Vandals attack “loud fence” at Salesian College

Paul Levey outside Salesian College. Picture: Shawn Smits.


Vandals have targeted a plaque and “loud fence” at Salesian College, which were created to acknowledge survivors of church abuse.

The loud fence, decorated with ribbons, was created in June 2015 by the school and Sunbury Men’s Survivors Support Group founder Paul Levey to help abuse victims heal.

Many Salesian College principals, boarding masters and brothers at the college between 1960 and 1990 have faced court on scores of sexual abuse charges.

A plaque on the fence, near the Rupertswood Cricket Club oval and lake, condemned sexual abuse and called on people to add their own ribbons.

But over the Christmas period, vandals graffitied the plaque, and the school removed the loud fence. Principal Mark Brockhus said it was disappointing that the plaque and ribbons had to be taken down.

“It is sad … this space was special to survivors, the victims and their families. It was also an important education space for current Salesian College Sunbury students,” he said. “A decision is now being made if this can be securely re-located within the college grounds.”

With the school closed until February, survivors gathered at its front gates last Wednesday to create a new loud fence.

Mr Levey said the group wants the new fence to be bigger and better. He said survivors were hurt that the initial fence had been removed.

“We know there was some graffiti down there, but why remove the ribbons?” he said.

“The loud fence is somewhere that survivors would go. It was promised it would be a permanent place in the community.”

Anyone with information about the graffiti attack is asked to contact Sunbury police on 9744 8111.