Sunday, 31 May 2015
Saturday, 30 May 2015
Friday, 29 May 2015
Thursday, 28 May 2015
Concern over funding cuts effecting NSW schools
Overcrowded and vulnerable public schools in north and western Sydney could be hit hardest by budget cuts over the next decade as the federal government strips up to $9.6 billion from NSW schools.
The news came as NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli pleaded with his colleagues in Canberra to commit to the final two years of Gonski funding. South Australian and Victoria Education ministers intend to take the fight up to the Federal Government on this issue. Education Ministers are meeting with Pyne today to thrash out important national issues in education.
The figures are based on the Coalition's commitment to tie funding to inflation rather than the former Labor government's plan to increase funding between 3 per cent and 4.7 per cent per year.
Labor's acting education Federal spokesman, Mark Butler, said the cuts over the course of a decade would affect every student in the classroom.
"This new data shows the true impact of the government's savage school cuts; quite simply, the students who need the most help will be those hardest hit," he said. "By walking away from the Gonski reforms, vulnerable students will miss out on the resources they need to catch up, and risk falling further behind in their education."
Ridsdale still protecting his ‘mates’?
The judge presiding over an inquiry into child sexual abuse says it is "incredible" that notorious paedophile Gerald Ridsdale cannot remember crucial details surrounding the Catholic Church's knowledge of his offending against numerous children in regional Victoria.Ridsdale, an 81-year-old former priest, is back in the witness box for a second day of hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Ballarat. He told the commission he could not remember many details about his past, including his time in New South Wales.At one stage, Justice Peter McClellan expressed incredulity Ridsdale could not remember details of his offending, or which members of the Catholic clergy may have known about his abusive nature. "Isn't it incredible?" Justice McClellan put to Ridsdale, after Ridsdale said he couldn't "remember anything about Mortlake" in western Victoria, where he abused many children. Justice McClellan also expressed frustration about Ridsdale's inability to recall discussions with Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who moved Ridsdale around Western Victoria. At one point, Ridsdale also appeared to backtrack on whether he was in fear of losing his priesthood. "It's not a case of thinking you could've been," Justice McClellan told Ridsdale. "You would've been absolutely terrified the Bishop was going to throw you out of the church."Ridsdale replied: "I can only tell you what I remember."
Justice McClellan also raised the possibility Ridsdale may have been coached in what to say in evidence, asking him repeatedly who had visited him in prison in recent months, including on the March 17. "You appreciate there'll be a record of people who've been to see you in jail, don't you?" Justice McClellan put to Ridsdale. Ridsdale said he made regular phone calls to his sisters and had been visited by Father John McKinnon, of a western Victorian parish. He also backtracked on evidence that it was his barrister who approached Cardinal George Pell to support him in court during the 1990s. Yesterday, Ridsdale said Cardinal Pell may not have known the nature of the child abuse charges against him, he did not know exactly what Cardinal Pell was going to say in his support, and that it was insignificant anyway. He told the royal commission he barely knew Cardinal Pell. But today he acknowledged, on the face of evidence put to him by counsel assisting, Gail Furness SC, that he had approached Pell himself. "It looks like I must've done that, yes," said Ridsdale. Earlier, Ridsdale responded with, "I don't know ... I can't recall", when asked by Ms Furness if Cardinal Pell ever spoke to Ridsdale about his offending, or whether Ridsdale ever told him about his problems with children. Ridsdale also acknowledged at least three members of the clergy, including Bishop Mulkearns, knew of his prolific offending at Mortlake. He was also been asked about evidence given by a young female victim of Ridsdale's at St Alipius Primary School in the 1970s. Ridsdale accepted the girl's evidence, that another priest walked in on them while Ridsdale was assaulting her. But he refused to say who it was - "Miss, I have no idea about the priests who were with me in Ballarat East." Ridsdale did say he could recall Cardinal Pell was at the parish at the time. "I have to accept that fact that George Pell was there but I don't remember any of the others," he said. Ridsdale was also asked about his offending in New South Wales, after he was moved there from Victoria because he had "certain sexual problems". He told the commission he abused children at several locations, including in his "underground house" at White Cliffs. The inquiry heard one family who had been visiting Ridsdale for decades in prison did not know he had abused their own son.Today 29th claims were made that there were more than 12 paedophile priests in Ballarat. The Bishop of Ballarat rejected that.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
It's Public Education Day today - a day for teachers and principals to celebrate the important work that you do to ensure every child and young person can access high-quality public education.
