On Wednesday, a painful topic will unite a group of people in Warrnambool meeting for the first time.
The Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN), which supports and advocates for people who grew up in orphanages, children’s homes, foster care and other institutions, is holding a social event for members in the region to meet up.
Organisation founder Leonie Sheedy said people with shared experiences of care could relate instantly.
“You don’t have to explain yourself,” she said.
“People who have grown up in an orphanage know exactly what you went through.”
“It’s like Vietnam veterans know what Vietnam veterans went through.”
Mrs Sheedy said some people who had experienced abuse were anxious waiting to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
CLAN was set up in 2000 and has more than 1000 members in Australia and overseas. Call 1800 008 774 to make contact with the group.