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Judd's story

In the late 1960s, after his parents’ marriage broke down, Judd was sent to an Anglican boarding school in Victoria. As a 10-year-old, he found it a difficult ‘cultural adjustment’ because until then he’d been surrounded by people who worked in shops and industry, and his family didn’t have a long tradition with the school.

‘I think the school was a different place by the time I graduated … In 1969, it was like an English boarding school with strict rules and no court of appeal. When I was in Year 11 and 12, it was coeducational and far more relaxed, reflecting the social changes that came about in the 1970s’.

As a Year 6 student, Judd went on a weekend trip away. In the days leading up to it his teacher, Tony Carter had become very friendly towards him. When Judd woke up on the first morning he found himself in the dormitory with only Carter present. The teacher was lying in a bed not far from his.

Carter started talking to Judd and then lifted his sleeping bag to reveal his underpants.

‘I think he had an erection and he said, “Look, it’s cold. Why don’t you come and lie with me?” I remember feeling very uncomfortable and I got up and left the dormitory. I made some excuse and I took off. I don’t think he spoke to me again that weekend or much thereafter.’

Judd said he looked back on the incident as ‘having dodged a bullet’. Carter continued to teach at his school and interstate for over two decades and Judd became aware that he’d had a habit of grooming and sexually abusing boys.

At 12, Judd was taught by Anglican minister, Reverend Harrison, who’d invite boys to his classroom after school to be hypnotised.

‘I was involved in two of these sessions. I thought it was very stupid’, Judd said.

At the second session, Judd pretended to be hypnotised and Harrison put his hand on his genitals and said, ‘Push against me’. He then unzipped Judd’s fly and fondled his genitals. Judd heard him do this to other boys but doesn’t remember any of them talking about it afterwards.

He stayed away from Harrison but reported the incident to another teacher, who was seen as ‘the man of action’. That teacher in turn told another housemaster, Mr Keane, and shortly afterwards Judd was told to write down the events as he recalled them. No one asked after his welfare and a week later Keane merely told him the school was trying to work out whether to expel him or make Harrison leave, and that, ‘At the moment, it is not looking good for you’.

Through the following school holidays Judd didn’t know if he would be expelled. He told his father what had happened and his father ‘was furious’, and wanted to contact the school, but Judd begged him not to.

Returning for the beginning of the new school year, Judd asked a senior teacher what was going to happen. He was told, ‘You were really lucky. We were going to expel you but he confessed’. Nothing further was said about the matter.

Judd said his memories of the school were nevertheless good and after leaving, he went to university and forged a successful career. He married and had children and, in the early 2000s, told his wife about the abuse. He subsequently told one of his children as well as a friend, but never reported the abuse to Victoria Police or made a civil claim for compensation.

Overall, Judd felt the school had given him good ‘opportunities and positioning in life’.

‘I always felt certainly from Carter and Harrison that I’d escaped, that I’d actually avoided anything really terrible, and it is strange as to why. What are the characteristics in people?

I look back at my family as to why. The kids who I think probably were more susceptible were ones who probably didn’t have such a background that was rooted within the school or in the traditional school community.

‘In other words, they didn’t have friends and relatives and parents who’d been to the school and knew others and knew other parents and so on ... [Those boys] would have probably represented a greater risk. They had more intrinsic authority in the school because their parents knew that person who knew that master and had been to the school and was connected with the old boys, something like that. That kind of networking system existed, but it didn’t exist for people like myself.’

Judd still receives school newsletters which acknowledge that sexual abuse by teachers has occurred at the school. But he thinks much of the commentary is focused on the past rather than the present.

‘I think they tend to think that this has all happened in the past and it’s not them. That’s the kind of impression I’m getting from the school: “We fixed that, we’ve changed that, it’s not fair to attack us over this”. I think that’s their tack.’

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