Chapter 11

The alleged perpetrators

Introduction

As set out in Chapter 3, Scope and interpretation(opens in a new window), the Board of Inquiry has identified six relevant employees within scope of its Terms of Reference. They are considered relevant employees as they were employed at Beaumaris Primary School and allegedly sexually abused students at this school between 1960 and 1979. Based on the amount of information available to the Board of Inquiry, this Chapter focuses on four of the six relevant employees, referred to as alleged perpetrators: Darrell Ray, Wyatt, David MacGregor and Graham Steele. ‘Wyatt’ is a pseudonym — he cannot be named for legal reasons.

This Chapter includes narratives on each of these alleged perpetrators. The narratives include information about their employment history and criminal records, what victim-survivors told the Board of Inquiry about them, and the Department of Education’s (Department’s) knowledge of and response to their behaviour.

These narratives have informed the Board of Inquiry’s analysis of and findings about the Department’s response, as set out in Chapter 13, System failings(opens in a new window).

The victim-survivors

The Board of Inquiry heard directly from dozens of victim-survivors whom Mr Ray, Wyatt, Mr MacGregor or Mr Steele allegedly sexually abused. Some victim-survivors shared experiences of sexual abuse by more than one of these alleged perpetrators. The Board of Inquiry also heard from secondary victims about their loved ones’ experiences of child sexual abuse.

In describing the accounts of victim-survivors shared with the Board of Inquiry, it is pertinent to observe there are likely to be people with relevant information who (for various reasons) did not come forward.

The child sexual abuse as described to the Board of Inquiry

The vast majority of the victim-survivors who engaged with the Board of Inquiry shared experiences of sexual abuse as young boys. As discussed earlier in this report, the Board of Inquiry also heard from some victim-survivors that they had been sexually abused as young girls. In most cases, victim-survivors said they had been sexually abused in the middle to late years of primary school.

The Board of Inquiry was told about child sexual abuse taking place in school settings, such as in classrooms and libraries; at sporting events and facilities; and during camps. The Board of Inquiry was also told about child sexual abuse occurring in the alleged perpetrators’ cars, houses and during weekends away.

The Board of Inquiry heard from victim-survivors about child sexual abuse occurring when they were alone, or when the alleged perpetrator deliberately separated them from other children and adults. In other cases, victim-survivors recalled the sexual abuse occurring in front of other children. Some victim-survivors recalled that the child sexual abuse occurred once, but others recalled it occurring over a sustained period of time.

The sexual abuse as recounted by victim-survivors comprised different kinds of conduct. This included victim-survivors having their genitals or other parts of their bodies touched or rubbed, being made to touch the alleged perpetrator’s genitals or watch them masturbate, and being penetrated by the alleged perpetrator.

The Board of Inquiry identified 24 schools as falling within its scope. Of those who engaged with the Board of Inquiry, a higher number of victim-survivors shared experiences of child sexual abuse at Beaumaris Primary School than at any of the other schools.

All forms of child sexual abuse are traumatic. The personal experiences of victim-survivors and secondary victims is included in Part B(opens in a new window).

The alleged perpetrators

This section provides detail on four of the six relevant employees, referred to as alleged perpetrators: Mr Ray, Wyatt, Mr MacGregor and Mr Steele.

Three of these alleged perpetrators — Mr Ray, Wyatt and Mr MacGregor — have been convicted of child sexual abuse offences. In addition to these convictions, many more victim-survivors have engaged with the Board of Inquiry about child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by the four men.

Based on victim-survivors and secondary victims who have engaged with the Board of Inquiry, and materials from the Department and Victoria Police, the Board of Inquiry is aware of the following number of allegations of child sexual abuse in relation to each alleged perpetrator:

  • Mr Ray: allegations of child sexual abuse relating to 60 individuals
  • Wyatt: allegations of child sexual abuse relating to 28 individuals
  • Mr MacGregor: allegations of child sexual abuse relating to 13 individuals
  • Mr Steele: allegations of child sexual abuse relating to eight individuals.

Connections between the alleged perpetrators

The alleged perpetrators were all employed at Beaumaris Primary School for two years (1971 and 1972). The Department’s records show that Mr MacGregor was on leave in 1971, however Mr MacGregor told the Board of Inquiry he was granted leave in 1971 but took leave in 1972. What is clear is that in 1971 and 1972 the alleged perpetrators were all employed as teachers at Beaumaris Primary School, and for one of those years Mr MacGregor took leave.1 Over the course of their careers, the alleged perpetrators worked across a total of 23 other government primary schools that fall within the Board of Inquiry’s scope. These 23 schools, as well as Beaumaris Primary School, are within scope to the extent the child sexual abuse a victim-survivor shared with the Board of Inquiry involved one of the alleged perpetrators. Most of these schools are located in the south-east region of Melbourne.

Not only were the alleged perpetrators employed together at Beaumaris Primary School for a time, at other times they worked at schools in close proximity to one another. Mr Ray and Mr MacGregor also attended Toorak Teachers’ College at the same time between 1961 and 1962.2

Information also suggests that some of the alleged perpetrators had connections outside of school.

Many people recalled that Mr Ray and Mr Steele were good friends. Former teachers at Beaumaris Primary School described Mr Ray and Mr Steele as ‘great mate[s]’.3 One teacher recalled that Mr Ray and Mr Steele would take boys ‘off for bashes [of cricket] on Fridays, and occasionally on weekends’.4

The Board of Inquiry also understands that Mr Ray and Mr Steele went on a holiday overseas for five months, and travelled together in a campervan.5

A former teacher at Beaumaris Primary School recalled that Mr Ray, Wyatt and Mr Steele were ‘close’, likely due to their interest in sport.6

The Board of Inquiry received information that suggested that Wyatt was close friends with another alleged perpetrator, based on their personal connections and shared activities outside of school. Due to Wyatt’s Restricted Publication Order, further detail cannot be included in this report.

The Board of Inquiry was also told that two of the alleged perpetrators had a familial relationship.

It is notable that the alleged perpetrators worked at Beaumaris Primary School at the same time, worked in other schools within close proximity to one another, and some had connections with one another outside of school. Professor Leah Bromfield, Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection and Chair of Child Protection, University of South Australia, gave evidence to the Board of Inquiry that if an individual is perpetrating child sexual abuse in an institution, this may ‘create a culture … which assists others to overcome internal inhibitions they may have to sexually abusing a child’ — for example, normalising the child sexual abuse or decreasing the fear of consequence of being caught.7 Relevantly, one victim-survivor recalled that Mr Ray sexually abused him while Wyatt observed.8

The four alleged perpetrators were also all involved in sport, through sports coaching at the schools or through sporting organisations.9 Some victim-survivors shared that the alleged perpetrators were respected for their sport coaching ability, and they would use these positions to bring children into their orbit.10 For further detail, see Chapter 12, Grooming and disclosure(opens in a new window).

Use of the term ‘alleged perpetrator’

Objective (a) of the Board of Inquiry’s Terms of Reference is to ‘establish an official public record of victim-survivors’ experiences of historical child sexual abuse’.11 Consistent with this, the Board of Inquiry shares the following narratives as part of the public record of victim-survivors’ experiences, but does not make any findings of fact in relation to them. It has not examined or tested the information in order to make any findings, nor has it applied any legal tests that may be required to make findings in legal proceedings.

The Board of Inquiry has relied on documents from the Department and Victoria Police in relation to the employment history and criminal records of the alleged perpetrators. Due to historical record-keeping practices and the past reliance on hard copy material, the amount of available information used to prepare these narratives varies, and in some instances may be inconsistent with the recollections of and information held by victim-survivors. In addition, on 12 September 1994, there was a fire at Beaumaris Primary School that resulted in the loss of some school records dating back to when the school opened in 1915.12 An affected community member with a connection to the school told the Board of Inquiry it was unlikely the fire would have destroyed any relevant records as the office was small and everything was sent to the Department.13

In preparing the narratives, the Board of Inquiry has not examined civil claims against the Department in relation to the alleged perpetrators. In accordance with its Terms of Reference, the Board of Inquiry did not inquire into:

  • the response of the State of Victoria (including the Department and its staff) to any complaints (other than in relation to the Department’s response at or around the time of the alleged child sexual abuse, consistently with clause 3(c) of the Terms of Reference)
  • legal proceedings or legal claims in relation to incidents of historical child sexual abuse in a government school
  • compensation or redress arrangements, including the settlement of any civil claims.

In addition, and in line with its Terms of Reference, the Board of Inquiry also seeks to avoid causing prejudice to any current or future criminal or civil proceedings. Any consideration given by the Board of Inquiry to the content of civil claims would risk causing prejudice to such civil and criminal proceedings.

Alleged perpetrator narrative: Darrell Ray

Teaching history

Darrell Vivienne Ray was also known as Darrell Vivian Ray and Ray Cosgriff.

Mr Ray was born on 14 May 1941 and died during the term of the Board of Inquiry, on 21 November 2023.14

Mr Ray taught or worked in Victorian government schools for 16 years, from 1 January 1963 to 4 February 1979.15 During this time, Mr Ray primarily held the positions of teacher librarian and football, cricket and sports coach.16

Table 1 outlines Mr Ray’s employment record at Victorian government primary schools.

