A former student who was sexually abused at Melbourne's prestigious Xavier College wants the state and federal governments to sue the Catholic Church for $6 billion to pay victims for counselling and support.
Chris Whelan, who attended the college's junior school Burke Hall when he was 10, told Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse yesterday that he was abused physically, psychologically and sexually multiple times by a Jesuit teacher.
It is only the second time someone has spoken publicly about sexual abuse by Jesuits in Australia.
Mr Whelan says once he went up the hill to Xavier he thought he would be safe, but the abuse continued at the hands of another Jesuit teacher.
"Within the first week, the other perpetrator was going around the class as he was known to do, molesting kids," Mr Whelan told the inquiry.
"His hands down jumpers, up jumpers, up shorts, down pants.
"He didn't do it to the kids who objected and there were some in a group, what the Americans call the jocks. You know, the tougher kids.
"He did it to the weak and vulnerable ones who would not object and who had no-one to defend them.
"This made me feel 10 times worse.
"He was a very, very, very famous Jesuit in this city of Melbourne.
"I know there were other pupils who were subjected to sexual abuse by other staff members at Xavier College, lay and clergy.
"It was the day when the whole class was terrorised by this one clergy Jesuit teacher who was particularly brutal.
"He kicked a friend of mine one time when he was punishing him in the class, humiliating him, intimidating him and he then proceeded to torture this kid in front of us for a double period."
Because his father was a barrister and QC, Mr Whelan decided to complain to the headmaster.
"I tell him 'they're killing us in the classroom' and this bloke's first and immediate reaction is physical," he said.
"He jumps up, reaches for his drawer, pulls out his strap and goes to hit me across the face.
"He's stopped only by the fact that I tell him that I'm going to tell my father."
Mr Whelan says both of his abusers are now dead.
He has received a payment from the Jesuits on the proviso that he will not sue them.
He encouraged the inquiry to make a powerful recommendation urging the Victorian Government to sue the Catholic Church.
"We recommend that the Government of Victoria and the Government of Australia fund legal action against the Catholic Church... to secure an amount of money to accommodate the therapeutic needs of the survivors of abuse by the Roman Catholic Church, $6 billion minimum, because there's at least 6,000 people affected by it," he said.
Victoria's inquiry will hand all of its evidence over to the Federal Royal Commission, which begins in Melbourne next week.