As of the middle of March2020, our ‘Royal Comm BBC Blog’ has reached 1,000 Subscribers! From something that began to support + share (from a CSA Victim/Survivor’s POV) more of the secrets, (hidden) truths, impacts, strategies + particularly to offer collected HELP, from multiple ‘Old Boys’-families-communities: ‘we’ve now achieved more than a tonne’. As parts of society now accept the facts… In the midst of the ABC’s ‘Revelation’ Documentary, many similarities/reminders/parallels are both answering some unanswered questions and asking many more.
An awaited audience had made breathtaking comments, jaw dropping feedback and startling responses. Those who had endured previous CSA watched on in understanding, proud that more of these (hidden) secrets were becoming shared with our wider public. Through ‘lifting the lid’ on this immoral human nature of both male + female Predators, is not stopping it from occurring, yet shares further the reality of what should + should not be allowed. Our children always deserve to lead their developing lives into adulthood, as unaffected as possible. Child Sexual Abuse is wrong.
Following are some of the responses made, from the 1st Ep:
@abctv: Award-winning reporter @FergusonNews presents #RevelationABC, a ground-breaking three-part documentary series on the criminal priests and brothers of the Catholic Church, their crimes laid bare for the first time in their own words. Starts now.
@fergusonnews And jaw dropping courage from the good guys in this. #RevelationABC part 1/3 tonight 8.30 @ABCTV
@MikeCarlton01 Looking forward to this tonight. I’m told it’s brilliant…jaw dropping
@treacl: Confession was seen as a #GetOutOfJail card … #RevelationABC
If you are at greater risk, such as you are over 65 or have pre-existing conditions like heart disease, it’s reasonable to take extra precautions.
For most of us, our emotional response will largely come down to how risk-averse we are, explains David Savage, associate professor of behavioural economics at the University of Newcastle.
“On one end you have the people who are absolutely risk-averse; will go out of their way to avoid risk. These people will always have insurance even for the most bizarre things,” he says.
“They are the people panic-buying.
“At the other end you have what I would classify as risk-seeking people, otherwise known as teenage boys.”
What Dr Savage suggests we should all be aiming for is to be risk-neutral. Good at weighing up odds and responding accordingly.
But he acknowledges that can be difficult given how hard-wired risk aversion is for many of us.
“This aversion is not something we switch on and off, it’s part of our innate nature.”
He says telling people to be less risk-averse is like telling someone to stop being anxious.
Avoidance versus chaos
Your personality type will dictate what level of response you have to something like the spread of coronavirus, explains Dr Annie Cantwell-Bart, a psychologist specialising in grief and trauma.
“If, for example, you come from a family where avoidance style is what you’ve been taught, that’s what you will repeat,” she says.
“Or if you come from a fairly chaotic background where your dad has been in jail and mum is an alcoholic, you will hold a high level of anxiety in living anyway.”
She gives the example of her local barista, who is casually employed.
“When I asked how he was feeling, he said he doesn’t think about it, he just gets on with life.”
She says that avoidance style has its advantages and disadvantages.
“They risk not being prepared or cautious enough. He might feel some trauma if the boss of the cafe says we’re closing down for a fortnight, because he hasn’t prepared.”
On the other end of the scale, people might respond chaotically.
“Like the punch-up in the supermarket. Some people will … get agitated and it’s probably a fear the world will somehow not support them in any way,” Dr Cantwell-Bart says.
We should be more sensitive towards people with this level of anxiety, she says.
“It’s really important not to judge people … they are in a highly aroused anxious state.”
What we’ve been through shapes our response
Upbringing, cultural background and previous experiences all shape how we respond to difficult situations.
But it doesn’t always play out in ways you’d expect. For example, someone who has survived a similar incident previously may feel a false sense of security, rather than the need to be cautious or prepared.
Your beliefs may also cause you to underprepare.
“If you believe that everything is pre-ordained, and a higher power is directing your life, you may not bother with certain precautions,” Dr Savage says.
Having compassion and understanding
Dr Savage says Australians are living in a society that is becoming more individualist than collectivist.