Outside of school, Mr Ray was also involved in a number of organisations where he had contact with children.17 Several victim-survivors told the Board of Inquiry about his role at St Kilda Little League. It appears that Mr Ray used his position at government primary schools to recruit children into the League.18 There is no record of any formal affiliation between the schools and the League.19

Table 1 Mr Ray’s employment record at Victorian government primary schools

Mr Ray attended Toorak Teachers’ College from 1 January 1960 to 31 December 1962.20

Mr Ray was employed at the following Victorian government primary school settings:

  • 1 January 1963 to 31 December 1966: Library Services Branch21
  • 1 January 1967 to 31 December 1970: Moorabbin (Tucker Road) School (now Tucker Road Bentleigh Primary School) (as a teacher librarian; at times he held additional roles such as football coach and cricket coach)22
  • 1 January 1971 to 31 December 1976: Beaumaris Primary School (as a teacher librarian; at times he held additional roles such as football, cricket and sports coach)23
  • 1 January 1977 to 4 February 1979: Mount View Primary School (as a teacher librarian adviser, whose role involved attending schools in the inspectorate).24

Details of alleged child sexual abuse

Multiple individuals engaged with the Board of Inquiry to share their experiences or observations of child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Mr Ray. According to these accounts, Mr Ray’s child sexual abuse was flagrant and prolific.

Many of the accounts are similar and involve Mr Ray isolating and sexually abusing children in the school library. Other accounts relate to him sexually abusing children at, or on the way to, sporting events.

According to the experiences shared with the Board of Inquiry, Mr Ray used his role as a teacher librarian to lure children into his care and separate them from other children and adults. One victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that Mr Ray had ‘groomed’ him ‘as a helper to help put the books away’.25

Mr Ray’s role as a sports coach features heavily in the experiences victim-survivors shared. One victim-survivor recalled that ‘people were desperate to play little league footy’.26 Another victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that ‘it was every kid’s dream’ to play in the football teams Mr Ray coached, stating that ‘my dad kept telling me I was lucky because [Mr Ray] was the most incredible coach’.27 Both victim-survivors said they were sexually abused by Mr Ray as he drove them to and from football.28

Many victim-survivors recalled being sexually abused by Mr Ray in front of other children. The Board of Inquiry heard that Mr Ray would often put children on his lap and read them a book while he sexually abused them, as outlined below.

The Board of Inquiry also heard that Mr Ray sexually abused a victim-survivor while another teacher at the school observed. The victim-survivor recalled that he was first sexually abused by Mr Ray in the 1970s, when he was in early primary school.29 The other teacher went on to sexually abuse the victim-survivor regularly, sometimes with Mr Ray watching on.30

In a school context

Multiple victim-survivors told the Board of Inquiry about being sexually abused by Mr Ray in the school library. Mr Ray would exploit a child’s interest in books to entice them into the library during lunchtimes and outside of school hours.

One victim-survivor recalled showing an interest in a book in the library. Mr Ray told him that the book could not be borrowed and he would have to come to the library during a break to read it. The victim-survivor said that he then visited the library during lunchtime, where Mr Ray proceeded to sexually abuse him. He recalled that Mr Ray pushed him up against a desk, pressed into his back and fondled his genitals. The victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that Mr Ray continued to talk like it was ‘normal behaviour’, and even said, ‘enjoy the book’.31 He recalled that, ‘I never went back [to the library] on my own … because I saw it as dangerous’.32

Another victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry how Mr Ray used his interest in a hobby to coax him into the library. Almost every week, the victim-survivor would go into the library at lunchtime to discuss his hobby with Mr Ray. He recalled that Mr Ray would stand behind him and rub his shoulders and bottom, and then put his hands down his underpants and massage his genitals, while he had his hand down his own pants. He said that Mr Ray would masturbate and ejaculate on him.33

Another victim-survivor said that he did ‘special classes with [Mr Ray] to improve [his] reading’. The victim-survivor recalled that Mr Ray would sexually abuse him in groups and by himself. He said that Mr Ray ‘anally raped [him] several times’ over the course of a year.34

Yet another victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that Mr Ray trapped him in the library while he was looking for a book. He recalled that Mr Ray put his hand down his pants and fondled his genitals. The victim-survivor remembered that he froze in response to the sexual abuse. He told the Board of Inquiry how he avoided being alone in the library with Mr Ray: he ‘climbed up on the lockers to see if Mr Ray was in [the library] alone’ and sometimes went home rather than going to the library.35

In a submission prepared by lawyers, who represent victim-survivors who were allegedly sexually abused as children by the alleged perpetrators, it was recounted that one of their clients alleged that Mr Ray sexually abused him in the library. It was described that Mr Ray would touch the victim-survivor’s groin and genitals before the sexual abuse escalated to masturbation and digital and penile penetration.36

Many victim-survivors recalled the separate office or ‘storeroom’ at the end of the library at Beaumaris Primary School where Mr Ray would allegedly isolate children and sexually abuse them.

A victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that Mr Ray called him into the library office and asked him to sit on his knee so Mr Ray could read him a ‘special book’. He recalled that Mr Ray put his hands down his pants and rubbed his buttocks and penis.37

Another victim-survivor shared with the Board of Inquiry that Mr Ray would put his hands down his pants, fondle his genitals and penetrate him in the library ‘storeroom’. He said that this occurred on multiple occasions and the sexual abuse became more severe over time.38

A further victim-survivor shared that Mr Ray called him into the library office, pulled him close, and put his hands down his pants and fondled him.39

Similarly, a victim-survivor was called to see Mr Ray in his office in the library. As the victim-survivor was waiting outside the office, Mr Ray ‘encircled [him] with his arms and then proceeded to slide both hands down into the front of [his] shorts and inside [his] underwear,’ and ‘briefly fondled’ him.40

Yet another victim-survivor, who attended a different primary school, shared how Mr Ray would sexually assault him in that school’s library office. He recalled that Mr Ray would sit him on his lap and ‘put his hand up, or down, my shorts and fondle my genitals’.41

In front of other children

The Board of Inquiry also heard from several victim-survivors about Mr Ray sexually abusing children in front of other children during classes.

One victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry how he was sexually abused by Mr Ray in front of other children at Beaumaris Primary School. He can still remember the shocked looks on children’s faces as they tried to process what was happening.42

Another victim-survivor, who also recalled being sexually abused by Mr Ray in his library office, said his first memory of being molested by Mr Ray was during ‘story times’ in the library. He recalled that Mr Ray would sit him on his knees and ask him to hold the book. The victim-survivor recalled that when the book was in front of him, Mr Ray would slip his hands down his pants ‘in front of the entire class of eight-year olds’.43

Yet another victim-survivor shared how Mr Ray would sit children on his lap and put his hands down the back of their pants.44

Similarly, another victim-survivor recalled that during ‘open library sessions’, Mr Ray would put a hand under his shirt — ‘down [my] back or bum’.45

Sporting events

Other victim-survivors shared with the Board of Inquiry their experiences, and fear, of Mr Ray sexually abusing them at or on the way to sporting events.

One victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry how children feared being driven home by Mr Ray from football matches; he said, ‘you just knew that [it] was going to be an horrendous drive home’. The victim-survivor recalled one time when Mr Ray dropped the other children home first and ‘attacked’ and ‘fondled’ him.46

Another victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry how Mr Ray would sexually abuse him in the changerooms. He recalled that Mr Ray would turn him away from the other children, pretend to tuck his jumper into his pants, and ‘grab hold of [his] genitals’ and ‘molest’ him.47

In a submission prepared by lawyers who represent victim-survivors who were allegedly sexually abused as children by the alleged perpetrators, it was recounted that one of their clients alleged that Mr Ray fondled his genitals while driving him home after football training.48

Broader school settings

The Board of Inquiry also heard how Mr Ray used his teaching role to engage with families and children outside of school.

Mr Ray would select children from Beaumaris Primary School to be part of St Kilda Little League. One victim-survivor recalled how Mr Ray molested him at St Kilda Little League. He said that Mr Ray sexually abused him on the way to football training, at training and on the way home.49

Another individual told the Board of Inquiry about the sexual abuse Mr Ray allegedly perpetrated on her brothers. She recalled that Mr Ray would drive her brothers home from football training and would also take them to the drive-in cinema. She told the Board of Inquiry that her brothers disclosed that Mr Ray sexually abused them in the car at the drive-in and on the way home. On this person’s account, one child was raped and the other was fondled.50

Criminal offending summary

The Board of Inquiry is able to provide information on four criminal proceedings where Mr Ray was convicted of a total of 37 child sexual abuse offences. The level of detail that has been provided to the Board of Inquiry in relation to each proceeding varies.

In addition, the Board of Inquiry understands that there were several active criminal proceedings that could not progress due to Mr Ray’s death in November 2023.

Based on the convictions alone, it is clear that Mr Ray sexually abused children at Victorian government primary schools over a period of at least 12 years, from 1967 to 1979.

The Board of Inquiry is also aware that Mr Ray’s conduct is the subject of a number of civil claims involving the Department. As noted earlier in this Chapter, the Department’s response to and conduct of any civil claims in relation to Mr Ray is outside the scope of the Board of Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.

Finalised criminal proceedings

August 1979

On 1 August 1979, Mr Ray pleaded guilty and was convicted of two counts of gross indecency and four counts of indecent assault on four males under 16 years of age.51 These offences occurred between 1978 and 1979, when Mr Ray was a teacher librarian adviser at Mount View Primary School.52 Mr Ray had contact with the victim-survivors involved in these proceedings through football.53

Mr Ray pleaded guilty to all offences.54 Mr Ray was released on a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered to pay a fine of $500.55

February 2001

On 15 February 2001, the County Court sentenced Mr Ray to 44 months imprisonment for 27 counts of indecent assault on 18 males under the aged of 16 years old.56 Mr Ray pleaded guilty to all 27 counts.57

Seven counts of indecent assault occurred between 1 January 1967 and 31 December 1970, when Mr Ray was a teacher librarian at Moorabbin (Tucker Road) Primary School.58 The sexual assault typically involved My Ray putting his hands into children’s pants and fondling their genitals.59 The sexual assaults mainly occurred in the library, but at times it occurred outside of school hours, after sporting events.60

The remaining 20 counts of indecent assault occurred between 1 January 1972 and 31 December 1976, when Mr Ray was a teacher librarian at Beaumaris Primary School.61 In summary, the child sexual abuse included Mr Ray putting his hands down children’s pants and fondling and touching their genitals, buttocks and anal regions; touching and caressing children’s chests, arms and upper legs; and asking one child if they would like to touch him.62

In the investigations leading up to this conviction, Mr Ray made admissions to Victoria Police that he was sexually attracted to young boys and was ‘very careful’ not to do anything at school.63 He also said that ‘I suppose it’s not impossible’ that the alleged sexual abuse occurred.64

January 2002

On 29 January 2002, Mr Ray was convicted of two counts of indecent assault against a student.65 Mr Ray was sentenced to six months imprisonment, to be served concurrent with his 2001 sentence of 44 months.66

December 2013

On 17 December 2013, Mr Ray was convicted of two counts of indecent assault of males under the age of 16 years old.67 Mr Ray was sentenced to six months imprisonment.68

The education system’s knowledge and response

The first record that the Department retains that refers to concerns about (or allegations about) sexual misconduct on the part of Mr Ray was dated 27 November 1978, when Victoria Police notified the Department of criminal charges against Mr Ray.

