b'FEATURED ARTICLEThose who remained were either lucky enough not toprovide guidance, strength and leadership through what have fallen victim to the toxic culture that had beenwas a critical incident, albeit a very protracted one. inadvertently created or had positioned themselves asYears earlier the community had endured a very public heads-down employees who obeyed instructions noinquiry that ended in 2003 with the resignation of the then matter how obscure or unreasonable. Many had takenGovernor General of Australia, Dr Peter Hollingworth, extended leave to review their options. It was clear thatfor his mishandling of abuse in Anglican Schools in the staff members were wounded by the practices that hadBrisbane diocese when he was Archbishop. become embedded as cultural norms, the unwritten rules and expectations that shaped the way staff worked and interacted with each other and the student body. It wasWhen the inquiry concluded the school thought it could clear that one of those unwritten norms was that no onemove on, putting the ugly story behind them. The history is trustworthy until proven otherwise.and pain was pushed below the surface, covered over with new cultural norms and a thin veneer of false hope. No one wanted to revisit the past. No one wanted the wound There was very little sense of teamwork or collaboration.reopened or aired publicly for another gruesome round. Information was rarely shared, kept guarded so it couldFor many in the community it felt like we had just begun be used against others. People were very protective ofthe restoration of trust only to be king hit again with the their patch and would seldom offer to help a colleague.announcement that the school would now become a case The practice of teaching occurred behind closed doors.study of The Royal Commission. Colleagues were never invited into other classrooms to support, provide feedback or mentor. Following each lesson, teachers would scurry back to their desks avoiding any interaction with students that werent necessary. Then in 2013, five years after I started, The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was announced. The royal commission would go on to hold 57 formal public hearings, with St Pauls becoming the subject of one of those hearings. Over the course of two years, 100,000 pages of evidence from the school were collated and provided to the Commission, highlighting the untold damage that individuals, families and the broader school community had endured as a result of the abuse that occurred at the school. It was during this time I first became aware of a former student, Archie, who had been blogging about his own story of abuse at the hands of former staff. For over 30 years, Archie had been carrying his burden in silence. After he learned that his old school was to become a case study in the public hearing, he started sharing a raw account of how he had suffered at the hands of two monsters: a senior student and a teacher. He was just thirteen. Not long after he went public with his accusations one of the perpetrators committed suicide, which quickly got picked up by the mainstream media and became front-page news. As the Principal, the school community turned to me to NOVEMBER 2021 47'