Royal Commission

NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour caught lying to Ray Hadley re: paedophile Knox Grammar teacher

In 2008 the NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour lied in an interview with radio announcer about why he did not refer paedophile teacher Adrian Nisbett to the police in 2004. What Mr Barbour didn’t count on was a Royal Commission some 5 years later subpoenaing documents that show his lies and then publishing those documents on their website.

The evidence that proves this is the transcript of the Ray Hadley interview, a letter from Knox Grammar to the Ombudsman’s office and an internal report by the Ombudsman’s office.

The Royal Commission into Child Sexual abuse will destroy many reputations by the time it is finished and another one that can be added is Bruce Barbour.

If there are allegations that a teacher has acted in a criminal manner in their dealings with a child then there is only one option and that is to call the police and let them investigate. Mr Hadley even says as much to Bruce Barbour in 2008.

The Royal Commission have subpoenaed many documents that tell a damming story regarding the cover-up by the Ombudsman’s office. I will only focus on a few at this point but there are many others. (Click here to see all the documents) The Ombudsman’s office has admitted their failings to a degree and said it was “remiss in not pursuing a referral to the police”. (Click here to read more) But that is a pathetic excuse and should not save Bruce Barbour.


I will give some backgrounding but try to focus on the documents and what Bruce Barbour said in 2008 which was a clear lie. The questions that need to be asked is why did he lie and why did the Ombudsman’s office cover-up what was happening at Knox Grammar?

Knox Grammar

There had been a paedophile ring operating at Knox Grammar School in Sydney for years. Most of it in the 30 years that Dr Ian Paterson was Headmaster (1969-98), but also under Headmasters Peter Crawley (1999-2003) and John Weeks (2004-current).

Some of the things that Ian Paterson and others knew but failed to act on includes but is not limited to:

1975: Paterson writes to Roger James telling him he cannot go on camp with boys. In evidence he said it was because James was “too close” to them.

1986: Learns of inappropriate behaviour by Adrian John Nisbett. 

1987: Craig Treloar admits to watching pornography with a student, but does not mention sexual activity with the boy.

1988: Formed the view that the so-called balaclava man who sexually assaulted a boy in a boarding house may have been teacher Christopher Fotis.

1989: Learns that Damien Vance has indecently assaulted a student; discovers that Fotis has been arrested for masturbating outside a school. Both are allowed to resign.

1992: Learns of allegations that Barrie Stewart molested a student; discovers another student has formed a sexual relationship with a teacher, ARZ.

1996: Anonymous information about sexual abuse involving six teachers at the school provided to NSW Police and an inspector from the Child Protection Enforcement Agency attends the school to speak with Dr Paterson.

He does not tell the officer what he knows about the teachers and refers her to their staff files which do not contain information about sexual abuse.

1998: Paterson retires as headmaster.

1999: The cover-up continues under Headmasters Peter Crawley (1999-2003) and John Weeks (2004-current).

2003: NSW Ombudsman audits Knox Grammar regarding Child Safety. Finds nothing wrong.

2004: Documents show that from at least 2004 the NSW Ombudsman’s office was aware of the alleged sexual abuse of children at Knox Grammar but failed to notify the police nor take any action.

2008: NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour gives a scandalous interview with 2GB’s Ray Hadley justifying their failure to act.

2009: Five teachers arrested over sexually abusing students and later convicted. (Click here to read more)

Royal commission

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations have responded to allegatios and instances of child sexual abuse.

It is the job of the Royal Commission to uncover where systems have failed to protect children so it can make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices.

The Royal Commission is about creating a safer future for children. It can look at any private, public or non-government organisation that is, or was in the past, involved with children. This includes where an organisation caring for a child is responsible for the abuse or for not responding appropriately, regardless of where or when the abuse took place.

Terms of Reference were established and six Commissioners were appointed on Friday, 11 January 2013 by Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. (Click here to read more)

Ombudsman’s office and Bruce Barbour

The NSW Ombudsman is meant to be an independent and impartial watchdog, in the same as the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Investigating corruption is meant to be a large part of their role but in reality they cover-up more corruption than they expose.

The management of the Ombudsman’s office is overseen and driven by the senior officers group (SOG).

“The SOG is made up of the Ombudsman, three Deputy Ombudsman and the Directors of the corporate branch and strategic projects division. They usually meet weekly to update each other on their work and discuss any significant issues.” (Click here to read more)

So how many people in the Ombudsman’s office know that Bruce Barbour lied to Ray Hadley?

Ray Hadley Interview – 2008

Radio 2GB Interview: Ray Hadley and NSW Ombudsman, Bruce Barber
Thursday 26 February 2008

RH: Good day, Bruce.
BB: Good day, Ray, how are you?