The Board of Inquiry has been provided with extensive information, however, that suggests a principal, as well as some senior staff, teachers and parents at Beaumaris Primary School, were aware of concerns about the sexual nature of Mr Ray’s conduct while he was a teacher librarian at the school from 1971 to 1976.69

Despite the existence of this information, there is no information the Board of inquiry has received that suggests the Department took appropriate action to protect the safety of children.

What was known at Beaumaris Primary School about the alleged child sexual abuse

The following recollections of concerns about Mr Ray’s conduct are derived from interviews the Department conducted in 2000 and 2001 with teachers, parents and former students at Beaumaris Primary School.70 They are not accounts given directly to the Board of Inquiry.

A former teacher informed the Department in 2001 that there was ‘innuendo’ about Mr Ray’s behaviour in the 1970s.71 The teacher was aware that a parent had made a complaint to the principal, Vern Hussey, about Mr Ray, although she was not aware of the details.72 The teacher was told that Mr Hussey’s response was ‘I’ll take care of it’ and ‘don’t worry it won’t happen again’.73

A former teacher at the school also said that a parent had made a complaint to Mr Hussey about Mr Ray’s behaviour at some stage between 1972 and 1975.74 In response, Mr Hussey encouraged women to ‘help out in the library’ and to ‘ferry children to and from football’.75

A former student told the Department in 2001 that he and a fellow student reported Mr Ray’s sexual abuse to Mr Hussey in 1974.76 The student reported that Mr Ray ‘had put his hand down the front of boys’ pants’ and ‘he had been doing this for years’.77 The student also relayed this conversation to a teacher at Beaumaris Primary School.78

This teacher had no specific recollection of being approached by the student.79 The teacher recalled, however, that they were aware that a parent had made a complaint to Mr Hussey about Mr Ray’s behaviour between 1975 and 1977.80 Mr Hussey told them that they had investigated the matter and no evidence of ‘wrongdoing’ was found.81

A former assistant principal recalled that a parent of a student, who was also a teacher at the school, made a complaint to him about Mr Ray putting his hands down their son’s pants in 1975.82 The assistant principal told the parent to report this to Mr Hussey.83 The assistant principal escorted the parent to Mr Hussey’s office but did not attend the meeting.84 The assistant principal believed the conversation took place and said that the district inspector was called to investigate the matter.85 The assistant principal assumed no disciplinary action occurred and there is no record of an investigation.86

Former parents of six children who attended Beaumaris Primary School recalled that Mr Ray would drive children to places and show ‘11-year-old boys’ magazines ‘they should not have been seeing’.87 In the mid-1970s, one of the parents wrote a letter to the school but it was ‘pushed aside’.88

A former parent, School Council President and friend of Mr Ray’s recalled that in 1975 the principal, Mr Hussey, told them that a parent had made a complaint about Mr Ray’s misconduct.89 Mr Hussey asked them if they suspected there was anything inappropriate about Mr Ray.90 They responded that they had never seen anything.91

A former bursar at the school recalled that a parent complained to Mr Hussey about Mr Ray’s behaviour in the mid-1970s.92 Mr Hussey informed the district inspector, who asked the parent to ‘put [his complaint] in writing’.93 The parent was advised by his lawyer that if he did so, he may be charged with libel.94 The parent declined to document the complaint, then withdrew their child from the school.95

The former bursar also recalled that Mr Hussey took Mr Ray’s keys from him, ‘to stop him getting access to the library at weekends’.96

Mr Ray left Beaumaris Primary School at the end of 1976 and commenced working at Mount View Primary School on 1 January 1977.97 The Department has no record of why Mr Ray ceased working at Beaumaris Primary School and no information that suggests Mr Ray moved to Mount View Primary School as a result of concerns about his behaviour at the time.98

In a statement to Victoria Police regarding the 2001 criminal charges, Mr Ray said he knew he had a problem with young boys when he left Beaumaris Primary School.99

Victim-survivors also told the Board of Inquiry that they suspected that other children and teachers were aware of Mr Ray’s sexual abuse when he was a teacher librarian at Beaumaris Primary School.

One individual told the Board of Inquiry that when he was in Year 1, his family member who was in Year 3 at the time warned him to ‘never go into the librarian[’]s “cubby” alone!’100

A victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that in around 1972 or 1973, access to the library was restricted ‘overnight’.101

Another individual told the Board of Inquiry that he noticed Mr Ray ‘acting inappropriately towards other boys during class’. This included Mr Ray sitting boys on his knee and ‘rubbing their tummies under their shirts’. In 1975, the individual reported the inappropriate behaviour to the principal.102

The Department’s response

Despite the history of concerns and complaints about Mr Ray’s behaviour throughout the 1970s (as set out above), the earliest contemporaneous record that the Department retains concerning allegations of Mr Ray’s sexually abusive behaviour is dated 27 November 1978.

On 27 November 1978, a handwritten file note titled ‘Teacher Discipline’ recorded a conversation between employees of the Department.103 The author of the note recorded that Mr Ray had been charged with sexual offences against boys and that ‘I have not done anything about a suspension, pending the arrival of the [modus operandi form]’.104

A handwritten notation on the Teacher Discipline file stated that Mr Ray should ‘be kept away from children at once’.105

On 22 January 1979, a memorandum by the Department recommended that Mr Ray be charged before the Teachers Tribunal and pending an outcome, be ‘suspended from duty from and inclusive of 5 February 1979’.106

Departmental records show that Mr Ray resigned from Mount View Primary on 5 February 1979, citing ‘other employment’.107 Mr Ray’s employment record noted that he was ‘not to be re-employed without reference to the Director of Primary Education’.108

The Department has no record of Mr Ray being re-employed at a Victorian government school after his resignation.109

Information provided to the Board of Inquiry suggests that Victoria Police notified the Department of the allegations made against Mr Ray around the time the allegations were made.

Since the Department became aware of Mr Ray’s criminal charges, it appears that it acted relatively swiftly to remove him from his teaching position and charge him before the Teachers Tribunal.110 Yet, despite the restrictive note on his file that he was not to be re-employed without reference to the Director of Primary Education, it does not appear that he was formally prohibited from returning to the teaching service.111

The Board of Inquiry understands that Mr Ray went on to teach at Rossbourne School after leaving the government school system, which likely provided him with opportunities for ongoing access to and engagement with children.112 Rossbourne School is an independent secondary school for students with learning difficulties and neuro-developmental challenges.113 As it is not a government school, it is outside the Board of Inquiry’s scope. As explored in Chapter 13(opens in a new window) the Board of Inquiry found that the Department has never undertaken a systematic review to understand the scale of child sexual abuse by alleged perpetrators.

Although Rossbourne School is an independent school, given its students are a group with particular vulnerabilities and given Mr Ray taught there in circumstances where the Department had determined he should be ‘kept away from children’, if the Department decides to undertake a systematic review (which the Board of Inquiry considers should occur), it should consider including the Rossbourne School in that review. The Board of Inquiry is aware that in 1998 Mr Ray was under investigation for child sexual abuse, and there was work underway to deregister him from the teaching service.114

Based on the material the Board of Inquiry considered, it is clear that prior to 1978, the Department had multiple opportunities to intervene and protect children from Mr Ray’s behaviour. In particular, there were a number of reports that indicate teachers, principals and parents had serious concerns about his conduct.

Analysis of the education system’s response, and systemic failings, is provided later in this Part, in Chapter 13(opens in a new window).

The Board of Inquiry’s engagement with Mr Ray

The Board of Inquiry wrote to Mr Ray, through his lawyers, on 14 November 2023, notifying him of the Board of Inquiry and the public hearings, and providing him an opportunity to engage with or respond to the information the Board of Inquiry intended to release about him. No response was received from Mr Ray prior to his death on 21 November 2023.

Alleged perpetrator narrative: Wyatt

Teaching history

The second alleged perpetrator is subject to a Restricted Publication Order and will be referred to by the pseudonym, ‘Wyatt’. To protect the identity of certain people, the Board of Inquiry is limited in the specificity of information it can publish about Wyatt.

Wyatt was employed at Victorian government primary schools for more than two decades.115 Wyatt worked at Beaumaris Primary School in the early 1970s.116

Details of alleged child sexual abuse

The Board of Inquiry heard from several individuals who experienced child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Wyatt. These accounts involve Wyatt exploiting his authority as a teacher and sports coach.

The alleged child sexual abuse occurred in a school context, such as during school activities, and also within a broader school context, in interactions with students outside of school.

