Dear Members of the College Community,
Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview is committed to ensuring that our community is kept fully informed regarding all matters of child protection including issues relating to historic abuse.
Following the recent conviction and sentencing of former Jesuit Victor Higgs, the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus has engaged the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Honourable Marilyn Warren AC QC, to independently review the circumstances surrounding Victor Higgs’ move from St Ignatius’ Athelstone to Riverview and publish the findings.
Director of Professional Standards Simon Davies said:
“We understand and acknowledge the concern people have about how the Jesuits may have handled complaints about Higgs in the past, and the need to understand the circumstances of Higgs’ move from Adelaide to Sydney at the end of 1970.”
“We have therefore, in consultation with those who have experienced abuse, appointed an independent expert to review the Higgs files and witnesses. We have shared all our documents and witnesses regarding Higgs with the police in both South Australia and New South Wales to assist with their investigations and will continue to do so if new information comes to hand.’’
The College welcomes and supports the review and will continue to keep our community fully informed as circumstances require.”
I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate our unreserved apology to the victims of Victor Higgs at Riverview for the suffering they have endured as a result of his criminal acts. I invite you to read that here.
The Province has also announced it has been accepted as a participating institution under the National Redress Scheme for those who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. Information about the scheme and how to apply for redress can we found at https://jesuit.org.au/professional-standards/national-redress-scheme/.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss any of these matters.
Dr Paul Hine