Time line of alleged abuse in Tweed schools

FORMER Tweed teacher Gary Willis is at the centre of allegations of child abuse in three Tweed primary schools. This is the time line of events relating to these allegations:


  • 1988 Teacher Gary Willis transferred to East Murwillumbah Primary School


  • 1988-90 Parents and teachers lodge complaints against him and the head of the special needs unitconcerning the alleged sexual and physical assault of numerous children at the school to the principal, the NSW Education Department, the Department of Community Services and the police. Nineteen families remove their children from the school in protest and attend a rally in the local park.


  • 1991 (July) A teacher's aide makes a formal written complaint against the teacher to the NSW Education Department.


  • 1991 NSW Education Department transfers Willis to South Tweed Primary.


  • 1991-92 Multiple parents complain to South Tweed Primary School's principal 1992 about his alleged sexual and physical assault of students.


  • 1993 A South Tweed Primary school teacher lodges a formal complaint to the NSW Education Department regarding the teacher's sexual assault of a grade 3 student.


  • 1993 Unspecified "action was taken" against the teacher in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse, according to the NSW Child Protection and Sex Crimes Squad.


  • 1994 A teacher and a parent were informed that Willis was defending himself in a Sydney court against accusations that he sexually assaulted a disabled East Murwillumbah Primary School student.


  • 1998 (February) A parent who formerly taught with Gary Willis complained to Centaur Primary School principal about his history of sexually assaulting students.


  • 1998 (Mid-year) Three parents complain to the then principal about Willis's history of child sexual abuse allegations. Principal denies any knowledge of such claims.


  • 1998 (December) The NSW Education Department temporarily suspends Willis from his teaching position at Centaur Primary School.


  • 2003 He is again teaching at Centaur Primary School where he allegedly assaults a Year 5 female student.


  • 2004 A parent is reportedly threatened after attempting to have Willis charged for the alleged sexual assault.


  • 2004 (March) Centaur Primary School parents complain to the principal about teacher X's recent inappropriate behaviour toward children


  • 2004 (June) Parents again complain to the principal about Willis


  • 2004 Concerned parents begin a campaign against him, writing to the prime minister, ministers and institutions.


  • 2004 NSW Education Department informed concerned parents that their file on Willis contains multiple complaints of child sexual abuse, that many incidents were of a criminal nature, and that the complaints were being referred to the NSW police


  • 2006 The NSW Education Department finalises its investigation into Willis and writes to parents stating that their conclusion is that the teacher acted in a manner "that could amount to improper conduct against students ... As a result, steps have been taken to ensure that the person will no longer be employed or involved in school, TAFE or student-related activities"


  • 2013 (June) Banora Point whistleblower Fiona Barnett fronts the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse calling for police to reopen the investigation into teacher X


  • 2013 (July) My Daily News is told Willis has been stood down from a job with Queensland Education.

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