Offending Institution: The dark history of St John’s College, Woodlawn

st johns college in woodlawn

Located near Lismore NSW, Woodlawn College has a shameful history when it comes to child abuse. There have been allegations of abuse against several former teachers, and at least two have been criminally convicted for sexually abusing students at the Catholic boarding school.

The two most notorious offenders were James (Jim) Doran and Richard O’Connor, who were both found guilty of over 40 charges of sexually abusing students at Woodlawn. Their victims were all teenage boys, as the College did not become co-ed until 1998.

Are you a survivor of child sexual abuse at St John’s College, Woodlawn? Click here to share your story with us. You may be eligible for compensation.

James Doran

Doran was a boarding master and English teacher at Woodlawn in the 1980s. In 2017, he was found guilty of 41 charges relating to sexual offences committed against former Woodlawn students during his time at the College.

The charges included engaging in intercourse without consent and soliciting persons to commit indecent acts. Despite his refusal to plead guilty, he was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Richard O’Connor

During the 1980s, Richard O’Connor was the discipline master at Woodlawn and also taught both art and English.

In 2015, he plead guilty to 40 charges relating to sexual offences committed during his time at Woodlawn, including charges of rape and the sexual assault of students.

At Kelso Lawyers, we believe even one victim of child abuse is too many. Institutions like St John’s College, Woodlawn, must be exposed and held responsible for the horrific crimes perpetrated against innocent young people.

We have represented victims of abuse at Woodlawn and other institutions all over the country, securing millions in compensation for survivors.

If you were abused in Woodlawn or any other institutions around Australia, we want to hear from you. We will fight for you. Click here to share your story.