Fr Gerald Ridsdale

Gerald Risdale, a former Catholic Priest in the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat, who is reported to have sexually abused children and charged and convicted between 1993 and 2017 of indecent assault charges against 65 children for sexual abuse which occurred between 1960s and 1980s.  Between 1993 and 2017 he was convicted of over 70 charges in relation to child sexual abuse. 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard allegations of complaints made to the Church, and in the recent case before the Supreme Court of Victoria against the Archbishop of Ballarat, on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and the Roman Catholic Trust Corporation, unveiled admissions from former bishop of the diocese of liability.   Ridsdale held 16 different appointments over a period of 29 years as a priest, with an average of 1.8 years per appointment.

Ridsdale served as an assistant priest at the following Parishes:

·         Ballarat North from 1962 to 1964

·         Mildura from 1964 to 1966

·         Swan Hill from 1966 to 1969

·         Warrnambool from 1970 to 1972

·         Ballarat East from 1972 to 1974

·         Horsham from July 1986 to 1988

He was assigned the role of parish priest in the following parishes:

·         Warrnambool as parish priest at St Joseph’s between 1970 to 1971

·         Ballarat East as parish priest at St Alipius

·         Apollo Bay as parish priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea in between 1974 and 1975

·         Inglewood between Feb 1975 to 1976

·         Edenhope, as Administrator and Parish Priest) between April 1976 to July 1977

·         Mortlake between November 1981 to 1982

·         Catholic Enquiry Centre in Sydney between 1982 to 1985

·         St Michael Parish and St John’s Parish, Horsham between July 1986 to Ma 1988

·         Jemez Springs New Mexico between Dec 1989 to September 1990


Fr Ridsdale served at the following homes, schools and churches:

·         Chaplain at Nazareth House Girls Home (1961-1963)

·         St James Boys Home, Sebastopol(1961-1963)

·         Chaplain at St Alipius Primary School  

·         Chaplain at St John of God Order of Christian Brothers’ Psychiatric Hospital (1991)

He was assistant priest to Monsignor John Day, also a sex offender, while in Mildura in the 1960s

He was also acquainted with Brothers Robert Best, Edward Dowlan and Gerald ‘Leo’ Fitzgerald were also abusing boys, including some of the same victims.

Artemis Legal has acted for survivors of child sexual abuse by Ridsdale in their claims for compensation against the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat.