Noradjuha-Quantong Football Netball Club members Lucy Brand, Chloe Gabbe, Georgia Francis, Bianca Anson and Brooke Pay pick grapes at Norton Estate Wines. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERWIMMERA winemakers are praising an ideal growing season for the outstanding quality of this year’s grapes.
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Noradjuha-Quantong Football Netball Club members contributed to the region’s grape harvest, while raising money for the club.

Club members have picked grapes at Norton Estate Wines for the past two weekends, finishing on Sunday.

Norton Estate Wines owner Chris Spence said it would possibly be one of the best vintages the vineyard has ever produced.

‘‘With the sauvignon blanc, the quality of the fruit was excellent, as were the yields,’’ he said.

‘‘The flavour of our red grapes – the shiraz and cabernet sauvignon – was also superb.

‘‘We had very even yields across the vineyard, after a near-perfect growing season.’’

Mr Spence said a cool spring and start to summer made for an ideal season.

‘‘The cooler temperatures helped with the flowering and fruit set,’’ he said.

‘‘Then the heat in the past few weeks helped ripen any unripe fruit.’’

Mr Spence said picking was now complete, about a week ahead of schedule.

He said the grapes had been transported to Great Western, where they would be turned into wine.

‘‘It will be a vintage to look out for,’’ he said.

Mr Spence thanked the Noradjuha-Quantong Football Netball Club for its time.

‘‘It is the 12th year they have picked for us and they did an outstanding job,’’ he said.

Club president Tim Kelly said picking grapes was a great fundraiser for the club.

‘‘It’s a day that everyone can get involved with, from juniors to older members of the club,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s also a great opportunity for people to get to know new members.’’

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THIS healthy eating plan has been on the go for the past three years at least and little creative, innovative or impacting images or marketing have been seen around Mildura.
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Colour: The Darwin markets are a huge drawcard.

Sporting clubs would be a great place to start along with some innovative names for horse races and harness races that reflect the Mildura food bowl.

This is about networks and connecting some eat-well, live-well messages as well.

Maybe some gourmet healthy food images in the Mildura Mall as well or on the walls of Coles and Woolworths CBD stores about local healthy produce.

The markets have many fine fresh items and this should be taken further to capture cultures/nationalities and food choices that are historically healthy.

Like the many Darwin markets, cafes and restaurants that participate in the markets to showcase their foods and eateries.

Have a look at Parap markets or Nightcliffe or Rapid Creek markets for some fine examples of vast healthy prepared foods for all around the world.

If eateries here participated, it could become a great event for locals and bring many tourists as well. I have said it before and it gets no traction.

It is sad because it captures so much.

The healthy eating issues need firm plans with outcomes and not careers out of the problem.

Stuart Davie,


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STICKY UNDERFOOT: Maitland’s Harry Maguire playing against Cooks Hill in the FFA Cup at Speers Point on Saturday. Picture: Brock Perks

NORTHERN NSW Football will re-evaluate its policy on playing matches in hot conditions at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility after concerns from coaches about extreme heat coming off the new synthetic pitches.

National Premier League teams played on the artificial surfaces in round three of the FFA Cup on Saturday.

For many players from the region’s top competition, it was the first time they had experienced the pitches, which were laid in December as part of the new $11.3million centre.

NNSWF implemented a FIFA-standard heat policy, which called for games to stop if temperatures reached 33degrees or a 30-degree wet-bulb reading was registered.

The maximum temperature on Saturday at Speers Point was 28.7, but a game at the centre was abandoned on Sunday due to the heat.

Charlestown coach Shane Pryce said some of his players had come away with blisters on their feet because of the heat coming off the surface.

‘‘It’s made for winter, and as a wet-weather ground or for catch-up games at night, it will be wonderful, but it’s not made for summer,’’ Pryce said.

Adamstown Rosebud coach Graham Law said ‘‘my players did not enjoy it’’.

‘‘I grew up playing on synthetic surfaces in Europe, but they are not made for this heat,’’ Law said.

Lambton Jaffas coach David Tanchevski said his players had suffered blisters during a trial game on the surface a week earlier, but they had used Vaseline on Saturday to prevent a repeat.