“Half of us are going ‘that is very anti-social’, while the other half is saying ‘good on you’,” he says in regards to people stocking up on supplies.
Dr Cantwell-Bart says in a time of crisis, it’s important to be respectful and tolerant.
“It’s about being more compassionate. Understanding that people who might be behaving in ways we might not, are doing it for good reason.”
Dr Savage recommends taking a step back to remember we’re all different, and there isn’t always right and wrong.
“Take a little bit more time to say ‘I don’t understand what that person is doing, but is that a problem?'”
This newsletter gives an update on the National Redress Scheme. It covers available support, new institutions to join, and recent data on application progress.
This newsletter contains material that could be confronting and stressing. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress or trigger traumatic memories for people, particularly for those people who have experienced past abuse or childhood trauma. There are free and confidential Redress Support Services to help you. They can provide practical and emotional support before, during and after you apply for redress. Free legal advice and financial counselling are also available. Please visit the National Redress Scheme website at www.nationalredress.gov.au/support for a full list of support service providers. If you need immediate support, 24-hour telephone assistance is available from:
The number of institutions participating in the Scheme has more than doubled as more institutions have completed the necessary steps to join the Scheme.
As at 6 February 2020, 162 non-government institutions were participating in the Scheme – up from 67 last year, in addition to the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
As at 6 February 2020, the total number of sites, including churches, schools, children’s home and charities across Australia that had joined the Scheme, had increased from 41,900 to 47,600, meaning that more applications that were on hold can be progressed.
Anglican Church officials wrongly told a woman who was sexually abused more than 60 years ago they had to hold off resolving her complaint, then offered a payout and an apology if she agreed to a gag clause.
The church’s Brisbane diocese has admitted to again failing Beth Heinrich over her 1995 complaint, which culminated in then-governor-general Peter Hollingworth publicly blaming her for a priest sexually exploiting her as a 15-year-old.
Its apology for causing her “additional trauma and distress” through “unacceptable delays” came a day after the ABC questioned its latest missteps in the case, which led to Dr Hollingworth’s public downfall but still fuels calls for him to be stripped of millions of dollars of public benefits.
The diocese in January belatedly offered Ms Heinrich up to $30,000 for its mishandling of her complaint, which Dr Hollingworth dismissed repeatedly when he was archbishop of Brisbane.
Beth Heinrich pressed the Anglican Church in Brisbane for redress after former archbishop Peter Hollingworth stood by the priest who sexually abused her
The diocese said it could not resolve her complaint because it would “prejudice” another church investigation of Dr Hollingworth
Church investigators denied this and the diocese then offered Ms Heinrich a payout and an apology if she kept it confidential
The offer was a fraction of the $200,000 she sought — a figure she said was increased after independent legal advice and church officials in Melbourne advising that her original request for $50,000 was too little.
The Brisbane diocese also told her in January it was “happy to provide an apology” but this should be kept “confidential” until its Melbourne counterpart ended a separate investigation into whether Dr Hollingworth should be stripped of his Holy Orders.
Its request for secrecy contrasted with Dr Hollingworth’s widely publicised 2002 comments on ABC TV’s Australian Story program that it was “not sex abuse” by priest, and later bishop, Donald Shearman, but “rather the other way round”.
“It was devastating for me at the time [and] I’m still really angry about it because there’s been no ending to it,” Ms Heinrich told the ABC.
“[Dr Hollingworth] knew the true story but he chose to lie about me and victim blame.”
A church spokesman said: “The Brisbane diocese acknowledges there have been unacceptable delays in finalising a redress claim of Ms Beth Heinrich”.
“The diocese apologises that this has caused her additional trauma and distress,” the spokesman said.
‘Most extraordinary case’
Child protection expert and University of South Australia adjunct professor Chris Goddard said Ms Heinrich’s was “the most extraordinary case of so-called secondary abuse I have ever seen”.
He helped Ms Heinrich prepare her testimony to the royal commission into child sexual abuse, with a 300-page presentation involving about 70 documents.
