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Paedophilia in Private Schools

To read the original article published in The SMH and written by Peter FitzSimons, please click here.

Is paedophilia more prevalent in private schools?

Recently a number of our clients spoke to Peter FitzSimons about the abuse they say they suffered at the hands of Knox teachers. As a matter of fact paedophilia in private religious schools has been an ongoing issue for some time. Correspondingly you can find the full article here.

Greg Dubler
Greg Dubler

Greg and Phillip are two victims at the hands of Knox Grammar teachers.  For one thing, what is extraordinary in the Knox example is the number of paedophiles operating and preying upon the boys at any one time.

Based on what we have seen, Knox had at least seven (7) people within the school in the late 70’s and early 80’s that were assaulting young boys.


The Knox teachers that we can publicly refer to are as follows:

  1. Adrian Nisbett, employed 1971 – 2004 (Convicted),
  2. Barrie Stewart, employed 1972 – 2000 (Convicted),
  3. Bruce Barret (alleged paedophile – died in 1984),
  4. Craig Treloar, employed (Convicted),
  5. Damian Vance, employed 1984-1989 (Convicted),
  6. Roger Warren James, employed 1974 – 1977 (Convicted).

How is this possible? How can Knox have such a high concentration of paedophiles? Similarly we can look at those other schools that our Firm are pursuing. In brief, these schools include: Scotts College, De La Salle, Waverley College, St Ignatius Riverview, Marist Brothers and others. Namely a few qualities become apparent.

The Schools are: 1. private;  2. religious and 3. all boys schools.

Why is it that these three qualities are apparent; at least in relation to the claims that our Firm runs?

In our view, these qualities seemingly lend itself to the institution fostering an apparent disregard for the law. Accordingly within these institutions it seems like a separate world is set up in which the perpetrators believe that the law that exists outside of the institution no longer applies to them and cannot be enforced upon them.  In addition, the institution itself protects them and provides them a space to carry out illegal acts.

Rule of Law

From a lawyers point of view, no institution can be trusted to self-regulate.  Therefore a strong leviathan must always be maintained that reflects and enforces societies expectations.  This leviathan must operate within institutions and must not come second to anything including a strong personality or even religious beliefs that can always be high-jacked by people seeking their own personal interests. Importantly, the people within these institutions must feel the presence of the law.

The paedophiles must feel and see the rule of law operating in order for it to act as a deterrent; the boys must know that the rule of law is there and that it will protect them when called upon; and lastly, the authority figures must know that they are subjects of the rule of law like any other individual in society.
Koffels Solicitors & Barristers have made substantial headway into providing support and compensation for those individuals who have suffered through sexual abuse. Due to the fact we are working with victims on a regular basis, we see first hand and understand the incredible impact that this abuse has on the life of an individual.

In many cases the offences were brought to the attention of superiors yet no action was taken against these predators. The very real difficulties in life that have arisen as a direct result of the abuse will form part of the compensation that we will seek on your behalf. For a private and confidential conversation with Mr Koffel to discuss your experience and the possibility of a claim, please contact us using our secure and private online form here or call Ross on his mobile on 0412 392 980.

3 replies to Paedophilia in Private Schools

  1. wish i had of testified in royal commission as i told patterson one night his masters were molesting me

  2. I met Greg when we were teenagers and felt he was a wonderful person. The 1960s song “Calendar Girl” was playing in the background. I never forgot Greg’s warm manner. Having said that, who knows, some other boys in Greg’s milieu were hideous souls, even smiling, hideous souls who stalk and harass me forty years later. For some five years, it was quite impossible that their accusations could have any truth. Then as an adult, of course I had relationships but this was no different from many other girls. The Knox environment was a vile place in the 1980’s, producing many vile boys. One, a failed furniture salesman and turned failed property developer travels from the northern to the southern beaches (where his relatives own a bar) to shout abuse outside my home in the early hours of the morning, and encourages others to do the same. Participants in this gang, which I first encountered aged 13, call out across several blocks in the city, or follow me around shopping centres, displaying an aggressive, threatening manner. Who knows, perhaps my husband is dying at the time, or I have cancer. It matters not to them. Semi-retirement seems to have given them too much spare time, once again. A man howling at the midday sun in a Surry Hills street whilst pointing at me, draws attention only to himself.

    Although my philanthropic male best friend, and also a fine and now very successful romantic interest attended Knox, I really feel sorry for Greg having to attend there with most of the others.

    Yes, what is it about private schools ? I was young, healthy and not bad looking so the extreme nastiness just washed over me like water at the time. However, in later years some of the women from my school persist in perpetuating childhood attacks and the types of gossip that were made behind my back. Considering these are church schools, if the bitches believe the criticisms they make, well what do they do to help ? Nothing…..they wish to create or amplify the situation of which they speak. The ones who I encountered in health care, or customer service are actually among the worst.

    A mental health charity has been started by another former Knox student, who I recall as a charming young local boy, and his mate, an actor. I’ve made a few online comments to them about the irony of such an endeavour growing from the Knox milieu. However, I’m thankful for their kind efforts and hope they will one day target the endemic bullying of their contemporaries.

    Thanks for reading. My greatest sympathy and best wishes to Greg.

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