MELISSA Davey's job is to help victims of abuse in the Catholic Church system tell their story and begin the healing process.

The pastoral response co-ordinator for the Rockhampton Diocese yesterday spoke about the immense courage displayed by victims of abuse to come forward.

She said it was vital these people knew there was support for them.

"This role gives that opportunity for people to start the process of healing, ongoing healing and reconciliation," she said.

Catholic Bishop Michael McCarthy, who has been in the top role for just over a year, said the church had taken steps to ensure the church's dark history of sexual abuse was never repeated.

He appointed Ms Davey to the position in September last year before the Royal Commission held a public hearing, in April, into child sex abuse in Rockhampton.

The hearing heard Neerkol Orphanage victims share their horror stories from more than three decades of abuse at the hands of priests and sisters.

The evidence revealed there may encourage more victims to come forward and they can do so through Ms Davey.

"I've had general phone calls at this stage; it's vital that people know someone is there to listen to their needs," she said.

Bishop McCarthy was at the courthouse to hear the allegations of abuse at the orphanage first came to light in the 1990s.

"I was in the courthouse listening to each of the survivors, I listened with a very heavy heart about their hurt," Bishop McCarthy said.

"Since I've been here I've reviewed our policies and procedures and the way we go about child safety and safety of vulnerable adults.

"Ms Davey is now the person who answers the phone and assists anyone making an allegation and sees it through to the end; past allegations and current allegations, and anyone who wishes to speak with her."


Melissa Davey is the pastoral response co-ordinator

Ms Davey will respond to anyone who has allegations and complaints of abuse against church personnel

Contact her on 1800 830 113

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