1 July 2022
Statement from Dilworth Trust Board Chairman Aaron Snodgrass
“Today Alister Harlow was sentenced in the Auckland District Court to three years and eight months in relation to charges of attempted sexual violation, indecency with boy and indecent assault.
Harlow was an Assistant House Master at Dilworth from 1985 to 1994 during which time he was also involved in the School’s Scouts troop.
His offending was a gross breach of trust, and today’s sentencing in relation to these charges is a further step towards justice for our Old Boy survivors.
We are deeply sorry for the hurt caused to Old Boy survivors in our care. The abuse suffered by some of the Old Boys during their time at school is, and was, completely unacceptable.
Nothing we can do today can undo the past, but we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again, that lessons are learned and that survivors have access to redress.
We have established an Independent Inquiry to understand how this abuse occurred, including the School’s response at the time.
The Inquiry begins its work today. Old Boy survivors can visit the Inquiry’s website www.dilworthinquiry.org.nz to register interest in being part of the Inquiry’s proceedings.
The work of the Inquiry is a key part of our Dilworth Response. It is incredibly important to understanding the abuse that occurred at Dilworth and how it happened.
We believe Old Boy survivors. We are listening and learning from them, and we are taking action to support them.
The School will be co-operating fully with the Inquiry. The Board has resolved to share all relevant School records and information with the Inquiry. We will be encouraging current and former staff members and the wider Dilworth community to participate.
Dilworth is willing and prepared to recognise our responsibility for what happened to Old Boy survivors. We will listen to and learn from the Inquiry’s findings and carefully consider any recommendations it makes.
Any Old Boy who needs assistance can contact our free, confidential and independent Listening Service for access to professional counselling and psychological support. Please email [email protected] and an experienced psychologist will contact you.
We are continuing to broaden our support services for Old Boy survivors as they consider engaging with our Dilworth Response programmes. To support Old Boy survivors, the Board has also established a Wellness Unit.
A dedicated team of professionals who have experience working with survivors of abuse and trauma, the Unit will assist those registering to participate in the Inquiry. It will also provide support, referrals and access to counselling and other support services for those participating in this process.
Information about the Wellness Unit can be found at www.dilworthinquiry.org.nz.”