Podcast Show Notes

Mike Ledingham talks about the topic of redress. Having experienced redress at the hands of the NZ Catholic Church, Mike talks about his hope for the Royal Commission tackling the issue of redress and ultimately seeing the Catholic Church truly “own” the damage they have caused.

Mike and his younger brother, Chris, gave testimony at a Private Session in May 2020 before Royal Commissioner, Sandra Alofivae.

Private Sessions are one way victim/survivors can report to the Royal Commission and here is a guide to that process:

Mike and his brother also became part of the “Loud Fence” initiative at the June 1, 2019 launch of their book, The Catholic Boys

This involved tying coloured ribbons to the iron railings of the fence adjacent to the church, an initiative begun in Ballarat, Australia. The ribbons represent support and solidarity with victims and survivors of sexual assault by officials of the Catholic Church and all survivors of faith-based abuse and state abuse.

Astonishingly, these ribbons were repeatedly slashed down causing outrage.–again

On November 8th 2020, the opposite outcome was achieved at St Patrick’s Cathedral in central Auckland, when the Māori Dean. Father Pa Tipene, dressed in a traditional Māori cloak (korowai), greeted Mike with a traditional hongi (nose to nose touching) and helped tie on the ribbons, some of which came for another Network member, Grant West from Ballarat, These ribbons still remain there and have grown in number

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Were you a victim of Father Frank Greene or have you suffered abuse similar to what Mike and his brothers endured? Have you entered into a redress process with a faith based institution can come away feeling retraumatised and abused again?

The Royal Commission would like to year your account of redress at the hands of faith based institutions so that they can fully understand the issues that survivors experience. Your account can help the commission direct its investigations and cover the key topics in the public hearing. You can register with the commission for a private hearing by visiting their contact page here.

If you feel that you need to talk to someone that has been through the reporting process then we may be able to help. Members of our Network have lived experience in reporting to the commission and by sharing their experiences and knowledge they can make the road a little easier to navigate. Contact us in confidence.

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About The Guest

Mike Ledingham

Mike Ledingham

Mike Ledingham and his brothers, Chris and Gerard, are survivors of the sexual predator, Father Frank Green, when he was diocesan priest at Our Lady of The Assumption, Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand in the 1950s.

Mike went on to a career in the New Zealand military being a member of the elite SAS.

He and his brothers published an account of this horror, The Catholic Boys (2019)

and this book was launched on the steps of the same church on June 1 2019

Mike, an important member of The Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions and Their Supporters was the first faith-based person to give public testimony at the New Zealand Royal Commission’s Abuse in Care first Contextual Hearing on November 8, 2020 and his stunning testimony can be viewed here:

Mike continues to advocate fearlessly for justice and redress and demands the Catholic Church accept responsibility for the holocaust of souls it caused and continues to conceal.

About The Host

Liz Tonks

Liz has a post graduate diploma in social work and professional background in social work practice, social policy, social work training and advocacy. She has held various positions working for churches, hospitals, and statutory social services, working with families, children and those with mental health and addiction illness, before moving into social work training roles and then social policy.

Liz has been a long time advocate for the rights of children and chaired the Law and Children’s Rights Committee that advised on the Children’s Bill of Rights. She has been a member of various groups working to achieve social work training and practice standards, and, change in social services and policy with particular interest in social impact assessment of planning policies, projects and legislation.

Approached by victims of child abuse Liz had supported in the past, she agreed to support their involvement with the Royal Commission into abuse. A founding member of the ‘Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions and their Supporters’, Liz advocates on their behalf as a spokesperson of the Network. She describes her role as one of advocacy and support for Survivors of abuse as children who need assistance to safely navigate the agencies and processes required to report and access the supports (social, legal and financial) they need.