Peter Kelso | National Redress Scheme | Feb 19, 2020
Government will strip the charity status from churches who miss the National Redress Scheme deadline
Minister for Families and Social Services, Ms Anne Ruston says the government may strip charity status from churches and organisations that fail to sign up to the National Redress Scheme.
Senator Ruston said the government had accepted “every recommendation that we are able to accept” in its response to the standing committee’s recommendations for the Scheme it returned on Monday, and that it should be announced publicly within 48 hours.
She also said about 700 victims’ applications have had to be put on hold because there is no organisation signed up to match them with. Many organisations (such as Swimming Australia) aren’t signing up due to fears of becoming bankrupt.
One major group which has not signed up to the Redress Scheme is the Jehovah’s Witnesses (the JW’s). The Royal Commission heard that 1,006 plausible complaints of child sexual abuse had been received by the JW’s in Australia but no alleged perpetrators had been reported to the police. It appears that the JW’s would have a substantial financial exposure if it joined the Scheme.
Alternatively, the JW’s may be stripped of its charity status if it fails to sign up by the 30 June 2020 deadline.
The JW’s have refused to remove sex offenders from congregations unless the victim can produce a second witness. The organisation was criticized for its ‘Second Witness Rule’ by the Royal Commission.
The JW’s global operations are controlled by a Governing Body of eight men from JW headquarters in Warwick, New York State, USA. The decision to join or not to join the Redress Scheme is the responsibility of the US Governing Body.
JW’s have a history of distrust of the government, refusing to vote and avoiding military service. They are banned in China, Russia, Singapore and most Muslim majority countries. They are most active in the USA, Mexico and Brazil. JW’s were once banned in Canada.
On the other hand, Hillsong Church and the leading Pentecostal umbrella group, Australian Christian Churches, have all signed up to the National Redress Scheme. (Hillsong Church is now a separate legal entity from ACC).
The addition of non-government institutions, including Hillsong Church, Australian Christian Churches (ACC), C3 Churches, Churches of Christ, Baptists, Christian Schools Australia and Barnardo’s Australia, has more than doubled the number of non-government groups in the scheme from 67 to 162 in one year.
Get the justice you deserve with Kelso Lawyers. We want to hear your story. Call (02) 4907 4200 or complete the online form before you accept payment from the National Redress Scheme.
An ugly wound has been opened at the heart of St Kevin’s College this week, after revelations in a Four Corners report about the school’s failures to respond to complaints of a culture of secrecy, toxic masculinity and sexual abuse. The scandal at the private Melbourne boys’ school has reached all the way to the top, with headmaster Stephen Russell resigning on Wednesday. As the dust settles, many in the school community, including me, are coming to terms with the extent of reform that is needed. What has become clear in the ever-growing list of allegations is just how tightly the school leadership team controlled every level of the school. With their removal – and the collapse of the strict and dogmatic systems they were determined to maintain – the path ahead seems daunting.
This uncertainty comes at a crucial moment, not only for the school, but also for the country as a whole, to confront a deep-seated culture of secrecy and shame. It is ingrained within the values and language of our most powerful institutions and perpetuated by the most privileged in our communities. As a former St Kevin’s student, I have been speaking publicly about the problems of private schools such as mine for half a decade now, and I think this moment, more than ever, is a chance for us to examine a culture of extreme privilege and stubborn ideology. It is a chance to break away from narrow conceptions of loyalty and pride.
RETRIEVED https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2020/02/22/st-kevins-college-abuse-and-the-language-pain/15822900009435 Ed No. 289 Feb 22-28 2020
How much does this info remind others of past schooling, or as past enrolling? These amounts of public notices, continues to impact society. Throughout Australia + our world.
Amongst most of the comments during and after the screening of 4Corners ‘Boys Club’, some past Students and Family of other Private Schools may recognise similarities. Beyond each school’s personal reputation and heritage, many strive to have common traits ingrained into their students. Whether this be for academic-sporting-cultural benefit, sometimes included is acceptance of behaviours found unacceptable in aged maturity. This is where the prevalence of ‘developing teenagers’ (pre-adolescents) are often targeted by Grooming, Personal-Training/Coaching and Private-Reversals.