Invented in 1987, the Microsoft presentation software PowerPoint is on more than 1 billion computers around the world. It is estimated that more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations are given every day. But as PowerPoint conquered the world, critics have piled on. And justifiably so. Its slides are oversimplified, and bullet points omit the complexities of nearly any issue. The slides are designed to skip the learning process, which — when it works — involves dialogue, eye-to-eye contact and discussions. Of course PowerPoint has merits — it can help businesses with their sales pitches or let teachers introduce technology into the classroom. (Kids love PowerPoint) But instead of being used as a means for a dynamic engagement, it has become a poor substitute for longer, well-thought-out briefings and technical reports. It has become a crutch.
Go to today’s Sydney Morning Herald to see a …….PowerPoint telling you why you should not use powerPoint!
Hair today….gone tomorrow
Victoria's anti-corruption commission has heard that sacked Education Department executive Nino Napoli asked for several thousand dollars for hair treatment to be transferred from a company run by his cousins. The Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption (IBAC) inquiry is investigating the misuse of thousands of dollars of Victorian Education Department money. Luigi Squillacioti was a director of three companies allegedly used by Mr Napoli to divert departmental funds. Testifying at the hearing today, Mr Squillacioti was asked about a payment he made for Mr Napoli for hair. The counsel assisting, Ian Hill QC asked him "if 'hair' was code for something else?" "He wears a toupee, you must realise that," Mr Squillacioti replied.
The Department is reviewing the existing regional structure and support services. It has produced a consultation paper - Strengthening DET regional relationships and support - to obtain feedback on a series of proposals for changing the current situation.
The Napthine Government largely dismantled the regional support infrastructure for schools as part of its $600 million cuts to school education. An estimated 600 central and regional staff positions were removed over the period 2011-2014. This severely diminished the Department's capacity to support and assist schools and had a particular impact on the level of services for students with high needs.
The AEU State of Our Schools survey (2014) found that over 90 per cent of principals reported that regional support for schools had deteriorated over the previous year. ( no surprise there!)Principals voiced common concerns about the remoteness of regions and their lack of understanding of how schools operate and the work that they do and the demands and pressures placed on them
The regional consultation paper acknowledges that the present four regions and their support services are not meeting the identified needs of schools. It identifies "core areas of expertise" that the regions should provide for schools: partnership building and brokerage across sectors (including facilitation of school networks); school improvement and management; curriculum, assessment and pedagogy; school operations; well-being and engagement (particularly for students who are vulnerable, have disabilities or exhibit challenging behavior).
My response to the consultation was sent months ago and posted on this blog. My Network is also preparing a response.
One of Australia's most notorious paedophiles, Gerald Ridsdale, was unable to control his sexual desires while in the seminary, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in Ballarat has heard. Ridsdale was read out a long list of his offences over the years, involving many victims. He also told senior counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, he could no longer recall being abused himself as a child, despite making statements to that effect in the 1990s. Ridsdale said statements he made in 1994, about being abused by members of the clergy, including a Christian Brother when he was 11 or 12 years old, would have been correct at the time. He told the commission he felt bound to become a priest because of family expectations, but had problems controlling his sexual urges from the beginning. But said he "didn't confess the sexual offending against children" because he did not want to lose his priesthood.
He was asked if the church should have notified authorities of his own offending over the years. He replied: "What I've done and the damage that I've done ... I'd say, definitely yes". Ridsdale was quizzed at length about whether or not people were warned about his offending tendencies as he was moved from school to school around western Victoria, in the 1960s and 70s. When asked by Ms Furness if anyone was notified at Mildura, when he was relocated there from Ballarat, he answered "I don't know".Ridsdale did say he was warned by clergy in Ballarat before being moved to Mildura, "if this happens again you'll be off to the missions".(NOT off to the police! What were they thinking?)Ridsdale recalled abusing choir boys in Mildura, and later at Swan Hill, when he was again moved on. "Yes ... there would probably be another couple [of victims] there," he told Ms Furness. Ridsdale also said he had little to do with George (Pell). Today Cardinal Pell offered to appear before the inquiry. Lets hope they take him up on his offer and cross-examine him robustly.
