Threat of a Writ:

As I wasn't a big fan for mobile phones and only had one for family needs only a few of my friends had my phone number. However, some mug phoned a friend of mine pretending to be a long lost friend. As the details from the mug were sketchy; sensing something was afoot, my friend refused to give out my mobile phone number. Later, a text came through on his mobile phone. It read: ''When I find your mate Campion I will serve him with a writ.'' I was not served with a writ. However, at the time the mug frightened the crap out of me and that's all I needed with all the drama that was going down.

Lawyer Small Print:

If you ever engage a law firm on a “no win no pay” basis for any reason (such as the 41 victims from the Church of England North Coast Children's Home did) it may appear and could be a good proposition. However, before you sign any contract make sure you read the small print very carefully. Read it twice. Have your family or your trusted friends read it too. Just because it’s a no win no pay deal it could still cost you a lot of money. Check it out – ask questions and have your lawyer explain every little detail twice. Ask the lawyer if you don't win is going to cost you any money. And do not sign anything until all doubt has been erased from your mind.

No win, so who pays?

When I dismissed lawyer Simon Harrison after he failed to prove the Anglican Church had the duty of care of the Church of England North Coast Children's Home; even though it was a no win no pay deal, and we didn't accept the money from the church, Suzanne and I were still asked to pay his company $15,692.50 – plus Master File charges and GST for work incurred.

I started paying the law firm $5.00 per week. However, in my opinion I believed lawyer Harrison didn't perform the work to the best of his ability. I wrote him a letter of complaint stating many points to why I believed that to be. In his return letter dated March 2009 he wrote: ''We write further to your letter dated 16 February 2009 and advise we are now closing your file. We will not be billing you for work undertaken in respect of this matter and we return to you the sum of $70.00.'' (I still don't know for what reason he pulled my account).

Contact a champion:

When the leader of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall was appointed Primate in 2005 he was hailed as a ''champion of the rights of people based in Anglican institutions''.

That is an important title and carries a lot of responsibility. So, if any person abused in any Anglican home across Australia has any queries or complaints or is in need of any sort of information they should not hesitate to e-mail the Archbishop on or write to: The Most Reverend Dr. Phillip Aspinall P.O. Box 421 Brisbane QLD 4000. Phone on (07) 3835222 or Fax (07) 3832 5030

Positions Vacant:

On January 8-9, 2011, the Courier Mail newspaper explained in an article that the Anglican Church ''is desperately in need of educated men and women'' to join the priesthood. I replied and gave my opinion to Reverend Steven Ogden of the Anglican Church Ministry Education Commission, the reason to why they are desperate: ''The Anglican Church did have a good name - a name that could be trusted - a name the public could rely on day to day for help. As the years rolled on terrified people cautiously came forward with horrific stories of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. The good name of the church began to fade. Instead of the church reaching out to the victims they closed their hearts and locked their doors. They went about their methods in dark and mysterious ways. When the victims pleaded with the church to listen to them, to speak with them, their manner of communication was that of a mute. They were condemned by their silence. The Anglican Church had finally shown their true colours on how they handled child abuse.'' I never received a response.

There is a God and the pay is good:

After of five years of training, in December 2010 Brisbane father-of-two Daniel Berris was ordained into the Anglican Church. He moved to Ipswich (QLD Australia) to start his new life as a priest. He started work on ''a salary of $50,000.00'' and the church ''pays for his house, car and bills.''

Blessed with $8million profit:

The four bedroom mansion that Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall lived in at Eldemall Terrace, Hamilton, Brisbane sold was by the Anglican Church for $11million-plus – setting a sales record. Archbishop Aspinall was then moved to another mansion in Rupert Terrace in Ascot, Brisbane. It was purchased by the Anglican Church for $2.6 million. An article in The Australian used the headline: 'Blessed with an $8million profit on sale.' The Anglican Church's flashy $2.6million mansion has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, ensuite, two-car garage, fireplace, swimming pool and outdoor entertainment areas and much more.

In my opinion it would be a wonderful weekend retreat for people abused in Anglican homes. When the home is not in use, victims and their families could take turns to visit.

