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Witness for the Defence

Filed under: Law & Courts,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 3:31 pm Mon 17th January 2011

After years of facing accusations that she’s an apologist for paedophiles, Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith finally comes to her own defence.

In an exclusive interview with North & South’s Donna Chisholm, the highly respected professor of general practice at the University of Auckland discusses why she continues to be a witness for the defence in child abuse cases.

In this regard, Goodyear-Smith stands alone, ostracised by former colleagues and thrown out of DSAC (Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care) – a group that once made her a life member.

Married to the son of Centrepoint guru Bert Potter who was convicted of child sex charges, she also spent five years as the commune’s GP.

A doctor with a compromised past who’s protecting the predators? Or a champion of the falsely accused? Decide after reading Goodyear-Smith’s story in the February edition of North & South.

Related Pages on MENZ:

Dr Felicity Goodyear-Smith
DSAC (Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care)


  1. I think Felicity has good rapport amid her peers and I say this with the belief she says the same belief as others. Well, they are academics after all.

    I also believe that academics are the strangest beings I have come across i.e let’s husband and wife swap. But then so do car race drivers, sport players, addicts, alcoholics, and the list goes on to all click groups.

    But, Barbara Faithful pointed out something worthwhile to me. Felicity never said in her book that all children would be OK but at the time feminists put up billboards saying, “No children would be OK” for I saw them when I was a child and I thought I would never be OK, she said …they can survive and be normal, that they can get over it.

    I hate this site often but I will agree with her. You don’t have to be a victim – it really is an option. She really is right.

    BTW (by the way), I wasn’t in NZ when there was a commune. I’m telling you there were huge billboards all over Australia at the time telling every girl who could read that they were damaged for life.

    Comment by Julie — Mon 17th January 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  2. As a closet academic I do agree lecturers are passionate people but often about their reasearch or teaching interests. I never swapped wife during my 15 years in academia and my professional observations was that many did not. I do accept I was addicted to work, drank and played some sport with my kids in between experiments. Sadly the only racing I ever did was one entry in the Knox College Hill climb when I was a graduate student.

    I look forward to reading this article with interest. Felicity has shown herself a fine academic and leader of the very important area of general practice. My health depends on her work and the students she educates.

    Comment by Allan — Mon 17th January 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  3. As a closet academic

    What made you come out of the closet?

    Anyways, I was just a young teen. But I won an award for my costumes amongst the elite over the world in Dungeons and Dragons when they came to Victoria and booked out a 20 story city building.

    Not to brag but I made the clothing for the Australian rowing team and basketball team too.

    Comment by Julie — Mon 17th January 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  4. I admire any person who gathers information widely and carefully, weighs it with scientific caution and is prepared to stand humbly by their judgement, in public.

    Although I have never met her in person, from her writings and actions, she is among NZ’s leaders. We need many more with her personal attributes. MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 17th January 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  5. I am a teacher and I have spent 5 years in policy work and 15 years in academia which is my passion (closet). I get to research and teach. I have pretentions to some action research in my classroom work but more often it is about covering the work, encouraging students and moving on with life. The time for reflection in practice is often lacking.
    Such activities are a good training for an activist as reflection is a good skill we can all learn and benefit from.

    Comment by Allan — Tue 18th January 2011 @ 7:01 am

  6. Thanks Allan. I know something new about you. I had thought you were a teacher of some sort but not regarding policy. What a Fab position to be in for what you do in the community.

    I can imagine you are busy so understand about reflection. I seem to do allot of it and yet many a time I end up right back we’re I started. I think you can take lots of knowledge on, but because it has to fit with your experiences, …. well, it’s IMO, difficult to change people’s opinions.

    Comment by julie — Tue 18th January 2011 @ 9:24 am

  7. And you can be one of them, hahahehe.

    Comment by julie — Tue 18th January 2011 @ 9:25 am

  8. You mean North and South has finally recovered from the threats and bullying they received after the publication of the ‘Court of Injustice’ issue.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 19th January 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  9. Felicity, I have just had one of those ‘Uh Ha’ moments. You are a wonderful wonderful woman.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 19th January 2011 @ 5:16 pm

  10. I remember whilst doing men’s advocacy work during the 1980s Felicity taking up the challenge of confronting proponents of ‘recovered memory syndrome’ – feminists who at the time were looking for yet another way to criminalize men based on mere hearsay dressed up as science.

    Felicity stuck to her guns and spoke out despite being ostracized by many feminists within academia.
    I admire and feel thankful to Felicity for that.
    I say that because as horrendous as those times turned out to be what with the Christchurch Civic Creche witch hunt bullshit and Peter Ellis being spun into a feminist’s bogey man, I cannot help but think if it hadn’t have been for the likes of Felicity things might have turned out to be a hell of a lot worse.
    The manufactured ‘abuse’ industry could by now be even bigger than it is these days.
    Now there’s a sobering thought.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 20th January 2011 @ 11:32 pm

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