ABC broadcast van outside the courts at Ballarat this afternoon.
The best way to engage high school students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) is through teachers, and have called for a greater focus on professional learning. Making these subjects compulsory in year 11-12 as Minister Pyne and Professor Ian Chubb AC, Australia’s Chief Scientist want is simplistic and masks the true problems with teaching these subjects – funding and expertise.
Students in secondary school are disengaged with mathematics as currently taught. (There is a strong emphasis on text book learning and often the subjects are taught by unqualified teachers. In fact according to Education matters magazine 40% of high school maths teachers are not fully qualified to teach mathematics (which means that, with the buying power of wealthy schools, the problem is far worse in socio-economically deprived areas, where in many schools there is not a single qualified maths teacher on the staff). Forced participation will simply exacerbate the problem of teacher shortage. So called elite private schools will cope easily with this initiative but state schools (facing cuts and no Gonski funding for the last 2 years of the initiative will struggle. Maybe that’s the idea?)
As a first step, we need to support secondary teachers, putting money and resources into professional development to build their capacity to teach in an engaging way (using iPads instead of text books would be a start), opening up students’ minds to the power and the possibilities of mathematics.
Teachers are the great change agents in secondary school. Their influence on student interest and passion for specific subjects, including science, is well documented. Our teachers must remain relevant and able to reflect the nature and issues of our changing world in their teaching and ultimately increase student engagement in science. A greater focus must be given to providing routine teacher professional learning. I have seen that myself with my own children’s response to maths at secondary school.
Professor Ian Chubb AC, Australia’s Chief Scientist, has backed Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s push for compulsory maths and science in Australia’s high schools.
Pyne will use Friday’s Education Council Meeting to push for mandatory STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects for all Year 11 and 12 students.
Children should not be pushed into subjects that they have no interest in in year 11 and 12. It is too important for them to be wasting their time on subjects that are irrelevant to their life goals. My daughter is doing 2 portfolio subjects and Japanese in year 12 and the workload is enormous. She is doing maths but opted out of science (She did year 11 Chemistry and her teacher was disappointed that she dropped it) but it was a matter of work load and she made a very mature decision in the end.
Maybe climate science should be made compulsory in year 11 or 12? I wonder if Pyne would support that?
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Maths or science would become compulsory for all year 11 and 12 students under a plan being pushed by federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne.
It comes as concerns continue to be raised about a declining number of students studying maths and science during their final years of high school.
Mr Pyne will call for the changes at an Education Council Meeting with state education ministers on Friday, pointing out that Australia's performance in international testing is slipping.
Results from the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment tests showed that Australian students' achievements in maths and science have slumped over the past decade.
The global report card revealed that Australian students' rankings fell from 15th to 19th in mathematics and 10th to 16th in science.
The government estimates that up to 75 per cent of the areas with fastest-growing jobs will require science, technology, engineering or maths skills - otherwise known as STEM skills.
A briefing prepared for the meeting acknowledges there is a significant shortage of STEM trained teachers, particularly in rural areas.
It also said there was a significant gender disparity in students who participated in STEM in school, post-secondary education and in the workforce, with females underrepresented.
Studying maths and science is not compulsory for Year 11 and 12 students in Victoria, NSW and the ACT. Queensland and South Australian students must take one maths subject in their final years of school.
The plan from Mr Pyne comes as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has sought to promote his own science and maths plan that includes free access to certain university degrees and the introduction of computer coding in primary and secondary schools.
Chief Scientist Ian Chubb has repeatedly called for better science education in schools.
But in a strategy presented to the government last year, Professor Chubb stopped short of recommending that science and maths be made compulsory for Year 11 and 12 students, saying there was "no point" if the subjects weren't attractive.