One victim-survivor recalled that Wyatt gave some boys ‘special attention’.117 Another individual described Wyatt as a having ‘volatile, explosive, volcanic rage’.118 Several victim-survivors and other former students told the Board of Inquiry that Wyatt used corporal punishment (or the threat of it), such as the ‘strap’, to discipline children.119

In a school context

One victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that Wyatt sexually abused him approximately every two weeks for two years. The victim-survivor would be sent into the corridor adjacent to the classroom, where Wyatt would sexually abuse him by masturbating him, fondling his genitals and by Wyatt rubbing his face on the victim-survivor's face and cheek.120

Another victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that he was sexually abused by Wyatt at a school camp. Wyatt took the victim-survivor to his cabin and put his hands down the victim-survivor’s pants and sexually abused him.121

A further victim-survivor, who attended Beaumaris Primary School, recalled that he was sexually abused by Wyatt on a camp on two occasions. He told the Board of Inquiry that he had ‘spent over 50 years burying this in [his] subconscious’.122

Another victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry about two incidents of being sexually abused by Wyatt. He recalled that he was sitting at his school desk when Wyatt leant forward to look at his work and put his hand down his pants. He recalled that Wyatt ‘grope[d]’ him and ‘massage[d]’ his genitals while Wyatt was ‘talking about something else’. The victim-survivor also recalled that Wyatt sexually abused him in front of other children — Wyatt sat the victim-survivor on his lap, in front of the class, and put his hands on his genitals.123

Yet another victim-survivor recalled Wyatt ‘grooming’ him through their shared interest in sport before sexually abusing him. He described the sexual abuse as occurring on a school camp. He recalled that Wyatt was ‘hanging around the showers’ when he ‘saw [the victim-survivor] naked and attacked inappropriately’.124

Further, several individuals told the Board of Inquiry that they had observed Wyatt sexually abusing other children.

One individual recalled that Wyatt gave a ‘whisker kiss’ to one of his friends, where Wyatt rubbed his stubble across the boy’s face. The individual believes that his parent and the other boy’s parent confronted Wyatt about the behaviour.125

Another individual told the Board of Inquiry that he saw Wyatt sexually abuse a fellow student. The fellow student told the individual that Wyatt would regularly sexually abuse him by Wyatt putting his hands down the fellow student's pants and ‘play with his penis’.126

Yet another individual shared that she had ‘vivid memories’ of Wyatt abusing another student when they were in primary school.127

Broader school settings

Victim-survivors also shared experiences of Wyatt allegedly sexually abusing them outside of school. One individual recalled that he was ‘coaxed’ by Wyatt into attending his house, where he was asked to wait in the loungeroom. He recalled another teacher was present and another individual was in the shower at the time. He told the Board of Inquiry that although he left Wyatt’s house on that occasion, Wyatt continued to offer him lifts to sports training.128

Another individual told the Board of Inquiry that Wyatt and another teacher took their siblings to the drive-in. In relation to one of the siblings, Wyatt and the other teacher ‘held [their sibling] down and raped [them]’.129

In a submission prepared by lawyers who represent victim-survivors who were allegedly sexually abused as children by the alleged perpetrators, it was recounted that a victim-survivor was repeatedly sexually abused by Wyatt on school premises, as well as in Wyatt’s home. The child sexual abuse described in the submission involved masturbation and one attempt of anal penetration.130

Criminal proceedings

Due to a Restricted Publication Order, no details on criminal proceedings can be provided.

The education system’s knowledge and response

The Department’s records do not reveal any knowledge of relevant concerns about Wyatt’s conduct, or allegations about Wyatt engaging in sexual abuse, prior to 1998.131 Wyatt’s files do not contain any record of disciplinary action during his time as a teacher at Victorian government primary schools.132

However, during interviews the Department conducted in 2000 and 2001 with teachers, parents and former students at Beaumaris Primary School, it is clear that there were suspicions and complaints about Wyatt’s behaviour.133

For example, one teacher recalled, ‘I told Wyatt a couple of times to be careful where he puts his hands on kids’.134 Another teacher raised concerns about Wyatt’s behaviour to a colleague, because the teacher’s child was going into Wyatt’s class.135 The colleague said it was unlikely to be a problem, because of the child's connection to the teacher.136

One parent recalled that many people knew about Wyatt’s behaviour and reported it to the principal, but ‘he wouldn’t listen to them’.137

These reports relate to the early to mid-1970s. Some victim-survivors who engaged with the Board of Inquiry recalled experiencing child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Wyatt after the mid-1970s. The Department only recorded information about sexual abuse by Wyatt after he was convicted in the mid-1990s.138 By this time, Wyatt had resigned from his last position at a Victorian government primary school.139

The Board of Inquiry did not receive any information that Victoria Police shared crime reports about Wyatt with the Department at the time they were made. If crime reports had been received by the Department, it is not clear the Department would have acted on the allegations, as a discretionary approach was applied to teachers who were the subject of crime reports (see Chapter 13(opens in a new window)).

The Board of Inquiry’s engagement with Wyatt

The Board of Inquiry wrote to Wyatt notifying him of the Board of Inquiry and the public hearings, and providing him with an opportunity to engage with or respond to the information the Board of Inquiry intended to release about him on 14 November 2023. On 11 January 2024 and 15 January 2024, the Board of Inquiry again wrote to Wyatt to inform him that there would be references to him and his alleged sexual abuse of children in its report. The Board of Inquiry provided Wyatt with extracts of draft report chapters relevant to him and invited him to provide a response to those extracts.

Wyatt told the Board of Inquiry that he did perpetrate child sexual abuse, about which he was ashamed.140 He said he has ‘always owned up to anything [he] knew was true’ and had voluntarily and successfully completed an offenders program.141

Wyatt said, however, that he had no recollection of some of the victim-survivors or some of the allegations put to him.142 Wyatt could recall some victim-survivors, but denied their allegations of abuse or the experiences they recounted.143 He sometimes provided alternative explanations of details, activities or events that were included in the experiences shared by victim-survivors.144 He denied he coached a particular sport and had no memory of attending any camps.145

Wyatt denied that he would ‘choose to abuse anyone in full view of others’, including in a corridor outside a classroom.146 Wyatt also denied engaging in child sexual abuse with or in front of another staff member.147 In particular, he denied raping a child with or in front of any person.148

Wyatt said he had no knowledge of other teachers engaging in inappropriate behaviour or acting abusively.149 He also said he was unaware of any ‘collusion’ between the other alleged perpetrators.150

Wyatt rejected any implication that developing friendships and taking part in joint interests (for example, as a sports enthusiast) with colleagues meant they were undertaking ‘joint illegal activities’.151 He also rejected the suggestion that being interested in volunteering or sports was proof of ‘illegal intention’.152

Wyatt accepted that he was a ‘disciplinarian’ but said corporal punishment was ‘common’ until about 1983.153 He said that he used it ‘sparingly and never as a power tool’, and recalled only ever using it on one student.154

Wyatt expressed that he was ‘devastated’ by the impact on one victim-survivor and said he was ‘genuinely remorseful for any real harm [he] caused’.155

In accordance with the Board of Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and approach to this inquiry, the Board of Inquiry has not made any findings of fact in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse in this report. The inclusion of Wyatt’s response to allegations relevant to him, as set out above, should not be understood as the Board of Inquiry accepting or endorsing Wyatt’s response.

Alleged perpetrator narrative: David MacGregor

Teaching history

David MacGregor was born on 8 January 1943.156 Mr MacGregor taught or worked in Victorian government schools for more than 22 years, from 1 January 1963 to 27 May 1985.157 Throughout his career, Mr MacGregor held a number of positions, including classroom teacher, sports coach and guitar teacher, and was involved in a number of sports clubs.158

In May 1985, Mr MacGregor was transferred to an administrative role within the Department, where he worked for more than three years before transferring to another administrative role within the Department until December 1992.159 Mr MacGregor retired from the Department, effective 31 December 1992.160 Mr MacGregor’s transfer into non-teaching roles is discussed further below.

Table 2 outlines Mr MacGregor’s employment record and roles in other organisations.

Table 2 Mr Macgregor’s employment record at Victorian government primary schools and the Department, and roles in organisations

Mr MacGregor attended Toorak Teachers’ College from 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1962.161

Victorian government primary schools162

Mr MacGregor was employed at the following Victorian government primary schools:

  • 1 January 1963 to 31 December 1964: Bundalong South Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 1 January 1965 to 31 October 1965: Warragul Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 1 November 1965 to 31 December 1965: Drouin South Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 1 January 1966 to 31 December 1967: Cowes Primary School (this was Mr MacGregor’s first permanent position; his roles included classroom teacher, sports coach and guitar teacher)
  • 1 January 1968 to 31 December 1976: Beaumaris Primary School (as a classroom teacher, sports coach and guitar teacher)
  • 1 January 1977 to 31 December 1980: Chelsea Heights Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 1 January 1981 to 27 May 1985: Kunyung Primary School (as a classroom, music and physical education teacher).

The Department163

From 28 May 1985 to 31 December 1988, Mr MacGregor worked in the Western Port Region office; and from 1 January 1989 to 31 December 1992, he worked in the Southern Metropolitan Region office.

Roles in other organisations164

Mr MacGregor was involved in a number of organisations outside of school that involved contact with children. These included:

  • 1962 to 1985: Sandringham Amateur Athletics Club
  • 1966 to 1985: Sandringham Little Athletics Club
  • 1967: Wonthaggi Little Athletics Club
  • 1968 to 1976: Beaumaris Little Athletics Club
  • 1970: Beaumaris Amateur Athletics Club
  • 1973 to 1985: Beaumaris Soccer Club
  • 1982 to date unknown: Kunyung Junior Football Club.

The Board of Inquiry is also aware of Mr MacGregor’s involvement in the following organisations:165

  • Australian Soccer Referees Association
  • AUSTSWIM Coaches Association
  • District Sports Association
  • Mountain Districts Athletics Club
  • National Golf Club Long Island
  • Phillip Island Football Club
  • Phillip Island Youth Club
  • Victorian Soccer Referees Association
  • Willoughby Football Club
  • Yarrawonga and Border Golf Club.