“To my knowledge [Dr Hollingworth] has never publicly apologised for the public humiliation of Beth,” Professor Goddard said.
In 2005, the Bathurst Anglican diocese paid Ms Heinrich $100,000 over Mr Shearman’s abuse of her while running the church hostel where she was a school boarder in the 1950s.
Ms Heinrich said she decided to press a complaint over Brisbane diocese’s mishandling of the matter, after it advertised in a newspaper for survivors to come forward in the wake of the royal commission into child sex abuse in institutions.
In October 2017, the diocese told her it had “little option but to wait for the findings of the Melbourne investigation before [we] can advance and conclude the consideration of your complaints and claim”.
‘Happy to consider an apology’
It said any examination of her complaint “could not be safely concluded until the findings of the Melbourne committee are known, and may risk prejudicing the Melbourne investigation”.
However, the diocese changed its tune in August 2018 after Ms Heinrich questioned the delay.
It told her that it “might be possible to deal with your claim on a private and confidential basis without waiting for the outcome” from Melbourne.
It said the diocese was “happy to consider an apology” but it would be “better delivered” after Melbourne’s findings.
Any settlement would need to be “private and confidential” so as “not to prejudice” the other investigation, it said.
But Melbourne church officials contradicted this last November.
“I can confirm that any compensation or redress paid to you will not impact the investigation,” Kooyoora Ltd executive director Fiona Boyle said in a letter.
Knox Grammar School was more worried about its reputation than its pupils’ plights when sexual abuse was alleged, a royal commission has been told.
By Damien Murphy and Rachel Browne
February 27, 2015 — 10.12pm
It might be an exclusive school but there is nothing exclusive about how Knox Grammar School dealt with allegations of sexual predatory behaviour by teachers towards its students.
Since public hearings at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse began 17 months ago Australia has become used to seeing a regular pattern to how it plays out:
A lone victim speaks out against an institution.
A cover-up is put in place to protect the institution’s reputation at the expense of the victim.Advertisement
Frustrated, crushed, shocked, betrayed, the victim seeks to be heard by bashing down a door – either through police, inquiry or media.
Only when another institution draws near is a public apology made.
For more than a year the nation has watched as some pillars of society, including the Catholic and church, the Anglican churches, Jewish centres and schools in Sydney and Melbourne, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, and various state governments, have been exposed as providing opportunity and shelter to paedophiles.
The culture that permeated Knox revealed in the royal commission this week has shocked many out of their faith in the school’s tradition and its promise to enable boys to succeed and grow into young men of faith, wisdom, integrity and compassion.
Sexuality is hard country for teenagers but many students at high net worth private schools live with a morbid fascination about it, their discomfort and longing to belong often expressed through showy displays of revulsion towards sexual ambiguity.
A throwaway insult for generations of Sydney private school boys runs:
“Tiddlywinks, young man
Run as fast as you can
If you can’t get a girl
Get a Cranbrook man”
The rhyme was readily adapted to Grammar/Riverview/Barker.
For decades, Knox had been the target of gossip, lies and innuendo along the North Shore Line.
And then in 2009, something far more serious erupted from these nudge nudge, wink wink cultural undercurrents when numbers of former students alleged they had been sexually abused by teachers at the school between 1970 and 2009. It was the ultimate breach of the trust they and their families had placed in the school.
Police established Strike Force Arika to investigate the allegations. Five teachers were convicted of child sex offences against students. The royal commission was given evidence of abuse by another three. One, art teacher Bruce Barratt, died in the mid-1980s, and was remembered on a school gate with the droll epitaph, “He touched us all”.” The plaque has been removed.
For more than three decades boys were subjected to the teachers’ predations, the school failed to notify police of any incident of child sexual abuse.
Tim Hawkes, the headmaster of The King’s School, Parramatta, was a former teacher and boarding house master at Knox when one of his young boarders was groped in the dormitory just before dawn in 1988 by a man wearing a balaclava and Knox tracksuit. Hawkes told the commission he did not call the police because he believed it the responsibility of the then headmaster, Ian Paterson. He said he was then unaware of the legislative requirement to report sex abuse to the Department of Family and Community Services.
