Train club pedophiles (Steamrail in the news)

 
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
At the end of the day, you could pass any number of people who have touched children or thought about it. Unless someone is convicted of it you'd never know about it. Even then you could be passing people that have been convicted.

As a member of the general public you wouldn't know. But any industry that would be around children should need a working with children check but it will only show up a conviction or an allegation. If it shows up nothing they can't really guess if someone is a pedophile.

But if they knew about it and did nothing they are failing in their duties.
"spottyrahr"
And that is a sad, sad, part of todays society.
A father can not hold, touch, cuddle, or otherwise touch his children in public without someone questioning his motives.
A male teacher, cub/scout leader, or youth worker can not have a personal chat with a child having personal problems without someone questioning his motives.

We have lost the ability for adult males to publically show any form of positive emotion towards children without perhaps being accused of ulterior motives.

Perhaps this is a good thing in the long run that people point the finger, but I would hate to see a finger being pointed at the wrong person.

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  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Gents (and ladies i suppose as well), i think this is the hardest single situation that can be faced by a group. A volunteer organisation has no time, expertise or basis for conducting an inquiry of that kind.
"perks"


Disagree. Many volunteer organisations can and do set parameters.

I am a part of the leadership team of one organisation with activities in all states, and we can and do specify this requirement *must* be fulfilled before participation.

It is the same as requiring indemnity cards. No card, no participation.

For the record, when I was a lad, a fellow did make a molestation suggestion towards me (which I rejected and I left his presence never to return to that place of activity) in the preservation movement.  

It's now 45 years later. I have no animosity, but something needs to be done and it needs to be done industry-wide; i.e., there is an organisation, ATHRA, I think (what our deceased member chairman led), and that is the peak body which needs to specify as a parameter of membership; that the member organisation fulfil a requirement that all participants in volunteer and rail heritage activity complete the relevant working-with-children check in their state.

My prediction: this will come to pass.
  SJB Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I believe it to be true already in Queensland (Not sure about other states), but it is a requirment for anyone working with the public to have a Blue Card (Working with Children). I would imagine it wouldnt be that big a problem to extend the scheme to all active members of any group
  spottyrahr Chief Commissioner

At the end of the day, you could pass any number of people who have touched children or thought about it. Unless someone is convicted of it you'd never know about it. Even then you could be passing people that have been convicted.

As a member of the general public you wouldn't know. But any industry that would be around children should need a working with children check but it will only show up a conviction or an allegation. If it shows up nothing they can't really guess if someone is a pedophile.

But if they knew about it and did nothing they are failing in their duties.
"spottyrahr"
And that is a sad, sad, part of todays society.
A father can not hold, touch, cuddle, or otherwise touch his children in public without someone questioning his motives.
A male teacher, cub/scout leader, or youth worker can not have a personal chat with a child having personal problems without someone questioning his motives.

We have lost the ability for adult males to publically show any form of positive emotion towards children without perhaps being accused of ulterior motives.

Perhaps this is a good thing in the long run that people point the finger, but I would hate to see a finger being pointed at the wrong person.
"xxxxlbear"


I think to a degree the general public has made it worse. I have a 10 year old niece, she has some learning disabilities and if I take her out I always become a little scared about letting her go into the toilet on her own.

I'm only 23 so I actually feel very very very uncomfortable taking her to the parents room/family room, etc. I feel like I'm being judged. At the same time I know I don't need to justify myself to anyone else. But it can be very intimidating sometimes.

I think a lot of people are starting to accuse people of many of a range of offenses.
  lustychant Chief Commissioner

Gents (and ladies i suppose as well), i think this is the hardest single situation that can be faced by a group. A volunteer organisation has no time, expertise or basis for conducting an inquiry of that kind.
"perks"


Disagree. Many volunteer organisations can and do set parameters.

I am a part of the leadership team of one organisation with activities in all states, and we can and do specify this requirement *must* be fulfilled before participation.

It is the same as requiring indemnity cards. No card, no participation.

For the record, when I was a lad, a fellow did make a molestation suggestion towards me (which I rejected and I left his presence never to return to that place of activity) in the preservation movement.  

It's now 45 years later. I have no animosity, but something needs to be done and it needs to be done industry-wide; i.e., there is an organisation, ATHRA, I think (what our deceased member chairman led), and that is the peak body which needs to specify as a parameter of membership; that the member organisation fulfil a requirement that all participants in volunteer and rail heritage activity complete the relevant working-with-children check in their state.

My prediction: this will come to pass.
"574M"



If there is a problem, and by reading this thread there does seem to be, Steamrail (and any other rail related organization) better clean out the evil bastards in a very public manner, as any respectful community organization would.