How much has already been hidden, by non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) / payments of ‘hush money’ / Deed of releases? To what extent will some of these occasions be acting against the intentions of the Letters Patent of the 2013-17 Royal Commission? Oh what a tangled web has been woven, through all of these attempts at Justice.
To anyone effected by these ongoing CSA matters, help is available to all:
- Redress +/or Personal Settlements;
- Public apology;
Further information is available, including suggestions from other bodies. Surviving-victims should never be alone, which is motivation to force along these RCbbc Blog’s. It is hoped that similar support groups, from about other communities (e.g. St Kevins) could share a similar passion.
Following the recent 4corners Airing of ‘Boys Club’ On 17 Feb 2020, various Headlines have been released:
- Elite school that backed sex pest teacher instead of his victim orders staff to escort students on public transport over fears for their safety after damning TV exposé (DailyMail)
- St Kevin’s headmaster Stephen Russell resigns over character reference for paedophile (The Guardian)
- St Kevin’s College headmaster resigns, dean of sport stood down following grooming scandal (ABC News)
Grooming has also appeared amongst numerous Journalist Publications, continuing the traditional reluctance to acceptance of genuine alterations required following the Final Report of the 13-17 #CARC. This Final Report is available for viewing at the URL: https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/final-report
To those who’ve kept up-to-date with some of the BBC situations (Buchanan, Golding, Bradley and Lloyd) may recognise some similarities (parallels); Those past Students / ‘Old Boys’ (sorry if offended) reminded of other Elite Schools mentioned during ‘Boys Club’; Parents of current and past BBC enrolments; most importantly surviving families of Deceased / Suicided / Drug-effected / Care-facilitated BBC Graduates / Past-enrolled : Your losses are shared by many others! You’re definitely not alone, with facilities of Compensation/Redress, Public Apologies and Counselling available to ALL.
@Milliganreports Sounds like you’ve pulled (another) #4corners ace out, 2nite! Elite schools everywhere may have this common trait. Bravo 🥳
2nite’s #4corners : #BoysClub! (SYD, VIC, SEQ … Elite). Perhaps #SchoolHopping is included in these releases, yet Louise Milligan may have other items to focus on … Already appearing in prelim. tweets, CSA data +/or CARC Hearings:
- GPS Schools in Qld
- Boarding Schools (throughput Australia)
- Scots/Knox/Trinity/St Ignatious (NSW)
- St Kevin’s + others : see below … (VIC) : PROTECT
Sometimes it takes extra focus, like this (Milliganreports + 4corners) to bring repeated realities before our eyes. Understandably, there’s an anger/regret that these News pieces reveal however with our current age of 24 hr cycles – something else will soon sway our attention away.
St Kevin’s is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of what should be uncovered. #ChildSexualAbuse has been ingrained into many institutions’ heritage + will require drastic steps, far beyond Insurance payouts to resolve. Evening up with female leadership is one step, matching a fairer-compasionate workforce. Stay tuned for 10-20-30 yr Reviews.
TheAge’s “Schools, creches, charities ordered to get insured for child abuse compensation” piece in Feb 2019 may not be that far off reality.
By Debbie Cuthbertson, Simone Fox Koob, Farrah Tomazin and Chris Vedelago
February 16, 2020 — 12.00am
“Jesus is coming to get you.”
That was the warning Lionel (not his real name) alleges Christian Brother Rex Francis Elmer gave in an attempt to silence him after he sexually assaulted him at a Melbourne orphanage in the 1970s.
The words rang in the boy’s ears long after.
Elmer “kissed me on the forehead and said well done” after molesting him, Lionel said.
“He then told me not to tell anyone. He said to me, if you tell anyone, Jesus would come down from heaven and take me away and you will not see your family or friends ever again,” he told police.
“I was scared and really believed what he had said, that Jesus would take me away if I said anything. I was an altar boy and I believed this.
“The word ‘Jesus’ was ringing in my ears.”
The assaults continued, as did the warnings, for more than a year, Lionel said. It was a vicious circle.