“I think in those days, authority structures in schools – we’re talking about over a quarter of a century [ago] – were very much more hierarchical than they are today. They are very much more horizontal today and, I think, thankfully so,” he said.
“And I think today, not only aided and abetted by changes to the law but also by social custom, I think the empowerment of people at all levels and seniority within schools is such that, today, the initiative to notify police would be unquestioned.”
Such buck passing outrages Lesley Saddington, whose son, Tony Carden, died of AIDS aged 33. She says he was nine at Knox preparatory school in 1971 when he was “groomed” by teachers. She believes the abuse continued at senior school.
“One can only arrive at the conclusion that over the past several decades Knox, as a school run by the Uniting Church, has lost its moral compass,” she says.
There is no doubt that the five convicted Knox paedophiles, Craig Treloar, Damian Vance, Adrian Nisbett, Barrie Stewart, and Roger James, chose their targets with precision.
They picked the weak and vulnerable with boarders the easiest of prey. Day boys with troubled home lives were vulnerable to grooming.
Victims told the royal commission of feeling so ashamed they could not tell anyone, let alone complain to someone in authority.
A 52-year-old former boarder given the pseudonym ARY recalled Stewart’s opportunistic groping in the school’s hallways. “Often in passing in the hallways he would grab a boy’s genitals,” he said. “This happened so casually it was like a handshake.”
Those who spoke up were shunned by peers. “They became victimised and ostracised in the boarding house,” ARY said. “They were seen as weak and they became everybody’s bitch.”
Former student Scot Ashton could see no point reporting abuse, which included an incident where music teacher Stewart inserted a finger into his anus.
“I felt very isolated because I was the victim of abuse and had this terrible shame and secret which I could not discuss and I was intimidated by the general bullying culture of the school which preyed on the vulnerable and weak and I could not afford to be vulnerable by complaining about the abuse and I felt that it would be pointless,” he told the commission.
And then there were constant reminders of how privileged they were to be at such a good school and who would want to bring that into disrepute?
“Everyone was expected to keep up the reputation of Knox,” ARY said.
He told the commission he would find it “astounding” if staff weren’t aware of the extent of the abuse, a sentiment echoed by many.
Coryn Tambling, who boarded during the 1980s, sheeted the blame home to then headmaster Paterson.
Tambling was 13 and a boarder from the Northern Territory when Treloar showed him hardcore pornography featuring bestiality and paedophila before propositioning him for sex. His behaviour deteriorated and his parents asked what was wrong.
“I said that ‘one of the teachers in the boarding house had showed me pornography and asked me to suck his dick’,” Tambling said. “My mother didn’t believe me. She said, ‘you would have told us in one of your letters home if it was true’. My mother had continued to hold a very high opinion of the school.”
When his father said there wasn’t much to worry about, “I went back to Knox, heartbroken and angry”.
Other students, whose behaviour and academic performance plummeted in the wake of abuse, were simply asked to leave school.
A man given the pseudonym ARG, molested by art teacher Barratt and English teacher Nisbett, told of being forced out but being unable to tell his parents why.
“They were beautiful people and churchgoers,” he said. “I was scared, embarrassed and didn’t know whether anyone would believe me. I had horrible emotions going.”
Meanwhile, the behaviour of the paedophile teachers continued largely unchecked.
The commission is yet to hear evidence of Stewart being sanctioned in any way. Treloar kept his job after admitting to watching pornography with boys. Vance was allowed to “resign” to spend time with his sick mother in 1989, despite the commission hearing the school was aware he had indecently assaulted a student underneath the Knox chapel.
Religious education teacher Christopher Fotis was never charged over sexual abuse at Knox but allowed to “resign” after being arrested for masturbating outside a school in North Ryde in 1989. Fotis failed to appear at the commission and an arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday.
Fotis and Vance were provided with glowing references about their professional skills by Paterson.
Treloar was still teaching at the school when arrested over multiple sex offences in 2009.