Weston coach Trevor Morris said his side had pulled up well, but ‘‘the boys said it felt like their feet were melting through their shoes’’.

Hamilton coach Michael Bolch, Edgeworth’s Damian Zane and South Cardiff boss Greg Asquith said their players had no problems with the surface and came through the games well. Maitland’s Chris Turner said his players had told him ‘‘it felt sticky underfoot’’, but he ‘‘wouldn’t mind taking the team there again’’.

Broadmeadow coach Robert Virgili, who lost midfielder Alex Kantarovski for the season with a knee injury suffered on the surface on Saturday, said ‘‘the heat coming off the surface was unbelievable and the feedback from players was that it was a concern’’.

Law and Virgili have experience with watered synthetic turf overseas and were among coaches who believed a wet surface could help cool the ground and create better ‘‘give’’ underfoot.

But NNSWF chief executive David Eland said: ‘‘The surface is not designed at all to be watered. It is not like hockey.

‘‘This is state-of-the-art technology and the drainage is so good that watering it is a waste of time.

‘‘The water will go straight through the drainage cells and leave the surface.’’

Eland said rain on the pitch created extra humidity and even more heat.

He said he was ‘‘absolutely comfortable with having pre-season games’’ on the surface, but NNSWF would consider feedback from clubs and look at potentially delaying early FFA Cup fixtures until later in March, starting fixtures earlier in the day, having breaks in the middle of the day, having more games under lights and decentralising matches.

The FFA Cup qualifying series for Northern NSW will be at Speers Point in June.

Eland said ‘‘heat coming out of the surface is the only disadvantage that we have discovered’’ and the pitches had been brilliant despite been ‘‘absolutely thrashed’’ since being laid.

He said NNSWF had invested in underlay rubber which was purported to be 20per cent cooler, but there was no escaping the fact that the surface, filled with rubber and sand, would be hot in summer.

Horsham Fishing Competition assistant secretary Prue Beltz with her stake at the Wimmera River ahead of Sunday’s fishing competition. More than 1000 people have registered for the event. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERTHE Wimmera’s biggest fishing competition is again on at the weekend.
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More than 1000 people have already registered for the 38th annual Horsham Fishing Competition.

Prizes worth $60,000 are up for grabs, including a car, holiday giveaways and cash prizes.

Horsham Fishing Competition assistant secretary Prue Beltz said about 300 people queued on Saturday morning to receive their stakes for the competition.

‘‘We were setting up at the Apex shed on Friday and there were people lining up to collect their stakes from 3pm who stayed overnight,’’ she said.

‘‘People line up for fishing and iPhones these days it seems – they probably didn’t need to queue because we cleared the line in about 18 minutes.’’

Mrs Beltz said people could register for the competition until 5pm Friday.

People can also register on Saturday between 8am and 9am at the soundshell at Sawyer Park, Horsham.

Mrs Beltz said the competition still required extra stewards.

‘‘We would gratefully take anyone who is willing to steward along the river and if anyone wants to help they can call me,’’ she said.

There was doubt about the competition’s future last year, due to a lack of volunteers.

Mrs Beltz said she was grateful for Apex Club Horsham and Wimmera Uniting Care, who helped organise the event this year.

‘‘It was never an issue of the competition being unviable or unsuccessful, it was just the number of people we had doing the work for it,’’ she said.

‘‘The two organisations have come on board and helped the committee members with the event.’’

Mrs Beltz said the person with the heaviest catch of the day would win a new Kia Rio, while the second and third heaviest catches would win holidays.

‘‘It will pay to be a fisherman for a number of people this weekend with the number of prizes we have,’’ she said.

Mrs Beltz had heard good reports from Wimmera anglers about the quality of fish in the Wimmera River.

‘‘We are expecting plenty of yellowbelly to be between one and two kilograms,’’ she said.

‘‘One of the things we have done in the past few years is we have taken some of the larger catfish that have been caught and put them back in to help restore catfish numbers.

‘‘We’ve taken some of them to areas like Lake Lascelles up near Hopetoun to help support the numbers.’’

The competition will take place along a stretch of the Wimmera River in Horsham, with registration fees of $40, $15 and $2 for different age groups.

