The commission heard Mr Sampson suggested in June 2004 that it would be sensible for Mr Harvey to retire early, after the school received a complaint of misconduct involving a former student.
Former principal John Lewis, later Princes William and Harry’s headmaster at England’s elite Eton College, admits some former students may have found Geelong Grammar’s approach to sex abuse allegations intimidating or even puzzling. The student later went to police and Mr Harvey was jailed in 2007 for 10 months with another 22 months suspended after pleading guilty to sexually abusing BLF between 1976 – when the pupil was 16 – and 1978.
Mr Hannah, Geelong Grammar’s principal from 1995 to 1999, said the school accepted that BIR had been indecently assaulted.
Former headmaster Lister Hannah said the legal advice was to limit disclosure during preliminary meetings with BIR, who was asking for recognition and modest compensation. Mr Harvey, now 75, said there was no mention of sexual misconduct nor any specifics of the misconduct allegation. The school did not report the abuse to police, the commission heard.
“I have been asked to attend the Royal Commission later this week where I will have the opportunity to give evidence about the matters raised yesterday”, he wrote in his email, sent late on Monday night.
Ivan Sutherland, who worked at the prestigious school from 1950 until he retired in 1993, says the abuse survivors are owed an apology.
‘I think that parents in large measure expected the school to deal with disciplinary matters’.
“To the best of my knowledge, there wasn’t a dispute about whether he was actually assaulted or not; we accepted his word”.
Mr Hannah explained that the settlement was confidential, so that it would not harm the reputation of the school and result in other former students coming forward with complaints.
He denies he abused this particular student, saying he was massaging the student’s back following a sporting injury.
“He obviously did feel uncomfortable and I’m not quite sure why”, Harvey said.
That included that BIM was sacked in 1974 after dropping his trousers in biology class before being later re-employed as an emergency teacher and that the school had information that BIM was a convicted pedophile, the commission heard.
A new headmaster, Charles Fisher, ordered that BIM be sacked in 1974.