THE FORGOTTEN AUSTRALIANS – FAIRBRIDGE FARM SCHOOL, MOLONG

The Premier of NSW, Nathan Rees made an apology to the ‘Forgotten Australians’ on 19 September 2009. On 16 November 2009, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology in the Federal Parliament to the ‘Forgotten Australians’. 500,000 people, including over 7000 former British child migrants were part of the apology, which acknowledged the many instances of neglect and abuse that was the result of their time in government institutions, church organisations, orphanages, homes or foster care. The plight of the ‘Forgotten Australians’ has been identified in three Senate committee inquiries, with each making unanimous calls for an apology.

FAIRBRIDGE FARM SCHOOL, MOLONG

The NSW Migration Heritage Centre supported the Fairbridge Heritage Association Inc.’s heritage project to record the experiences of former British child migrants at the Fairbridge Farm School, Molong, which documents a chapter of Australian migration and settlement history.

The Fairbridge organisation operated child migration schemes for underprivileged British children in Canada, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Australia from 1912 until 1980. Parents were persuaded to sign over legal guardianship of their children, on the promise of a better life in these Commonwealth countries.

The isolated, rural Fairbridge Farm School near Molong in New South Wales operated from 1938 until 1974 during which time about 1000 boys and girls passed through the school and were trained to be “farmers and farmers’ wives”.

Many of those children, now aged in their 60s and 70s, are now talking for the first time about their experiences. Loneliness was rife. Food was often inedible. The standard of education was limited. Disturbingly, more than half of the 39 oral histories recorded by the Fairbridge Heritage Association Inc. document physical and sexual abuse. All the oral histories have been lodged with State Library of NSW and are accessible for research purposes.

The oral histories were subsequently incorporated in David Hill’s book The Forgotten Children and some of the accounts also appear in a documentary entitled The Long Journey Home screened on ABC Television on 17 November 2009.

The transcripts will be accessible at the State Library of NSW »

Purchase book »

Read Fairbridge memories and view personal mementos and photographs in our Belongings exhibition »

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS

Read a selection of 10 oral histories recorded by the Fairbridge Heritage Association Inc.

VINCENT MCMULLAN

Vincent McMullen came as a 7½ year old from Dumbarton in Scotland to Fairbridge in February 1961. He came to Australia as part of a later Fairbridge ‘Family’ scheme, with his mother and father, four brothers and two sisters and spent a total of 4 ½ years at Fairbridge. This interview was recorded in Vincent’s home in Sydney on February 6, 2006.

Vincent McMullen's transcript

Download transcript (pdf)

STEWART LEE

Stewart Lee came as a 4 year old from Manchester to Fairbridge with his three brothers, 11 year old Syd, 9 year old Graham and 8 year old Ian Bayliff, arriving in Sydney in March 1955. Stewart was to stay at Fairbridge for 13 years. This interview was recorded in Gloucester House at Fairbridge Farm Molong on
February 9, 2006.

Stewart Lee transcript

Download transcript (pdf)


EDDIE BAKER

Eddie Baker came as a 10 year old from Winchester to Fairbridge arriving in Sydney in May 1948. He stayed 6 years at Fairbridge. This interview was recorded in Eddie’s house in regional New South Wales February 8, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

MALCOLM FIELD

Malcolm Field came as a 10 year old from England to Fairbridge with his 14 year old brother Laurie, arriving in Sydney in December 1952. His younger brother Keith, aged 6 and sister Jane, aged 5, were already at Fairbridge having been sent out in 1951. Malcolm was to stay at Fairbridge for 7 years. This interview was recorded in Malcolm’s home in regional New South Wales on February 17, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

MARGARET CLARKE (WATT)

Margaret Watt left England for Fairbridge as a 10 year old with her 12 year old twin sisters Joy and June and 13 year old sister Rosemary in 1940. With the outbreak of the Second World War the party of 30 children sailed via Canada and was to be the last group of child migrants to Fairbridge for another seven years. Margaret left Fairbridge after 6 years in 1946 to be with her mother who had followed the children out to Australia. This interview was recorded in Margaret’s home in Sydney on January 31, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

MARGARET MCLAUCHLAN

Scottish Margaret McLauchlan left Northumberland and came to Australia as 5 year old with her 6 year old brother Frank in 1938. Originally they were sent to the Northcotte children’s home in Victoria but were moved during the Second World War with 38 other children to the Fairbridge Farm School at Molong in 1944. Margaret left Fairbridge as a 17 year old in 1949. This interview was recorded in Margaret’s Sydney home on February 8, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf).

