After Australia’s July 2020 weekend of ‘Black Lives Matter’, ABC’s Afternoon Briefing had Patricia Karvelas interviewing US Prof. Goff (sp.?). For many Survivours of Child Sexual Abuse, much of these debates have carried the same passion as what we’ve felt throughout our lives. Ignorance & turning attention away from are even spoken against in the bible. School lessons. Child care. Sports practice. School camps. A pattern forming…?
News of Jeffery Epstein also forms ‘front page news’, including parts of the British Royal Family, upper levels of US & International society. At the targeted end of this game are low income, low SES (socio economic status) population & young adults/teenagers. Suitably, Australia’s Judicial System has begun to publicly deal with more allegations following 2013-17 CARC. Highest of these has been George Pell. Sound familiar…?
From the topics presented since 2013, this RoyalCommBBC.blog has aimed to republish noteworthy journalism, factually-based info & ‘the other side of the coin’ POV. We don’t claim to be a Journalistic Reference to prove legal data; it isn’t to be used as an excuse or a bet; links can be arranged with suitable portals, where need be; as are related channels, following earlier BBC involvement of later ‘guilty’ Nudgee College staff. A later post will be arranged re: queries of Overlack. Seems too surreal…?
Having been a BBC Old Boy, who actually went onto experience some of a Teacher’s experiences, during both Revelation (ABC) + after speaking with a Counsellor, I was able to remember a trait/habit of Butch (Buchanan). As part of his strategies (to test, +/or encourage his young boys’ memories), he’d often include some of his ‘suggestions’/strategies/techniques of memory manipulation. Although, I’m unsure if this was a way that he tried to get inside his targets’ minds before trying to get inside other items … , I will be adding this to my Counsellor’s upcoming appt. They indeed seemed pleased, that I was using a agenda-planning habit (alike my regular Psychiatrist APPT).
If any of the viewers of this Blog have any of their suggestions, please send through yours. Slowly, the (hidden) culture of Child Abuse is becoming revealed.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.