Hello and Welcome
This registered charity, with full DGR status, has gone something of a full circle in terms of its name and reflects the maturity and development of this unique charity and the ongoing journey of its founder.
In 2004 Caroline gave life to her vision of a charity dedicated to supporting the educational goals and dreams of children, adolescents and adults whose educational pathways were disrupted or lost as a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.
This vision was personal to Caroline. Her childhood through to young adulthood was marked by poverty, neglect, family violence and systemic and horrific sexual, physical and financial abuse at the hands of her father and other family members. She also experienced childhood sexual abuse by several other perpetrators within a family setting and government institutions.
Caroline had been denied so much and that included access to education.
Upon escaping her abuse with only what she could carry, she was hunted down by her family and perpetrator, enduring physical attacks and threats with firearms.
Caroline became homeless but was eventually supported to contact police, consequently, her father was convicted for sexually abusing her over many years.
Caroline set about rebuilding her life which required learning and unlearning from a history of deprivation, trauma and unspeakable violence. She went to night school. She read voraciously and was accepted into a university as a mature age student. Caroline excelled in her love and passion for learning. She achieved First Class Honours and received a full scholarship to do a PhD that, upon completion, received the highest honour of a national award for excellence, research rigour and innovation.
It was while doing her PhD that Caroline began to quietly mentor other women and men who disclosed to her their backgrounds of childhood violence and deprivation. This mentoring involved ad hoc support with education and learning and buying books where she could to support children and families in difficulty as a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.
As Caroline’s professional work became more widely known she was contacted by many people reaching out for assistance. It was then that she found some very supportive, genuine people to help her make her vision more tangible through the creation of the Caroline Taylor Foundation in 2004.
This foundation focussed on providing educational scholarships known as the Children of Phoenix scholarships. In 2008 the charity achieved full DGR status and Caroline and the founding board decided to call the charity Children of Phoenix Foundation. In that same year, Caroline was appointed a full Professor in her own right and in 2012 she was awarded the honour of Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to children and women and her research in the area of childhood sexual abuse.
In recent years, a number of charities have begun to include the word Phoenix in their title and at times this has caused confusion with our Foundation. Like any journey growth, reflection and change are inevitable and as such, the charity Board was of the view that we needed to reflect on whether we reverted back to our original name, especially given Caroline’s international reputation is recognised and synonymous as an advocate supporting victim/survivors and working to eradicate the global scourge of childhood sexual abuse.
The current Board voted the charity revert to its original name complete with Caroline’s ultimate achievement of becoming a Professor in her own right. From a childhood of poverty, neglect, sustained abuses, intermittent and disrupted access to education across 12 different schools, across various states, we feel the reclaiming of the charity’s original name makes us the living embodiment of the aim and philosophy of our charity.
We have retained something of the Phoenix name. Our scholarship program retains the title Phoenix Scholarship Program to honour and recognise the rebuilding of life from the ashes of trauma to renewed life.
Access to education is a right of access, not a privilege. Education is an asset that can never be taken from you, and education not only enlivens the mind but allows a person to chart a course and captain their destiny to a future built on their aspirations. As research shows, for victims of childhood sexual abuse, access to education and the ability to truly engage in learning is so often disrupted by the deliberate efforts of the offender and/or the resultant trauma of the abuse.
Our foundation works very hard with a small group of dedicated volunteers, many of whom are survivors themselves. We don’t give ‘charity’, we provide a scholarship that enables access to resources for the survivor to rebuild their life through attaining educational goals they set for themselves. This is true self-determination supported with practical assistance and mentoring to enable the courage and hope that already resides within survivors to grow, develop and flourish.
On this note, we are so proud of the educational achievements of the children, adolescents and adults who have received our scholarships.
For privacy and confidentiality reasons, and requests for anonymity, do not allow us to identify many of our recipients however, we can share with you a few proud examples:
- One of our young recipients was supported to complete a law degree and is now practising as a lawyer.
- Another young recipient completed a university degree enabling her to secure her dream goal of working in government.
- An adolescent male was able to undertake study for a trade and is now fully qualified.
- An adult survivor with a serious impairment linked to her abuse successfully completed a TAFE vocational course enabling her to set up her own small business and work from home.
- A young girl struggling at primary school has been given mentoring and scholarships, and has now completed Year 11.
- A survivor who loves animals has been given a scholarship to undertake vocational studies to achieve her goal of becoming a vet nurse.
These are just a few of our foundation’s success stories.
This is a unique charity being the only one of its kind dedicated to supporting education and despite the established relationship link between childhood trauma of sexual abuse and its impact on educational achievement and engagement, we receive no government support for our scholarship program. We rely soley on fundraising efforts and tax deductible donations.
Please take a moment to explore our website and perhaps consider doing a fundraiser to help us, or to make a tax deductible donation that will go towards empowering victim/survivors of CSA to live a life worthwhile and to thrive, not just survive!.
With kindest regards,