"In a world utterly reliant on science, most will need at least a reasonable level of scientific understanding. ( from the Sydney Morning Herald )
Monday, 25 May 2015
Medical students bullied
Medical students are being bullied, harassed and belittled in Australian hospitals but they do not report the culprits for fear it will jeopardise their careers, new research suggests. There are also concerns that some doctors' use of fear and humiliation to teach medicine is contributing to high rates of anxiety, depression and burnout among students and undermining patient safety. A recent qualitative study of 18 medical students' experiences of bullying in Victorian hospitals found most had seen it or experienced it themselves.Some students believed it had caused clinical anxiety.There was also a culture of fear, humiliation and "tough love" in teaching. One student spoke of "ring of fire" tests of emotional strength and will power."You know your years as a junior doctor are supposed to be hell," one participant said.Another student described holding a patient's heart during a surgical procedure while a cardiologist fired impossible questions at her. Meanwhile, an anaesthetist was silently mouthing the answers in the background because he had seen the ritual before."The stakes were so high and she (the medical student) was so terrified," Ms Lambert said. "Students talk a lot about this sort of intellectual humiliation." In 2013, a beyondblue survey of 1800 medical students found 52 per cent were emotionally exhausted and burnt out; 7.5 per cent had anxiety; 9 per cent had high levels of psychological distress; 8 per cent had a current diagnosis of depression; and about one in five had considered suicide in the previous year .For all categories, these were much higher rates than the general population. A detailed story on these matters will go to air on Four Corners tonight.
Lifting the lid
Melbourne's 'prestigious' private school Scotch College has admitted for the first time that students were abused on school grounds.( Geelong Grammar has come out today 26/05/15 with a similar letter asking past students to speak up.) In a letter emailed to former students, Scotch said the school had received a handful of abuse claims, all of which had been resolved. The school said it took abuse allegations seriously and encouraged any victims to come forward. The school said it had offered compensation and a sincere apology to the ex-students involved and that no more cases were pending. Most cases relate to one teacher who worked at the school in the 1950s and 60s and has since died. For a long time private schools and privately run institutions have adopted a culture of secrecy, silence and cover-up . The current royal commission has compelled some (Xavier College was another to ‘come out’ recently) to face the truth of their past and acknowledge past horrific failures. Hopefully past students will be able to step forward and bring these matters ‘into the light.’
Saturday, 23 May 2015
A new federal government plan will see the fight against extremism taught directly to students and teachers in school classrooms.
Government officials, Islamic leaders and counter-terror experts are working together to create lessons in how to identify potential jihadists.
The 'jihadi-watch' system could potentially be added to Australian schools curriculum, according to Murdoch newspapers.
It comes amid reports that Oliver Bridgeman, who only left high school last year, is attempting to return to Australia having flown to Syria to fight with a terror group affiliated to al-Qaeda.
If the proposal was put in place, students and teachers would learn how certain changes in behaviour can be signs of extremism, including decreasing social interaction and disagreements with others based on ideological beliefs.
The number of Australians who have travelled to the Middle East to fight with ISIS and other extremists groups continues to increase, with Queensland teenager Oliver Bridgeman the latest to join.
The problem is that many of these teens become 'radicalised' at home, via the Internet over as little as a three week period! It also opens up the possibility of students 'getting even' with their peers by dobbing them in.
Friday, 22 May 2015
Thursday, 21 May 2015
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
“Health and education will be better off under a Labor government – no question about that,” he said.
“We will have a credible funding plan for health and education, but it would be irresponsible of me before going through and continuing that consultation program to go further than saying health and education will be better off under us.”
At the 2013 election, Labor committed to the full six years of funding to phase in the Gonski school reforms, the majority of which would be delivered in the final two years. The Coalition committed only to the first four years.
Bowen said Gonski “runs through our DNA” because the needs-based system would improve opportunity for children regardless of their background “so you can expect our commitment to the Gonski ethos to run very heavily through our policy development and our policy announcements”.
Our Prime Minister is playing duplicitous games with Victorian infrastructure money and the Education Minister has said that the Premier of South Australia and his Treasurer are acting like a bikie gang!
S.A. Premier Jay Weatherill said he "made no apologies" for standing up for SA, and if that had caused "hurt feelings" among the Liberals, "so be it". He responded to Mr Pyne's comments by saying the Education Minister's federal seat of Sturt would be targeted by the State Government. "Here's how it works," Mr Weatherill said. "We're going to target Christopher Pyne in the next Federal Election and we're going to take his seat off him”. "And we're going to target every other one of those Liberal marginal seat MPs, because they have been pathetic in standing up and fighting for SA. "That will concentrate their minds and they might find their voice. All of a sudden you might start to see a few things happen here in SA. It is starting to feel a bit like they’re leaning towards a very early election.