“This sort of incident happened at least two to three times a week,” Lionel said in his witness statement to police. “The same sort of thing. I would piss the bed scared at night that [Elmer] would come to me. I was petrified of him. I couldn’t tell anyone because I was scared of getting a flogging and being taken away by Jesus.”
Another boy who had complained about being abused by Elmer was flogged with a cane by another brother then removed from the St Vincent de Paul Boys’ Home, Lionel said.
“He dobbed Elmer in for doing something sexual to him. It was two days later that this guy who got hit and dobbed got taken from the home.”
He said he told another boy at the home about the abuse. That boy replied that Elmer had also sexually assaulted him. “We were both scared that Jesus would come to take us,” Lionel said. “This is what we thought happened to [the boy who left].”
Lionel said he also confided in a nun from a nearby convent. “I told her what Elmer had been doing to me. She said ‘Darling, please do not say a word to anyone, I will fix this for you’.”
Soon after he confessed to her, Lionel alleges, Elmer and two other brothers brutally beat him, including with a cane, in an assault that left him bleeding from his behind and bedridden for more than a week.
While he was still recovering, Lionel said, Elmer abused him again. He punched the boy repeatedly, giving him a black eye and bloody nose after the boy vomited on the brother during the assault.
When I spewed, he punched me in the face with a clenched fist … three or four times. I couldn’t see out of my left eye for a few days until the swelling went down. He said to me ‘Jesus is coming to get you’. This is the last time that I ever saw Elmer.”
In mid-1976, Elmer suddenly left St Vincent’s. “I don’t know what happened to Elmer, but he was gone from the home,” Lionel told police.
Lionel, now aged 59, said of the ongoing effect of his abuse: “I get teary talking about this but I have learnt to deal with it. It is always in my mind and it always hurts me.”
On Monday, Elmer pleaded guilty in the County Court to the indecent assault of two other complainants, also from St Vincent’s, in the 1970s, after which prosecutors did not proceed with charges related to Lionel’s accusations. That meant that Lionel’s witness statement was never tendered and Elmer never faced his allegations.
Court documents show the 75-year-old was charged in 2018 with 19 counts of indecent assault and one of false imprisonment in relation to three victims during the 1970s.
The first complainant, who had been in state care since infancy, told police Elmer repeatedly abused him between the ages of 11 and 13, usually while he was sleeping in a dormitory.
He said the first assault occurred when Elmer threw off his bed covers, demanded he do as he was told, and put his hand down the boy’s pyjama pants. The assault, however, was interrupted. “Someone has approached the bed as he was being assaulted by the accused, who then fled,” according to the police brief of evidence.
“The complainant was summoned to the office of the now deceased Brother in charge, Brother Carey … Shortly thereafter the complainant recalls being sexually abused by the accused on many occasions.”
The second complainant, who came to the orphanage aged seven after his parents died, was sexually abused by Elmer repeatedly between the ages of nine and 11.
On one occasion Elmer led the boy, who had been playing in the grounds of the home after school, upstairs into his private bedroom at the end of a dormitory.
Elmer produced a large book with pictures of human anatomy and made the boy sit on his knee while the brother asked him to name various body parts, including male genitalia, and masturbated against the boy’s back during the 20-minute assault.
As dormitory master at St Vincent’s, Elmer was responsible for up to 40 children at a time, aged between seven and 14.
The most senior Christian Brothers officials in Victoria knew in mid-1976, when they removed Elmer from the orphanage, that he had abused boys there.
Later that year they made Elmer principal of St Joseph’s, a Catholic boys primary school in Warrnambool.
Elmer was in charge of the school from 1976-81. He worked in the town alongside several other notorious paedophile clerics including priests Paul David Ryan and Robert Claffey, and fellow Christian Brother Edward Dowlan (all since jailed for child sexual assault).
Elmer left Warrnambool after more complaints about his behaviour at St Vincent’s reached his superiors. In 1988 he reappeared, in an article from a small Tasmanian newspaper called Western Tiers, published in his home town of Deloraine.