The most sought-after properties:

Also in The Australian it read that ''the Anglican Church has one of the most sought-after property portfolios in Brisbane.'' It is my opinion the Anglican Church of Australia should put their big money spending activities aside for the time being and set about clearing their flawed image by showing some good old-fashioned kindness and respect to victims of abuse. Pay them the compensation or the 'Support Package' they deserve and get back to business of selling and buying property.

Anglican Church $10 Million Windfall:

In the Port Macquarie News July 31, 2006: ''St. Thomas's Anglican Church, Port Macquarie, may use its money from the Ken Dick estate to expand its parish. The estimated $10million estate of deceased millionaire Ken Dick has been transformed from executors to the beneficiaries, the bulk of which went to the Anglican Church''.

60 children abused:

In a letter of February 10, 2011, the Anglican Church of Australia wrote that over 60 people have come forward regarding abuse in two separate Anglican homes in Queensland, the Enoggera Boys Home and Tufnell Children's Home. They said ''each victim were offered a written apology, an ex gratia payment commensurate with the abuse they suffered and an offer to provide counselling and to assist with medical and educational costs if considered helpful''. That figure shows the magnitude of the abuse in Anglican homes. It also shows that the church honoured some of their promises.

100 children abused:

During my time in the Church of England North Coast Children's Home hell-hole over 100 children were abused by home staff and Anglican clergy. How many were abused before I lived there or after, I do not know. But I understand there were many. And there are more to come forward.

Runaway train outrage:

On May 9, 2010 the Brisbane Sunday Mail reported that a Doctor who was sexually abused by a former teacher at St Paul’s School Bald Hills almost 30 years ago “has spoken out about the Anglican Church’s hypocrisy in blocking his bid for compensation.”

St Paul’s music teacher, Gregory Robert Knight was jailed for three years for more than 30 sex offences. The doctor was “overwhelmed with guilt, shame and depression, lost his job, his marriage and his house and he attempted suicide.” He said: “It was a runaway train that overtook every aspect of my life and destroyed me.”

And: “…the church’s relentless denial of his right to pursue compensation has chipped away at the strength he gained after the trail, when Knight was jailed.”

In my opinion, that is a typical reaction of the Anglican Church. They will make every possible move and exhaust avenues to avoid paying compensation to victims. But when they have no choice but to pay it, they do.

Who’s a naughty boy?

Extract from letter of May 18, 2005 from Foot, Law & Co Solicitors for the Anglican Church Diocese of Grafton to my lawyer Simon Harrison: “We would also advise the General Manager/Registrar has taken strong exception to the abusive and intemperate comments directed at him personally. Reverend (Pat) Comben is not a party nor is likely to be a party to any proceedings involving North Coast Children’s Home Inc. We are advised by Reverend Comben that if this course of conduct by Mr. Campion persists, he will have to consider legal action.”

Comment: The lawyers purposely misled me. Reverend Comben was totally involved in the proceedings involving the children’s home right to the bitter end. He and Bishop Keith Slater fought like little soldiers to halt a payment of compensation to 41 victims for the horrific abuse. 

Comben did not take legal action against me.

Angry antics:

I have prepared a list of Reverend Pat Comben’s antics noted while in conference with lawyer Simon Harrison and the Anglican Church’s lawyers discussing what compensation would be paid to the 41 victims abused in the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home.

1) Throughout the course of the first day Reverend Comben was seated on one chair with his feet up on another chair.

2) When the Reverend was advised that the people who were abused would have to issue court proceedings his response was “bring it on.”

3) Reverend Comben conducted himself in a less than positive manner and indeed no more than five minutes into the conference he walked out saying he would not return. Reason being, he wasn’t pleased that his reference concerning the home being “an Anglican place that should have been safe” which was bought up during the conferencing.

4) Throughout the conference Reverend Comben kept making the point over and over that he was “only an employee” of the church.

5) During the conference our lawyers were appalled at two offensive remarks made by both Reverend Comben and his lawyer. The comments related to the nature of “discipline in those days” and a suggestion that implied that any abuses that occurred had to place in the context of the fact that at “ least the children were given a home”.

6) While discussing compensation for the victims, throughout the conference Reverend Comben repeated over and over that the Grafton Diocese (who was to pay the compensation), was a “poor rural Diocese”.

