Gregory Robert Knight was registered as a teacher in Queensland in January 1981, and taught at St Paul’s School in Brisbane from 1981-84.
During this time as a teacher at the school Knight sexually abused a large number of young boys aged between 12 and 14, including me; and raped a number more. He was convicted of the only charges he has ever faced in relation to the atrocities he committed at St Paul’s School – in that case it was multiple rapes perpetrated on a single complainant, who was aged between 12 and 15 at the time of the commission of the offences – and was sentenced to three years imprisonment for his crimes. He served just over a year.
Knight was also jailed in the Northern Territory after pleading guilty to a number of charges related to various abuses and rapes he perpetrated against unsuspecting and innocent children in that jurisdiction. We understand that Knight is presently remanded on bail facing charges related to the sexual abuse of young boys at a South Australian school in the 1970’s, and is likely to be extradited to Queensland to face further charges related to his abuses at St Paul’s when those matters are concluded.
None of these crimes should ever have occurred.
Knight was not, and has never been, a qualified school teacher.
He lied about his qualifications on his job application forms and his teacher registration applications, claiming qualifications that he did not have and could not possibly have obtained. No-one checked with the tertiary institutions that he claimed to have attended;,and no person or official body required him to provide a copy of the diplomas and degrees that he claimed to have attained:- not the schools he worked for or their headmasters; not the Teachers Registration boards in the States in which he taught; not the Education Departments in those States.
No-one. Even the Royal Commission missed it entirely. All those eminent QC’s and SC’s, all those highly trained and paid barristers and solicitors, even the Commissioners themselves. No-one spotted that Knight was a conman, a fraudster, a plaintive pedophile who scammed his way into school teaching jobs so that he could get at vulnerable kids and satisfy his sick lust and his latent evil licentious perversions.
Archie spotted it though, and here it is.
This is Knight’s application for employment at St Paul’s School.
Note that Knight claims to have completed a Diploma of Teaching at Mt Gravatt College of Advanced Education (now Griffith University) in 1980, after some years of studying part-time. This is demonstrably untrue.
The Diploma of Teaching was then a 3 year full-time course of study, or could be studied over 6 years part-time. There was no provision available for study by correspondence; students were required to attend lectures at the College.
But Knight resided in South Australia throughout the 1970’s, and did not relocate to Queensland until 1980. He could not have – and did not – complete a number of years study at the Mr Gravatt College; in fact he did not do a single full year of study at the institution, or indeed any at all: he simply made it up, and here’s proof.
This is what Knight told the Qld Teachers Registration Board in February 1980.
Note that he tells this body that he has already enrolled in the course at Mr Gravatt, and that he has been attending lectures since the beginning of the year. He hasn’t been studying at the college for some years as he claims in his employment application to St Paul’s at all – by his own reckoning he only just began attending the College the month before. Of course that’s a lie too, but even if you were silly enough to accept the convicted pedophile’s word, the competing claims he made in 1980 cannot be both true.
This is the application that Knight made in October 1979 for registration as a teacher in Queensland.
In this one he claims both to have completed a Diploma of Teaching at the Sturt College of Advanced Education in South Australia, and to be currently studying toward the qualification at that institute. Of course both claims cannot be true – it has to be one or the other – but it doesn’t matter in the end, because neither are.
The Diploma course at Sturt, like that offered at Mr Gravatt, required 3 years of full-time study to complete, just as Knight documents in his teacher registration application. He however could not possibly have completed 3 years of full-time study, for the simple reason that he was teaching full-time in the years 1977 and 1978, and by his own sworn evidence to the Royal Commission was working as an electrician in 1979 after being barred from teaching in South Australia because of his sexually aberrant behavior toward children in his care. Knight’s lied again, but no-one’s put the pieces together.
Knight and Case pass letters back and forward between 7 December and 23 December 1980, and on the latter date – despite being told by Knights previous headmaster a matter of minutes or hours before that the man had been sacked for inappropriate sexual behvior toward young male students – Case writes to Knight offering him employment on the proviso that he successfully registers as a teacher.
Knight writes back and accepts the offer, telling Case that just the day before the Teachers Registration Board has written to him advising that they have confirmed that he has graduated from the Diploma of Education at the Mt Gravatt CAE. He does not enclose a copy of the alleged letter, for the simple reason that there was no letter and that he not graduated with a Diploma. Knight was as usual simply lying, and got away with it because Case failed to ask him for copies of his alleged educational attainments.
Now this is where the tale becomes most curious, and takes a sinister turn.
Knight, who over the previous 15 months has on at least two, and possibly three, occasions been refused registration on the grounds that he does not hold the requisite qualifications to teach in Queensland, and has been advised to enrol in and undertake a Diploma of Education, makes another application for registration on the 30th of December 1980.
Unlike the application he made to the Teacher’s Registration Board the year before, on this occasion there is no mention of any study undertaken at Sturt CAE at all. Knight claims, as he has claimed to Case, that he has completed a 3 year diploma of teaching at the Mr Gravatt CAE, although just 9 months before he told the registration board that he had only commenced studies toward the diploma that year.
Knight’s application is not date stamped, but it was presumably received on 5 January 1981 because that is when government agencies reopened after the Xmas-New Year break, and it appears that the required registration form has changed during that time, and that Knight has completed the old one.
Now schools don’t begin classes for 3 weeks yet, so there is plenty of time for the board to write to Knight enclosing one of the new forms and a stamped self-addressed envelope and request that he complete and return it forthwith, but they don’t: instead some unidentified person – presumably a Teacher’s Registration Board staff member – completes the form for Knight and dates it 5 January 1981..
