"We cannot change anything until we accept it.  Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses." 
- Carl Jung

Madeline Williams is a Behaviour Support Practitioner and Provisional Psychologist who graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology from Charles Sturt University in 2021.


Madeline’s thesis investigated why despite rates of child sexual assault (CSA) doubling over the last decade, conviction rates have been declining. Simon Says: “Tell us you fought back.” Defence lawyers’ use of sexual assault myths in cross examining child sexual abuse complainants and their effect on jury decision making was awarded a Distinction.


Madeline’s thesis demonstrated that sexual assault myths employed by the defence impacted juries’ construction of evidence according to a blame validation model. Jurors who held CSA myths were more likely to vote not guilty and based their verdicts largely on these myths. Jurors who heard strong evidence were more likely to endorse CSA myths than those who heard weak evidence. The overall low jury conviction rate indicated that children’s testimony is not considered strong enough evidence to support a conviction; juries preferring physical evidence. Madeline recommended that peremptory challenge guidelines should be abolished to reduce subjective bias in juror selection by the defendant and ensure a jury more representative of the community.


Madeline has been voluntarily involved with children and adolescents since 2018. Madeline was involved with Raise Foundation a youth mentoring program in March-September 2018. Madeline worked with students at Kelso High School Bathurst to write resumes, develop goals and build social and communication skills.


Madeline was a member of Headspace Youth Reference Group from January to December 2018. In this role, Madeline consulted with youth in schools about prevalent mental health issues, presented body image seminars, volunteered at the Headspace Cup Bathurst and the Kelso Community Hub. In March-November 2019 Madeline was a Headspace Hylite mentor where she mentored youth 12-25 year in writing resumes, developing goals and build social and communication skills.


Madeline is currently undertaking the 4+2 internship. Her internship as a provisional psychologist requires over 3080 hours of supervised practice in addition to rigorous demonstrations of abilities to conduct formal psychological testing, various therapy engagement techniques and counselling skills.


Madeline has been working for Distinct Directions for 1 year and has worked with clients across the lifespan in hospitals, schools, disability services and in the community. These roles have given her experience in working with teams and individuals, and the ability to manage demanding and stressful situations in a calm and professional manner.  Additionally, these roles have provided her with training in youth mental health first aid, writing file notes and conducting brief interventions and mental state examinations.


Madeline is currently completing a Diploma of Professional Psychology from the College of Professional Psychology.