GWEN COLE

Gwen Miller came as a 10 year old from Grimsby to Fairbridge with her 7 year old sister Kath and her 4 year old brother Reg and 9 year old Doug, arriving in Sydney in June 1952. An older brother, 14 year old Hughie, joined them at Fairbridge in July the following year. Gwen stayed at Fairbridge for 7 years. This interview was recorded in Gloucester House at Fairbridge Farm School Molong on February 9, 2006.

Download transcript (pdf)

PETER BENNETT

Peter Bennett came from Suffolk to Fairbridge as a 6 year old in 1940 with his 9 year old sister Marie. With the outbreak of the Second World War Peter and Marie sailed with 28 other children via Canada in what was to be the last group of child migrants to Fairbridge for another seven years. Peter was to stay at Fairbridge for 10 years. This interview was recorded in Peter’s home in Sydney on February 15, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

JOYCE WHITBY DRURY

Joyce Drury came to Fairbridge as a 10 year old from Birkdale, Lancashire arriving in Sydney in June 1938. She was to stay at Fairbridge for 7 years. This interview was recorded with Tony Myers at Joyce’s home in regional New South Wales on February 21, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

DENNIS PIERCY

Dennis Piercy came to Fairbridge as an 8 year old with his 5 year old brother Barnie, arriving in Sydney in May 1955. Dennis stayed at Fairbridge for 9 years. This interview was recorded at Gloucester House, Fairbridge Farm School, on March 3, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

RETRIEVED http://www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au/exhibition/fairbridge/fairbridge-transcripts/index.html

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National Redress Scheme (8.5.20)


The newsletter gives an update on the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme). It covers the First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme and recent data on application progress.

The newsletter contains material that could be confronting or distressing. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress or trigger traumatic memories, particularly for people who have experienced past abuse or childhood trauma. 

Support is available to help you if you need it. To find out more, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au/support.

If you need immediate support, 24-hour telephone assistance is available through:

beyondblue1300 224 636

MensLine Australia1300 789 978

Lifeline: 13 11 14


First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme

The First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme was released on 3 May 2020. The report is available here. The report includes 14 recommendations concerning the implementation of the Scheme. The recommendations are now being considered.

The Joint Select Committee was established in September 2019 to inquire into and report on:

  • the Australian Government policy, program and legal response to the redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including the establishment and operation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme and ongoing support of survivors
  • any matter in relation to the Royal Commission’s redress related recommendations referred to the committee by a resolution of either House of the Parliament.

Application progress as at 24 April 2020

As of 24 April 2020, the Scheme: 

  • had received 6,716 applications
  • had made 2,093 decisions, including 1,751 payments totalling over $136.8 million
  • had made 370 offers of redress, which applicants have six months to consider
  • was processing 3,843 applications
  • had 859 applications on hold, including 526 because one or more institution named had not yet joined.

Find out more

To find out more about the Scheme, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377 from Australia or +61 3 6222 3455 from overseas and leave a message.First Interim ReportCopyright © 2020 Australian Government, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Australian GovernmentGPO Box 9820CanberraACT2601Australia
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Getting the National Redress Scheme right

The report ‘Getting the National Redress Scheme right: An overdue step towards justice’ suggested the Scheme should be measured against three core principles:

1 the Scheme must be survivor-focussed and trauma-informed;

2 the Redress process must proceed on the basis of ‘do no further harm’ to the survivor; and

3 amendments to the Scheme must be subject to proper consultation with key survivor groups.