RH: Good, mate. Now I would have thought as a layman the first port of call would be the coppers, I’m wrong obviously?
BB: Look Ray, that would be the case if it was a criminal offence and if the allegations were sexual misconduct or sexual assault. Now obviously I can’t talk about the specific circumstances in relation to the Knox matter in 2004.

RH: Right.
BB: But if I can tell you generally when allegations are made of a kind of grooming, in other words, possible inappropriate conduct, getting too close in terms of relationship with someone, that is not a criminal offence. And any investigation of those allegations requires the cooperation of the people involved. In other words, the people making the allegations and the alleged …..

RH: So we’ve got a fine line here. As opposed to the man being charged now with indecently assaulting three boys and we make no reference to the guilt or innocence of that party, those were not the allegations back in 2004 by the look of it, or by the sound of it?
BB: No. If allegations of that kind were made and ?………… …………..not only would we say to the school refer them to police, but we would also make sure that they are referred to police. And I’m delighted that as a result of the publicity that’s been given to the first incident, that other people have felt comfortable enough to come forward because this is one of the problems we experience. Particularly with male victims, they feel very embarrassed, they don’t want to become known for having been a victim of any abuse and they often don’t come forward.

(Click here to read the full transcript) Ray Hadley also interviewed the mother of a victim the next day which covers the same matter. (Click here to read the transcript)

Letter from Knox Grammar Headmaster John Weeks to the Ombudsman’s office

In 2004 the Ombudsman’s office was contacted twice by the current Headmaster, John Weeks, in relation to paedophile teacher Adrian Nisbett. The Ombudsman’s office advised Mr Weeks to do nothing regarding contacting the police. This advice was given even though Weeks had an internal school investigator (Mr Wilson) report that there was evidence that Nisbett had been grooming a child for sexual abuse. Kylie Symons from the Ombudsman office was aware of this as a letter dated the 7th June 2004 shows.

Mr. Wilson concluded from his investigations: “I find that there is sufficient evidence to sustain an allegation that Adrian Nisbett behaved in a way which constituted grooming in the sexual abuse context and that he failed to meet the professional standards expected of him as an employee of Knox Grammar School. I find that the matter requires disciplinary action.” (Click here to read the letter)

Lies of Bruce Barbour – Sexual/indecent assault

Barbour said to Ray Hadley in relation to referring the matter to the police “Look Ray, that would be the case if it was a criminal offence and if the allegations were sexual misconduct or sexual assault.”

Barbour clearly implies the complaint was not sexual misconduct. Well the matter was sexual misconduct as the report says “constituted grooming in the sexual abuse context”. The Ombudsman’s own report which reviewed the actions of Knox Grammar called it “sexual/indecent assault” and said the complaint was “sustained” and also “sexual misconduct/grooming” and “Allegation sustained”. Both of those allegations say that the “Ombudsman determination” was “Agency finding reasonable” which means the Ombudsman’s office approved of those findings. (Click here to read the report)

Sexual and indecent assault are criminal offences and it is the Ombudsman’s own findings. So why did Bruce Barbour or anyone else not refer it to the Police? Grooming is also a criminal offence (Crimes Act 1900 – SECT 66EB), whether it was is 2004 I do not know. But even so that should have been referred to the police as well as grooming is a sign that abuse is occurring or about to and Bruce Barbour would be well aware of that.

Another document I came across is an email from Anne Barwick in the Ombudsman’s office to a victim of Adrian Nisbett which says that there is nothing they can do to help him. I do not know who Anne Barwick is but she should be sacked as well. (Click here to read the email)


I have not heard or read of anyone demanding the sacking of current Knox Grammar Headmaster John Weeks. What”s the saying? “The more things change, the more they stay the same” I think everyone involved at the “born to rule” Knox Grammar School should be ashamed of themselves.

I emailed some questions to the Ombudsman’s office and received the standard reply refusing to answer questions. (Click here to read the emails)

Bruce Barbour is quickly gaining a reputation for covering up corruption. A NSW Senate inquiry was conducted only a few weeks ago into why Mr Barbour was failing to investigate police and judicial corruption in a timely manner. It’s been over 2 years already and he is still not finished. (Click here to read more) Add that to the above and it is time Mr Barbour was sacked for at the very least dereliction of duty. Criminal charges against Mr Barbour should also be pursued such as concealing a criminal offence.

Why the Royal Commission has not called Bruce Barbour to give evidence at this point is unknown. Maybe they are still investigating him and his office.

I will follow-up with this matter. If you would like to contact the Royal Commission click here for their contact details.

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24 replies »

  1. What can I say about this, only that I feel Sick to my Stomach and I can’t but ask what else is being covered up by the NSW Public Service and its Bureaucrats … !!