“Brother Rex Elmer will be spending Christmas at home with his mother … and family before leaving to go to Africa to set up a Mission School at Arushia [sic] in Tanzania with two other Christian Brothers,” the newspaper reported proudly on page 3.
“Rex was a pupil at Our Lady of Mercy College and St Patrick’s [College] and has been teaching at various schools, including Warrnambool in Victoria. He is hoping to see old school friends while at home and we all wish him well in the future.”
The school Elmer helped found in northern Tanzania is now run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers East Africa District and has more than 1300 students.
Elmer left the school in 1993 after more complaints surfaced, and was sent by his order to the United States for counselling at the St Luke Institute for paedophile Catholic clergy in Maryland.
He was charged In 1997 with 69 counts. He was convicted the next year of 12 counts: one charge of indecent assault against each of the 12 boys. The judge sentenced him to five years in prison with a minimum of three years and four months.
At his sentencing, Judge Thomas Neesham described Elmer, then 53, as a man of God who had indulged in “depraved self-gratification”, The Age reported at the time.
“Each of your victims was a small boy in your care. Each was an inmate,” he said. The boys, many of them orphans or wards of the state, were aged between eight and 12.
“They were helpless,” Judge Neesham said. “Who could they tell, who would believe them?
“All your victims wear deep emotional scars to this day as is brought out by their victim impact statements,” he said. “As a teacher and a man of God, how could you not have had an inkling of the devastation to your victims’ faith … by your act of misbehaviour.
“Your victims will have to live in the misery that you inflicted upon them … You will have to live with the disgrace that you brought on yourself and your family.”
Elmer had been living in a Christian Brothers home in Brunswick at the time of his first conviction and was still working for the order in an administrative role. In 2002, after his release from prison, he was placed him on “restricted ministry”.
He now resides in a property owned by the order in the same suburb. His bail was extended following his guilty plea this week until his sentencing in July.
“The accused is currently retired and resides within the Christian Brothers Community,” a police brief from his current case states.
The order has received 22 claims for redress from people who allege Elmer sexually abused them as children, according to documents it provided to Austalia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which reported its findings in 2017.
Those claims all related to accusations of multiple assaults alleged to have occurred between 1969 and 1985 – from when Elmer was a novitiate (a Christian Brother in training) to the years when he worked in South Melbourne and Warrnambool, mainly during his time at St Vincent’s.
The documents also show the order knew that a number of victims had alleged that other clergy had participated in the abuse by Elmer.
Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) refused to cover the Christian Brothers in relation to any claims of abuse by Elmer after 1976, ruling the order – including its most senior cleric, then provincial Brother Patrick Naughtin – had “prior knowledge” of his crimes.
“Whilst the Visitation was in progress [13/06/1976], a Child Welfare Office reported to Brother [redacted] Acting Superior that Rex had been interfering with little boys; this was true and it had been attended to by the Provincial,” said a CCI document submitted to the royal commission.
In a letter dated June 20, 1976, Naughtin wrote to the acting superior of the orphanage: “Thank you very much for the report on the situation which developed … in connection with Br Elmer. It is indeed a serious and most unfortunate state of affairs and I am grateful for your bringing it to my attention so promptly.”
In his letter, Naughtin (who died in 2010) expressed concern for Elmer’s reputation, not for the welfare of the children he had abused. He also referenced the illegality of Elmer’s actions but did not report him to authorities.
“I have interviewed Br Elmer and discussed this position with him. He is clearly aware of the serious nature of his actions and I took pains to point out his legal and moral obligations in the matter.
“It seems to me extremely unlikely that there will be any recurrence of what had happened … It would seem to me best at this stage not to transfer Brother … immediately, though I would propose to announce his change next August – the usual time for releasing details of staffing for the following year.
“In coming to this decision I have been guided by the Brother’s assurance for the future, by his excellent record to date and by consideration for his reputation which would undoubtedly be harmed by a sudden transfer at this time.”
When Elmer left St Vincent’s he was replaced by Edward ‘Ted’ Dowlan, now one of the most notorious paedophile clerics in Victoria. They later worked together at St Joseph’s in Warrnambool.
