Paedophile Offender: John Ferris

john ferris

John Ferris is one of NSW’s greatest shames. He committed numerous child sexual offences throughout his long teaching career, leaving a trail of devastation & suffering in his wake.

It did not have to be this way. The Department knew of complaints against Ferris as early as 1962, when he was suspended from Inverell Public School and investigated for interfering with a female student.

During the course of that investigation, the Department also learned that multiple students at Bingara Intermediate High School had previously complained about Ferris touching them on the breasts and trying to lift up their skirts. A female teacher had also complained about Ferris peering at her while she was getting changed in the teaching quarters.

Are you a survivor of child sexual abuse by John Ferris? Click here to share your story with us. You may be eligible for compensation.

Despite these complaints, Ferris was inexplicably permitted to continue to teach for another 50 years. He was transferred to Gunnedah Public School in 1963 before commencing at Ben Venue Public School in 1967. He continued as a full-time teacher at Ben Venue until 1998 and continued to teach casually right up until 2010.

It was the students of Ben Venue who paid dearly for the Department’s failures, with Ferris abusing a large number of female students, particularly across the 1970s and 1980s. Ferris abused students in his classroom, office and during gymnastics, having sought out the position of school gymnastics coach. Shockingly, Ferris was one of three paedophile offenders at Ben Venue at the time, with Ian Berryman and former principal Peter Garland also facing numerous allegations relating to the sexual abuse of students.

Had the Education Department acted properly in 1962, none of these later offences could have happened. The failure is inexcusable and has destroyed the lives of countless young people. It was not until 2016 that Ferris was finally held accountable for some of his crimes, when he was convicted of 16 offences from his time at Ben Venue, including indecent assault & kidnapping. There are likely many more victims out there.

If you suffered abuse in a NSW school, we want to hear from you. We will fight for you. Click here to share your story, or call us on (02) 4907 4200.

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