Mrs Beltz said people could call her on 0439 826 187 to register as stewards.

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SHAUN JOHNSONNEWCASTLE coach Rick Stone said containing Warriors wizard Shaun Johnson rather than closing him down was all he expected of the Knights at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
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The 24-year-old halfback has developed into one of the game’s most lethal attacking weapons, and he secured the 2014 Golden Boot as the world’s best player by sparking New Zealand to a 22-18 win over Australia in the Four Nations final at Wellington in November.

‘‘He touches the ball as much as anyone there,’’ Stone said. ‘‘His ability to conjure up tries and score some tries himself is pretty important to the Warriors, and his speed and what he brings to the table with his footwork and the variation he’s got in his all-round game makes him one of the most dangerous ball-runners in the comp.

‘‘We know he’s a really important cog to their wheel. And it’s really about minimising his effect on the game rather than shutting him down altogether.

‘‘Good players like that have an influence, so it’s trying to minimise his effect on the game which is important. The amount of ball we give them is important as well.

‘‘But Shaun Johnson, current Golden Boot winner, his last couple of seasons have been real break-out seasons, and everyone’s seen the best of what Shaun Johnson can do, and it’s our job to try and stop him doing some of that stuff on Saturday.’’

Stone said the Knights had to restrict Johnson’s time in possession by minimising their errors and being vigilant in their defensive assignments.

That attention to detail will be critical against a Warriors team boasting size and skill across the park from fullback Sam Tomkins to front-rower Ben Matulino, as the Knights try to back up their 28-22 victory in the corresponding game last August.

‘‘They’re a terrific attacking team. We all know that,’’ he said. ‘‘They’ve got heaps of skilful players, they’re powerful, they’ve got offloads in them, they’re really good scoring tries from kicks, they’ve got weapons all over the park, so they’re a really dangerous attacking team, that’s for sure.

‘‘Their record away from home is probably not the best, but their record I would suggest in Newcastle isn’t too bad, in the time that I’ve been here anyway.

‘‘All first games are important, and the discipline and the mistake rate and the penalties and all those things are massive contributors towards the result, and this one will be no different.

‘‘So being tidy, and defensively being strong, they’re things you have to be against the Warriors because they have such an array of talent and they’re such a powerful footy team.’’

Stone challenged his forwards to match the Warriors in the middle of the field.

Korbin Sims has been named with Kade Snowden in the front row, giving the 23-year-old Queensland Origin hopeful first crack at filling the void left by Willie Mason.

Sims and Snowden will be supported by Knights debutant Jack Stockwell and veterans Chris Houston and David Fa’alogo off the bench.

‘‘Their pack is always big and mobile and skilful, as well and nice and aggressive, so any pack of forwards has got to be on their game and hold their own at least in the ruck,’’ Stone said.

AAP reports: Five-eighth Anthony Milford will make his Broncos debut while Glenn Stewart, Sutton and Ben Lowe make up a new Rabbitohs back row when the season kicks off on Thursday night in Brisbane.

Manly’s 2014 injury curse has carried over into the new season before their Friday trip to Parramatta.

Steve Matai (shoulder) Jorge Taufua (knee), Tom Symonds (elbow) and Josh Starling (knee) are all missing from the Sea Eagles line-up, and centre Jamie Lyon (knee) is in doubt.

‘‘I’m not sure yet,’’ Lyon said. ‘‘I’ve just got to get into training and rehab and see how I go.

‘‘It’s just some old scar tissue around the knee. Fingers crossed, but I’m 50-50.’’

Anthony Watmough will make his Eels debut against his former club, and another former Sea Eagle, Will Hopoate, will replace San Fransisco-bound star Jarryd Hayne at fullback.

None of the five players facing drug charges have been named in the Titans side for Wests Tigers’ visit to the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Blake Ferguson will play his first NRL game in almost 22 months when the Roosters travel to Townsville to play the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday.

Squeals of excitement filled Sacred Heart Primary School yesterday as the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter paid students a visit.
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EXCITED students received a lesson in water rescue yesterday when the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter touched down at Sacred Heart Primary School.Crew members fielded questions from students, who were full of knowledge after learning all about the rescue service as part of a school program.Sacred Heart was selected from more than 300 schools across the country to host the helicopter and crew members who demonstrated water rescue methods, talked about some of their toughest days on the job and reinforced the importance of water safety.

