A former teacher at St Kevin’s College, has been charged for his “alleged conduct with a student” at the Melbourne-based Catholic Boys school.

Michael Junkovic, was a staff member at the Toorak school from 2014 – 2018. The student had lodged the complaint in February 2020. Junkovic’s teaching license was suspended by the Victorian Institute of Teaching last year. 

“Yesterday afternoon  I was informed that Mr Junkovic had been formally charged with criminal offences in relation to his alleged conduct with a student during employment at St Kevin’s College,” principal Deborah M Barker wrote in a letter to parents on Wednesday. 

“In February 2020 a matter concerning Mr Junkovic was reported to the college and in keeping with our policies, the college immediately informed Victoria Police, the Commission for Children and Young People, as well as the principal of Carey Grammar, Mr Junkovic’s most recent workplace,” Barker said in the communication to parents. 

Letter by St Kevin’s principal Deborah M Barker addressed to parents on Wednesday.

‘Will Work To Keep Students Safe’

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Barker, who was appointed last year as the first female Principal in the school’s history, reiterated that the institution had taken immediate steps after the complaint was filed by the student.

“By being proactive and transparent in addressing these issues, as painful as it is for us as a school community, we will ensure that we continue to build a safe environment that promotes students wellbeing, learning, faith and fullness.”

Barker said that psychologists and other support was available to students and that the school would work “to keep our students safe”. 

This is not the first time that such allegations have surfaced. 

In December 2020, Simon Parris, a former maths teacher at St Kevin’s had admitted to giving a 16-year-old student a “side hug”, calling him “sweetie” and watching hadrcore pornography on his work laptop. His admission had come during a hearing where he was seeking to be reinstated at his job. 

In February 2020, around the same time as the student’s complaint, the school was featured on Four Corners episode about a “culture of cover up””

The Four Corners report  revealed that its long-serving principal Stephen Rusell, who subsequently resigned after the show was broadcast, had provided a character reference in court for former volunteer coach Peter Kehoe, who was convicted of child grooming a student. 

Maree Keel, a former counsellor at the school had alleged she was demoted when she tried to report students’ complaint of grooming by staff members. The case was settled confidentially last year. 

In 2019, St Kevin’s school students were involved in singing a sexist and misogynistic chant about women in a tram.

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