Comment: Reverend Pat Comben is no longer with the Anglican Church Diocese of Grafton. I believe he left for personal reasons in 2010. His antics addressed above were unrelated to his departure.

Show me the money:

This information is taken from documents from lawyer Simon Harrison. It is an example of some of what occurred during negotiations for compensation for the 41 victims of the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home.

At one stage during conferencing discussions took place to the effect that the victim’s lawyer might be willing to recommend to his clients that they would receive $1.2 million. Another time, all Comben was advised to give the victims was $5,000 for each claim. I proceed with what was said:

* Reverend Pat Comben referred this matter to the Bishop-in-Council after an offer of $750,000.00 was put forward.

* We understand that members of that body were split as to what they would “advise the Bishop” to do.

* The majority thought the offer was already too high.

* At the end of that meeting the church’s lawyers advised that the Bishop-in-council would increase its offer to $800,000.00.

* We (our lawyer) advised that we could not recommend that amount at the time and therefore proposed that we may be willing to put to our clients a figure to settle without court proceedings in the sum of $900,000.00.

* We stress that this figure is one that we advised we would consider putting to clients but that it would always be a matter for them to decide whether they would decide to accept the same or not.

* We were therefore amazed to be informed that Reverend Comben had then informed his lawyers to withdraw the $800,000.00 offer and that no offer was to be made whatsoever.

* Therefore, after the request by the Diocese of Grafton to wait until the Bishop-in-Council meet and within days of its decision, the Reverend Comben had overturned this entire sequence of negotiations.

Comment: Although that is probably how many deals take place but it is just like the victims are being abused all over again.

The Anglican Church’s Jurisdiction Rule – what does it mean?

The Anglican Church has a Jurisdiction Rule which they trot out now and again: During my time spent proving the Anglican Church were covering-up the abuse of about 100 children, the Jurisdiction Rule reared its ugly head. Archbishop Phillip Aspinall was asked to intervene into the activities of Bishop Keith Slater and Reverend Pat Comben in the Grafton Diocese and help the 41 victims, but he refused. The Anglican Church said Archbishop Aspinall  “has no sway with other Anglican dioceses.”

The Anglican Church director of professional standards in Brisbane, Mr Rod McLary explained in “plain language” and put the Jurisdiction Rule to rest: “Each Anglican diocese is separate and autonomous in the way the Queensland Government is separate from the New South Wales Government, for example, or the Brisbane City Council is separate from the Gold Coast City Council.”

How I explain the Jurisdiction Rule in plain language:

Even though a bishop and his clergy are getting drunk, swearing in the pulpit and running naked down the isle in their particular diocese, Archbishop Aspinall, as the Leader of the Anglican Church of Australia, cannot and would not intervene because the Jurisdiction Rule must be obeyed.

And, if Archbishop Aspinall discovered a Bishop in a different diocese was abusing a child, would he allow the abuse to continue because he couldn’t disobey the Jurisdiction Rule? No, of course not. What a load of drivel.

Did Archbishop Aspinall disobey the Jurisdiction Rule during the compensation claim? Indeed he did. In an official law document of March 14, 2007 from Simon Harrison it read: “During the course of this past month we have ensured that the Primate’s office has been involved in these matters. This past few weeks we ensured that the Primate, who has been in Africa and last week was at the Bishop’s Conference in New South Wales, was e-mailed, faxed and telephoned.”

Other legal documents show that Mr Rod McLary was also involved in activities concerning the compensation claim outside his diocese.

Also, Chaplain Jenni Woodhouse of the Sydney Diocese had a meeting with Suzanne and I to help us in our quest for the truth and compensation. Chaplain Woodhouse was way outside her diocese.

So, just that proves the Archbishop can easily be swayed and the Jurisdiction Rules is a load of piffle.

Comment: I can’t help wondering if the Archbishop and his team were standing guard so the 41 victims compensation claim would not be compromised.

Gut feeling:

If you, the reader, received hundreds and hundreds of letters over a five years period, citing government documented facts that showed the Anglican Church was involved in the abuse of over 100 children and were staging a cover-up, would you ignore it.