Chopper show thrills students HELPING HAND: Isaak Newcombe demonstrates the harness-safety procedure with student Zak Stavroudakis yesterday.

The rescue helicopter arrives at Sacred Heart Primary.

Student Francis Hogan asks lifesaver Isaak Newcombe a question about the helicopter. Pictures: Carmel Zaccone

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IN: Joey Leilua has been named in the centres to face the Warriors at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.KNIGHTS coach Rick Stone has opted for size and experience ahead of unlimited potential by omitting incumbent Test winger Sione Mata’utia from Saturday’s season-opener against the Warriors at Hunter Stadium.
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In what must rate as the most agonising selection dilemma of his career, Stone preferred Joey Leilua and Dane Gagai as his centres, naming Mata’utia as Newcastle’s standby player in jersey No.18.

Barring a late switch to the nominated squad, the youngest-ever Kangaroos representative and arguably Newcastle’s brightest prospect since Andrew Johns will be a spectator for at least the first-round showdown.

Gagai and Leilua have been Newcastle’s established centre pairing since early in the 2013 season and are seasoned campaigners with 65 and 100 NRL games respectively to their names.

Mata’utia, 18, made his top-grade debut last season, and his seven games, which produced seven tries, were enough to earn him a shock selection in three Tests during Australia’s Four Nations campaign. He scored a try in Australia’s 22-18 loss to New Zealand in the tournament final.

But for the first time since he burst onto the scene in round 20 last season, the young flyer has experienced a reality check.

Given Stone had already endorsed skipper Kurt Gidley and wingers Akuila Uate and James McManus as his back three, he had three players vying for two centre roles.

Gagai, who did not miss a game for the Knights last season and played in the recent All Stars match, was retained as right centre, leaving Stone to weigh up the merits of Leilua and Mata’utia.

Leilua had a lacklustre pre-season but was preferred possibly because he outweighs Mata’utia by 13kilograms and his powerful frame will come in handy against the heavyweight Warriors.

Leilua is expected to mark devastating ball-carrier Konrad Hurrell.

Given he was wearing the green and gold just three months ago, Mata’utia is entitled to be disappointed, but if an interview with the Herald last week is any guide, he is unlikely to sulk.

Speaking at the Knights’ season launch, Mata’utia said there was ‘‘plenty of time to play plenty of first grade’’.

‘‘The guys that have been here for years deserve respect, and I think it is important to learn from them before you get to take hold of the reins,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m pretty young and I reckon I’ve still got a lot to learn. I’m going to absorb everything the veterans have to tell me and when it is my time I’ll hopefully be ready.’’

It was a brave decision by Stone, especially as Mata’utia and his two brothers, Chanel and Pat, are embroiled in a contract wrangle after signing letters of intent with Canterbury late last year.

Knights officials remain confident all three siblings will renege on their offers from the Bulldogs to re-sign with Newcastle.

Mata’utia’s omission ensures there is plenty of pressure on Newcastle’s outside backs to perform, because he is capable of playing centre, wing and fullback and is a ready-made replacement for anyone who is injured or under-performing.

There also remains a chance he could be a last-minute inclusion.

Stone indicated on Monday that he would choose his team on a horses-for-courses basis and did not rule out 11th-hour changes to his nominated squad.

‘‘Obviously there’s a couple of key positions we’ve still got to sort out, and we might keep those to game day,’’ Stone said. ‘‘It will be up to us to decide what we think is going to be the best balance and formula for the team on the day against the appropriate opposition.’’

The rest of Stone’s squad was as expected.

Korbin Sims will partner Kade Snowden in the front row, while new signing Jack Stockwell, veterans Chris Houston and David Fa’alogo and versatile rookie Tyler Randell are on the bench.

AAP reports: Team medical officers this season will have sideline access to footage of injuries to help them determine their severity.

Last season was the first in which official concussion protocols were in place, and NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said more work had to be done to change the game’s culture.

Players who suffered head knocks last year had to be withdrawn from the field immediately and have cognitive testing by a medical officer.

