The Royal Commission

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In November 2012 the Federal Government announced the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Brisbane Grammar School fully supported​ the important work of the Royal Commission in giving voice to those who have suffered abuse, identifying the causes of such abuse and recommending action now and for the future.

The public hearings in Brisbane canvassed significant amounts of oral evidence which, combined with documentary evidence provided, were considered by the Royal Commission. Brisbane Grammar School was the subject of Case Study 34, click here to view that report and the Royal Commision's findings.

The School is committed to helping those who have suffered sexual abuse in the past. To that end, we encourage anyone who may have suffered past sexual abuse to contact the School as provided below.

Responding to past abuse

Since 2000 Brisbane Grammar School has fully acknowledged, and has been responding to, the tragic legacy of abuse committed against students in the 1970s and 1980s by the School Counsellor Kevin Lynch.

We reiterate our unreserved apology to them for what happened and the impact these events have had on them.

From the very first days that the School was made aware of what had occurred our leadership put in place our own redress scheme which has provided counselling and psychological care, personal apology from the Chairman and Headmaster, as well as monetary payments.

So far the Scheme operated by the School has finalised settlements with more than 130 survivors.

While we recognise that we are powerless to undo the past, we are and remain committed to responding to those who experienced abuse with care and compassion.

Our response to survivors and victims of Kevin Lynch since 2000 both predates and mirrors the later recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

A central element of the BGS Scheme is that we require any person coming forward to be independently legally represented, at BGS cost, to ensure that their interests are protected. This means that they have independent legal advice on their settlement, its terms and its quantum, before it is concluded.

Brisbane Grammar School accepts that survivors who suffered abuse may not wish to deal direct with the School. Therefore, Brisbane Grammar S​chool has set up a Redress Office, managed by an independent Redress Coordinator (a Doctor of Psychology) to coordinate the ongoing counselling support and assistance provided to those who have been abused by Kevin Lynch.

The Redress Office has a​ dedicated phone number - 0401 345 356 - has been set up for this specific purpose. A qualified practitioner will be available to speak to you during business hours, or leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible. Alternatively please contact the Redress Office via email redressoffice@gmail.com

If you require emergency assistance after hours, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website. You may also like to seek support from your GP, another care provider, or proceed to the emergency department of your closest hospital. 

​Responding to other abuse

If anyone wishes to bring a complaint of abuse against any member of BGS staff, past or present, they may do so in any of the following ways:

  • Contacting the police or other relevant authority in your state.
  • Contact the School directly on (07) 3834 5200.

Please note, when children are involved, the School has mandatory reporting provisions to the police or relevant state authority.


Keeping the Brisbane Grammar School community informed 

Our priority has been to communicate proactively and openly with our BGS community on these important issues including the operation of our Redress Scheme as well as our response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. You can read our communications on these matters below.​

​Brisbane Grammar School Policies

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Further links


 

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Statement

Tuesday 20 August 2019


Dear Parents, Guardians and the BGS community past, present, and future,

I am writing to advise you that the Board of Trustees of Brisbane Grammar School has resolved to apply for entry into the National Redress Scheme. The establishment of the National Redress Scheme was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

While we will continue to operate our own redress scheme as we have done for nearly two decades, we recognise that some of those who have experienced abuse in the past may not wish to engage with the School. If approved, our participation in the National Redress Scheme will provide an additional avenue for those who have experienced abuse to seek redress.

We understand that the application process for the National Redress Scheme, which is subject to approval by the Minister, will likely take a number of months. The Board’s decision to opt in to the National Redress Scheme is another step by Brisbane Grammar School since 2000 to respond to these terrible events.

We will continue to offer the option of working directly with the School for those who choose to do so, parallel with our participation in the National Redress Scheme.

You can read more about our response and how to access services provided by BGS here.

Yours faithfully, 

Anthony Micallef
Headmaster


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​Statement

Thursday 28 February 2019


 
Dear Parents, Guardians and all in our BGS Community,

 
I am writing to update you on the considerations relevant to Brisbane Grammar School's participation in the National Redress Scheme established by the Commonwealth with a legislated entry period up to 30 June 2020. 

 
Since May 2000 the School has openly acknowledged the criminal abuse of students committed by Kevin Lynch. We reiterate our unreserved apology for what occurred and acknowledge the pain and suffering of victims.

 
Over the past 19 years the School has called for anyone who may have experienced abuse to come forward, and as a result the School has settled matters with some 130 former students and is continuing to deal with claims today. 

 
Our approach is very much focused on those who have experienced abuse in the full knowledge that we cannot undo the past but can work to provide some healing to lives damaged by abuse.

 
In 2000 the School established its own scheme which has been well publicised, is well understood, and has been widely used. 