If you looked at the huge amount of letters in your file would you get a gut feeling that maybe something just might be seriously wrong? Just maybe. And maybe you would want to speak to the person making the claims.  Well, no one in the Anglican Church had that gut feeling. No one wanted to talk.

Hold the Front Page:

In 2006-7-8-9 The Australian, Brisbane Sunday Mail and the Northern Star published stories about the abuse of children in the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home. The Northern Star, which is in the same country town as the home was, published major stories and fielded letters to the editor. Some of the headlines were:

Child Abuse Letters Rocks Anglicans

Kids’ Abuse Scandal Spreads

Children’s Home Hell

Victim Exposes Sadistic Flogging of Orphans

40 threaten to Sue over Child Abuse

Tommy’s Secret Life

Tommy Calling for an end to the Abuse

Church Disowns Abuse Facility

Anglicans can afford to be Compassionate

Silence at too High a Price

Anglican Abuse Payout “an insult”

Picture of Evil: Abused orphans haunted by face of brutal matron

Primate Attacked on Abuse Deal

Matron Boasted of Child Abuse

Home of Broken Dreams

Home of Broken Dreams was the heading of a near full page story published in the features pages of The Australian of March 13, 2009, which I thank them for. A photograph accompanied that story. No one responded to the story – not even the church. The photo of me must have frightened them off.

Comment: If an investigative journalist was prepared to sink their teeth into the church and ask the hard questions, I am sure they would have written a great story. But I could not find an investigative journalist who was prepared to do hard yards. I had the proof. The church had nothing.

Horrific Details:

In 2008 journalist Paul Weston of the Brisbane Sunday Mail wrote of the abuse in the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home:

“The instances of “cowardly physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse from the staff, clergymen and matron” have been corroborated by many other victims…”

“It will probably become one of the most significant abuse claims in Australia – that’s how it is developing at the moment”.

“The orphanage housed 50 people at any one time. The abuse appears to be systematic and on going for some time. This was open house abuse – most kids were witnessing it, on the end of their beds watching it. And it was the intensity of it … it gave the impression of Dante’s version of hell”.

Who Wronged Whom?

I know there will be flack from former residents of the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home who survived their time in the home without being abused. Here is the reason why.

The front-page headlines in The Northern Star of June 12, 2006 blared: “Tommy you’ve wronged our family”. Those sad words are from Mr Phillip Witchard, a former resident of the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home.

Journalist Will Jackson wrote: “A confrontation is brewing between those who praise the Lismore children’s home and those who damn it. Ballina’s Phillip Witchard and many other former residents of the home, say its reputation has been unfairly sullied following Richard “Tommy” Campion’s claims of institutional physical and sexual victimisation”.

Sadly, Mr Witchard continued by accusing the people who were taking action against the Anglican Church for abuse, as conducting a “money grab”.  Mr Witchard believed those who were abused in the home aren’t entitled to seek compensation. If Mr Witchard didn’t have to endure the abuse I did, or my sister, or any other person in the home, he is a fortunate man and as I said in the newspaper article, “that is a beautiful thing”.

Comment: I stress, during Matron Jean O’Neil’s era she never laid a hand on me in anger. If fact I praised her for the good work in keeping the home a happy place. I cannot comment on what happened after I left the home but I know that former residents put in claims of abuse by Jean O’Neil.

Picture of Evil:

A dramatic headline in the Sunday Mail Newspaper Brisbane of 2007 read: ‘Picture of Evil: Abused orphans haunted by face of brutal matron.’ The heading bragged that it was an exclusive by journalist, Paul Weston. A grainy black and white five-column photograph of Matron Martin was at the top right of the page surrounded by a bunch of home children, including Suzanne and I.

Extracts from that story:

Paragraph one: “This is the face of the matron who flogged helpless young orphans at a notorious former children’s home.”

Paragraph three: “Richard “Tommy” Campion told the Sunday Mail, “She is the most evil and frightening person I have ever known in my life”.

Paragraph five: “Just seeing her photo, that look on her face, took my breath away. It left me angry and emotional.”

Paragraph eleven: “Matron Martin, who is deceased, was the matron responsible for almost unimaginable instances of violent child abuse.”

Paragraph fourteen: “ Most of the assaults were in front of the kids. If the assault was going to be a particularly bad one, the kids were made to sit outside the room and hear the screams. ”

Paragraph seventeen: “The Anglican Diocese of Grafton general manager, the Reverend Pat Comben, said he was stunned by the extent of the brief being prepared by lawyers acting for the former orphans.

The 41 former residents from the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home all signed statutory declarations describing their abuse for Bishop Keith Slater, Reverend Pat Comben and the church’s lawyers to review.  The Anglican Church did not deny the abuse of the children (but they denied they had the duty of care).

Good Stories Bad Stories:

Articles published in newspapers across Australia concerning child abuse and compensation claims from the Anglican Church, past or present, far out-weigh any encouraging or ‘nice stories’ written about the Anglican Church. And when ‘nice stories’ are published they are so guarded and regimented I feel like saluting.

Secret Squirrel:

The Anglican Church is a ‘secret squirrel’ type entity. What do we know about the workings of the Anglican Church? I know if a journalist dares enter into their kingdom asking strategic questions on child abuse that aren’t to their liking, mostly, the clergyman a journalist desires to interview, is unavailable. However, if their hand is forced and they have no choice but to answer, their replies are checked and double-checked by a surplus of Perry Masons’. Then their answers are usually repeated parrot fashion. They are usually cold and sterile.

Why does the church refuse to be up-front? Why are they so mysterious? It’s not because they think victims are faking their stories of abuse, their depression, their alcoholism their drug reliance or are inventing stories of abuse to line their pockets.

It is because it gives them the opportunity to avoid the media, engage a lawyer skilled in church law; then they try every trick in the book; take every cunning unorthodox angle, using every back yard bent idea in their attempt to avoid giving correct and honest answers so as to escape compensating victims. The church is its own worst enemy and the public has a right to know more about them.

The Anglican Church Investigating the Anglican Church:

During the Anglican’s Church denial of child abuse and duty of care, in 2009 and 2010, I lodged my first complaint with the Anglican Church’s Professional Standards Committee against Bishop Keith Slater for misconduct, incompetence and cruelty. They couldn’t care less.

Twice I lodged complaints with the Episcopal Standards Commission (ESC). (The ESC was formed to investigate complaints against bishops). My first complaint was ignored.

About 12 months later I sent another complaint – and I waited. I waited so long I grew out of my clothes. However, when the director of the Episcopal Standards Commission, Mr. Christopher Thomas finally answered, what he expected me do to proceed with the complaint, was akin to an action in the High Court.

To a boofhead like me the demands were double-Dutch. They were unrealistic. It would take a huge effort for me to pursue the complaint that is unless I engaged Senior Council or Queens Council lawyers skilled in church law. I shudder to think what the charges would be if I did - $1,000 an hour, perhaps $2,000. (My pleas to the ESC to provide a lawyer to fight my claims went unanswered).

There are three lawyers entrenched in the ESC, all who are skilled in certain aspects of the law. Then, there is little old me who only wanted the truth to be known. The pressure that was thrust upon me was as if the Anglican Church had lodged a complaint against me. What chance has any person who wants to lodge a complaint against a bishop got?

Comment: Once again it was the Anglican Church investigating the Anglican Church – and they are very cunning. The ESC should be disbanded.

Guilty of child abuse:

On April 2002 in the Newcastle Local Court (Australia), Reverend Allan Kitchingham pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault on a child. The child was a resident of the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore where Kitchingham worked as chaplain of the Church of England Parish of St. Andrews. Kitchingham was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two and a half years. He had a non-parole period of fifteen months. (The child got life. Society needs to know that abuse by ordained members of the clergy has been and still is horrific).

Another shocking case of child abuse:

When Beth Heinrich, who was abused for 40 years by Anglican priest Donald Shearman, asked the then Brisbane Anglican Archbishop Dr. Peter Hollingworth for help, he more or less told her to ‘get lost’.

During the 1950’s at the age of 14, Beth Heinrich was a boarder at St John’s Anglican Hostel in the country town of Forbes in New South Wales Australia. Beth Heinrich said that Anglican priest, Donald Shearman “was the assistant priest in Forbes and he and his wife were in charge of the hostel”. Eventually, Donald Shearman was to become a senior Anglican Bishop.

In March 8, 2005 the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported that when Beth Heinrich visited the Brisbane diocese for mediation with Donald Shearman and Archbishop Peter Hollingworth, she said: “Donald opened with a tirade of how it was time I put it all behind me and got on with my life, and that I actually encouraged him when I was a schoolgirl”.

The story of abuse was brought to the attention of the ABC Australian Story who eventually produced episodes titled The Gathering Storm – Part 1 and Part 2. It went to air on February 28, 2005 and March 7, 2005.

Archbishop Peter Hollingworth had resigned as Archbishop of Brisbane to take up the position of Governor-General. But his down fall became inevitable while being interviewed for the Australian Story. He said: “My belief is that this was not sex abuse. There was no suggestion of rape or anything like that – quite the contrary. My information is that it was rather the other way around”.

Below are extracts from comments made by Anglican whistle blower Chaplain Jenni Woodhouse, on the ABC Australian Story:

“Peter Hollingworth resigned as Governor-General after the report was released from inquiry”.

“Bishop Shearman refused to attend either the inquiry or the tribunal, and even attempted to relinquish his holy orders – resign from being a priest. That would have enabled him to avoid accountable, but the church didn’t accept his resignation”.

“The unanimous vote of the tribunal was to defrock Donald Shearman. He is no longer a priest; he is no longer a bishop. He’s the first bishop to have been defrocked in the Anglican Church of Australia”.

It is unusual to have a whistleblower within the ranks of the normally secretive Anglican Church. To finds out how Chaplain Jenni Woodhouse became the whistleblower I wrote to her and the Australian Story asking how and why the title was hatched. Up to the time my website was constructed I did not receive a reply.

The ABC Australian Story won a major media award for their story of defrocked Bishop Donald Shearman and the comments of Dr Hollingworth. Whistleblower Chaplain Jenni Woodhouse was on stage with the Australian Story team to accept the trophy.

Help me Please:

During the period of trying to have the hierarchy of the Anglican Church admit to the of duty of care of their own home, I wrote five letters to Reverend V. Hoskins of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. When the home was functioning, St Andrew’s Church was heavily involved in the running of the home. Some of the clergy from that church abused the children. (Reverend Hoskins was not with the church during the times of the abuse. In fact he was not even a Anglican minister).

In my letter of July 29, 2008 I wrote asking Reverend Hoskins to help me conquer the lies of the Anglican Church: “Churches are held in positions of respect and authority by the community and as such need to give clear messages of uncompromising support for survivors of child abuse; in addition to ensuring that the protection and safety of children are beyond all else”.

May 10, 2009 I wrote: “This country needs more members of the clergy who would stand up and be counted; have the courage to fight the dishonesty and misrepresentation of the church and help with the lives of child who were abused”.

November 15, 2009 I wrote: “ It is quite chilling to see how the Anglican Church side-steps the truth as they cowardly and impassively go about concealing their involvement of abuse and duty of care in the children’s home”.

Comment: I put my heart and soul into trying to have Hoskins get involved but I did not receive any help whatsoever. That is typical of the Anglican Church,

Committee Man:

On April 1, 2009 and July 14, 2009 I wrote to Mr G.S. Morton who at one stage he was on the Executive Committee of the Church of Anglican Church of England North Coast Children’s Home. The Bishop did not name Mr Morton or any other person as being on the committee but at all times he indicated that anyone on the home committee was part of the “community group”, the people who had the duty of care of the home. (I say emphatically that Mr Morton was not involved in the abuse of the children. He was decent man).  

Extract from my letter to Mr Morton:

“With all due respect, I understand you are getting on in years; but even the elderly must speak the truth. So I ask you, did the North Coast Children’s Home Executive Committee run the North Coast Children’s Home or did the Anglican Church run the North Coast Children’s Home?”

“I have no guilt whatsoever in saying that Bishop Slater and Reverend Comben are deliberately lying to fabricate a story for gain. The Anglican Church are withholding information and distorting the truth of child abuse”.

Mr Morton, a former lawyer, did not respond to either of my letters. I also phoned him at his home and asked him a bunch of question concerning who had the duty of care. To every question I asked, he said: I refuse to answer your questions or no comment, or words to that effect.

Saving a Life:

In 1964 while still living in the home, I saved the life of a human being – Laurie Wallace. As it was, I left the scene immediately after the ambulance made a mercy dash to the hospital. There was a news story in the Northern Star newspaper with a heading that read: Unknown Rescuer.

Excerpts of a transcript from the minutes of the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home Executive Committee Meeting on February 21, 1964: “Resolve that a letter be written to Richard Campion commending him on his action in rescuing a person from drowning and an endeavour be made to induce the Royal Human Society to write also commending him on his action”.

I never received any such letter from the home nor from the Royal Human Society.

Hatred and Despise

On October 18, 2010 I sent a five-page letter to Bishop Keith Slater expressing how devastated I was that they denied the church had the duty of care; instead using a “community group” to escape blame. I wrote from my heart.

Extracts from that letter: “I have a deep hatred for the Anglican Church and what they stand for. I despise all those members of the clergy who covered-up the truth of child abuse and duty of care. It is the cold cruel lies of the clergy and the greed of the Anglican Church that has prevented the victims from receiving compensation, an honest apology and the closure they deserve in order to cope with the victimisation”.

·     The Anglican Church’s Bishop Keith Slater and Reverend Pat Comben could have put a stop to the cover-up of the abuse of over 100 children and admitted to the duty of care, but they didn’t. They fought on. If they didn’t, they know it would have cost the church much money.

·     The leader of the Anglican Church of Australia, Primate Phillip Aspinall could have meet with me and discussed the matter. He could have intervened, but he didn’t. He had better things to do.

·     And the Sydney Dioceses’ Archbishop Peter Jensen could have helped me or offered some sort of advice, but didn’t. He did not to respond to my findings.  And he could have lived up to his public announcement that he would help victims of abuse – but he didn’t. He never even sent a good luck card.

·     Chaplain Jenni Woodhouse may how helped, but she didn’t - she was ordered by Reverend Pat Comben not too.

Comment: The Anglican Church has very special rules that must be obeyed. Written in the manual, ‘Faithfulness in Service a National Code for Personal Behaviour and the Practice of Pastoral Ministry by Clergy’ it reads: “All clergy and church workers have a responsibility to ensure that personal behaviour and practices of pastoral ministry that are inconsistent with this code are neither tolerated nor covered up”.

Also in Faithfulness in Service – Point 6.9 under the section noted as Standards for Clergy it reads: “You are not knowingly to make statements that are false, misleading or deceptive”.

Not One Second on 60 Minutes:

Back in about 2006 I contacted 60 Minutes to do a piece on the child abuse in the home. I spoke with a researcher three or four times). A researchers job is to check to see if the story is worthwhile and whether there is enough material to the fill space of about 15-20 minutes that is usually allotted to each story. The researcher believed there would be only talking heads, so there would not be enough material to fill the space.

However, during the course of events talking with the researcher I mentioned there were two former residents who had come forward, a brother and sister, who, because of the Anglican home, had not seen each other for 30 years.  

Hold it there, that was the fairy tale 60 Minutes needed. The brother and sister at the airport shedding tears, running toward each other, arms out stretched falling into each other’s arms - that’s what the viewers love to see.

It was decided the reunion would have to be included in the piece – in fact it would be a crucial part of the story. And as I was the person who bought them together I would be there, my hand on my heart, tears in my eyes.

I knew the siblings were to meet more sooner than later, so I phoned them and mentioned that 60 Minutes wanted to film the reunion. They refused to do that because their meeting was personal. They also had the embarrassment of being on TV to contend with.

On behalf of 60 Minutes, and because of the importance to have our story known, I phone them again and pushed the message how crucial it was to the other victims to get the publicity. The answer was no. As I was frustrated and desperately needed the coverage, I put the pressure on them to go on the show. But they wouldn’t budge.

The 60 Minutes researcher said they would not be intrusive with the camera, explaining the photographer would be well back from the actual event. It was suggested that 60 Minutes would pay for their plane fares and give them accommodation. Again the siblings declined. With that, 60 Minutes dropped the story and that was the end of that.