John Rentoul, a former assistant headmaster of Knox, told the commission that it was “extraordinary and reprehensible that these men continued to teach at Knox and abuse students.”.
“I believe the school was more interested in protecting the reputation of Knox than ensuring the safety and welfare of its students,” he told the commission.
In heartbreaking testimony, Rentoul told the commission his son, David, was abused by Stewart, something he believes led to David’s early death from multiple organ failure.
The 80-year-old, who left Knox in 1981 to teach in New Zealand, told the commission that private school students may be more vulnerable to abuse by teachers.
“In my view, private schools may be more susceptible to instances of sexual abuse because of more opportunities for the development of close relationships between teacher and students.”
Speaking outside the commission, Independent Education Union general secretary John Quessy agreed this was an issue for independent schools.
“Where you have situations where students and teachers are interacting extensively outside of a classroom situation it would appear there are more opportunities for impropriety to take place,” he said.
Some former students have received six-figure compensation payments from the school and the Uniting Church but say the money will never fix the damage done.
For others, the legal process was unnecessarily gruelling.
“It made me feel like I was being screwed all over again,” former student Adrian Steer drily observed of his experience with Knox’s lawyers.
Counsel assisting David Lloyd lamented lack of documentary evidence about the abuse which complicated the redress process.
“A difficulty has arisen in investigating these questions because of the paucity of contemporaneous documentary records which record allegations of abuse and the school’s response to them,” he said.
The commission has been told that Paterson kept all documents regarding allegations of abuse in a black folder in his office.
When new headmaster Peter Crawley took over from Paterson in 1999 he was told the folder contained the sensitive information but was stunned to see just a few snippets of notes and nothing of substance.
“In my view it was a very unprofessional folder,” he said. “I remember just being aghast at what I was looking at.”
Former head of the Knox Grammar Preparatory School Robert Thomas was similarly surprised when he looked at Treloar’s file and saw no mention of his six-month suspension for watching pornography with students.
The commission heard that files of students who made complaints have also gone missing,
Lloyd said the hearing would examine the fate of these missing documents, “whether they were deliberately destroyed in order to eliminate evidence which might adversely affect the school, and who from the school might have been involved in and/or aware of any deliberate destruction of relevant documentary records”.”
This culture of cover-up only adds to the trauma of those who have suffered abuse, according to Craig Hughes-Cashmore, co-founder and director of Survivors and Mates Support Network
“Sadly, many feel that they won’t be believed and even if they do speak up, there is that constant fear that it will just be swept under the rug,” he said.
Updated April 6, 2016 — 11.19amfirst published at 7.04am
The royal commission into child sexual abuse has triggered a fresh wave of litigation against Sydney private and Catholic schools.
Sydney lawyer Ross Koffel says he has filed 10 claims on behalf of abuse victims against elite schools, including De La Salle College Revesby Heights, Knox Grammar School, The Scots College and the previous administrators of Waverley College, and more are in the works.
Mr Koffel said he been contacted by multiple former students across Sydney before and after representing former Knox students at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year.
“It just seemed to me to be the same problem in school after school after school, and yes the surprise to us was how many schools, how many students are affected,” Mr Koffel told the ABC’s7.30 program.
Mr Koffel said he had been particularly affected by the abuse at Knox, where he studied.
“I had a recollection of the places, the rooms, the school, the playgrounds where it occurred,” he said.
“I knew a lot of the teachers by name, and I was just completely floored.”
One of Mr Koffel’s clients, Adrian Coorie, is suing De La Salle College for damages.
Mr Coorie alleges the school knew, or ought to have known, that a former teacher, Errol Swayne, was a habitual sexual abuser of boys and failed to ensure Mr Coorie’s safety as a student.
Mr Coorie was encouraged to make the claim after telling the royal commission of the assaults he allegedly suffered at the hands of Mr Swayne, who lived on a caravan on the school grounds.
“Sometimes you can think that you are the only person that something has happened to but that’s not the case,” Mr Coorie told 7.30.