A 1996 letter from an unnamed Christian Brother was submitted to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2013 into the handling of child abuse by institutions, including religious orders. It sheds light on how widespread the abuse was at St Vincent’s, and how determined the church was to dismiss it.
“I accepted with good faith the sudden departure of Brother Elmer from the school and the appointment of Brother Dowlan to fill his position,” the letter reads. “Indeed, I spent many extra hours, which I could ill afford, assisting Brother Dowlan to understand the nature and behaviours of the boys and the teachers.
“As you are probably aware, many of St Vincent’s residents had been sexually abused, and often displayed overt and outrageous sexualised behaviour. Furthermore, they expected or requested that this behaviour be reciprocated by the adults in their lives. A major part of our endeavours at St Vincent’s was getting these boys to a point where they would expect not to be abused. Now I find that all of this work could have been compromised by the presence of a man like Brother Dowlan …
“I take note of your congregation’s position that the brothers were unaware of Brother Dowlan’s tendencies and activities. I cannot accept this as a reasonable position. I cannot believe that the number of allegations against this man could have been kept from his various communities’ and the congregation’s superiors. I find that expecting the public to believe this is preposterous. I do not believe this plea of ignorance.”
St Vincent’s orphanage closed in 1997. It was home to more than 6000 boys over 140 years.
Information provided by the Catholic Church to the royal commission showed it had received 114 claims of sexual abuse at the home, the highest number of any Catholic institution in Victoria.
The Christian Brothers declined to answer The Age’s questions about Elmer, citing “ongoing legal proceedings”.
If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or beyondblue 1300 224 636.
Particularly, Rudd house / Boarders may have experienced more than the Day boys from a single to constant Canings via anyone is ‘Corporal Punishment of a minor’ : aka Phyysical Child Abuse. There is no wonder it was outlawed in Public Education, gradually followed by Private Edu (1990’s). Even use of Caning as a threat results in the same level of Redress: 100-500’s each yr X $5,000 (min.) : $500,000-$2,500,000 / yr may make lasting impact on ANY Institution (Church-State-Private).
Imagine these figures, spread throughout each City-State-Town + Coupled with Public Apologies + Counselling-Support: the immense multitude of ‘the masses’ of impacted Students, Parents, Families throughout ANY Institution may be quite profound. Another perspective (POV) is painted by ‘from little things, big things grow’. EDRMS also explain that compliance is strengthened by good recordkeeping and systems. A solid evidence base is essential for these commitments.
Using this common phrase as incentive, so much can be gained for anyone whose been through. Physical Abuse, through Caning, has been used as the example of this post. From NRS site – Who can Apply is simply explained: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/applying/who-can-apply. Feedback is encouraged, whether anonymously/pseudonym/name via WP, FB, eMail or Twitter.
Circumstances that might affect how your application is processed
Depending on your circumstances, your application may progress to assessment differently. These circumstances include if you:
- are currently under 18
- experienced institutional child sexual abuse after 1 July 2018
- have been sentenced to serve five years or more in gaol
- are serving a sentence in gaol
- already received a payment for the abuse as a result of a court case
The State + Commonwealth Attorney-Generals should show sensitivity to any of the resulting effects, from experienced CSA. Extensive amounts of information is provided + submission of Applicants.
EDRMS. 2011. Successful EDRMS From Little Things Big Things Grow. http://www.changefactory.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Successful-EDRMS-From-Little-Things-Big-Things-Grow.pdf
National Redress Scheme. 2020. Who can apply. https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/applying/who-can-apply
Winnie-the-Pooh. 2012. Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart. Retrieved http://power2thecore.blogspot.com/2012/09/sometimes-smallest-things-take-up-most.html
- “Power of Preying: Why Men Target Women in the Workplace” (2017) grabbed my attention, which began to describe the insipid, predator-vulnerable attitudes of being convicted. As per the Sentencing Judge’s remarks in the case of (Anthony) Kim Buchanan – BUTCH – (image via Portal 1990): 1980-2000 offences “that can only be regarded as most serious offences of a most degrading and humiliating kind” (Judge BOTTING, 2002 Indictment);
- Most shockingly, is that this Conviction was only able to site 30 offences. It is now being discussed and determined, whether most classes of 30 students were involved in other forms of abuses. Before Buchanan had even entered his BBC Teaching profession, moments of abuse have been identified from their adolescence. Coupled with how adjusted versions were repeated in following semesters, Butch was a prime example of what we should be aware of:
- > grooming: befriending and establishing an emotional connection; (Jeffery Epstein, Prince Andrew & Bill Clinton) illicit businesses such as child trafficking, child prostitution, or the production of child pornography;
- > blame-shifting: ‘devil/satan’ doing wrong, instead of ‘church-hopping’ and ‘school-swapping’ ; is a common psychological trick Narcissists and other toxic, similar, emotionally immature and ultimately toxic people use to abuse and to gaslight their victims into thinking they were not abused at all… or if they were that they somehow deserve it.