The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse will decide whether Cardinal George Pell ignored a victim's claim that a now-convicted sex offender was abusing children at St Patrick's College in Ballarat. A student of St Patrick's College approached then-Father Pell about the abuse by Brother Edward Dowlan in 1974. Father Pell replied "don't be ridiculous" and left the room. Most of the victims before the Royal Commission have been abused by Brother Dowlan, who was sentenced in March over 34 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency for abusing young boys between 1971 and 1985. The student, Timothy Green, now 53, recounted the story to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Wednesday.
Cardinal Pell has previously said he does not recall the conversation.(I wouldn’t think that would be an easy conversation to forget) The Commission's Chair, Justice Peter McClellan, told Peter Gray, SC, lawyer for all of the church witnesses for the hearing, that he should expect that Cardinal Pell will be asked to make a statement on the matter. Cardinal Pell, who is not listed as a witness, would provide a statement when asked to do so, Mr Gray replied. While the commissioners did not usually make findings about whether someone was abused, Justice McClellan said that Mr Green's claims were in a "wholly different category" because they dealt with the church's response to allegations of child abuse. "I just think it's necessary that you...and those instructing you understand that I anticipate that we'll be asked to make findings about what he has to say," he said. When Mr Green finished his testimony, Justice McClellan told Mr Gray this was his opportunity to cross-examine him about his recollection of his conversation with Cardinal Pell.
Mr Gray declined to ask questions: "Cardinal Pell, as Mr Green has already noted in his statement has a different recollection; Mr Green has acknowledged that and that no doubt will be what the Cardinal says." When he was about 12, Mr Green said he saw Father Pell at the change rooms of the Eureka Swimming Pool. Father Pell, who was a member of St Patrick's college's alumni, also said mass their occasionally at the time. While Father Pell would not have known his name, Mr Green believed he would have known he was a St Patrick's student, as he had once thanked him on behalf of the school at a function. Father Pell greeted Mr Green and his friends and as he started to change. "I was saying something like 'we've got to do something about what's going on at St Pat's," he said. "Father Pell said 'yes what do you mean?' I said Brother Dowlan is touching little boys. Father Pell said 'don't be ridiculous' and walked out," Mr Green said.As Father Pell did not ask further questions before dismissing him, "his reaction gave me the impression that he knew about Brother Dowlan but couldn't or wouldn't do anything about it".
A former Melbourne school principal with 40 years' experience signed off on numerous invoices he knew were false, an anti-corruption hearing is told.The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) is currently investigating corrupt spending within the department. Vin Virtue was a former principal at two schools in the eastern suburbs. Norwood Secondary College and Parkwood Secondary College were so-called "banker schools" which distributed funds to other needy schools. Mr Virtue gave evidence that he signed off on numerous invoices that he knew were false, but told the commission he did not know the money was directed to companies owned by members of Nino Napoli's family. (Vin Virtue was a Kennet appointed Regional Director in the 90s for the Central Highlands Region. He was demoted when the Bracks Government came to power.)
Mr Napoli was sacked from the department in April after IBAC revealed his role in allegedly setting up the banker schools which siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars. The commission was shown three invoices for a training video with the same invoice number, the same date, but three different amounts - totalling more than $20,000 - that were paid through Mr Virtue's school, despite the fact the work was not done for his school. Mr Virtue testified that while the invoices were made out to Norwood Secondary College he understood he was making payments on behalf of other schools. He believed the authority came from head office and that head office staff were responsible for ensuring the work paid for was done. "I understand ... processes in town [head office] allowed for payments to be authorised ... and people in town were checking," he told the hearing. "These were transactional issues. "But counsel assisting the commission, Ian Hill QC, challenged Mr Virtue's actions. "This is hardly at the level of acceptability that the public would demand of a principal," Mr Hill said. "No, I don't believe that to be right. "Mr Virtue was asked about a conversation he had last year with Mr Napoli. In it, Mr Napoli told him about an investigation into a former deputy secretary of the department, Jeff Rosewarne, and expressed concern about the invoices that had been paid through Norwood Secondary School. "He [Nino Napoli] said 'there's trouble in town [head office]'," Mr Virtue told the commission. "I wasn't concerned. "Mr Rosewarne left the education department in 2011. The IBAC hearings have heard he allegedly used department funds for parties, lunches, travel and made other inappropriate claims.
