The Cottesloe Surf Club and a banished former life member have been fined by a magistrate after admitting ignoring legal requirements on working with children.
This year The West Australian revealed how one of Perth’s most prestigious surf lifesaving clubs had been dragged before the courts on charges arising from WA’s Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004.
The charges were linked to former teacher, SLS WA board member and life member Trevor Guy Maybank, who had previously been accused of indecently dealing with children.
In 2015, Mr Maybank was charged with three counts of indecent dealing with a child under 14, relating to alleged incidents in 1979 involving a nine-year-old boy who was under school supervision but not at school at the time.
That charge was discontinued in mid-2016.
However, a “negative notice” remained — as did Mr Maybank’s connection with the surf club he had been associated with for decades.
According to the Department of Communities, a negative notice may be issued by the State’s Working with Children Screening Unit if it receives “information relevant to the immediate safety of children . . . (including) a charge or conviction”.
In two separate cases before Perth Magistrate’s Court, prosecutors alleged the club “employed a person in child-related employment whilst being aware that a negative notice or an interim notice has been issued to the person”.
Mr Maybank was also charged with being a person in child-related employment when a negative notice or interim notice had been issued.
He had initially told the court he intended to plead not guilty to those charges. Earlier this year he pleaded guilty and was fined $7500, and costs of $1867.50.
Late last week, lawyers for the Cottesloe Surf Club followed a similar path, having one charge dropped before pleading guilty to the other. They were fined $10,000, with costs of $1200.
In a statement to members, the club said that in February and March 2017, when they knew he was under a negative notice, Mr Maybank had helped set up and pack away events, including a nippers’ junior marathon.
“I want to assure you that this is an isolated issue … and not the result of any instance of harm against a young club member or visitor,” president Ben Stephens said.
“The member resigned … and ceased all involvement with club activities in July 2017.”