Details of alleged child sexual abuse

A number of individuals who engaged with the Board of Inquiry said they experienced or witnessed child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Mr MacGregor.

These accounts often related to Mr MacGregor using his role as classroom teacher, sports coach or music teacher to gain access to a child and isolate them from their peers and other adults.

In a school context

The Board of Inquiry heard from several victim-survivors who said they were sexually abused by Mr MacGregor in a school context. Some of these instances were described as occurring during sport or music classes, or when travelling between school settings, such as to sports training.

One victim-survivor recounted how Mr MacGregor wrapped his arms around him and thrust his genitals into his back. He recalled that Mr MacGregor groaned and rubbed himself on the victim-survivor’s back for about five to six seconds. Afterwards, the victim-survivor gave Mr MacGregor a ‘filthy look’. The victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that ‘[Mr MacGregor’s] relaxed stance, hands on his hips, and the semi-satisfied smirking sneer on his face is etched in my memory’.166

Another victim-survivor, who attended Beaumaris Primary School, recalled that Mr MacGregor touched her inappropriately while they were in his car. She knew at the time that Mr MacGregor’s conduct was wrong.167

Yet another individual shared her experience in a sports class. She recalled that Mr MacGregor wore loose shorts and had his legs bent and wide open, with his penis visible to students for the duration of the class. The individual said that ‘something was not at all right’ about it and described the incident as ‘not a brief accident, but a sustained and clearly intentional revealing of his genitals while he sat and gave instructions and chatted to the class’.168

Broader school settings

The Board of Inquiry also heard from individuals in relation to Mr MacGregor’s conduct in broader school settings.

One victim-survivor shared how Mr MacGregor would often visit her house and he ‘gained trust’ with her parents through sport. She recounted that Mr MacGregor would sexually abuse her during music lessons. Mr MacGregor would press his penis into her back and touch her chest under her clothes.169

One individual recalled that Mr MacGregor held an end-of-year school party for her school class at his family home, which had a swimming pool. During the party, Mr MacGregor took a group of students inside to show them his bedroom. She recalled ‘I felt it was very strange that he took some of us inside to show us his bedroom. I can still see the room all these years on and wonder why he thought that was an appropriate thing to do. I thought it was odd then and still do’.170

On 26 November 2023, journalist Russell Jackson, at the ABC, published an article outlining victim-survivor accounts of Mr MacGregor’s sexual abuse.171 Some material in the article was new information to the Board of Inquiry. This included allegations that Mr MacGregor led sexually explicit classroom ‘singalongs,’ dated a 15-year-old girl (when he was 31 years old) and looked up a girls’ skirt while he was at Beaumaris Primary School.172 It was reported that the latter experience was made known to the principal at Beaumaris Primary School but the principal told the student off, saying angrily, ‘[y]ou could ruin this man’s career’.173

Criminal offending summary

The Board of Inquiry is aware of two finalised criminal proceedings involving Mr MacGregor.

August 1985

In 1985, Mr MacGregor was charged with three criminal offences related to child sexual abuse: indecent assault, committing acts of gross indecency and publishing an obscene article.174 The criminal proceedings were instigated in December 1984, when a parent of a student at Kunyung Primary School made a complaint to Victoria Police about Mr MacGregor’s behaviour.175

The criminal proceedings related to three victim-survivors sexually abused by Mr MacGregor while they were students at Kunyung Primary School in 1983 and 1984.176

In statements to Victoria Police, victim-survivors described Mr MacGregor sexually abusing them at Mr MacGregor’s house, car and boat.177 Based on information provided by the Department, the sexual abuse involved Mr MacGregor:

  • showering while the victim-survivors were in his home
  • encouraging them to shower
  • playing pornographic films
  • touching their penises
  • masturbating in the presence of children.178

In the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 16 August 1985, Mr MacGregor pleaded guilty and was convicted of one charge of indecent assault (involving two counts) on persons aged under 16 years old.179 Mr MacGregor was sentenced to three years probation, psychological or psychiatric treatment, and to pay costs of $25 to the Court.180

After being notified of the criminal convictions, the Department conducted an internal investigation into Mr MacGregor’s behaviour, as a result of which he was charged with offences under the Teaching Service Act 1981 (Vic) (Teaching Service Act). The internal investigation also resulted in Mr MacGregor’s transfer to an administrative role, as discussed later in this Chapter.

July 1994

In July 1994, Mr MacGregor was again convicted on charges relating to child sexual abuse. In this instance, the convictions were in relation to charges of gross indecency and indecent assault in 1980, which occurred while he was employed at Chelsea Heights Primary School.181 Mr MacGregor was sentenced to six months and four months imprisonment, respectively, for the gross indecency and indecent assault charges.182 Both sentences were suspended for two years.183

The education system’s knowledge and response

The Department

The Department’s evidence to the Board of Inquiry was that it first became aware of allegations about the sexual nature of Mr MacGregor’s conduct on 27 February 1985, when the parents of the victim-survivors involved in the 1985 criminal proceedings wrote to the Department.184 The Department advised the parents that it would conduct its own investigation into the matters.185

In March 1985, the Department invited Mr MacGregor to discuss his wishes regarding ‘school placement as a result of impending charges being laid by the Victoria Police’.186 On 2 April 1985, a meeting took place between Mr MacGregor, a representative from the Victorian Teachers’ Union, and a Department representative (the Assistant Regional Director, Western Port Region).187

During this meeting, Mr MacGregor opposed being transferred and the Department advised him to contact the Department ‘of any wish to transfer to another position should tensions within the school community become untenable’.188

Based on a subsequent letter between officials of the Department, the Department determined that ‘[w]ithout further specific evidence we are unable to proceed’ with the investigation into Mr MacGregor.189 It does not appear, however, that there was any concerted attempt to gather further information. In his evidence to the Board of Inquiry, Dr David Howes PSM, Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services, Department of Education, described the departmental investigation as follows: ‘[o]n any way in which that word [investigation] should be used, that was as good as doing nothing’.190

A memo was addended to the letter, where the author stated that he was ‘uneasy’ about ‘pushing [Mr MacGregor] off on a technical excuse which could be remedied’.191 There is no further information, however, indicating if or how this unease was responded to.

The Department advised the parents that it could not obtain information from Victoria Police about the investigation on foot, and that following its own initial investigation, it had ‘insufficient evidence upon which to proceed’.192

Mr MacGregor continued teaching at Kunyung Primary School for another month.

On 24 May 1985, the parent again wrote to the Department, this time enclosing copies of the statements made to the police.193

On 28 May 1985, the Department responded to the letter and said that Mr MacGregor had been transferred to a non-teaching position, effective 27 May 1985.194 This date was one day prior to the letter being sent to the parent, indicating the likelihood that the Department only made this decision as a result of the parent’s letter on 24 May 1985. Mr MacGregor was transferred to a temporary administrative position in the Western Port Region office within the Department.195

In September 1985, minutes from a meeting of the Kunyung Primary School Council show that Council members were told that if questions were addressed to them about Mr MacGregor’s transfer, they should answer that ‘[it] was an administrative transfer’.196

From the information available, the Board of Inquiry concludes that Mr MacGregor was transferred to an administrative role because of the allegations against him, but that this reason was not formally noted or shared within the education system. In giving evidence to the Board of Inquiry, Dr Howes agreed with the Board of Inquiry that there appeared to be ‘a culture of sweeping this all under the carpet’ within the Department.197

After Mr MacGregor’s criminal conviction on 16 August 1985, the Department commenced a second investigation into Mr MacGregor’s behaviour as it related to the criminal charges.198 Mr MacGregor was charged with seven offences under the Teaching Service Act concerning masturbating in front of two children, touching two children on the penis and showing pornographic films to three children.199

While this investigation was ongoing, Mr MacGregor was appointed as a relief teacher in the South Central Region, based at Hawksburn Primary School, for the 1986 school year.200 The General Secretary of the Victorian Teachers’ Union sought clarity from the Department on Mr MacGregor’s appointment, given the ongoing departmental investigation.201 On 31 January 1986, the Department wrote to Mr MacGregor, stating that he was to remain at the Western Port Region office, ‘pending the outcome of Departmental Charges’.202 It appears that the Department only made this decision based on the letter from the Union representative.

On 4 and 22 July 1986, the Department held two disciplinary hearings regarding Mr MacGregor’s charges.203 The Department found him guilty of six of the seven charges.204

The Department concluded that Mr MacGregor’s penalty should take into consideration his long record as a ‘successful and respected member of the Teaching Service’ and the evidence of character witnesses, including a former principal of Kunyung Primary School.205

As such, Mr MacGregor was not dismissed from the teaching service but was appointed to a permanent, non-teaching, administrative role in the Western Port Region office.206

Mr MacGregor remained in an administrative role and after 20 September 1988 was permitted to apply for another teaching position, three years after the Department found him guilty of offences involving child sexual abuse.207

In 1988, Mr MacGregor successfully applied for a teaching position at Langwarrin Primary School and was due to commence in 1989.208 The principal of Langwarrin Primary School and community members objected to the appointment on the basis of Mr MacGregor’s publicly known conviction.209 Following this complaint, the Department rescinded the offer and Mr MacGregor was instead transferred to another non-teaching administrative role in the Southern Metropolitan Region office in the Department.210

While Mr MacGregor was in this role, in February 1990, the Chisholm Institute of Technology School of Education raised a concern with the Department that Mr MacGregor was hoping to become a school principal and was working with ‘street children’.211 The Department took no action and responded to the Institute with: ‘continued employment of teachers found guilty of indictable offences is assessed individually and a decision regarding future employment is made accordingly in each case’.212

Mr MacGregor remained in the Southern Metropolitan Region office until he voluntarily retired from the Department, effective 31 December 1992.213

While the Department’s records do not reveal any concerns or complaints about the sexual nature of Mr MacGregor’s conduct prior to 1985, one individual told the Board of Inquiry that she had raised concerns about his behaviour much earlier in his career.

