Opposition raises concerns that more student files referencing paedophile James Geoffrey Griffin may exist – Tasmania Examiner
Education minister Jeremy Rockliff was repeatedly questioned about the possibility that paedophile nurse James Geoffrey Griffin may be referenced in more student files held within the education department.
In budget estimates on Thursday opposition education spokesman Josh Wyllie said he was interested in how forensic the education department’s search of its records has been pertaining to Griffin.
Mr Wyllie said that when he had requested information from the education department in the past, he had been told it could not be given due to the need to look at every individual student’s file.
“It is quite possible that there could be references to James Griffin in school files that you wouldn’t know about yet without doing that [search] work … without checking each student file,” he said.
Mr Wyllie’s questions followed a previous revelation in budget estimates on Tuesday that students at Brooks High School had raised concerns about Griffin, and that when a search of records was conducted, a report from Riverside High was instead found and followed up.
Mr Wyllie said “I’m assuming that was the same student that may have moved schools”, and someone in the hearing said “no”.
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When Mr Wyllie repeated his question about the possibility of other references to Griffin in student files, Mr Rockliff responded.
“There is an inquiry into Griffin announced by the health minister, and the Premier has since announced a Commission of Inquiry which will be broad ranging and I’d expect any allegation surrounding Griffin will be fully investigated as part of the Commission of Inquiry.
“In relation to Griffin, to my knowledge, Griffin has never been employed by the education department and there have been no allegations raised of Griffin offending in a school environment.”
An education department spokesman said an electronic search for Griffin was conducted.
“We got the people at the backend to do a key-word search of our electronic student support files around his name, ward, children’s ward,” he said.
“We went to senior social workers and requested any information that they had pertaining to discussions around.
“In regards to anything held in the archives around visits to the Newnham campus, we can’t find any record there. And obviously principals in the North of the state are aware of the allegations and have been requested to provide any information that they have.”