Dear BGS community,
The evidence given by former BGS students who were sexually abused by Kevin Lynch, in the 1970s and 1980s, at the public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been distressing for all involved.
I attended every day of the Royal Commission public hearing on Brisbane Grammar School. I share the community's sadness and dismay in hearing former students and their family members tell of the immense pain and suffering caused by Lynch's abuse.
I respect their courage in giving evidence, I accept what happened to them, and others, and acknowledge that Lynch's actions deprived them of their innocence and sense of safety. I hope their coming forward has made it easier for any victim of sexual abuse to do the same.
On behalf of Brisbane Grammar School I reiterate my unreserved apology to those abused. The School has already reached settlements with former students and we are continuing to engage with those who have recently come forward. Our process is guided by the Royal Commission's recommendations of a personal apology, counselling and monetary payments.
To the BGS community of today – our students, parents, staff, past students and friends – I know you have also been affected by these events which are and will always be a part of our history. Today our School has comprehensive child protection policies and processes which we believe ensures a child-safe and child-friendly learning environment. But we also know that best practice in this area is constantly evolving and we are closely monitoring and learning from the research and recommendations emerging from the Royal Commission.
A large volume of evidence, both oral and documentary, has now been provided to the Royal Commission, and we respectfully await its report.
I want to reaffirm that the School is continuing to work with victims. We know that nothing we can do will be enough to fully repair the damage caused and we must accept that. While we cannot undo what has happened, it is a part of our history and we will ensure that these events remain as a constant reminder, to all members of the BGS community, that we must be ever vigilant in protecting those in our care.
I know that our staff and all at Brisbane Grammar School are fully committed to providing a safe learning environment where young people may attain their full potential.