A former student at Beaumaris Primary School recalled telling a teacher about Mr MacGregor inappropriately touching her.214 Mr MacGregor warned her about telling people about his behaviour.215 However, this was the only information the Board of Inquiry received suggesting concerns had been raised before 1985.

Victoria Police and the Department

As described earlier, there was an obligation on Victoria Police to share crime reports with the Department regarding information that a student had been sexually abused while in the care of a government school.216 Information provided to the Board of Inquiry suggests that the Department was first notified of the allegations against Mr MacGregor by the parents who made the complaint in February 1985. The Department also provided information outlining that it did not initially investigate these allegations because it could not obtain relevant information from Victoria Police.217

It does not appear that if Victoria Police had shared this information when the crime reports were made, the Department would have acted differently. The Department was made aware of the allegations in February 1985 in the form of a letter from a parent, yet did not remove Mr MacGregor from the teaching service. Mr MacGregor remained a registered teacher and was employed within the Department.

In considering these actions during this period, Dr Howes agreed with the proposition put to him during the Board of Inquiry’s public hearings that after the Department received information about Mr MacGregor’s convictions, the Department ‘served to protect [Mr MacGregor]’ and ‘his role in the community’.218 Dr Howes added that the Department’s response also served ‘to protect [Mr MacGregor’s] prospects of further employment within the Department’.219

Analysis of the education system’s response, and systemic failings, is provided later in this Part, in Chapter 13(opens in a new window).

The Board of Inquiry’s engagement with Mr MacGregor

On 27 November 2023, the Board of Inquiry wrote to Mr MacGregor regarding the public hearings, informing him that there would be references to his name and alleged child sexual abuse. The Board of Inquiry did not receive a response. On 11 January 2024 and 15 January 2024, the Board of Inquiry again wrote to Mr MacGregor to inform him that there would be references to him and his alleged abuse in its report.

Mr MacGregor told the Board of Inquiry that he denied any conduct of a sexual nature with children other than that for which he was convicted.220 In particular, Mr MacGregor stated that ‘nothing of any sexual nature occurred’ while he was at Beaumaris Primary School.221 He said he ‘did not have sex with anybody’ and said an allegation otherwise was ‘ridiculous’.222 He denied being a paedophile.223

Mr MacGregor told the Board of Inquiry that he ‘would never hurt a child’.224 Mr MacGregor stated that if he did touch a child ‘it was not of a sexual nature’ and he ‘certainly never touched their private parts’.225 He said he ‘wouldn’t dream of forcing anyone into anything’.226

Mr MacGregor stated that he did not know about any offending of the other three relevant employees discussed during the Board of Inquiry’s public hearings. He expressed his view that ‘[i]t’s ridiculous to suggest there was a paedophile ring’ or to include him in any such ring.227 Mr MacGregor explained that the other three relevant employees were ‘connected’ within the community through shared activities and interests but he was ‘not part of that’.228

In accordance with the Board of Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and approach to this inquiry, the Board of Inquiry has not made any findings of fact in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse in this report. The inclusion of Mr MacGregor’s response to allegations relevant to him, as set out above, should not be understood as the Board of Inquiry accepting or endorsing Mr MacGregor’s response.

Alleged perpetrator narrative: Graham Steele

Teaching history

Graham Harold Steele may also be known as Grahame Steele.

Mr Steele was born on 3 May 1932 and died in 2013.229 Mr Steele taught or worked in Victorian government primary schools for 38 years until he resigned in January 1990.230 For the last 14 years of his career, Mr Steele held the roles of principal or deputy principal.231 Table 3 outlines Mr Steele’s employment record.

Table 3 Mr Steele’s employment record at Victorian government primary schools232

Mr Steele attended Melbourne Teachers’ College from 13 February 1951 to 31 December 1951.

Mr Steele was employed at the following Victorian government primary schools:

  • 5 February 1952 to 26 May 1952: Mirboo Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 17 May 1952 to 8 September 1952: Tarraville Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 9 September 1952 to 28 May 1956: Tarwin Lower Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 29 May 1956 to 1 February 1960: Hampton Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 2 February 1960 to 31 December 1966: Moorabbin West Primary School (as a classroom teacher)
  • 1 January 1967 to 31 December 1972: Beaumaris Primary School (as a classroom teacher, sports coach for cricket and football, and ‘sports master’ (that is, he was responsible for arranging sport teams))233
  • 1 January 1973 to 31 December 1975: Ormond East Primary School (as a classroom teacher and sports master)234
  • 1 January 1976 to 31 December 1980: Aspendale Primary School (as the principal)
  • 1 January 1981 to 1 February 1982: Beaumaris Primary School (as the deputy principal)
  • 2 February 1982 to 31 January 1990: Belvedere Park Primary School (as the principal).235

Details of alleged child sexual abuse

The Board of Inquiry heard from several individuals who experienced or witnessed child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Mr Steele.

The child sexual abuse as described to the Board of Inquiry occurred in a school context, including on the premises of a school or in locations where activities of that school took place, such as camps. The sexual abuse also occurred in broader school contexts where Mr Steele used his role as teacher to engage with children outside of school, such as weekend trips away.

It is alleged that Mr Steele used his interest and involvement in sport to endear children to him. One victim-survivor described Mr Steele as ‘charismatic, strong and authoritarian’. He recalled that Mr Steele would sometimes take children out of class to set up sporting equipment and the children would feel ‘special’ when he picked them.236

Another victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that students thought that Mr Steele’s class was ‘the best class to be in, especially if you loved sport’.237

Another individual described how Mr Steele would have a group of ‘sporty boys in his classroom with whom he would chat and joke with’. They recalled: ‘[i]t looked like they were having fun and ironically we wanted to be a part of this but were not allowed in’.238

In a school context

A number of individuals shared with the Board of Inquiry their experiences of child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Mr Steele in a school context — that is, on school premises, at school camps or travelling between school settings, such as to sports training.

Several victim-survivors recalled experiences of sexual abuse where Mr Steele isolated children from their peers and other adults.

One victim-survivor who attended Beaumaris Primary School described Mr Steele removing him from the classroom for ‘treatment’ of a sports injury to his stomach. The victim-survivor recalled that during this ‘treatment’, Mr Steele took off the victim-survivor’s clothes and ‘rubbed [the victim-survivor’s] stomach with one hand while he touched [the victim-survivor’s] genitals with his other hand’.239

Another victim-survivor shared a similar experience at Beaumaris Primary School. The victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry that he suffered an injury at cricket training and was touched inappropriately by Mr Steele while he was administering first aid to the victim-survivor.240

One victim-survivor told the Board of Inquiry he was sexually abused multiple times over ‘years and years’ by Mr Steele, while Mr Steele was the principal at the victim-survivor’s school. This victim-survivor recalled that Mr Steele would take him out of class or after-school care and into his office, where he would sexually abuse him.241

This victim-survivor also recalled being sexually abused by Mr Steele at a swimming class. He recalled that Mr Steele took him into the changerooms and assaulted him in the stalls, then made him go back to the swimming class.242

The victim-survivor also recalled how he was made to sit next to Mr Steele on a bus trip to a school camp for a few hours. He recounted that Mr Steele sexually abused him by touching him under a blanket for the entire trip.243

The victim-survivor told us that the first time he was sexually abused by Mr Steele, he reported the alleged abuse to a Safety House.244 He recalled that the police were called and, while he gave them a ‘detailed description’ of Mr Steele, he was too frightened to tell the police who the perpetrator was. The victim-survivor shared that, following this, Mr Steele threatened him at school and the sexual abuse continued to escalate, including to rape.245

The Board of Inquiry heard from other victim-survivors that Mr Steele sexually abused children at school camps.

One victim-survivor recalled that at school camp, Mr Steele dried him after a shower. He recalled that Mr Steele dried multiple children at the camp, and they all thought it was strange.246

Another victim-survivor shared how they were seated in a train carriage with Mr Steele and several other students on the way home from a school camp. They recalled that Mr Steele encouraged the boys to kiss the girls and ‘make sure tongues were put into each other’s mouths’.247

The Board of Inquiry also heard from an individual who said that as 11-year-olds, he and his friends knew about Mr Steele’s child sexual abuse. They knew that Mr Steele would sit children on his lap in his car and dry children’s genitals after they had taken showers.248

Broader school settings

The Board of Inquiry was also told about child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Mr Steele in broader school settings. Mr Steele appears to have used his role as a teacher to engage with children outside of school.