But some incidents were missed, and Greenberg said the new technology, which will be accessible in a tent nicknamed the ‘‘injury bubble’’ on the side of the field, would allow doctors to spot anything they might have missed.

‘‘Last year 155 players were assessed,’’ Greenberg said.

‘‘In 67 cases the player did not return to the game. That has been unheard of in previous years. There were also 88 cases where the player was assessed and then allowed to return.

‘‘There will be technology on sidelines for doctors to use high-definition screens to track injury. Doctors can look at this at any time during and after game.’’

PIC OF THE DAY: Send your photos of the Wimmera to [email protected]南京夜网.au or tag us on Instagram @wimmeramailtimes and use the hashtag #wakeupwimmera to have your pic included! Picture: @sjflicksta, via Instagram
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It’s a partly cloudy day ahead, with a top of 24. The morning should be mostly sunny though – lucky for morning people!


Callawaddashearer Aaron Hemley will have all the liquid support he needs for a world record attempt 48-hour shearing challenge in August. Mount Franklin water has given Mr Hemley $5000 and all the water and Gatorade he needs for the challenge.

Callawadda shearer Aaron Hemley, front, will attempt a 48-hour shearing challenge in August. Stawell Regional Health group has assembled a committee of health professionals to help him prepare for the challenge. The team is, from left, Caroline Teggert, Amanda Hemley, Henry Hemley, Meg Blake, Les Power, Peta Andrews, Peter Edwards, Liz McCourt, Caroline Tuck and Debbie Bach. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER


“There were people lining up to collect their stakes from 3pm who stayed overnight.‘People line up for fishing and iPhones these days it seems.” – Excitement is building ahead of the Horsham Fishing Competition at the weekend, according to assistant secretary Prue Beltz.

Horsham Fishing Competition assistant secretary Prue Beltz with her stake at the Wimmera River ahead of Sunday’s fishing competition. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER


Wimmera winemakers are praising an ideal growing season for the outstanding quality of this year’s grapes.

Noradjuha-Quantong Football Netball Club members Lucy Brand, Chloe Gabbe, Georgia Francis, Bianca Anson and Brooke Pay pick grapes at Norton Estate Wines. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

SPECIAL FEATURE: Day one at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days

Celebrity chef Bree May cooks rabbit risotto at the field days on Tuesday. For more field days pics, click the link above. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

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Police scour bushland near Bonny Hills for evidence relating to the disappearance of William Tyrrell. Photo: Peter Gleeson Person of interest: William Spedding. Photo: Kate Geraghty
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Bones found in William Tyrrell search Police scour dense bushland for missing William TyrrellWilliam Tyrrell disappearance: police visit Bill Spedding’s house

The son of tradesman Bill Spedding says his father had nothing to do with the disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrrell as police scour bushland for evidence, including the toddler’s red and blue Spider-Man suit.

Rodney Spedding said his father had been unfairly harassed by the media, even though a number of other homes and properties had been searched by police – some up to three times, he believed.

“He’s got the biggest heart, he’s very generous. Bill has our full support, and [has] no link to the disappearance,” Mr Spedding told Fairfax Media on Tuesday afternoon.

“I feel very upset, it’s upsetting. The media attention has killed his business, and it’s affected his livelihood.”

Police divers are expected to search a murky creek in bushland between Bonny Hills and Lake Cathie on Wednesday morning.

A search involving 30 officers began on Monday but a police source has told Fairfax Media that only a few soft drink cans and a number of logging markers had been found so far.

The source also said police were on the look out for William’s favourite Spider-Man suit and any other items of interest.

Mr Spedding’s Bonny Hills home and Laurieton office was raided by police in January, following William’s disappearance from his grandmother’s home in September.

The 63-year-old became a focus of investigations after police learned he was due to fix a washing machine at William’s grandmother’s house about the time the toddler disappeared.

Searchers have not been directly told to look for a body but the homicide detective in charge of the investigation said it was always a possibility.

“Of course when we are looking for evidence that would also include a body,” Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin said at the search site.

“Clearly the fact and the resources that we dedicated to the search we thought it was worthwhile information to follow up,” he said.