  2. I wonder how many Knox Old Boys are working in the Ombudsman’s office? And on staff at the Royal Commission?

    There seems to be a backlog of possible police referrals from the RC.

    • I wonder how many nicely blackmailable “Old Boys” are scattered in positions of power throughout Public life in this country?

      • Why would anyone want to ‘blackmail’ the “old boys”? You are referring to the VICTIMS are you not? I hope all parents have removed their sons from Knox Grammar !

  3. It’s just never ending isn’t it ? All high level allegations of abuse of children , and what do we see ? Cover-ups ,and hiding behind Acts and Legislation ,If it’s not Police ,its Teachers If its Not them it’s the Churches ,or the Judicial System ,thought id heard it all in regard to the Yeshiva Colleges and others ,but obviously not .

    I would personally like to deal with the issues of Paedophiles/ and Justice , or lack of , if only I had the chance , People who protect them are on the exact same level or worse than the Paedophile it’s self, notice I say IT , they deserve no mercy and hanging them would be a good deterrent , and Dumb Aussies still think that the Average paedophile is your neighbour or some “ordinary” person ,and not the Government Institutions , But clearly anyone with half a brain would know better ,

    Lets hope these scum get what they truly deserve ,and that is Pain Suffering and Hardship , Just before they get Hung .

      • That’s the whole Point ,Currently there is no deterrent ,no punishment , and no Justice , like the X principal never reported anything in what 30 years ? and now instead of him appearing via Link from Jail he enjoys freedom at the expense of the Victims and Personally appears at the Commission . ” How Long will they Rape Our Children while we stand aside and Look “

  4. I’m always left speechless when I read how those who know they have greatly wronged others maintain a defiant air of ingenuousness….. Such narcissists! Very very toxic to everyone and everything decent.

  5. Please read how Brad Hazzard protects the NSW Ombudsman from legal proceedings:

    “As the government and Mr Barbour were fighting moves to establish the current parliamentary inquiry into the long-running scandal in November, NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard introduced a bill to change the Ombudsman’s Act.

    The act already shielded a serving ombudsman, staff and consultants from being compelled in legal proceedings to appear as a witness or produce documents relating to their work”

      • But i am not so sure the RC itself is squeaky clean. Look at how Abbott’s good mate Pell ‘fessed up and was allowed to flee to Rome by way of a promotion. Or can a RC extradite cardinals from the Vatican?

  6. But we could safely say I think ,that the corruption and placement of key people within the Commission ,and the Ombudsman as well, will override any justice that we would see if there were any credible people in these important positions , the only people who can fix this mess is us ,because our so called Governments are a Massive Part of the Problem ,and We the People put them there . { How Dumb are we ?}

  7. I read with horror how “our ABC” Mark Scott is on the council of Knox and when asked he laughed off a query by Gerard Henderson about the goings on at Knox that everybody knew about. Inferring that Mark Scott chased the Catholic church with conviction over paedophilia there at Knox, and yet when it comes to his responsibilities, he is happy to laugh it off and turn a blind eye. The bigger they are the harder they fall.

    • You are correct on this and further, Gerard Henderson wrote an article in the Australian on 7/3/2015 page 17 outlining the utter contempt and hypocrisy of the ABC’s arrogant Mark Scott.

  8. It is really sickening, that these people, feel that they should protected.

    It did not really surprise me that Mark Scott is on the Board of Knox Grammar, but the way he replied to Gerard Henderson was totally unwarranted.

    It is not funny!

    I find it rather concerning, that this man is in charge of our ABC, the manner in which he allows the shocking bias and actual lies to go to air by their so-called presenters makes me ill.

  9. Please remember, all mainstream media is not your friend- no matter what alias is put forward. So one should avoid any form of trust in their ‘reporting’ or opinions.
    It is one of many tools used by others (like many business’, many organisations & groups, many professional bodies, many of our society’s “leaders” and the majority of politicians to intentionally mislead and destroy. It is historically a weapon of mass destruction! It does not care for you and me in any way whatsoever!
    You only find the truth by asking more & more questions and demanding more & more answers.

  10. Mark Scott laughed at Gerald Henderson’s question about peadaphiles did he, I wonder if his laughs were as loud as those he laughs at all the gullible Aussies that pay his 800,000 dollar salary for running a left wing green based national TV company,at tax payers expense.I suppose if he got nobbled he would end up with a dodgy ombudsman too. Allan from Myalup WA.

    • I believe it was ABC chairman Jim Spigelman that responded to Gerard Henderson with a poor attempt at humour, not Mark Scott

  11. Never hear a mention on their ABC that the ABC CEO, Mark Scott is a BOARD MEMBER OF KNOX GRAMMAR and has been for many years.

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