EXCLUSIVE: Victoria’s prestigious Geelong College has finally admitted it had a major problem with child sexual abuse in the 1970s just as the future mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle, joined its teaching staff. True Crime News Weekly can also now reveal that one of the main reasons Doyle had come to the school was because, in his own words, he knew “there were girls there now”. Our Melbourne correspondent, Gary Johnston, reports.
“I knew, when I applied for this job, ‘there were girls there now’. To explore their influence would be a long essay; one of the impressions that has thankfully, receded completely, is of Geelong College without girls”.
– Robert Doyle in ‘Pegasus’, Geelong College School Magazine, 1978
In March of this year, a ceremony was held in the Geelong College Chapel during which an unreserved apology was offered by the school for their acknowledged failure to “adequately protect past students who were the victims of abuse whilst in our care”.
According to Pauline Ryan, an independent facilitator and therapist tasked with the co-ordination of an 1800 helpline set up to assist survivors and witnesses of abuse in 2015, some 60 ex-students alleged sexual, physical and emotional abuse perpetrated by a total of 26 members of the school staff.
Following this acknowledgment of past abuse, the College instigated a number of measures designed to keep current students safe, whilst simultaneously declaring its unconditional support for “survivors of the past”.
Since the March ceremony however, according to a letter obtained by True Crime News Weekly and sent to ‘Old Collegians’, a former student association, a number of new concerns. have been raised with the school.
This time it regards the “behaviour of some male Senior School teaching staff who engaged in inappropriate relationships with some female Senior School students”, originating after the College became co- educational in 1974.
As can be seen from the yearbook quote at the top of our article, one of the ‘new’ teachers who came to Geelong College shortly after the co-ed revolution, was ex-Melbourne Lord Mayor, the perennially sick Robert Doyle. As a former alumnus of the school, Doyle had by 1978 transformed himself into a thrusting young sports master with, a distinct taste for unrefined sugar, if the attached picture to the yearbook is any guide.
Apart from his interest in “girls”, other telling quotes from Doyle’s pompous musings to the yearbook under the heading ‘Teacher Feature: Returning to the womb?‘, include:
“I hoped, coming back here, I could use my memory. I have to keep reminding myself to do this: I remember a teacher can’t be a ‘pal’ – but you will like and dislike students and staff as you have likes and dislikes outside the school community.”
“Criticism? Of course I can make some: privileges regarded as rights, depressing smugness and arrogance, materialism confused with spiritualism, inability to challenge ourselves, to create, rather than just make choices: problems general to the relationship between mediocrity and excellence.”
It’s the like old boy’s talking about himself, hey? Projection, much?
Doyle’s conduct whilst at the college, as subscribers to True Crime News Weekly will know, has long been the subject of conjecture and accusation.
Just last week we published a story alluding to the ubiquity of his nickname: ‘Oily Doyley’, a tag, we understand, not unrelated to an alleged propensity for sustained activities of a overtly disreputable nature.
The news that Geelong College has finally acknowledged the concerns of students, both male and female, with first-hand experience of the early days of co-education, is a cause for restrained celebration amongst the cohort.
A number have had ongoing contact with True Crime News Weekly for some time, with a major source of their frustration being the apparent refusal of the school to investigate what appeared to be a culture of entitlement blatantly perpetrated by some male teachers in the early days of female enrolment.
For these ex-students, this apparent new acknowledgment represents a significant leap forward and many are surmising that one of those male members of staff might well be identified as Robert Doyle, for whom the clamour of accusation has now reached beyond ear shattering.
Robert Doyle, who, in his own words, decided to apply for a teaching job at Geelong College fully in the knowledge that girls had recently been admitted. A teacher indeed, who after appointment, was quickly referred to by all and sundry as ‘Oily Doyley’.
Is it possible, ex-student’s are cautiously wondering, that for a man who was commonly regarded as “a fox in the chicken pen”, those chickens are finally coming home to roost?
As part of their ‘ongoing support’ to past survivors, Geelong College and facilitator Pauline Ryan have advised ex-student victims and witnesses to detail their concerns to The Geelong Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT), a multi-disciplinary Police unit which, in the past has been especially close-mouthed about its operation and considerations.
Indeed, despite the fact Geelong College claimed to have reported the many instances of historical abuse, SOCIT has continually maintained that no official complaint was ever recorded and that therefore, there was no ongoing investigation.
Now, however, with these new revelations and crucially, Geelong College’s acknowledgement of them, officials within SOCIT are understood to be instigating an evolving investigative process, the results of which are expected in due course.
This new and apparently authentic state of affairs which may well turn out to be bad news for the embattled Robert Doyle, a man whose health, as far as it official declarations are concerned, does not appear to be improving any time soon.
In fact, it might well be about to get far worse.