(This is an extract from the Chair’s Foreword of First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme (April 2020). A PDF of it should be made available in our Library + can be retrieved from https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/reportjnt/024473/toc_pdf/FirstInterimReportoftheJointSelectCommitteeonImplementationoftheNationalRedressSchemeApril2020.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf. For further explanation, the Introduction text is reposted as follows –

1. Introduction

Background to the interim report

1.1The Joint Select Committee (Committee) was formed to inquire into the Australian Government policy, program and legal response to the redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including the establishment and operation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme and ongoing support of survivors. 1.2The Committee is required to table its final report in May 2022.1.3Section 192 of the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 (the Act) provides that the relevant Minister must conduct a review of the National Redress Scheme (NRS) as soon as possible after the second anniversary of NRS operation. The Committee notes that the NRS commenced 1 July 2018, and as such, the review must commence prior to 30 June 2020. 1.4Early in its deliberations, the Committee resolved that its first priority should be to review the early experience of survivors with the NRS and use their evidence to identify priority issues that should be addressed by the second anniversary review. 1.5It is the Committee’s expectation that the Minister for Families and Social Services and the Department of Social Services (DSS) accept the findings in this interim report and ensure that the matters identified are incorporated into the terms of reference and design of the second anniversary review as a matter of priority.


Objectives and Scope1.6On 2 April 2020, the Committee announced that it would table an interim report into the implementation of the NRS to reflect the evidence received so far by the Committee.11.7It remains the Committee’s intention that this report will inform the work and priorities of the legislated second anniversary review of the NRS which is to commence after 30 June 2020.1.8The Committee has resolved to finalise a second interim report before tabling its final report in May 2022. 

Conduct

1.9On 13 February 2020, the Committee issued a media release announcing initial public hearing program. Due to matters associated with COVID-19 on 16 March 2020, a separate media release was published noting the hearing program would continue as advised via teleconference.1.10Since the establishment of the Committee, six public hearings have been held. Transcripts can be found on the Committee website and a list of witnesses that appeared is at Appendix A.1.11The Committee invited submissions to be received by 29 May 2020, noting that submissions could be received after that date. The Committee also informed people that confidential and name withheld submissions would also be received. To date the Committee has received 20 submissions, which are listed at Appendix B. 

Report Outline

1.12Chapter 1 details the scope of the activities conducted to undertake the interim report and includes discussion of the Committees aims for the interim report. 1.13Chapter 2 provides a background to the development of the NRS, and discusses how the government has implemented the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. Consideration of previous parliamentary committee findings is also included in this section. 1.14Chapter 3 examines the NRS application process. The three components of an offer of redress including monetary payment, counselling services and direct personal responses are also examined.1.15Chapter 4 considers NRS participation and examines factors that may be influencing a survivor’s decision on whether to apply for redress through the NRS. The number and rate of institutions joining the NRS is also discussed. 1.16Chapter 5 discusses the appropriateness of funder of last resort provisions within the Act.1.17Chapter 6 outlines areas that the Committee believe need to be examined in order to maximise the opportunities of the second anniversary review to deliver improved survivor experiences and outcomes from the NRS.1.18Throughout the interim report the Committee has included quotes that refer to the NRS as the scheme or redress scheme. The Committee has not amended these references.1.19Two appendices accompany this report and provide details on submissions received and a list of witnesses who appeared before the Committee. 1.20A copy of this report, transcripts of hearings and submissions received are available on the Committee’s website at www.aph.gov.au/redress


George Pell walks free after High Court quashes conviction, citing “significant possibility” he is innocent


The former financial controller of the Vatican and most senior Catholic Church official to be found guilty of child sexual assault, Cardinal George Pell, will be released from prison and have his conviction overturned. He has served more than 400 days in isolation behind bars.

In December 2018, a Melbourne jury unanimously convicted Pell of five charges relating to child sexual abuse dating back to a Sunday service at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996. 

However, on the 7th of April 2020, the High Court said there was “a significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted because the evidence did not establish guilt to the requisite standard of proof”. 

The bench also said the jury should have entertained a doubt around Pell’s guilt with respect to each of the individual offences. Because there was reasonable doubt, the High Court quashed all of Pell’s convictions and ordered verdicts of acquittal be entered in its place.

It was not enough that the jurors found the complainant and witnesses to be believable, credible and honest. 

Pell’s legal team, led by Bret Walker SC (Senior Counsel), argued it was “literally impossible” for the complainant to have been abused on the day in question and claimed a “formidable list” of factors and events providing Pell with an alibi.

Pell’s first appeal was shot down on a majority of two to one. This ‘botched decision’ by Victoria’s highest court left Pell in prison for an additional seven months for crimes he never committed.

