are, I consider the motivations of the different parties, and I exercise reason. I appeal to others to do the same and exercise some restraint in their comments in the meantime. If this group is preying on vulnerable people and causing harm, even if they are doing it with good intentions, then the authorities should be compelled to intervene. If not, then they should be commended. It may be case of a little bit of both.

  25. a_survivor
    21 Oct 11
    11:48 pm

  26. PS – I was a victim. Not anymore. I’m a survivor. It is an important distinction in my mind. It means I can start to make choices and take control of my life.

  27. Bob
    22 Oct 11
    6:39 pm

  28. Hi a_survivor

    What happened to you was wrong . I too am a survivor from too many men to mention.

    Whether you should go to the police is up to you. Don’t let a counselor or psych make the decision for you. They are good to help weigh the pro’s and cons, but remember its your life, not theirs.

    Given the seriousness of the allegations, once you go to the police and get to court (assuming you do) the other side will fight back pretty hard generally (even if they are guilty and even more so if not guilty) and you will be the prosecutions chief weapon as they have to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt and as such will be cross-examined very hard.

    Going to court is never easy, but it can be incredibly helpful to a abuse survivor to take action against their abuser.

    Every situation is different, but whatever you decide I wish you the best. :)

  29. another_survivor
    7 Nov 11
    11:00 am

  30. As a same-sex attracted volunteer carer at Heal for Life, I can assure you it is not a homophobic organisation. Thank you kindly for bringing it to my attention, and I shall pass on the information so that it can be corrected :)

    In regards to the other material and referencing here to wikipedia articles (reliable information you have there… :P) – ask for yourself. Call the organisation. Visit. Speak to us when you see us in the community, or speak to someone who has been there. I don’t know of any program, anywhere, which is helpful to everyone – but I DO know, through volunteering there, how many people have experienced hope, friendship, understanding, love and acceptance, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

    I attended the wonderful young women’s program at Eva House (3 weeks). It was the first place I felt believed and not judged, and noone tried to ‘fix’ me. I was empowered through being listened to; through workshops which educated me on the effects of trauma on the brain; through the wonderful carers and facilitator who gave me the space and support to learn life skills – like how to cook, speak up, set boundaries, understand my traumas and how they affected my relationships and social functioning. I felt so strongly about this beautiful, safe and empowering space that I trained to come back as a carer, to help other young women have this opportunity too.

    Today, I am almost finished a university degree in psychology/counselling. I’ve come such a long way from the child and adolescent that made multiple suicide attempts, was in and out of the mental health system since she was 11, and could not function in any sort of relationship. Today, I know I have option and choice, and my choice for today is I want to live.

    THANK YOU to Eva House and HFL – for its carers and facilitators – for showing me that life is possible, no matter what has happened.