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Monday, 18 May 2015
A notorious paedophile priest abused every boy at a regional Victorian school between the age of 10 and 16, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard.The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is holding long-awaited public hearings in Ballarat to examine historical abuse suffered by children at a number of schools in the regional centre, at the hands of Catholic clergy and other members of the Church. Some of Australia's most notorious abusers were part of a paedophile ring operating in and around Ballarat for years, including Gerald Ridsdale, Robert Best and Edward Dowlan. In her opening address, Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission, Gail Furness SC, outlined the extent of Ridsdale's offending. She said the inquiry would hear evidence of Ridsdale's time at the Mortlake parish during the early 1980s, including comments from the priest who took over from Ridsdale. "Father Dennehy told the Catholic church's insurance investigator that he thought every male child between the ages of 10 years and 16 years, who were at the school, had been molested by Ridsdale," she said. Ms Furness said Ridsdale was a "prolific offender" during his time at Mortlake. "There will be evidence that his behaviour around boys was no secret," she said.
Ballarat was one of the most horrific sites of abuse and it was revealed that in 1971 all male teachers and the chaplain at the St Alipius primary school were molesting children. Ms Furness said the royal commission would also hear from a survivor who had a photograph of his grade four class at St Alipius in the 1970s. She said he would tell the hearing, of the 33 boys pictured, 12 had committed suicide. In his opening address, inquiry chairman Justice Peter McClellan urged those attending the hearing to remember the victims and survivors. "The evidence in the first stage of this hearing will include the personal stories of a number of survivors," Justice McClellan said. "That evidence will describe the gross violations of individuals by ordained members of the Catholic Church. "As you are aware, the royal commission has revealed many shocking stories of the betrayal of children. "As we listen to the evidence in this hearing we should all reflect on the impact for those who have suffered in the Ballarat region, and the thousands of others who have suffered throughout Australia."
Justice McClellan said the inquiry would also hear from perpetrators but not directly about the circumstances of their offending. "That has already been dealt with by the courts," Justice McClellan said of Ridsdale's crimes. "However, the evidence has an important part to play in the royal commission coming to understand both the way ordained members of the Catholic Church became abusers and how the Church responded to allegations of their abuse." Ridsdale will give evidence, possibly next week, via video link from prison. The hearing will also consider why Ridsdale was able to move around to so many locations in Victoria, without being reported to police. He offended and re-offended in Horsham, Inglewood, Camperdown, Ballarat North, Mildura, Swan Hill, Warrnambool, Ballarat East, Apollo Bay, Edenhope, Melbourne and Mortlake. Ridsdale is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 30 child sex offences in 2014. It is the fourth time he has been jailed after three previous stints in prison for more than 100 other offences. "I appreciate that the evidence of perpetrators may be confronting for some people, in particular survivors," Justice McClellan said. "However, without the evidence of perpetrators the true story of the response of the Church in Ballarat may never be completely revealed. "I am aware that there may be different and strongly held views about the conduct of ordained people and the appropriateness of the response of leaders in the Church in the Ballarat Diocese. "Many want this hearing. There are others who doubt the need for a public hearing. Some may not want the story told. "Unless the truth is revealed and known publicly then [the] prospect of effective healing for survivors and institutions is diminished."
Today's hearing is packed with survivors and their supporters and a spill over court was set up in an adjacent building to cope with demand. Justice McClellan said support would be on hand for survivors as the hearing progressed. The Catholic Church also warned of a gruelling few weeks of evidence. Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird released a statement urging people across the region to support one another throughout the hearing. He will also give evidence, as will Brother Peter Clinch, the Province Leader of the Christian Brothers Oceania Province. Former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who is accused of moving perpetrators and destroying documents to avoid detection, is not on the witness list. He did not appear before the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse, citing ill health. Ms Furness said 17 abuse victims would give evidence and the commission would also hear from a psychiatrist about the post-traumatic effects of child abuse on survivors. Some victims will give evidence anonymously, under a pseudonym. "Many witnesses are expected to say that they were reluctant to disclose their abuse to anyone," Ms Furness said. "They are expected to give reasons such as feelings of shame, guilt, disgust, fear of punishment, fear of judgment and a belief that they would be disbelieved."
The hearing continues.