angelhands was started partly as a way to publish an honours dissertation and partly out of a recognised need. The dissertation is titled Honouring Survival: Is there a Rule Book? The author Ann O'Neill was awarded the Grace Vaughan Award(link is external) for 2001 for the manner in which her research was seen to be a contribution to social justice and human rights issues. Ann has spent many years in contact with a variety of people who have lost loved ones to homicide. As a result Ann has become acutely aware of how diverse people's needs are and how difficult it is to seek out answers to the many questions that people have. Ann herself has experienced the loss of loved ones, and continues to lose friends, to this unthinkable crime. She went on to study social work, thus the honours dissertation. It is via her journey that she has met and invited others to participate in this project.
Our Rules of Incorporation
The objects of the Association are:
- The provision of case management and/ or assistance to individuals and groups suffering distress, loneliness, misfortune, sickness, and/ or helplessness resulting from extreme trauma including that involving violence, in order to assist the social participation of individuals or families, and improve the status of their health and wellbeing.
- The provision of a community awareness, recognition and education program to help promote clarity, understanding and compassion within the wider community of the complex psychological, social and systematic challenges resulting from extreme trauma including that involving violence.
How We Began
Ann's two childen were taken from her, and survived the simultaneous attempt on her own life. Many people helped and continue to support her. One of these supportive people was Darren, our resident accountant guru, who brought warmth and insight not expected of someone in this role. It was during her time in hospital that Ann first met John. Many years, meals and wines later, and much grieving by both, John helped progress angelhands. John, who knows lots about lots, and seeks out what he doesn't know, introduced David to angelhands, who then came on board to help with the Internet and technical aspects, yet also contributed a much more humane aspect. Then through her work Ann met Judith, who brings a wealth of legal & constitutional knowledge and experience. Carol, who Ann met during her time as Governor of the West Australian Homicide Victims' Support Group, brought her extensive administrative and cooking skills. See our committee profile page for more about us. One must note that the essential criteria for joining were a strong sense of compassion, social justice, human rights and a great sense of humour. So the project grew. Each and every one of us has been touched by grief and loss at some time in our life, and those of us on the committee all have an affinity with the issues of homicide. We each bring a special skill with us in the hope that we can make this site the best possible, and one that will last, grow and be funded in order to stay current.
Who Runs angelhands Now?
angelhands Inc operates under the guidance of a committee of 10 individuals who fill the roles of Director, Deputy Director, Secretary Treasurer, and General Committee members. Additional to the committee we have a Volunteer Coordinator, an Assistant Secretary, an Assistant Treasurer, a Webmaster and a Website Content Manager. Much of angelhands work is the result of the efforts our 15 – 20 dedicated volunteers, who so generously give their time and share their skills. Their efforts both administratively and on our various projects go toward helping us to support people affected by homicide and serious interpersonal violence. Furthermore, angelhands Inc has ongoing partnerships with a number of external organisations, all of which assist us to progress our aims to promote and encourage community awareness and responses conducive to a person’s recovery from trauma and positive experiences of the criminal justice system.