Geoffrey Thomas's story

Geoffrey’s family was Catholic, and he attended a Queensland Christian Brothers school from the mid-1960s. There were rumours among the boys that they shouldn’t get caught up with the Brothers, especially alone, but nothing explicit was ever said as to why.

In his teens Geoffrey was sexually abused by Brother Reddy on three occasions. The first instance happened when he was around 13 years old, and using the school swimming pool during the holidays.

Reddy was there too, and asked him to come into an empty classroom. The Brother indicated that he was studying at university, and wished to take some photographs of Geoffrey, who was still wearing his swimmers, to help him with his work.

After Reddy had taken some pictures with a Polaroid camera he came up behind Geoffrey and wrapped his arm around him, putting his hand inside Geoffrey’s swimmers. After a few seconds Geoffrey moved away and made an excuse to leave.

Similar abuse happened two further times, with Reddy threatening to make his life difficult at the school if he told anyone about it.

Geoffrey also wondered if people would think he had encouraged Reddy.
‘You didn’t know if anyone would really believe you anyway ... You just kind of shut up I guess, and got on with things.’

It was only recently that Geoffrey disclosed the abuse, to the Royal Commission and then a couple of friends. He hasn’t yet told his family.

‘Rather than being in a box, under the table sort of thing, at least it’s being brought out in the open. And I think it’s going to make a lot of changes.’

Geoffrey recently made a police statement, but when contacted Reddy denied ever being at the school and the police were unable to move forward with their investigation.

‘Basically it was only my word against his ... I knew there wasn’t much to go on, but I thought ah well, if there are any other complaints maybe another one might just add a bit of weight to it.’


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