“And that’s where that was confirmed that other people had already been there and spoken to the royal commission about the same person, so that was a bit of an eye-opener too,” he said.
Mr Swayne, who has since killed himself, allegedly showed Mr Coorie pornographic films in the caravan on weekends, and molested him in his office during school hours.
Mr Koffel told Fairfax Media his clients were seeking damages ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to claims in the millions.
“That in each case varies but it is made up of past medical expenses, past economic loss, future economic loss – it’s a complicated formula,” he said.
“There’s obviously a systemic problem amongst all of these schools and one hopes that taking these actions, our clients who are the victims not only will be compensated but will get apologies from various institutions and recognition that the school has done the wrong thing by them,” he said.
“The outcome hopefully is that each school will have better procedures in the future so it will never happen again.”
Mr Koffel said three of the cases were against Scots, in relation to the school’s former maths department head John Joseph Beckett, who has already been convicted of the assaults.
The claim against the school is that it did not protect students from teachers.
“They had a responsibility to look after their teachers and we say that the school is liable for the actions of their teachers,” Mr Koffel said.
In a statement to the ABC, the Presbyterian Church of Australia on behalf of Scots College said it did not want to make any statement that may impinge on the court process.
“We support those who have come forward to tell their story of what happened to them and we respect their courage in doing so,” the statement said.
A Knox Grammar spokesman told the ABC he was unable to comment while the claims were before the court.
A spokeswoman for Waverley College said the school was aware of a claim in the Supreme Court regarding an accusation of abuse.
“This claim has been filed against the Trustees of the Christian Brothers, the previous administrators of the school, as distinct from the school’s current administration,” the spokesman said.
“The Christian Brothers ceased administration of the College in 2007 and as such we have no records of the alleged events. Waverley College has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind,” she said.
The action against De La Salle College, Revesby Heights, is against De La Salle Brothers, which had governance of the school at the time.
A spokeswoman for De La Salle Brothers Australia said she could not comment on matters before the courts.
“More broadly the De La Salle Brothers are committed to working compassionately and cooperatively with complainants in the civil process,” the spokeswoman said.
Separately, the royal commission said in November it wanted to hear from former students from either The King’s School or Tudor House Preparatory School with information about abuse.
❏ Support is available by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732; Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491.
Sunday January 15 2017, 12.01am GMT, The Sunday Times
More than 35 public schools have been embroiled in sex abuse allegations in the past three years amid claims that the private sector has been adopting a “cavalier” attitude to the problem in order to protect its reputation.
An investigation by The Sunday Times has also found:
● Suspect teachers have been allowed to leave and been given references helping them to teach elsewhere rather than face investigation
● Schools have been refusing to tell parents or pupils that an investigation is under way because of “confidentiality”
● Schools have demanded gagging clauses in compensation settlements to prevent damage to their reputations.
Lawyers specialising in abuse cases warned last week that safeguarding practices in the private education sector were still too lax and one called
RoyalCommBBC 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.1
CH It was scarily familiar to my experience at BBC in the 1990’s. Shockingly so actually.
RoyalCommBBC Golding was my BBC ‘playlist’, too. Anytime to talk, is a worthwhile way to start ‘venting the stresses’ (that have often been hidden for decades). Some (e.g. family) may be so conditioned, that even they will deny that anything wrong had occurred, but this is when Victims/Survivours must defend their own rights.
RoyalCommBBC Golding (+ perhaps others) was known to follow a repeat-pattern of screen/review/glean/target. This is an example of “repeat offender”. There had been WOM, that he was tried/found-guilty yet his death had closed further discussion. Cheers, if you’ve started up another! (Planned repost in https://royalcommbbc.blog/statements/)
CH The worst was the way his departure from BBC was hushed and not an inkling of checking if any students had been abused etc just a literal mentality of ‘gossip and rumours about people is wrong’ and ‘protect the schools reputation’. I can remember being told this in band practice 1st day back after he disappeared from the school over a holiday break. School had a replacement head of music already there from England so they obviously knew enough to plan ahead yet we were all told nothing. Parents and students alike.