I suggest Steamrail should contact all appropriate Government Departments to help investigate this immediately, putting in place a transparent process that leads to a safe, healthy environment for all participants/volunteers in the future.

In short, do this properly so no one whom would pray on innocent children would ever dare set foot near the place, or on their trains, ever again!
  Webslave Site Admin

Location: Altona, Melbourne
If there is a problem, and by reading this thread there does seem to be, Steamrail (and any other rail related organization) better clean out the evil bastards in a very public manner, as any respectful community organization would.
"lustychant"
I can't remember who said it, but the words resonated with me; It is not enough for justice to simply be done; it must also be seen to be done
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
If there is a problem, and by reading this thread there does seem to be, Steamrail (and any other rail related organization) better clean out the evil bastards in a very public manner, as any respectful community organization would.
"lustychant"
I can't remember who said it, but the words resonated with me; It is not enough for justice to simply be done; it must also be seen to be done
"Webslave"

and in the same vein, its not enough to do the right thing, one must be seen to be doing the right thing, i.e. not leaving anything open to question...
  henkluf Station Master

The statement "Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done". First year Law Degree but it can be traced back to English law.
  perks Chief Train Controller

Location: Sunny Vic
Gents (and ladies i suppose as well), i think this is the hardest single situation that can be faced by a group. A volunteer organisation has no time, expertise or basis for conducting an inquiry of that kind.
"perks"


Disagree. Many volunteer organisations can and do set parameters.

I am a part of the leadership team of one organisation with activities in all states, and we can and do specify this requirement *must* be fulfilled before participation.

It is the same as requiring indemnity cards. No card, no participation.
"574M"


I didnt state that groups shouldn't have a policy with regards to child sex offenders, i said groups shouldn't hold inquiries into possible instances of an offence being committed. As i went on to say, these are criminal matters, and should be dealt with by the police.  

In this day and age, its a big oversight for any group not to have a policy with regards to young members, and your organisation having a specific requirement is playing smart cricket. It is unfortunately a serious problem with untold ramifications and a group that ignores the potential, or after the fact, ignores the consequence, does so at grave risk to that groups future.
  LegendsofSteam Junior Train Controller


Steamrail in particular, and all rail enthusiast organisation in general should take urgent steps to ensure they are compliant with the necessary standards in regard to child contact, otherwise this has the potential to blow up in their face big time.  Root out this problem now!!!
"brasstrain"


My understanding of the legislation is that the Working With Children Check requirement is a phased rollout with different community and sporting bodies needing to participate in the program by a nominated time depending on their classification. Some were 2009, some 2010 and some next year. Puffing Billy is in the grouping that requires volunteers to have their cards by next year....

So this I would have thought that other Tourist Railways/Preservation Operators would be in the same category. In other words, it wouldn't really be a choice by the organisation as to whether they enforce the check or not - it would be mandated by law.
"Ballast_Plough"

I know the group I'm involved with here in NSW we had ours conducted late last year & it was made clear those failing to return the paperwork or submit themselves to the checks would NOT be rostered until the check was completed!
  A no 1 Chief Commissioner

Location: I see a Seagoon
Some groups are hesitant to do this because they think that it will show up other things like thief embezzlement and drug charges

Also there frighten that they will loose to many volunteers which they always say there are short of
  Dunxy Beginner

Hmm, Very much uhmed and ahhed about posting in this thread, but I feel I have to.

Obviously this is my first post but I have been a lurker for some time, as you will see by my join date.

More importantly I know everybody invovled in this as I was a  SRV volunteer for many years including in the early to mid 90's as a young lad.

IMHO this is the single most valuable piece of information below.

But Steamrail chairman Ken Dunning said Mr Parr was expelled not for being a whistleblower, but for being verbally abusive and threatening.


I believe this and think it to be true, yes I know "Mr Parr" and I know what he is like and I think he is being vindictive and trying to cause trouble for SRV.

Obviously some stuff has gone down there and I had no involuntary with SRV after about 1993/4 so i wont comment on things happening after that date, but I do know that"Mr Parr" was most certainly big enough to take care of himself back at that time and he was not being "preyed upon" as he has made out to of happened in this article and in the post that was made here in the news section that was obviously removed but is still viewabel by google cache.

At the end of the day there has obviously been some bad stuff happening, but don't be believing everything you read.

I have no involvement with SRV nor have any reason to defend them, I just know what I saw when I was around in the early to mid 90's and it differs a fair bit from what I have read around the place.

