Case Study 9: St Ann's School

Case study 9 looked at the responses of the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the South Australian Police to allegations of child sexual abuse at St Ann’s Special School.

The hearing examined the circumstances in which Brian Perkins was engaged as a bus driver for special needs students attending the school. In 2003 Perkins was convicted of abusing a number of children in his care between 1986 and 1991 and sentenced to 10 years’ jail.

The hearing looked at the monitoring, supervision and oversight of Perkins’ activities as an employee and volunteer and the response of the school principal and board to allegations of Perkins’ abuse.

The Royal Commission heard about failures in communication at the school level, as well as failures by the South Australian Police, which ultimately enabled Perkins to flee to Queensland. He was not arrested and brought to trial until the Archdiocese encouraged the police to extradite him in 2002.

The disabilities of some of the students at the school meant they were not able to confirm whether they had been abused. In view of this the Archdiocese of Adelaide, under the leadership of Archbishop Philip Wilson, devised a group approach to redress based on an assessment of the risk of abuse of each student. The Archdiocese made ex gratia payments of $2.3 million to the students and their families.

Witness List and Order

Opening Statements and witness statements


Hearing room updates

Royal Commission report of Case Study No. 9 – The Reponses of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, and the South Australian Police, to allegations of child sexual abuse at St Ann’s Special School

Newsletter image

The Council concluded its work on 30 April 2018 and is no longer distributing any material about its work.