Fast Forward:

Once again, in June 2009 I contacted 60 Minutes. I advised Executive Producer, Hamish Thomson I had what I thought was a powerful story.  It concerned the cover-up of the abuse of over 100 children in an Anglican home. And it involved the Bishop of Grafton and the leader of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall – Primate (and other high-ranking clergy). I told him of the church’s cunningness and coldness to the victims who were abused in their home.

Mr Thomson’s reply of July 9, 2009 was: “At the moment, as I’m sure you will appreciate, we are very heavily committed, but we will certainly be considering your suggestion”.

After that, now and again, I would send updates to Hamish Thomson. I never heard from 60 Minutes again. And I didn’t expect too. (After the fact I was told it was probably better I stopped contacting them because some people tend to brand someone who is as passionate as I was, as a bit soft between the ears).

What is aired on the wonderful 60 Minutes is up to the chiefs. If they don’t want to do a story on the abuse of over 100 children and the church’s cover-up, they don’t have too. They pick the good stuff and field off what they feel is drivel. The 60 Minutes team have covered many brilliant, amazing, heartbreaking and interesting stories, shot by the best photographers. But, as most people would vouch, there is also a lot of rubbish.

Child Abuse … what Child Abuse:

When there is something as shocking and serious as child abuse and there’s a cover-up by a church, it is vitally important that the church are exposed. And the best way to do that is with the media. When you fight for justice, without the media glare, it is only between the church and the poor bugger who writes the letters.

That’s when I had to brace myself for another battle. Not with the Anglican Church but with the media.

The media are powerful and we know, at times, when they get their teeth into a story they are like a pack of raged mongrel dogs. And when that rage skyrockets and every television and newspaper are on the attack, there is no escaping. And that’s what I needed.

But how do you get the media involved? I’m stuffed if I know. Even though I worked for newspapers for over 40 years getting my teeth into stories, I still don’t know. You may see a particular story and think why is that so important when there are other stories out there that may have so much more impact on people’s lives.

I will explain the problems I had trying to have the media show just a tiny bit of interest in the Anglican Church child abuse cover-up.

* I sent Sydney Telegraph columnist Piers Ackerman my five-year summary of the abuse cover-up. He appeared to be interested as he phoned me at home and asked for documents. Those documents included Section 28 of the Child Welfare Act, which, without doubt, proved the church had the duty of care and were hell-bent in covering up the abuse.

How Mr. Ackerman wanted to treat the abuse cover-up story was his prerogative. He did not have to publish anything just to appease me. However, out of courtesy it would have been gentlemanly and genuinely kind if he had phoned and told me he was going to bin the story. But he didn’t. I never heard from him again. It was like he’d left his office at lunchtime and never came back.

* I sent documents to the Channel Seven Sunday programme, which had just started. A researcher (I forget his name) asked a lot of questions with no substance, trying to get to the bottom of the matter. I told him to go back to the drawing board and read my summary because I had written it as the events had unfolded. He wanted to have some of the victims involved but I told him they had signed documents and weren’t allowed to talk. I never heard from the Channel Seven bloke again. Not even a kiss goodbye.

Note: Even though the Sunday programme had just started, I was told it probably wouldn’t last much longer. Oops, it’s been over two years and the show is still going.

* I tried the ABC Four Corners programme, one of the best programmes on the box. On August 3, 2009 Program Assistant of Four Corners, Susan Cardwell wrote: “Your programme suggestion regarding the Anglican Church has been passed on to one of our producers for consideration. We may be in touch with you again if we feel we can take this matter further”. At least I wasn’t left out in the cold.

* I had lunch and a few beers with Greg, a gun journalist with the Brisbane Courier Mail journalist (working on the Gold Coast, Australia). He said he was keen to write a story on the abuse cover-up. “I’ll phone you in a few days,” he said as he paid the bill. I never heard from him. The paella we had for lunch that day must have given him amnesia.

* I was offered help by a professional public relations firm to check a media release I had prepared for immediate release. With that out of the way I sent the release to all the major hitters and doubled up by sending it to country newspapers. I do not know if anyone published my release – but I don’t think so. At least I tried.

The End

If you feel strongly about this can you sign my petition to the Anglican Church here