Offending Institution: Anglican Diocese of Newcastle


The Royal Commission has examined the behaviour of a number of high profile religious institutions and their involvement in allegations of the systematic abuse of innocent children in their care.

The purpose of the Royal Commission hearings is to expose those individuals responsible for the abuse, and to hear the experiences of the victims, ensuring justice is achieved for the victims that have suffered for years as a result of the abuse.

This includes the Newcastle Diocese of the Anglican Church and the appalling, abusive behaviour of a number of its senior members. In conjunction with this, the Royal Commission has also heard of consistent failure by Newcastle Anglican Church officials to acknowledge and appropriately respond to claims of abuse made by children.

Of the several cases heard by the Royal Commission involving Newcastle Anglican members and lay people associated with the organisation, a history of sexual abuse has emerged that dates back as early as the 1940’s.

A Royal Commission hearing was held at Newcastle Courthouse in August 2016, which exposed the abusive and predatory actions of Father Peter Rushton and youth worker, James Michael Brown towards young boys involved with the Church.

Evidence was also given regarding the disclosure of the nature of the sexually abusive behaviour of both Rushton and Brown to other members of the Newcastle Anglican Diocese at the time.

In 2012, Anglican Bishop Brian Farran was forced to defrock a number of members of the Newcastle Diocese upon recommendation from the Professional Standards Board, based on their behaviour toward a then 17-year-old boy involved with the Church.

Further instances investigated by the Royal Commission involved the sexual abuse of children committed between 1944 and 1985 at the North Coast Children’s Home at Lismore run by the Grafton Anglican Diocese.

Over 40 claimants came forward in this case, and the policies and procedures employed by the Grafton Anglican Diocese for handling abuse claims were brought into question. The outcomes focused on the systemic issues and how to better protect the safety of children.

Kelso Lawyers are committed to representing the victims of abuse at the hands of institutions and organisations. We have a strong history of achieving justice and compensation to help survivors move on with their lives and enjoy the freedom they deserve.