Bathurst St Stanislaus’ College set for apology to student victims of paedophile priest

VICTIMS of historic sexual abuse at Bathurst’s St Stanislaus’ College will receive a formal public apology on June 16.

Head of College Dr Anne Wenham announced the date for the apology following the sentencing of disgraced former priest Brian Spillane in the District Court last Thursday.

In a letter to the school community, Dr Wenham said details of Spillane’s crimes had been distressing to read and she was deeply sorry for what his young victims had experienced during their time as students at the college.

Dr Wenham said the college and Oceania Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) agreed a formal apology to victims was important.

“This planned public outreach will be in the spirit of a reconciliatory gesture,” Dr Wenham said.

“Our hope and intention is that it may offer one step in the healing process for all victims.

“We will endeavour to ensure that they and their families as well as current and former members of this college community and the public feel welcome to join us for this.

“This will be held on Friday evening 16th June.”

Dr Wenham invited survivors of abuse at the college to join in the planning for the apology.

“I issue a public invitation to survivors who may wish to be part of the planning process to make contact with me so that your thoughts and suggestions can be considered,” she said.

“Please email me on head@stannies.com so that we can organise a suitable time to discuss this.”

Spillane, 74, will remain in jail until at least 2026 for sexually abusing students during his time working at St Stanislaus’ between 1974 and 1990.