Fr Kevin Dillon
"As far as talking with victims of abuse, I never considered myself a counsellor.
Hopefully I'm a supportive person from within the organisation that offended them so terribly, someone to reach out to.
They often suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress and they'll ring to say hello.
I'm in touch with about 130 victims to date. They don't contact me for money or handouts. What they seek is recognition of the harm done them, and I believe, if that is not given it can turn to bitterness.
With Lifeboat we've been able to harness an enormous amount of good service and good will from Geelong.
Lifeboat's work reaches out to people from all over Australia."
From the "Human in Geelong" , May 2017
Father Dillon, the former St Mary’s Catholic Parish Priest for 16 years was ordained as a priest 46 years ago.
He is the youngest of a family of four and grew up in Melbourne.
After serving in a number of Melbourne Parishes he was posted to Geelong in 2001.
As well as being Parish Priest and leader of the Geelong Parish and Deanery, Father Dillon has been a tremendous leader for the Geelong region. He has been proactive in many areas providing pastoral support to both his parishioners and many in the wider community and has initiated and helped sustain many initiatives for the Geelong community.
Key examples of his initiatives include “Wing & a Prayer” a book/gift shop and information centre set up to provide a Christian presence in central Geelong, “Samaritan House” an accommodation centre for homeless men, and “Anam Cara House” set up in the Parish presbytery as a centre for respite accommodation.
Over the last ten years Father Dillon has come to realise that an important part of his vocation as a priest has been to provide pastoral care to those many people from across Australia (now over 150 in number) whose lives have been tragically damaged by sexual abuse by church-related personnel.
In 2013 he established “Lifeboat Geelong” to provide pastoral support to victims of church related sexual abuse by addressing a number of areas of need, including, but by no means restricted to some financial support for those many victims who are genuinely struggling to make ends meet.
In 2017 Father Dillon transferred to St Simons Parish in Rowville. He has maintained his role with Lifeboat Geelong travelling to Geelong at least once a fortnight to visit and counsel survivors and attend meetings in his role as Chairman of Lifeboat.