Former Student Receives Apology from St Kevin’s College over Sex Abuse Claims

By Kathryn Powley
Herald Sun
May 7, 2015

Christian Brother Maurice Howard (second row from bottom, far left) was a teacher at St Kevin’s College who was accused of abusing some of his students.

ANOTHER elite Melbourne school has been rocked by revelations of sexual abuse.

A former student of St Kevin’s College in Toorak, now 60, has received a formal written apology and a settlement of his claim over sexual abuse by a teacher, Brother Maurice Howard, in 1969.

The man told the Herald Sun that Brother Howard touched him in the change rooms after cricket practice.

He said he knew of other victims of Brother Howard, who died in 1984, and is angry others have not been encouraged by the school to come forward.

The school did not respond to questions, referring the Herald Sun to Christian Brothers Oceania for comment.

The man said it was well known that Brother Howard, known as the Wombat, would get boys to pose alone in the art room so he could draw them, then touch them.

“In the showers after cricket practice, boys would run in screaming, ‘Wombat’s coming, backs to the wall’. Boys would scream and cry out.”

He naively thought it was just a joke, until “he grabbed me in the changing rooms”.

“There was no one else there at the time. He’d stand and stare at you.” The man said that he and others told their mothers, who told the headmaster, but “nothing was done”. His grades plummeted, he failed year 12 and changed schools.

“Your life just grinds to a halt because it’s so powerful. It’s on your mind and you can’t stop thinking about it,” he said.

“I had nightmares. I still think about it every day.”

The Brothers’ formal apology to the man, which was written by executive officer of professional standards Shane Wall in October 2014, describes the abuse the man suffered as “totally repugnant”.

“It is the antithesis of what anyone would expect in an educational facility responsible for the care and nurturance of young boys. The fact that such abuse was perpetrated by a Christian Brother magnifies the breach of trust,” he wrote.









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