Salesian College (Rupertswood)

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The front of Rupertswood mansion, which is located adjacent to Salesian College's main school buildings

Salesian College, Rupertswood is a private, Roman Catholic, co-educational school located in Sunbury, Victoria, Australia.

History[edit]

The school was established by the Salesian Society in 1927, when the Rupertswood Mansion, and its grounds were purchased from the estate of industrialist H. V. McKay. It was originally an all-boys boarding school. The Salesian order's charism meant that "under-privileged" boys were included as boarders, particularly in the college's early decades.[1] In the 1950s it began admitting day students as well as boarders. After Sunbury grew in the 1980s, girls were admitted and, by 1997, the school became fully co-educational and had ceased student boarding.

The school is located on the grounds of Sir William Clarke's Rupertswood Mansion, one of the largest private houses constructed in Victoria which is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Today the school has a broad curriculum ranging from agriculture to visual communications, its own sporting facilities including a 25m swimming pool, a large stadium, a cross-country equestrian course and a full-size football ground.

The school was exclusively served by the nearby Rupertswood railway station, from 1962 until its closure in 2004.[2][3]

Past Pupils Association[edit]

The Past Pupils Association is the alumni association of Rupertswood for all students since its foundation in 1927. This association networks with the other Salesian Past Pupils Associations in Australia and around the world. The group aims to foster and cultivate a continuing association with the College and to build on the networks and friendships developed over the years.

Sexual abuse controversy[edit]

There have been a number of convictions related to sexual abuse by teachers and priests at the school, particularly in regard to offences committed in the 1970s and 80s,[4] including: Michael Aulsebrook, gaoled for the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old student in 1983;[5] and again in 2016 for rape, sexual assaults[6] Peter Paul van Ruth, who was sentenced to 28 months gaol in 2011 for indecently assaulting two 12-year-old boys;[7] and Frank Klep, a former principal of the college who "...was convicted in 1994 of four charges of sexual assault relating to incidents during the 1970s."[8]

Other priests from the college reached settlements with substantial compensation payments paid to their victims, over allegations of sexual abuse, but were not otherwise convicted.[9][10][11][12]

On 30 August 2013, Fr David Rapson, a former vice principal, was found guilty of eight indecent assaults and five rapes committed against students at Salesian College between the mid-1970s and 1990.[13][14] That conviction was then quashed and he was retried. At the retrial he was found guilty of multiple accounts of sexual abuse and was given a 12-year prison sentence.[15]

Julian Benedict Fox, the former head of the Salesians in Australia, and a past teacher at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury, pleaded guilty on 28 August 2015 to three counts of common assault, related to beating three other boys with a pool cue at Salesian College in 1978 and 1979.[16]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bellholme. "Rupertswood - A Brief History". bellholme.com.au. Australian IT Business Directory. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Victorian Station Histories - Sunbury (including Rupertswood)" (PDF). www.vrhistory.com. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  3. ^ "VICSIG - Infrastructure - Rupertswood". vicsig.net. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  4. ^ 'Salesian Provincial breaks silence on sex abuse' Catholic News archive July 2004
  5. ^ 'Sunbury priest jailed for sex abuse' The Age August 23, 2011 Adrian Lowe
  6. ^ Adam Cooper The Age 21 June 2016
  7. ^ "After 42 years, boarding school molester finally brought to justice". The Age. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  8. ^ More Salesian old boys speak out The Age July 3, 2004
  9. ^ Daly, Martin 'Mission to defrock sex abuser' The Age 19 July 2004. Accessed 28 August 2013
  10. ^ Lowe, Adrian (23 August 2011). "Sunbury priest jailed for sex abuse". The Age. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Stayner, Guy (25 June 2004). "Paedophile priest arrested in Melbourne". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Daly, Martin (24 July 2004). "Priest used drink on boys: victim". The Age. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Cooper, Adam Former priest David Rapson convicted of sex abuse of eight boys The Border Mail, 30 August 2013
  14. ^ Cooper, Adam Sex abuse priest David Rapson jailed for 13 years The Age, 17 October 2013. Accessed 30 October 2013
  15. ^ "Defrocked priest David Rapson jailed for sexual abuse of schoolboys at Catholic boarding school", (11 May 2015). "Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  16. ^ The Age, 'Paedophile priest found guilty of sex, physical assaults at Salesian College' August 28, 2015 Adam Cooper and Mark Russell

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°34′22″S 144°44′19″E / 37.572772°S 144.738538°E / -37.572772; 144.738538