Wed, Jul 01, 2009
The New Paper
Female staff member, 42, has affair with male intern, 19

A SEX scandal at an elite private school in Sydney's affluent Hunters Hill has forced the resignation of a female staff member who had a relationship with a teenage intern.

This is after St Joseph's College was informed by New South Wales Health last week that several student boarders from the college had been diagnosed with H1N1 flu.

The school launched an investigation into an affair between a 42-year-old support staff member and a 19-year-old boy employed by the College while on his gap year from Sussex in England.

The married woman, who is understood to have sons at the school, has resigned from her post following an investigation by the school.

The teen was also forced to leave his job and accommodation at the college and his parents were notified.

St Joseph's principal Ross Tarlinton told The Sunday Telegraph the school was aware of the relationship.

He said: 'The resignation of the member of the college support staff followed a full investigation by St Joseph's, which was determined quickly and effectively in the best interests of all concerned.'

A source close to the man at the centre of the scandal said he would go home to England this week saddened by the turn of events.

'He told a few of the gap boys and they told some Year 12 boys who told the teachers,' she said. 'Then it became a joke, and I think he found it really hard to deal with.

'Little by little, it got a bit too much - he's quite reserved, a shy bloke,' she added.

Staying with a friend

The source said he had spent the last week staying with a friend in Sydney after the school found out about the incident.

'I feel sorry for him - I think he is happy to go home,' she said.

'He's had a really good time here in Australia, but it's a bad way to leave.'

Regarding the H1N1 outbreak, a school spokeswoman said further investigation revealed other widespread respiratory illness was present within the student population.

'The health and welfare of the students is the college's priority, and these actions will assist in ensuring the significant numbers of boys who are ill are able to be cared for and further transmission is minimised,' she said.

The college was founded on the Hunters Hill site by the French-based Marist Brothers in 1881 with just 55 students in a temporary wooden building.

The boarding school has grown to become a rugby powerhouse producing Wallaby legends, including Matt Burke, and is attended by 942 students.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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Multimedia: Cyntherea Tan