Principal knew about student sex abuse 35 years before teacher was convicted, letter reveals

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

April 15, 2019

By Henry Zwartz

Senior staff at a Catholic school in Tasmania, including the then principal and his boss, were aware of allegations a teacher was sexually abusing multiple children as far back as 1971, and sought to move the teacher to a different parish, a letter obtained by the ABC reveals.

The teacher, Greg Ferguson, was convicted of historical child sex offences against two students in 2007 relating to his time at Burnie’s Marist College in the early 1970s.

A letter written by then Marist College principal, Father Bernard Hosie, to his boss Marist provincial Peter Guiren in November 1971 sought advice on whether Ferguson should be moved on after reports he was “fooling around” with young boys at the school.

“I have reports of about 8 boys that Greg Ferguson (they claim) has been fooling around with in his room … it would … be very easy to move him if it had to be done overnight,” the letter states.

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