Felicity Gail's story

Felicity had a happy childhood growing up in a small town in regional Victoria in the 1960s. When the distance she and her siblings had to travel to high school became a problem, the family moved to a larger town.

Felicity suffered a badly broken leg in her mid-teens and went to the local hospital. The orthopaedic surgeon who operated on her went away, so her post-operative care was taken over by another doctor.

Dr Wilson told Felicity’s mother that Felicity had bent her coccyx, so she should come and see him at his private rooms. Felicity wasn’t in pain, so she believes the doctor was lying.

Felicity’s mother dropped her off at the appointment because she needed to drive her other children around. During the appointment, ‘he did a vaginal examination to straighten my coccyx, and that maybe lasted for 10 minutes and he would ask me to move in certain ways’.

When Dr Wilson began to ask Felicity to move her hips around, ‘I was a little bit naive … but I knew this is not right … and I thought, “Nah. This is not right. This is not right”’.

When her mother picked her up, Felicity told her she wasn’t going to go back to see Dr Wilson. Felicity doesn’t remember what she told her mother, but at that time, ‘We really didn’t communicate about intimate things’.

Felicity’s mother accompanied her to the next appointment and nothing happened, so when she went for a third appointment, her mother once again left her there by herself. This time, ‘he did the same thing, only differently. He had me on a lower table on my side, facing away from him, and he had a gown on and whatever he was doing was larger than a finger’.

‘You can stop that right now’, Felicity said she told Wilson. ‘I didn’t look at him. I didn’t want to … I said, “Stop. That hurts” and I got up and I went out again, and I said, “Mum, I am not going back there” …

‘This may be my imagination, [but] I think he was trying to put his penis in my vagina and that’s why he had the gown on. And because I didn’t look, he moved away. He did stop that.’ She cannot recall the doctor saying anything when she left.

The sexual abuse has not had a huge impact on her adult life. ‘The only thing it did make me aware of was being extra alert for my children’s safety … I was a fairly protective mother.’

Felicity came to the Royal Commission ‘because there’s such a … platform for people to tell their stories and [although] I don’t think my story is anything compared to what a lot of people have been through, everything’s relative. It was to validate for any other people that may have seen this doctor, and also for the Commission to know the whole numbers. You never will know … [Not all] will come forward, I know’.

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