'My father saved my life': Tributes flow for child sex abuse victims' advocate Anthony Foster

  • Melissa Cunningham

Thousands paid tribute to child sex abuse campaigner Anthony Foster on Wednesday.Thousands paid tribute to child sex abuse campaigner Anthony Foster on Wednesday. Photo: Justin McManus

It was the formidable force of a father's love that spurred Anthony Foster to become a high-profile advocate for child sex abuse victims.

Mr Foster and his wife Chrissie dedicated two decades to seeking justice for sexual abuse victims within the Catholic Church.

Hundreds of people packed into the Melbourne Recital Centre to farewell Mr Foster at a state funeral on Wednesday.

The Fosters became advocates and role models for other families grappling with the turmoil of child sexual abuse and trauma from an inadequate response by the Catholic Church.

Two of the Fosters' daughters, Emma and Katie, were repeatedly raped by disgraced Melbourne priest Kevin O'Donnell while pupils at a primary school in Melbourne's Oakleigh parish.

Mr Foster challenged Cardinal George Pell on many occasions, travelling to Rome in February 2016 to hear Pell give evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Daughter Aimee paid tribute to her dad, saying Mr Foster showed extraordinary courage and grace.

"When he saw those tortured souls we all recognise on the edge of society, in various states of self destruction, I don't doubt he saw his precious babies."

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/my-father-saved-my-life-tributes-flow-for-child-sex-abuse-victims-advocate-anthony-foster-20170606-gwm0dw.html

Anthony Foster's death is a national loss

Joanne McCarthy  28 May 2017


'Goodbye, brave man': Anthony Foster was a fierce advocate, and a friend

By Paul Kennedy  30 May 2017


Many Waks' tribute

The Fosters led the way in demonstrating how effective advocacy should be undertaken. Some things can’t be taught. It’s simply a reflection of who you are as a person. In our community it’s referred to as being a mentch, a decent person. The Fosters defined what being a mentch is. And it is mainly because of this that they were so successful.
The other main reason for the Fosters’ advocacy successes is because their pain was visceral – it came from a place most have never been. Losing two daughters in such brutal circumstances at the hands of one of the most powerful global institutions, the Catholic Church – and then being bullied by the Church while in pursuit of justice and reform – would prevent most people from functioning.
Not only did Anthony and Chrissie continue to function, the impact that they’ve had in Australia (and beyond) has been revolutionary. They have, together with others, ensured a cultural shift in the way our society now addresses the issue of child sexual abuse. Indeed, many of the recent positive developments – culminating in the ground-breaking Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – may be attributed to some of the tireless work the Fosters have undertaken over many years at great personal cost.

More: http://www.mannywaks.com/blog/anthony-foster-tribute

Our Tribute posted in The Last Post 

Lookout, Healesville.

June 4th, 2017 

We are inspired, Chrissie, by you and Anthony. When others would have hidden or turned their face away, you have faced the world with a quiet determined demand that church people own up to what they've done. In the Victorian Inquiry and Royal Commission you have been there with courage and support for victims abused as trusting children. Anthony is taken too soon, but we will not shrink back. We will continue to confront the evil, for healing, with compassion, in truth and love.

Anthony, you're gone, mate. I am heart-broken. You leave behind you a heap of priceless lessons on how to deal with adversity, a heartless church, and grief. I am the richer for having met you, mate. Cheers. Ian Lawther