Police have repeatedly said Mr Spedding was not a suspect but a person of interest but he has been the subject of intense media scrutiny in the past several weeks.

Mr Speeding’s son said he wished police would publicly rule his father out of the investigation but understood they had a job to do.

“He doesn’t need the attention he is getting it just seems media have singled him out for some bizarre reason.”

“I was hoping by now they [the police] would come out and say there is no link.”

He said most of the community on the mid-north coast had been very supportive of his father but that it had taken a hard toll.

“It’s been terrible. When it all started [the first police search of his home], they took his phone off him and we weren’t able to contact him and find out what was going on,” he said.

“It was very, very hard and it’s been very hard on Bill and Margaret.”

Mr Spedding said he and one of his sisters would continue to support their father and hoped police would soon find William.

“I’d like to see him found alive and well. I’d love to see them find him – it would be really, really good.”

The current search of bushland is six kilometres from Mr Spedding’s Bonny Hills home and 21 kilometres from the town of Kendall where William was last seen.

Detetective Inspector Jubelin has said the search was initiated after “fresh information” was received in recent weeks and was expected to wrap up on Wednesday afternoon.

“There will be further searches, when and where that will be I’m not prepared to say.”

Anyone with information was urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

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Former Knox Grammar headmaster Dr Ian Paterson offered a heartfelt apology to victims. Former Knox headmaster Ian Paterson leaves the royal commission after giving evidence on his failure to protect the boys in his care. Photo: Christopher Pearce
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The faces of Knox’s dark eraWilkinson ‘appalled’ by ribbon removalBoys ‘cheered’ while girl ‘assaulted”Gobsmacked’ paedophiles still there

The former headmaster of Knox Grammar School Dr Ian Paterson dismissed a claim that former teacher Craig Treloar watched pornography with a student as just a “silly mistake”, a royal commission has heard.

He also told one boy who reported abuse at the hands of teacher Damien Vance to “go away and think about what he’d said.”

Another former student who was threatening the school with legal action over claims he had been molested by music teacher Barrie Stewart was ignored, the commission heard.

The long-serving former headmaster took the stand for the first time at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and spent most of the day giving evidence, following a heart felt apology to victims.

In evidence, he said he did not realise that it was a crime for a teacher to grope and sexually proposition a student nor was he aware of his legal obligation to report abuse.

The commission also heard evidence Knox Grammar regularly employed staff without doing background checks and teachers known to be suspect were allowed to “resign” from the school with glowing references which did not mention misconduct.

Dr Paterson denied he failed to inform the police of a serious sexual assault on school grounds involving a balaclava-clad man because he was worried about the school’s reputation.

“Controlling the reputation of the school never once entered my head,” he said.

It was widely believed the perpetrator was staff member Christopher Fotis, who was allowed to resign from Knox after being arrested for masturbating outside another school. A warrant has been issued for Fotis’ arrest after his failure to appear at the royal commission to date. His whereabouts are unknown.

Fotis, along with other suspect teachers Vance and Roger James, were given positive references from Knox. Vance and James went on to teach at other schools before being arrested over the Knox sex offences in 2009.

Dr Paterson told the commission he did not quiz Treloar over the pornography claims or attempt to find out whether the incident also involved sexual abuse of a student.

He said Treloar was: “a young, relatively immature teacher who had enormous potential in the profession and who had made a very silly mistake.”

Dr Paterson said he did not ask Stewart whether he had molested a child after his parents complained about the teacher.

Instead, he advised Stewart to stop giving students lifts in his car.

The commission heard evidence that another one of Stewart’s victims, ATJ,was planning to take legal action against the school but Paterson did not report the allegations to police.

ATJ’s student file went missing from the school, the commission heard, along with the file of another student also named in ATJ’s allegations.

Dr Paterson told the commission he believed the boys took the files.

Outside the commission, a former Knox student who was abused at the school described the evidence as “ridiculous” and “mind blowing.”

The former headmaster, who worked at the school from 1969 to 1998 will continue giving evidence at the hearing before Justice Jennifer Coate on Wednesday. Adults Surviving Child Abuse: 1300 657 380Survivors and Mates Support Network: 02 8355 3711Bravehearts: 1800 272 831

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