One victim-survivor, who was a student at Beaumaris Primary School, recalled being taken by Mr Steele to his family holiday house in Inverloch with around eight other boys. Mr Steele brought the victim-survivor back to the holiday house ahead of the rest of the group. He remembered that Mr Steele then stripped off the victim-survivor’s clothes, showered and dried him, and touched his genitals.249

The victim-survivor also shared that Mr Steele drove him back home from Inverloch during the night. The victim-survivor recalled that Mr Steele placed him on his lap and rubbed his genitals, while other young boys were sitting in the back seat.250

Another victim-survivor also told the Board of Inquiry about the child sexual abuse he recalled experiencing at Mr Steele’s family holiday house in Inverloch. He recalled that in 1974 Mr Steele took him and his friends to the holiday house in Inverloch. The victim-survivor was in Year 6 at Ormond East Primary School and Mr Steele was his classroom teacher.251

The victim-survivor recalled that Mr Steele would dry him after he showered and ‘touch and fondle’ him. He told the Board of Inquiry that this happened every time he showered during the week-long trip and that Mr Steele made the boys shower three times a day.252

Criminal offending summary

Based on information provided to the Board of Inquiry by the Department and Victoria Police, it appears that Mr Steele has not been charged with child sexual abuse offences.253

The education system’s knowledge and response

In 2000, a parent of former Beaumaris Primary School students informed the Department during an interview that Mr Steele had a massage table in the school that he used to ‘rub down the kids after they played football’ and that he would also take children away for weekends or after sport games.254 This is the earliest record, in the material provided by the Department, of a concern raised about Mr Steele. Despite noticing this, the parent said that they had not thought (at the time their children were at the school) that Mr Steele was abusing children.255 This parent did, however, note the close community connection Mr Steele had to at least one other alleged perpetrator around that time.256 That alleged perpetrator had also been the subject of allegations of child sexual abuse around that same time.257

The Board of Inquiry heard from one victim-survivor that students in his class told him, years after they finished at Beaumaris Primary School, that if they got in trouble and went to the principal’s office, they would threaten the principal that they would disclose Mr Steele’s child sexual abuse if they were disciplined.258 Another victim-survivor recalled talking to his friends about Mr Steele’s behaviour at the time, stating that he thought it was ‘clearly evident’ that Mr Steele’s behaviour was ‘unusual’.259

However, the Board of Inquiry did not hear directly from any former student that they had reported concerns about Mr Steele to a teacher or principal during the relevant period. Nor did the Board of Inquiry receive any information suggesting any parent or teacher raised concerns about Mr Steele’s conduct with the Department prior to 2000.

The Board of Inquiry was told of two instances where reports about Mr Steele’s conduct were made to Victoria Police by the same victim-survivor in the mid-1980s and the late 1980s. It does not appear that those reports were conveyed to the Department. In the mid-1980s, the victim-survivor made a statement to Victoria Police alleging that he was sexually abused by Mr Steele when he was a child. He told the Board of Inquiry that the police took no action, and he was later told that the police ‘couldn’t find’ his statement.260

In the late 1980s, the same victim-survivor again contacted Victoria Police to report sexual abuse by Mr Steele. However, it was not until the early 2000s that Victoria Police contacted the victim-survivor about taking action against Mr Steele. Victoria Police asked him if he would wear a covert recording device and confront Mr Steele. The victim-survivor agreed to assist in the hope of protecting other children. He confronted Mr Steele in the very house in Inverloch where he recalled being sexually abused. Mr Steele denied the claims.261 No further information was provided to the Board of Inquiry about how, or if, the investigation progressed.

At least one victim-survivor who engaged with the Board of Inquiry recalled alleged child sexual abuse by Mr Steele after these complaints were made to Victoria Police during the 1980s.

As described in Chapter 10, The education system(opens in a new window), there was an obligation on Victoria Police to share crime reports with the Department regarding information that a student had been sexually abused while in the care of a government school.262 The Board of Inquiry did not receive any information that Victoria Police did share crime reports about Mr Steele with the Department at the time they were made. If crime reports had been received by the Department, it is not clear the Department would have acted on the allegations, as a discretionary approach was applied to notifications of crime reports (see Chapter 13(opens in a new window)).

Mr Steele remained teaching in Victorian government primary schools until 31 January 1990.263

Analysis of the education system’s response, and systemic failings, is provided later in this Part, in Chapter 13(opens in a new window).

The Board of Inquiry’s engagement with Mr Steele

Due to Mr Steele’s death, the Board of Inquiry was not required to engage in a procedural fairness process in relation to the allegations of child sexual abuse against him.

The Department’s knowledge of the alleged perpetrators

The Board of Inquiry considers it is clear from the evidence it has received and from other information provided that, in some instances, employees of the Department were aware of allegations of child sexual abuse well before the Department took any action to protect children’s safety.

In relation to Mr Ray, concerns were raised at least by 1974 — but possibly as early as 1972 — about his conduct. Multiple concerns appear to have been raised around 1975. By the end of 1976, Mr Ray had left Beaumaris Primary School and commenced working at a new school. Despite the mounting concerns about Mr Ray’s behaviour at Beaumaris Primary School, there is no evidence that a meaningful investigation of his conduct was carried out. Significantly, Mr Ray was later charged with child sex offences against a child at the new school.264 Mr Ray was able to continue teaching until 1979. This is despite concerns being raised some years before he was convicted of child sexual abuse and left the Department. The Department’s inaction put numerous children at risk of sexual abuse.

In relation to Wyatt, concerns were raised and complaints were made about his conduct in the early 1970s. Yet, no action was taken and Wyatt continued to teach for more than two decades, until his resignation. The Department’s inaction put numerous children at risk of sexual abuse.

In relation to Mr MacGregor, it was only the actions of parents that led to the Department moving him to an administrative role away from teaching children, notwithstanding child sexual abuse charges being made against him. Even when he was convicted, he was able to remain employed and continue to take advantage of the benefits of a departmental role until he chose to retire in 1992. Even though he was not teaching, his continued employment within the Department afforded him status and facilitated his continued access to children in other ways. The Department’s failure to have policies or protocols in this regard compromised the safety of children.

In relation to Mr Steele, it is striking that reports to Victoria Police in the mid-1980s and in the late 1980s that he had sexually abused school children do not appear to have been conveyed to the Department, despite the fact he was still teaching. As will be discussed in Chapter 13(opens in a new window), the Department had no policies or protocols in place to ensure the sharing of information of this kind between the Department and Victoria Police. Mr Steele remained a teacher until 31 January 1990, and his roles included that of principal. The Department’s failure in this regard compromised the safety of children.

