One of the state's most senior Catholic education officials failed to report the sexual assault of four of his students at a southern Sydney school in the late 1970s, a confidential internal investigation has found.
Brother Anthony Peter Whelan, as principal of St Patricks at Sutherland, sacked Thomas Keady in 1979 after four students reported the lay teacher for "sexual misconduct", but he failed to report the incident to the police.
Instead Keady, who had just completed a three-year jail term in Victoria for indecent assault of a minor before being employed at Sutherland, went on to perpetrate further crimes. He was convicted in Wyong in 1994 of indecent assault.
Brother Whelan, meanwhile, rose through the ranks of the Church, becoming a Commissioner for the Catholic Education Commission of NSW. He was the director of schools in the Broken Bay Diocese when he retired in March.
In 2008, he was granted an Order of Australia for services to education including "through a range of executive and teaching roles in the Catholic educati...