CLIENT: WEST ST CENTRE, WOLLONGONG
BRIEF: The NSW State Government decided to close the West Street Centre in Wollongong.
The Centre provides counselling for child sexual assault and organises self-help groups for survivors of child sexual assault.
My response to the centre being closed was to volunteer my photographic services to the centre.
Before any photography took place, I photographed the poet Peter Skryznecki and when I met with him amongst other things we talked about the centre. Peter has written a novel called Boys of Summer which is based on his own abuse by a priest. From the discussion with Peter came the idea that one reason that people come forward after suffering sexual abuse stems from the notion of self-sacrifice. In order to create a better future for their children by breaking the cycle, people speak out notwithstanding the personal repercussions such as the disintegration of the relationship with their parents/siblings/extended families. So I thought images with the maximum impact are the abused with their own children in the light as it were. This would take courage but I thought such images could have an impact unlike images of haunted survivors that have been seen before.