I fully suspect this to be removed and to cop harrasment (probably from a certain accuser) but I really couldn't care less.

I do hope the mods leave this as it is first hand comments and opinions, not 3rd hand here-say etc.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Some groups are hesitant to do this because they think that it will show up other things like thief embezzlement and drug charges
"A no 1"
Which is kind of perverse in a way.
You don't want a convicted petty thief handling cash, or expensive/historical items. Cash and items can, and do, go missing. And if a police check shows up the criminal history of someone previously trusted to work as a Booking Officer, say, handling possibly thousands of dollars in a shift, of course the organization would want to know about it asap, and possibly rid themselves of the possibility that cash may get stolen.

Also there frighten that they will loose to many volunteers which they always say there are short of
"A no 1"
Again, could this be a bad thing?
If members leave because thay have something to hide, then it is probably good for the organization they go anyway. Personally, I would rather be short of volunteers, than have volunteers perhaps involved in petty theft of cash and goods.

Having been a Booking Officer for 2 tourist railways [TRs] now,  I realise that cash is vitally important to the running of a TR, and firmly believe that everyone working with cash should have a regular police check performed. Likewise with children, to use the policy of a well known TR, everyone working within eyesight of children at a TR should have regular police checks, and a working with children certificate.

Afterall, prevention is better than cure!
  A no 1 Chief Commissioner

Location: I see a Seagoon
Some groups are hesitant to do this because they think that it will show up other things like thief embezzlement and drug charges
"A no 1"
Which is kind of perverse in a way.
You don't want a convicted petty thief handling cash, or expensive/historical items. Cash and items can, and do, go missing. And if a police check shows up the criminal history of someone previously trusted to work as a Booking Officer, say, handling possibly thousands of dollars in a shift, of course the organization would want to know about it asap, and possibly rid themselves of the possibility that cash may get stolen.

Also there frighten that they will loose to many volunteers which they always say there are short of
"A no 1"
Again, could this be a bad thing?
If members leave because they have something to hide, then it is probably good for the organization they go anyway. Personally, I would rather be short of volunteers, than have volunteers perhaps involved in petty theft of cash and goods.

Having been a Booking Officer for 2 tourist railways [TRs] now,  I realise that cash is vitally important to the running of a TR, and firmly believe that everyone working with cash should have a regular police check performed. Likewise with children, to use the policy of a well known TR, everyone working within eyesight of children at a TR should have regular police checks, and a working with children certificate.

Afterall, prevention is better than cure!
"xxxxlbear"
I agree absolutely in what you say
It a pity that some people on committees don't think that way
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
I hate going against the grain, especially on such a sensitive issue, but I have to say...

Fred Nerk lobs up to his local preservation society, signs up membership and wants to volunteer. Several members have a working bee on and would like him to help, but he doesn't have a kiddie fiddler card, so they tell him to smeg off until he has one. How disillusioning...not being allowed to help paint up a carriage until he can prove he has never been convicted of child molesting. Fred Nerk wanders off, buys a hot rod instead. Not that he's a peadophile, he's just been sent away, and is offended.

How long does it take to get one of these police checks? It doesn't sound to be as good as effective management and good supervision.

M
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
I suppose a very short-term solution would be to have all members who do not have a working with children check, to have an escort at all times? In a place like Newport that's probably a good idea anyway...
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
I suppose a very short-term solution would be to have all members who do not have a working with children check, to have an escort at all times? In a place like Newport that's probably a good idea anyway...
"SteamtoStay"


If the policy is to have the card, it's hard to go back on that. It's only proof of no conviction, if I understand correctly.

If the policy is good supervision of minors and of volunteers, then maybe it's better than the risk that someone is a big problem without having been convicted...

M
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
I hate going against the grain, especially on such a sensitive issue, but I have to say...

Fred Nerk lobs up to his local preservation society, signs up membership and wants to volunteer. Several members have a working bee on and would like him to help, but he doesn't have a kiddie fiddler card, so they tell him to smeg off until he has one. How disillusioning...not being allowed to help paint up a carriage until he can prove he has never been convicted of child molesting. Fred Nerk wanders off, buys a hot rod instead. Not that he's a peadophile, he's just been sent away, and is offended.

How long does it take to get one of these police checks? It doesn't sound to be as good as effective management and good supervision.

M
"Grantham"


I guess we could devide the working bees into 'adults only' and 'family freindly' days.  That would require the child check for those of whom wish to attend the family freindly days, but he/she would still be able to help out on the adults only days.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
I hate going against the grain, especially on such a sensitive issue, but I have to say...

