More than a year after Cardinal George Pell was convicted for child sexual abuse, Joanne McCarthy speaks to whistleblower and former detective chief inspector Peter Fox and journalist and commentator David Marr about the Catholic Church, victims of abuse and those seeking justice for past horrors. Peter’s book Walking Towards Thunder details how he helped trigger the far-reaching royal commission into the sexual abuse of children in institutions. David has written extensively on the Pell case, and cover-ups and corruption in the Church at large. They discuss the resounding effects of the royal commission for victims and whistleblowers and what scope there is for reparation and healing.
David Marr (Australian)
David Marr is a journalist and broadcaster who now writes for Guardian Australia. He’s published a couple of biographies and a number of books about politics, censorship and immigration. Over the last 10 years he has written a number of Quarterly Essays. His latest is The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race. He previously presented Media Watch and appears regularly on Insiders and The Drum. His most recent book is My Country, an anthology of essays.
Peter Fox (Australian)
Former detective chief inspector Peter Fox served for 36 years at the coalface of the NSW Police Force. He rose to national prominence in 2012 when he broke rank to speak about the concealment of child sexual abuse. Four days later, his decision to speak out helped trigger prime minister Julia Gillard's historic decision to establish the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It also spurred a backlash from those uncomfortable with the truth. His memoir Walking Towards Thunder details his unforgettable story.
Joanne McCarthy (Australian)
Joanne McCarthy is an award-winning Newcastle Herald journalist who has written extensively about institutional child sexual abuse, particularly in the Catholic Church in the Hunter region of NSW, for nearly 14 years. She was named the Graham Perkin Award Australian Journalist of the Year in 2012 and was awarded the Gold Walkley in 2013 for her work in the campaign for a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In 2017, Joanne was awarded the inaugural Walkley for public service journalism for her investigations into the pelvic mesh device scandal in Australia and overseas.