ALL OVER: The former Bishop of Grafton, Keith Slater who resigned yesterday.
ALL OVER: The former Bishop of Grafton, Keith Slater who resigned yesterday. Leigh Jensen

Too late, says victim

THE resignation of Grafton's Anglican Bishop yesterday over mishandling allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a Lismore children's home has "come too late" for victims, one said last night.

"He has been misbehaving, doing the wrong thing, not acknowledging children of abuse and not doing what he was supposed to do to help them for a very long time," said Tommy Campion, who was a resident for 14 years from the age of two at North Coast Children's Home.

In a statement Bishop Keith Slater yesterday apologised for his past failings in managing allegations of physical, psychological and sexual abuse at the home between 1940 and the 1980s.

"As a sign of my recognition of these matters and in the hope that it may contribute towards healing and wholeness for those who are abused I forthwith resign from being the Bishop," he said.

He said the diocese had received a number of allegations of abuse.

An audit of the diocese's professional standards protocol started in November 2012 in response to the royal commission into sex abuse. It showed protocols had not always been applied "specifically in matters associated with claims of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home".

He acknowledged he had failed to ensure compliance.

"Some matters detailing sexual abuse at the North Coast Children's Home were not referred to the professional standards director as they should have been," he said.

"The immediate question of legal liability initially clouded the matter."

Mr Campion said the resignation, while welcomed, brought no closure.

"I was sexually and physically abused many, many times," he said.

"What they did was absolutely atrocious and cruel. I watched children being abused. This needs to come out to let people know what Anglican Church is like.

"If you have been abused you will never forget it."



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