Lake Alice public hearing: 18 June witness list and evidence summaries
The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit public hearing continues today in Auckland.
Witness evidence summaries are outlined below. Please note the earlier than usual start time.
After a witness speaks, their full evidence along with footage of them speaking, will be available for download.
The hearing is being live-streamed on the Abuse in Care website.
Hearing location: Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023.
Sharyn Collis, survivor witness
Sharyn Collis is a 62-year-old woman of European descent. She attended Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit between 1973 and 1974 where she experienced sexual and psychological abuse as well as seclusion and electroconvulsive therapy. She will give evidence about the circumstances which led to her admission to Lake Alice, impacts on her children and relationships and her experience of the redress process with Grant Cameron.
Amy Bethune, daughter of Sharyn Collis
Amy Bethune is a 38-year-old woman of European and Māori descent. Her mother, Sharyn Collis, was admitted to Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit between 1973 and 1974. Ms Bethune will give evidence regarding her experience of the intergenerational impacts of her mother’s abuse in care, describing how it affected her schooling and health, and influenced the relationships she has with her mother and own children.
Malcolm Richards, survivor witness
Malcolm Richards is a 61-year-old male who was admitted to the Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit at age 15. Prior to his admission to Lake Alice, Mr FF suffered violence at home and had been sexually abused by a teacher at his primary school. Once at Lake Alice, Mr FF received electroconvulsive therapy on his head, body and genitals. He was a part of the Grant Cameron redress process in 2001 and has requested the Government hold an inquiry into Lake Alice. Mr FF gives evidence about the events leading up to his admission and the impacts on his later life such as being unable to work, and having memory and health difficulties.
Mr JJ, survivor witness
Mr JJ is a 62-year-old male of Irish and Māori descent. He is a survivor of the Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit and Cherry Farm Hospital. Around 12 years of age, Mr JJ was admitted to Cherry Farm Hospital where he suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuse as well as electroconvulsive therapy. Mr JJ was then sent to Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit where he was first put in a ward with adult psychiatric patients. He was then later kept in seclusion, sexually assaulted and given electroconvulsive therapy. Mr JJ will give evidence about how his experience at Lake Alice affected his relationships, employment prospects and educational opportunities.
Deborah Dickson, survivor witness
Deborah Dickson is a 51-year-old survivor of Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit. She gives evidence about how a childhood illness led to her admission at Lake Alice at nine years of age. She describes the conditions in the unit, where she would be made to mix with adult psychiatric patients and was sexually abused. She explains the impact Lake Alice has had on her life including the relationships she has with her children and grandchildren, the stigma she has felt, and how it has impacted her relationships and trust in others.
Media enquiries: 027 298 2094; firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Abuse in Care Inquiry
The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is investigating the abuse and neglect that happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in care from 1950 and 1999.