Walker SC argued on behalf of Pell before a full bench of seven High Court judges in Canberra. Walker SC claimed that just because the complainant was believable, it shouldn’t discount other evidence placing Pell’s conviction in doubt.

The High Court decision does not deny the validity of the complainant, a former choir boy who testified he and a friend were sexually assaulted by Pell. Walker SC and Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd QC, agreed the choirboy was a credible, believable witness.

However, all seven High Court judges, Australia’s finest legal minds, decided in Pell’s favour. 

Pell learned of his success from inside his isolated cell at Barwon Prison, home to some of Australia’s most dangerous criminals. 

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

Image: Al Jazeera

RETRIEVED https://kelsolawyers.com/au/george-pell-conviction-quashed/

Meetup closure + Power of Secrets!

Although the MeetUp Group ‘Brisbane Abuse Survivours Network’, now seems to have closed – we’re experiencing larger + wider impacts with this RCbbc Blog. The growth, interaction + time required by these RCbbc Blog pages continue to outweigh any more time + costs taken by running a MeetUp Group as well.

https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/

We’ve now achieved at least 1,124 Subscribers, the ongoing impact + support is filling in a much-needed gap. Particularly direct families continue to be a cause of many surviving-victims not coming forth, I’m now in a position that I’ve recently had a 3rd body start guiding one of my parents through my CSA mess. It’s not a solution, yet it does feel relieving to have an unresolved misunderstanding taken off my shoulders. Please seek help, through a Counsellor!

Secrecy has-does-will have a power over our lives. It always will, yet we each have that same control over it. This is where Predators/Abusers/Facilitators have taken advantage of their assumed targets, typically manipulating their unawareness of their own rights (maturity, trust + secrecy). ‘The Power of Secrets’ in PsychologyToday begins by stating that Secrets can divide people. “They deter relationships. And they freeze development on individuals.”

The Secret life of Families, Evan Imber-Black, Ph.D.

Power of Secrets contains titles of: HOW SECRETS SABOTAGE, SHATTERING THE TRIANGLE, ‘DON’T TELL ANYONE OUR BUSINESS’, BREAKING FAMILY RULES, ROOM FOR REHEARSAL, FROZEN FAMILIES + RESPECTING TRANSITION TIMES. So enthralling are these, I’ll try to repost the entire page ASAP.

From the book The Secret Life of Families by Evan IrabetBlack, Ph.D. Copyright 1998 by Evan Imber-Black. Reprinted by permission of Bantam Books, New York, New York. All rights reserved. Amazon Springer kobo

PHOTO (COLOR): Secrets are kept or opened for many reasons, from self-serving abuses of power to the protection of others. (Unavailable, yet text provided)

PHOTOS (COLOR): Family secrets are destructive and all families have some secrets from the outside world. Resist the temptation to handle them at transition times such as weddings, graduations, and new beginnings. (Unavailable, yet text provided)

BY EVAN IMBER-BLACK

RETRIEVED:

eNews 3 – Revelation, more StKevins +

Adobe’s Document Cloud – https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Abe8385f0-5935-44b2-a30d-870667c6af34

Each of these 3 marvellous ABC Documentaries reveal more of the Institutional deceptions of Child Sexual Abuse!
Twitter samples – positive + occasional negative feedback, during 3rd Episode.
Timely image of Gerald Ridsdale, accompanied by George Pell – early Court appearances.

Revelation 2/3

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!

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/revelation

Watching Revelation in iview

Victims of sex abuse at elite school say cries for help ignored

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:

Knox Grammar School is the latest Australian institution to be exposed for covering up paedophilia.

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

Elite Sydney private schools face sexual abuse suits

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.

Prestigious private schools around Australia are facing multimillion dollar lawsuits from alleged victims of sexual abuse. Vision courtesy ABC News 24.


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.

Sydney lawyer Ross Koffel has filed 10 claims on behalf of abuse victims against elite schools.CREDIT:ABC 7.30

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.

Former De La Salle College Revesby Heights student Adrian Coorie is suing his old school over his alleged sexual abuseCREDIT:ABC 7.30

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.

RETRIEVED https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/elite-sydney-private-schools-face-sexual-abuse-suits-20160406-gnzbam.html

Further St.Kevins likeness … BBC?

Image used, inspiration

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.