Name: Shannon La-vey
Pursuit: To expose those that abuse and harm children and youth.
I have just completed a Masters in Human rights law, at Monash. In 2013 I look set to embarked on a second Masters in Social work and rmit.
There is a possibility if I receive a Distinction for my last unit of law which is still pending that I may change my studies and undertake a Phd in human services/law.
I have had a fairly traumatic childhood and still face much opposition from those from my past abuse. I am determined to ensure that other young people who are trapped in destructive and manipulative groups are helped to escape and find the support they need to reach their full potentials. I also hope to bring change to laws and policies that effect children being raised in manipulative and controlling groups. I believe such groups that often have tax free exemptions to operate and practice are exposed and those responsible are prosecuted.
I believe that with the support from Layne, Megan and Aim for the Stars I will be better equipped to study with the software and equipment I will purchase with the grant. Without such technology and due to my disabilities which resulted from childhood torture, studying effectively and completing the large assignments and coarse work would be unmanageable.
When did you start?
In all honesty I believe I starred my pursuit to expose the torture and trauma children in cults in Australia are experiences when I was in my early childhood. Although, not really having the maturity and life experience to know how I was going to achieve this I always felt that what the cult was doing to young children, myself included was wrong. I always felt that burning passion to help other children to be free of the pain and torture. As a young child I lacked the strength and power to fight in the physical but I would not willingly hurt others as those in the cult expected me to do as I got older. I hated everything this group stood for, I would refuse with all my might and they would literally have to force me to obey them when it involved abusing another person. As a result I was tortured for disobedience and had no fight left in me. I believe from the age of 9 years old when I first tried to escaped is when I truely began to make it my life's passion to see people like those who raised me were punished and exposed for the degrading, selfless, cruelly and inhuman practices and games they inflicted on their children.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
The first was finally escaping this cults control over me at the age of 9 years. Next came passing secondary school with very limited prior schooling . Third was completing a BA in youth work and then a Masters in Human rights law. Fourth and best of all was being picked for the second time in a row for a grant from Aim for the stars. Not many people have believed in me, they see a scared, rough external appearance, street wise youth and presume I am trouble, but not aim for the stars , they were prepared to looked passed the external appearances and see a young woman on a mission to expose torture and trauma of children. Thanks for looking past the external and thanks for partnering with me in helping other young people break free too.
What is your dream?
My dream is to expose those that prey on children, and disengaged youth who for whatever reason have slipped through the gaps in the system that is supposed to protect, nurture and care for those without adequate support. In doing this I hope to be able to effect change both in community attitude but also in government. To raise awareness of how destructive such groups are on the developing psyche of children and adolescents. I hope to also one day develop policies and programs to help the recovery of those who have escaped from destructive groups so they can regain a normal life free from fear.
Who or what have inspired you?
My foster dad, now carer who has never given up on me. He. Has stood by me and supported me when the system failed me. And risked his own life in doing so.
Who's your hero?
My foster dad and Aim for the Stars
Any other special talents?
I am teaching myself how to play the drums. I'm also an average basket ball player and runner.
Rap, Christian rap.
Once we were Warriors
The convention on the rights of the child, not a book but worthy of a read.
Favourite TV Show?
Law and order
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
The money will assist with software technology and motor vehicle adjustments that will enabled me to get to university and be able to manage the coarse and assignment aspects with less pain and discomfort, due to physical disabilities. It will also hopefully help with cost of text books which for social science often are in excess of 100.00 each.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
There is no remote control for your life, so get up and change it yourself.