Above: Victims of abuse join the school community for the opening of the Memorial Garden - one of many initiatives of the Principal John Crowley, to bring about healing.
A survivor of clergy child sexual abuse has called on Catholic institutions in Melbourne to take the lead of a Ballarat school, after it offered the first public apology to its abuse victims.
St Patricks College is one of Ballarat's most enduring Catholic institutions. Some students have graduated to become priests, archbishops and even a cardinal.Cardinal George Pell was made school captain here in 1959.
But the school has also been the scene of trauma, violence and sexual abuse.
The father of a victim wept in the crowd, others stood silently with their eyes closed.People will not forget
Survivor Keith Whelan was abused by convicted paedophile Edward Dowlan after the teacher was shifted from Ballarat to St Thomas More College at Nunawading.Dowlan was convicted of 52 sexual abuse charges.
"Let's go to Melbourne now and hear it from Melbourne and all the rest of them," Mr Whelan said.After the ceremony, the school opened a permanent garden dedicated to victims.
Survivor Andrew Collins said he understood that many victims would not have wanted to hear the apology."I hope that in time they come to see that, it's a start, the start of real change," he said.
"It's the most positive thing that I have seen happen in the last couple of years since the royal commission started.
"To have something here that's concrete, and not going to disappear it means people won't forget, and that's very important."
By Charlotte King - abc.net.au