Church officials believed claims were true

Gearing, Amanda & McKenna, Michael (2013) Church officials believed claims were true. The Australian.

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Abstract

FORMER Anglican church officials have admitted they believed a former school headmaster had abused children at a north Queensland boarding school, despite telling a victim during mediation over a compensation payout that his allegations were not proven.

For more than six years, Anglican officials dismissed the allegations of Queensland pensioner Bim Atkinson that he had been sexually abused between 1964 and 1968 by the Reverend Robert Waddington, the former headmaster of St Barnabas boarding school in Ravenshoe, on the Atherton Tablelands.

In documents and letters obtained by The Weekend Australian, senior church officials in England and Australia told Mr Atkinson, now 59, that Waddington had denied the allegations and his claims were "not proven", despite an internal investigation.

Mr Atkinson made his first complaint in 1999 -- when Waddington was living in retirement in York -- but dropped the case after being told the former school principal was near death after surgery for throat cancer. Waddington did not die until 2007.

In 2004, Mr Atkinson refiled his complaint, with church officials telling him the allegations were "not proven" and did not warrant another investigation.

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ID Code: 69060
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
ISSN: 1038-8761
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Deposited On: 24 Mar 2014 00:08
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2014 00:08

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