The handwriting is similar, but it is definitely not Knight’s, and his signature is not on the document, but rather is recorded as ‘sighted’. So is his missing character reference, which proves in the long run proves of little consequence for it is a crooked as a row of sticks anyway, having been issued by a teacher named Gregory Day who was with Knight in 1978 when he (Knight) committed sexual assaults on children during a camping tip, neglected to tell anyone about it.
In fact according to the evidence Day gave to the Royal Commission Day didn’t think there was anything at all wrong with Knight directing a 13 year old boy to join him in his sleeping bag naked and then rubbing his erect penis against the boy until the pedophile climaxed. The police do though: the charges Knight is currently facing in South Australia relate directly to these events.
It’s not what’s missing in the newly and fraudulently completed form however, it’s what is contained in it. Something has clearly changed over the past 6 days: Knight is no longer unemployed, as he wrote on his application of the week before (see above), but is now an employed teacher at St Paul’s, even though he actually isn’t because the job offer doesn’t take legal effect until Knight is actually registered as a teacher, and right now he is simply applying for registration, or someone is on his behalf anyway.
But that’s not the kicker. This is:
The Teacher Registration Board checked Knight’s claimed qualifications, and discovered that he had in fact not graduated with a Diploma of Education in 1980 as he claimed, or in the year before. His name was not on graduation lists for either year.
Alarm bells should have begun immediately blaring. The applicant had lied on his registration document. He was claiming a qualification that he demonstrably did not hold, one that was a prerequisite for registration as a teacher.
All the board had to do at that moment was check his file and they would have discovered that their own officers knew that Knight was not qualified to teach, and that he had commenced – or claimed to have commenced, as the case may be – studies for the 3 year full-time diploma only 12 months before.
One simple basic check and Knight was a goner; all his lies and his fraudulent misrepresentations would have been uncovered and laid bare, and he would never have been able to teach in Queensland then or for the term of the rest of his natural life.
I wouldn’t have been abused.
My classmates wouldn’t have been abused.
Dozens of younger boys at St Paul’s wouldn’t have been abused.
The kids in the Northern Territory wouldn’t have been abused.
Those decades of suffering and the oft almost unbearable pain that had at various times stretched all of we victims to our very limits – none of us would ever have had to endure them.
Each of our damaged or broken, and in some tragic instances lost, lives would have remained whole and untainted, the way they were before Knight heartlessly abused our adolescent bodies for his vile pleasure, and in the process indelibly stained our souls.
All they had to do once it discovered that the information on Knight’s application form was false was to check the bloody file.
Instead some faceless bureaucrat bearing the initials SD decided that Knight must simply have made a mistake.
SD didn’t bother to take simple and eminently sensible step of requesting that Knight provide evidence of his claimed qualifications prior to registering the pedophile as a teacher and unleashing the hounds of hell upon a generation of young students over the coming decade.
No; sadly he or she simply looked at the work history that Knight had detailed on the application form, saw that he had claimed to have commenced teaching in 1971, and
(1) oblivious to the likelihood that if Knight had told one lie in his application then he might well have told two; and
(2) devoid of the basic arithmetic skill to work out that, given Knight stated on the same form that he only graduated from high school in 1968, it would be impossible for him to have completed a 3 year teaching qualification in just 2 years; and
(3) totally ignoring the fact that right before their eyes was the signature of a colleague with the initials of MB who had – at best erroneously, at worst fraudulently or corruptly – verified that they had sighted Knight’s Diploma of Teaching qualifications from Mr Gravatt CAE,.even though SB knew that could not be correct, for he or she had just comprehensively established that Knight did not graduate in the year claimed;
the officer of the Teacher’s Registration Board, without a skerrick of evidence to support the conclusion, and in the face of a substantial weight to rebut it, decided in their wisdom that Knight must have graduated in 1970.
And thus his file was so marked, signed and stamped,.and Gregory Robert Knight was registered to teach kids just like me.
I always wondered why the Teacher’s Registration Board was so heavily lawyered up at the Royal Commission, and why their top shelf legal representatives cross-examined witnesses with such precision and skillful care. It didn’t quite seem to add up at the time, but now the secret’s been unveiled and we can see it in all it’s naked glory.
The phalanx of astute lawyers knew;: they knew all along.
They knew Knight didn’t hold the qualifications required to teach in Queensland.
They knew he’d lied on his application for registration form.
They knew that a second, unsigned form had been completed by a board staff member in breach of all manner of rules, regulations and laws, and that as a consequence the application form was invalid.
They knew that board officials had made false declarations on the form about sighting Knight’s qualifications, when clearly they could never have done any such thing, for there were no qualifications to sight.
They knew of the anomalies in Knight’s various applications made only weeks or months apart, and that they were neither detected nor acted upon by the registration board.
They knew that Knight had never been asked to verify his qualifications, or indeed his work history, and that it had never been checked.
They knew that the serial pedophile named Knight should never have been registered to teach at all, and that by registering Knight to teach the board had allowed a monster into the schoolyards of Queensland, where the monster went on to do what monsters do, which is crush little children between their hideous palms and suck all the life from their soul.
It was all the registration board’s fault from the start. They could have stopped Knight’s decades of terror before it began, but they f*cked up huge time. The horseshoe had shed a nail and they who were responsible for fixing it didn’t, and thus the kingdom was lost.
The lawyers for the Teachers Registration Board knew it.
And now you do too.