- > victim-blaming: Blame is placing the entire responsibility for one’s unpleasant actions, consequences, and feelings on another person or external event, and insisting that others agree: ‘two sides to every story’ is frequently used to justify this habit.
When corruption and politics is drawn into the mix, truth is something that survives. Please add in any of your FEEDBACK!
Online Predators (Tandez): 1. Keeping Yourself Physically Safe : Avoid dangerous places. Be aware of your surroundings. Use the “back off” command. Take self-defense. Create obstacles to entering your home. Report suspicious activity. Contact the authorities.
2. Being on the Lookout for Online Predators : Do not “check in” on social media. Refrain from posting personal information. Use anti-virus security. Monitor what your friends and family post.
3. Staying Away from Emotional Predators : Watch out for a sense of entitlement. Avoid manipulation. Keep an eye out for workplace narcissists. Take it slow when dating someone new.
4. Protecting Your Kids From Predators : Recognize red flags. Monitor the people in your child’s life. Talk to your kids about abuse. Listen to kids. Practice safety skills. Teach children online safety strategies.
Katehakis, Alexandra. 2017. The Power of Preying; Why men target women in the workplace. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sex-lies-trauma/201710/the-power-preying
Narcissists and Flying Monkeys blame shifting further traumatizes victims. (2015). Blame shifting and victim shaming is abusive behavior. https://flyingmonkeysdenied.com/2015/11/26/narcissists-flying-monkeys-blame-shifting-traumatizes-victims/
Supreme Court Sentence. (2002). Ex officio indictment. https://www.sentencing.sclqld.org.au/php/hiliter.php?run=1&url=/sentencing_remarks/2002/SR_BRIS_BuchananAK_26042002.html
Tandez, Adrian (co-authored by). (2019). How to Avoid Predators. Updated: October 10, 2019 https://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Predators
Resulting from the dramatic jumps in past BBC students/‘Old Boys’, family members and other interested viewers, RCbbc Blog is now approaching 750 Subscribers! From something that began as simply an idea, a few like-minds started messaging and now there has been leaps in global viewers. Obviously, BBC has earned a place with its high-levels of diversified achievements: academic-sporting-cultural both inter-intra-world competitions.
This post is however, not to focus on the positive, public and uplifting moments – rather provide further reinforcement of the solutions that should be easily understood by those effected by CSA. While Child Sexual Abuse has, does and will continue to exist its acknowledgement, realisation and avoidance-of will allow continued trust to be had with where our children and young adults are schooled.
Should any current + future parents / adoptees have any concerns of their children’s care, following is a copy of what BBC/PMSA has provided for this purpose: (as follows) Further assistance may be gained through Qld Police’s Children’s safety-Youth safety-Children and the internet-Who’s chatting to your kids?-PoliceLink-Child Protection Investigation Unit (CPIU) https://www.police.qld.gov.au/units/victims-of-crime/child-protection
knowmore is immense help, for any stage of Compensation-Redress-Legal advice. As stated on their site: “Free legal help; FOR SURVIVORS”. Explained further, throughout the site “knowmore is an independent service giving free legal advice to survivors of abuse by providing them with information about the justice and redress options that may be available to them.” explains more. Whichever stage you’re at / your family are at, knowmore provide specialised advice in this field!