Sorry, if this post is shorter than the 1st! Tue nite’s 2nd Revelation hit home a lot harder for me + my weekly Counselling call starts in a few hrs. While I tried to take some notes, of how Catholic patterns were carried on in both school classes + individual attacks-instances. Even while noting these out, my mind feels like it’s returning to a spinning-whirlwind feeling. Predators knew this + took advantage of it.
PAUSE Take a break, from what you’re doing. These moments can be very complex and anyone involved, may be drawn into the trappings. Put your phone, or computer down and clear your mind. You can always return later.Advice on STRESS-tension
While I was returning, to continue typing (after my break), an advert of the 3/3 Episode of Revelation was playing on TV. Whilst I had been making comments, when I 1st saw it on Tue nite actually watching it directly had a ‘freezing’ effect. Not temperature, but in my movements. I hadn’t felt like that, since after another church incident in 1990. 🧊
ABC’s iView has available online viewings of these Revelation Episodes, which also allow you to watch what you can, pause + replay whenever you’re ready!
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.
@MikeCarlton01 Looking forward to this tonight. I’m told it’s brilliant…jaw dropping
@treacl: Confession was seen as a #GetOutOfJail card … #RevelationABC
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.
Adults Surviving Child Abuse: 1300 657 380
Survivors and Mates Support Network: 02 8355 3711
Bravehearts: 1800 272 831
By Jacob Saulwick
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.
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.
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.
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.