 
The BGS Scheme has, from the outset, been based on the same elements of redress ultimately recommended by the Royal Commission in 2015, including agreed compensation, unlimited counselling provided by independent specialists of the person’s choice, as well as a personal, face-to-face apology from the Chairman and the Headmaster.

 
The BGS Scheme continues to operate while we consider participation in the National Redress Scheme. Information and assistance in relation to the BGS Scheme is available via the Redress Office on 0401 345 356 or alternatively via email at redressoffice@gmail.com.

 
The Commonwealth has legislated for a two year period, ending on 30 June 2020, for all institutions to decide whether to participate in the voluntary National Redress Scheme. There are important considerations to be taken into account by the School in making this decision, which will be completed well before this deadline.

 
The Commonwealth Department of Social Services (which is the operator of the National Redress Scheme) has acknowledged to us in writing that the School ‘has been acting in good faith to date and is applying due consideration to joining the Scheme.’ 

 
We will continue to do so and will keep you informed. 

Anthony Micallef
Headmaster

 
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Statement

Thursday 19 October 2017

We are aware of the additional report that has been released in respect of Case Study 34. 

We note that the Royal Commission is satisfied that there was no means for BGS to have known the history of Kevin Lynch in another state at that time. 

The Royal Commission stated: 

“The report states that at the time of his employment at Brisbane Grammar in 1973 and St Paul's in 1989, there was no Working With Children Check scheme in place in Queensland and there was also no requirement that a criminal history check be undertaken. Even if a police check had been undertaken in Queensland, it would not have revealed the NSW offences".

Anthony Micallef

Headmaster


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Statement

Wednesday 15 February, 2017

Today the Royal Commission released its report into Case Study 34 into the response of Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul's School to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Please click here to read the statement from the Trustees of Brisbane Grammar School released today following the tabling of the Royal Commission's report.

I would like to reiterate the School's unreserved apology to those who suffered as a result of the abuse committed by Kevin Lynch between 1976 and 1988.

We confirm the School's commitment to continue to support any former students who come forward.

Anthony Micallef

Headmaster

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Statement

Thursday 1 December, 2016

As we have previously undertaken to do, I am today writing to you to provide an update on the progress of the Royal Commission process following last year’s public hearing.

Today the Royal Commission published submissions made by all represented parties in Case Study 34, which inquired into the abuse committed by Kevin Lynch at Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul's School.

While the publication of submissions is an important next step, it is not the conclusion of the Royal Commission process.

The final rep ort of the Royal Commission, including its recommendations and findings, is yet to be completed and publicly released.

In light of the continuing work of the Royal Commission, Brisbane Grammar School is respectfully awaiting the conclusion of that process and will not comment further until the final report has been released.

In the interim, BGS will continue working with those who were abused by Kevin Lynch, providing personal apologies, compensation payments and ongoing counselling.

Anthony Micallef

Headmaster


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Statement

Thursday 1 December, 2016

As we have previously undertaken to do, I am today writing to you to provide an update on the progress of the Royal Commission process following last year’s public hearing.

Today the Royal Commission published submissions made by all represented parties in Case Study 34, which inquired into the abuse committed by Kevin Lynch at Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul's School.

While the publication of submissions is an important next step, it is not the conclusion of the Royal Commission process.

The final rep ort of the Royal Commission, including its recommendations and findings, is yet to be completed and publicly released.

In light of the continuing work of the Royal Commission, Brisbane Grammar School is respectfully awaiting the conclusion of that process and will not comment further until the final report has been released.

In the interim, BGS will continue working with those who were abused by Kevin Lynch, providing personal apologies, compensation payments and ongoing counselling.

Anthony Micallef

Headmaster


 

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Statement

Friday 12 February, 2016

The Board of Trustees of the Brisbane Grammar School today released an update to the BGS community on matters relating to the abuse of students by Kevin Lynch between 1976 and 1988.

The Board reiterated the School’s commitment to continuing its work, which commenced in 2000, in addressing the effects of the abuse.

The update outlines the steps the School has undertaken in working with those who have suffered abuse, including compensation, counselling and personal apologies by the School leadership.

The Board has also considered and decided against adopting the initiative of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane in relation to the refund of school fees, but will continue with the existing approach to redress and compensation, which is in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

Click here for the detailed BGS Community Update.

Media contact: 0408 276 749.


 

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Statement

Monday 8 February, 2016

The Board of Brisbane Grammar School is considering the decision of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, announced in November 2015, to refund school fees to the parents of sexual abuse victims. As we have advised those who have approached the School, the Board will make a decision on this complex issue in due course, having given it our full and proper consideration. As far as we are aware, since the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane publicly stated its position, no other institution in Australia has yet announced a similar approach.

BGS is continuing to work with those victims who have come forward. We have settled 76 claims to date and are continuing to meet with primary victims and mediate their matters.

Howard Stack

Brisbane Grammar School Board of Trustees Chairman