Chapter 11 Endnotes

  1. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.8.5]; Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  2. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.3]; Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.3].
  3. Interview (NA McLean, Department of Education, Phone, 7 May 2001) 2.
  4. Interview (NA McLean, Department of Education, Phone, 7 May 2001) 2.
  5. Interview (NA McLean, Department of Education, In person, 5 December 2000) 7.
  6. Interview (NA McLean, Department of Education, Phone, 8 May 2001) 1.
  7. Statement of Leah Bromfield, 23 October 2023, 12 [63].
  8. Private session 1.
  9. Private session 2; Private session 6; Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Names and Dates of Service of Any Coaches of Football, Soccer or Cricket Teams at Beaumaris Primary School from 1 January 1960 to 31 December 1999’, 31 October 2023, 2 –3 [4]; ‘Background and Teaching Career of David MacGregor: Clubs or Organizations Connected with Over Many Years’, undated, 7; Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Records of [Wyatt]’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.7], [1.8].
  10. See e.g.: Private session 33; Private session 2.
  11. Order in Council (Vic), ‘Appointment of a Board of Inquiry into Historical Child Sexual Abuse in Beaumaris Primary School and Certain Other Government Schools’, Victorian Government Gazette, No S 339, 28 June 2023, cl 2(a).
  12. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘History and Evolution of the Department’s Record Management Policies, Procedures and Guidelines Between 1 January 1960 and 31 December 1979 in Relation to Any Allegation, Complaint, Notification or Report Identified in Response to Paragraph 8, Including Any Reviews, Reports or Evaluations Written, Commissioned or Received in Relation to Such Policies, Procedures and Guidelines’, 5 October 2023, 3 [12].
  13. Private session 13.
  14. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.2]; Information provided to the Board of Inquiry by the State of Victoria on 21 November 2023.
  15. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1].
  16. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3 [3.1]; Writ and Statement of Claim, 22 June 2022, 3.
  17. Private session 2; Private session 6.
  18. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 16.
  19. Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘Any Formal or Informal Connections or Arrangements Between the St Kilda Little League and: (a) The Department; (b) Beaumaris Primary School; and (c) Any Other Relevant Government School, between 1 January 1960 and 31 December 1999’, 31 October 2023, 3 [6].
  20. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray,’ 22 September 2023, 2 [1.3].
  21. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6.1].
  22. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6.2]; Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Names and Dates of Service of Any Coaches of Football, Soccer or Cricket Teams at Beaumaris Primary School from 1 January 1960 to 31 December 1999’, 31 October 2023, 2.
  23. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6.3]; Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Names and Dates of Service of Any Coaches of Football, Soccer or Cricket Teams at Beaumaris Primary School from 1 January 1960 to 31 December 1999’, 31 October 2023, 2.
  24. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6.4]; Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Names and Dates of Service of Any Coaches of Football, Soccer or Cricket Teams at Beaumaris Primary School from 1 January 1960 to 31 December 1999’, 31 October 2023, 2; Letter from State of Victoria to the Board of Inquiry, 25 January 2024, Table A (Department of Education) 3 [1] .
  25. Private session 1.
  26. Private session 2.
  27. Private session 23.
  28. Private session 23; Private session 2.
  29. Private session 1.
  30. Private session 1.
  31. Private session 15.
  32. Private session 15.
  33. Private session 22.
  34. Private session 31; Private session 41.
  35. Private session 23.
  36. Submission 41, 5.
  37. Submission 38, 1.
  38. Private session 1.
  39. Private session 33.
  40. Submission 11, 1.
  41. Submission 2, 1.
  42. Private session 1.
  43. Private session 22.
  44. Private session 2.
  45. Private session 39.
  46. Private session 23.
  47. Private session 22.
  48. Submission 41, 5.
  49. Private session 2.
  50. Private session 32.
  51. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 5 [4.6].
  52. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3 [4.3] – 4 [4.4].
  53. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 5 [4.5].
  54. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 5 [4.6].
  55. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 7 [7.1].
  56. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [27].
  57. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [27].
  58. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3 [2.8].
  59. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3 [2.8].
  60. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3 [2.8].
  61. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3.
  62. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3–4 [3.7].
  63. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3 [2.9.1].
  64. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 3 [2.9.2].
  65. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 7 [7.1].
  66. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 7 [7.1].
  67. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 7 [7.1].
  68. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 7 [7.1].
  69. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  70. In 2000 and 2001, the Department conducted a series of interviews with former students, parents and teachers in regard to sexual abuse at Beaumaris Primary School based on the large number of civil claims it had received around that time.
  71. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  72. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  73. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  74. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  75. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  76. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  77. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  78. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  79. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  80. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  81. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  82. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  83. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  84. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  85. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  86. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  87. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  88. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 8.
  89. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  90. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  91. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 7.
  92. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 9.
  93. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 9.
  94. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 9.
  95. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 9.
  96. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 9.
  97. Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘Why Mr Ray and Mr MacGregor Ceased Working at Beaumaris Primary School’, 31 October 2023, 2 [3].
  98. Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘Why Mr Ray and Mr MacGregor Ceased Working at Beaumaris Primary School’, 31 October 2023, 2 [5]–[6].
  99. Transcript of Proceedings, R v Ray (County Court, Judge Jones, 15 February 2001) 13.
  100. Submission 24, 1.
  101. Private session 1.
  102. Submission 6, 1.
  103. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  104. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  105. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  106. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  107. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  108. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  109. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1].
  110. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  111. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 10.
  112. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray,’ 22 September 2023, 6 [6.2.5].
  113. ‘Our Approach’, Rossbourne School (Web Page) <https://www.rossbourne.vic.edu.au>(opens in a new window); ‘About Our School’, Rossbourne School (Web Page) <https://www.rossbourne.vic.edu.au/learning/our-approach>(opens in a new window).
  114. Letter from Manager Legal Services Unit, Department of Education to Solicitors, 16 October 1998, ‘Possible Deregistration Proceedings — Mr Darrell Ray’, 1.
  115. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Wyatt]’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.4].
  116. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Wyatt]’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.4].
  117. Submission 50, 4.
  118. Private session 15.
  119. See e.g.: Submission 36, 3; Submission 26, 1; Private session 15.
  120. Submission 36, 2.
  121. Private session 20.
  122. Submission 4, 1.
  123. Private session 38.
  124. Intake form, Private session 7.
  125. Private session 40.
  126. Submission 26, 1.
  127. Submission 9, 1.
  128. Intake form, private session 2.
  129. Private session 32.
  130. Submission 41, 8.
  131. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 1.
  132. Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Wyatt],’ 22 September 2023, 5.
  133. In 2000 and 2001, the Department conducted a series of interviews with former students, parents and teachers at Beaumaris Primary School as a result of the large number of civil claims it had received around that time.
  134. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 1.
  135. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 1.
  136. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 1.
  137. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 1.
  138. Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Wyatt]’, 22 September 2023, 5 [3.9].
  139. Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Wyatt]’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.5.8].
  140. Letter from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 20 November 2023, 1.
  141. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  142. Letter from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 20 November 2023, 1; Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  143. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  144. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  145. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  146. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  147. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024; Letter from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 20 November 2023, 1.
  148. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  149. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  150. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  151. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  152. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  153. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  154. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  155. Email from Wyatt to the Board of Inquiry, 17 January 2024.
  156. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.2].
  157. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.4], [1.8].
  158. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.8], [1.13].
  159. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 3 [1.10].
  160. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6].
  161. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.3].
  162. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.8] – 3 [1.9].
  163. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 3 [1.10].
  164. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 3 [1.11]–[1.13].
  165. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘Background and Teaching Career of David MacGregor: Clubs or Organizations Connected with over Many Years’, undated, 7.
  166. Submission 24, 1.
  167. Private session 17.
  168. Submission 34, 1.
  169. Private session 3.
  170. Submission 35, 1.
  171. Russell Jackson, ‘The Horror Story of Paedophile Beaumaris Primary Teacher David MacGregor Has Finally Been Laid Bare’, ABCNews (online, 26 November 2023) <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-26/story-of-paedophile-teacher-david-macgregor-laid-bare/103132732>(opens in a new window).
  172. Russell Jackson, ‘The Horror Story of Paedophile Beaumaris Primary Teacher David MacGregor Has Finally Been Laid Bare’, ABCNews (online, 26 November 2023) <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-26/story-of-paedophile-teacher-david-macgregor-laid-bare/103132732>(opens in a new window).
  173. Russell Jackson, ‘The Horror Story of Paedophile Beaumaris Primary Teacher David MacGregor Has Finally Been Laid Bare’, ABCNews (online, 26 November 2023 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-26/story-of-paedophile-teacher-david-macgregor-laid-bare/103132732>(opens in a new window).
  174. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 4.
  175. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 4 [2.1].
  176. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 4 [2.1], [2.3].
  177. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 4 [2.4].
  178. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 4 [2.7]–[2.8].
  179. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor,’ 22 September 2023, 5 [2.11]–[2.12].
  180. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor,’ 22 September 2023, 5 [2.13].
  181. Transcript of Alleged Perpetrator Narratives, 15 November 2023, P-110 [45].
  182. Transcript of Alleged Perpetrator Narratives, 15 November 2023, P-111 [5].
  183. Transcript of Alleged Perpetrator Narratives, 15 November 2023, P-111 [5].
  184. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 20.
  185. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 20.
  186. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 20.
  187. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 20.
  188. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 21.
  189. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 21.
  190. Transcript of David Howes, 16 November 2023, P-163 [25]–[26].
  191. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 21.
  192. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 21.
  193. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 22.
  194. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 22.
  195. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 5 [3.3]–[3.4].
  196. Transcript of Alleged Perpetrator Narratives, 15 November 2023, P-110 [41]–[43].
  197. Transcript of David Howes, 16 November 2023, P-172 [1]–[9].
  198. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 6 [3.5].
  199. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 23.
  200. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 23.
  201. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 23.
  202. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 23.
  203. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 23.
  204. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 23.
  205. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 23–4.
  206. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 24.
  207. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 24.
  208. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 24.
  209. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 24.
  210. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor,’ 22 September 2023, 7.
  211. Transcript of David Howes, 16 November 2023, P-179 [5].
  212. Letter from Assistant General Manager, Personnel & Industrial Relations, Operations Branch, 19 March 1990.
  213. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of David MacGregor’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6], 3 [1.10.2].
  214. Submission 43, 1.
  215. Submission 43, 1; Private session 17.
  216. Police officers completed ‘crime reports’ when a crime of any type was reported to Victoria Police. The reports recorded information about crimes, victims of crime and perpetrators of crime. The Victoria Police Manual (1957 Edition) Consisting of Regulations of the Governor in Council Determination of the Police Service Board and Standing Orders of the Chief Commissioner of Police (1957) 94B–95; Victoria Police Manual (22 December 1997) 2-30 [2.6.8]; Victoria Police Manual (10 June 1997) 2-29–2-30 [2.6.8]; Victoria Police Manual (21 June 1999) 2-13–2-14 [2.6.8].
  217. Statement of David Howes, 3 November 2023, Attachment DH-2, 21.
  218. Transcript of David Howes, 16 November 2023, 179 [40]–[45].
  219. Transcript of David Howes, 16 November 2023, 179 [45]–[46].
  220. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  221. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  222. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  223. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  224. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  225. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  226. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  227. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  228. Phone call between David MacGregor and the Board of Inquiry, 2 February 2024.
  229. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Graham] Steele’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.2], [1.5].
  230. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Graham] Steele,’ 22 September 2023, 2 [1.4], [1.9].
  231. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Graham] Steele’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6], [1.8.8]–[1.8.10].
  232. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Graham Harold Steele’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.3], [1.6], [1.8].
  233. Document prepared by the Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Names and Dates of Service of Any Coaches of Football, Soccer, or Cricket Teams at Beaumaris Primary School from 1 January 1960 to 31 December 1999’, 31 October 2023, 2 [4].
  234. Private session 14.
  235. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Graham] Harold Steele’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.6], [1.8].
  236. Private session 14.
  237. Statement of ‘Bernard’, 19 October 2023, 2 [16].
  238. Submission 39, 1.
  239. Statement of ‘Bernard’, 19 October 2023, 2 [10].
  240. Private session 23.
  241. Private session 16.
  242. Private session 36.
  243. Private session 16.
  244. The Safety House program existed in Victoria from 1979 to 2013. Private homes could volunteer to participate in the program. They were designated as ‘Safety Houses’, with occupants screened by police and generally home during hours when children were transiting to and from school. Children could seek refuge in a Safety House, identifiable through a symbol placed on the letterbox, and the occupants would call police.
  245. Private session 16.
  246. Private session 26.
  247. Submission 39, 1.
  248. Private session 40.
  249. Private session 4.
  250. Private session 4.
  251. Private session 14.
  252. Private session 14.
  253. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Graham] Steele’, 22 September 2023, 3 [4.1].
  254. Statement of David Howes, Attachment DH-2, 3 November 2023, 18.
  255. Interview (NA McLean, Department of Education, In person, 22 November 2000) 7; Letter from State of Victoria to the Board of Inquiry, 25 January 2024, Table A (Department of Education) 4–5 [4].
  256. Interview (NA McLean, Department of Education, In person, 22 November 2000) 7.
  257. Interview (NA McLean, Department of Education, In person, 22 November 2000) 7.
  258. Private session 4.
  259. Submission 27, 1.
  260. Private session 14.
  261. Private session 14.
  262. Police officers completed ‘crime reports’ when a crime of any type was reported to Victoria Police. The reports recorded information about crimes, victims of crime and perpetrators of crime. The Victoria Police Manual (1957 Edition) Consisting of Regulations of the Governor in Council Determination of the Police Service Board and Standing Orders of the Chief Commissioner of Police (1957) 94B–95; Victoria Police Manual (22 December 1997) 2-30 [2.6.8]; Victoria Police Manual (10 June 1997) 2-29–2-30 [2.6.8]; Victoria Police Manual (21 June 1999) 2-13–2-14 [2.6.8].
  263. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of [Graham] Steele’, 22 September 2023, 2 [1.8].
  264. Document prepared by the Victorian Department of Education in response to a Notice to Produce, ‘The Employment Record of Darrell Ray’, 22 September 2023, 5 [4.7].

Updated