St Pius X High School Adamstown

St Pius X High School, Adamstown is a co-educational Catholic school serving students in Years 7 to 10, in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. The School was established in 1959 when it became Newcastle's second Catholic boys’ high school, created to receive the overflow from the huge Marist Brothers Hamilton (now St Francis Xavier College in Hamilton, Newcastle). In 1961 St Pius X moved from cramped quarters at Tighes Hill to the present site at Adamstown.

The School in the recent past has been involved in allegations and cases involving child sexual abuse. In 2010, the School was described by District Court judge Helen Syme as a house of horrors in relation to the sexual abuse and sadism faced by former St Pius X students. The description was in regard to two particular offenders at St Pius X. Former principal, Father Tom Brennan (74 at the time) became the first Australian Catholic priest to be charged with concealing the alleged sex crimes of another priest. Father Brennan was also charged with assaulting two boys by caning them when they complained of being allegedly sexually assaulted by teacher John Sidney Denham. Mr Denham was a Catholic priest and teacher who taught/served at the School between 1975 to 1980. It is alleged that during this period, John Denham sexually abused around 58 children at the school from the age of five. In 2015, Denham was sentenced to a minimum of 19 years and five months’ jail for his crimes against boys. In 2018, it was further revealed that Father Brennan had himself sexually abused children.

We invite former students of St Pius X, teachers and parents to contact us to tell us confidentially what information they may have, and we will explain what options are available to help with these cases.

Call us or complete the confidential enquiry form below.