Acknowledging
and reconciling our past

Dilworth is committed to fully confronting the sexual and other abuse that occurred at our School, openly and honestly.

As part of our response, the Dilworth Trust Board (the Board) commissioned an Independent Inquiry to establish an understanding of the causes, nature and extent of the abuse experienced by former students at Dilworth School, the School’s response to complaints of abuse at the time, and the adequacy of the policies and procedures in place at the School today. 

The Independent Inquiry Report was published on 18 September 2023 and can be accessed here

The Dilworth Trust Board has accepted and is acting on all nineteen recommendations of the Independent Inquiry Report. An Implementation Dashboard is available to track Dilworth’s progress against each recommendation.

Separately, the Board also established an independent Redress Programme for any former Dilworth student subjected to sexual abuse or serious physical abuse committed by a Dilworth representative, or a person who had access to the former student through a Dilworth representative. It is also available to any former student who was sexually abused by another student. The estate of a deceased former student who was abused can also apply for redress. The Redress Programme Panel commenced issuing determinations in March 2024.

Update on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care

The Government has recently granted the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care a further extension for delivery of its final report. You can read more here.


Supporting former students

Support is available to all former students who were abused at Dilworth through the following pathways:

Confidential Listening Service:

For all former Dilworth students who want to access fully funded professional psychological therapy or support. 

Dilworth Redress Programme:

To support former students who experienced sexual abuse or serious physical abuse by a Dilworth Representative through various types of redress including financial awards, access to fully funded therapy and psychological support, an apology, and other forms of personalised redress.

Alternative support pathways:

The following options are available for former students, their families/whānau and families of deceased former students who are not eligible for redress under the Terms of the Dilworth Redress Programme.

  • Speak with a trained specialist in survivor experiences
  • Get help to access support services that contribute to towards achieving closure and healing
  • Receive an acknowledgement from Dilworth School of the abuse suffered and its impact, together with any other personalised support; and
  • Have an opportunity to engage directly with Dilworth School in a personalised way.

Former students who were abused are encouraged to follow the work of the Royal Commission of Inquiry Into Abuse in Care in State and Faith based Institutions and consider making a claim under any resulting government scheme.

Key Events Timeline

2024

  • March: the Redress Panel begins issuing redress determinations and Redress applicants begin receiving their settlements.

2023

  • Teaching Council Disciplinary Tribunal determination regarding former teacher Julia Brown is released
  • Howard Wynyard sentenced, Ross Browne sentenced on further charges
  • The Dilworth Trust Board  announces in October 2023 that it fully accepts and is acting on all nineteen of the Inquiry Report’s recommendations
  • The Independent Inquiry into abuse at Dilworth School is completed and the Inquirers release their report in September 2023
  • In July 2023, the Redress Panel confirms it will not be able to start issuing determinations until the first quarter of 2024.

2022

  • Chairman of the Dilworth Trust Board Aaron Snodgrass appears before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care
  • Leonard Cave convicted and sentenced, Alistair Harlow sentenced
  • Dilworth School receives Child Wise Accreditation in September 2022
  • Former High Court Judge Dame Judith Potter DNZM CBE announced as chair of the Dilworth Redress Programme Panel, working alongside Professor Ian Lambie ONZM and Ms Rukumoana Schaafhausen MNZM; the Panel begins its work in August 2022
  • Hon. Dame Silvia Cartwright ONZ PCNZM DBE QSO DStJ and Frances Joychild KC announced to lead the Independent Inquiry which begins its work in July 2022
  • Dilworth consults on the draft Terms of Reference for the independent Dilworth Redress Programme.

2021

  • Dilworth announces it will launch an Independent Inquiry into historical sexual abuse at the School
  • Ian Wilson sentenced, Ross Browne convicted and sentenced, Johnathan Stephens convicted
  • Dilworth announces it is developing an independent Redress Programme, drawing on the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, and New Zealand and Australian experts.

2020

  • Dilworth asks that the School’s name is not suppressed in connection with court proceedings, so it can discuss its response openly within the School community and with Old Boys
  • September: Dilworth publicly apologises to Old Boys for historical abuse
  • September: Police announce the arrests of five former staff and one Dilworth scout volunteer. (By early 2023, 11 former staff members and one Dilworth volunteer had been charged in relation to 56 former students.)
  • In April 2020, the Police launch Operation Beverly, a criminal investigation into historical sexual offending at Dilworth.

2019

  • Dilworth fully cooperates with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, following the Government’s decision to expand the Inquiry’s scope to include the abuse of children in the care of faith-based institutions
  • From September 2019: Dilworth publicly acknowledges and apologies for the historical abuse which occurred at Dilworth School, writes to and meets with Old Boys, acknowledging and apologising for historical abuse and encouraging them to engage with the Police, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care and to use the Listening Service
  • In June 2019 Dilworth wrote to the Police notifying them of concern that the former Chaplain Ross Browne continued to be employed as a vicar in the Manurewa parish in 2009 (and that there were young parishioners who might be at risk from him) and continued to be a director of the Scouting NZ production of Gang Show.
  • In October 2019 Dilworth provides the Police with Browne’s staff file and a report prepared by the independent clinical psychologist retained by the Board
  • Dilworth begins working with Child Wise, undertaking the steps required to achieve accreditation.

2018

  • Dilworth commissions a psychologist’s independent review of all school files with respect to reports of abuse, as well as the School’s student care and wellbeing framework, education systems, policies and programmes. This leads to changes to the physical environment of the school, with new policies and practices for safeguarding, recruitment, staff training, student education and response to reports of abuse
  • June/July: Dilworth Trust Board receives a notification of historical sexual abuse and decides that a specific project be launched to address historical sexual abuse that had occurred at the School.