Fred Nerk lobs up to his local preservation society, signs up membership and wants to volunteer. Several members have a working bee on and would like him to help, but he doesn't have a kiddie fiddler card, so they tell him to smeg off until he has one. How disillusioning...not being allowed to help paint up a carriage until he can prove he has never been convicted of child molesting. Fred Nerk wanders off, buys a hot rod instead. Not that he's a peadophile, he's just been sent away, and is offended.

How long does it take to get one of these police checks? It doesn't sound to be as good as effective management and good supervision.

M
"Grantham"


I guess we could devide the working bees into 'adults only' and 'family freindly' days.  That would require the child check for those of whom wish to attend the family freindly days, but he/she would still be able to help out on the adults only days.
"tranzitjim"


It might not be practical to tell volunteers not to bring their kids to an "adults only" working bee...sounds kinda kinky there tranzitjim!

After all, you do want people to volunteer their time, don't you? Turning good volunteers away won't fix your problems!

M
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
I hate going against the grain, especially on such a sensitive issue, but I have to say...

Fred Nerk lobs up to his local preservation society, signs up membership and wants to volunteer. Several members have a working bee on and would like him to help, but he doesn't have a kiddie fiddler card, so they tell him to smeg off until he has one. How disillusioning...not being allowed to help paint up a carriage until he can prove he has never been convicted of child molesting. Fred Nerk wanders off, buys a hot rod instead. Not that he's a peadophile, he's just been sent away, and is offended.

How long does it take to get one of these police checks? It doesn't sound to be as good as effective management and good supervision.

M
"Grantham"
Simple solution....
Volunteers without appropriate certification, or those awaiting certification, can easily be allowed to perform 'non-critical' jobs [or those that don't require contact with children, or valuable items/cash] such as jobs within the workshop, gardening, painting etc.

Once an individuals certification is received by the railway, then the volunteer can progress to positions involving trust, and/or positions involving contact with children.
  AJW Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Hi

I received a letter from Steamrail advising a special meeting tomorrow (Saturday) at Newport.  The only agenda item is this report in the Herald Sun paper and I am guessing Steamrail will be open and seek to resolve the issue.

They are a good group who will have an appropriate response - even if it means actions like police checks and working with children tickets etc. and, if needed, removing some members.  Care must be taken to protect children and keep the organisation family friendly.

The groups aim is to operate and restore our rail heritage.  Things like this are a blight which needs to be addressed and we should move on.
  R 761 Chief Commissioner

Location: In A House At My Computer
Hi

I received a letter from Steamrail advising a special meeting tomorrow (Saturday) at Newport.  The only agenda item is this report in the Herald Sun paper and I am guessing Steamrail will be open and seek to resolve the issue.

They are a good group who will have an appropriate response - even if it means actions like police checks and working with children tickets etc. and, if needed, removing some members.  Care must be taken to protect children and keep the organisation family friendly.

The groups aim is to operate and restore our rail heritage.  Things like this are a blight which needs to be addressed and we should move on.
"AJW"
Guess Im lucky. I was set to come back to steamrail to do some work but I got stopped by a phonecall, Actually it,s got nothing to with this. I received an invite to the GFL grand final lunchen. If I didnt get the phone call, I would be going to steamrail for sure.
  GN4472 Deputy Commissioner


How long does it take to get one of these police checks? It doesn't sound to be as good as effective management and good supervision.
M
"Grantham"


I'm a member of NRM in SA, they did my police check free of charge to me - Cost NRM $50, it took a few days to come through and I came up clean.  Smile
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
I cannot see what is unexceptional in having the relevant working with children checks (I think they vary between the States) and appropriate protection policies (including provisions for reporting problems) it is standard operating procedure for the Church I go to in Sydney and throughout the entire diocese. Everyone understands why this is in place.

It is not a question of "modern society" as many cases of child abuse occurred in the 60's and earlier. It seems to be a problem then too although not well reported.

The other group that needs to lift its game in this respect are Model Railway Clubs.

The point about having these policies and checks in place is not that they cover you when something goes wrong but that they help prevent these sort of problems occurring in the first place.  

Iain
  Webslave Site Admin

Location: Altona, Melbourne
I hate going against the grain, especially on such a sensitive issue, but I have to say...
"Grantham"
This is not unexceptional.  You often have to consider many things when people show up to volunteer; membership, insurance, induction, appropriate safetywear (footwear for example), and often these will prevent them getting elbows deep in work right away.  If they're keen enough to volunteer they wont have a problem waiting a little bit.  You see people go down to DVR in Vic that want to drive the trains or operate signalling right away, but the group dictates that they have others things to do first, and they seem to do alright.

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