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Commission of Inquiry - Manager, Ashley Youth Detention Centre

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 2 November 2023

Tags: Commission of Inquiry, Ashley Youth Detention Centre


The commission of inquiry documents many instances of deeply problematic behaviour by the former manager of Ashley Youth Detention Centre, Patrick Ryan. Mr Ryan did not act appropriately in relation to harmful sexual behaviours and physical assaults at the centre. He failed to report matters to police or child safety services. He dismissed an incidence as 'horse play'. He interfered with clinical responses. He drafted a brief that minimised a sexual assault, delaying action on that incident. His failure to act on staff concerns directly led to children at Ashley being exposed to an unacceptable risk of harm. He directed and oversaw unlawful and punitive use of isolation for extended periods and directed staff to forge records about this. Despite all that, the commission notes Department Secretary, Michael Pervan, did not order an ED5 investigation into Mr Ryan.

Can you confirm if Mr Ryan is still employed by the State of Tasmania and explain what has been done to investigate his conduct at Ashley Youth Detention Centre?



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for Franklin for the question. I will not speak of individual cases at this present time.

Dr Woodruff - Why not? It has been talked about in the report.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I will seek advice regarding an accurate answer to your question. What is important is that we are all accountable. We are an accountable Government that will implement all 191 recommendations, and ensure that everyone who has failed our children will be held accountable.

Dr Woodruff - This is a shocking list. Can you believe he is still working at Silverdome?

Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I acknowledge the content of your question and I concur with you. We are going through due process.

Dr Woodruff - So, there is an investigation?

Mr ROCKLIFF - I will not comment on individual circumstances. Our Government will leave no stone unturned when it comes to these matters. That is why we had the commission of inquiry. We set it up in the first place to shine a light on these failures and to ensure, not only as a Government, we are held accountable for past failures and governments, but those people that failed our children are also held accountable.

We all agree with that, surely. We are committed to ensure accountability and that the people that have failed our children are held to account.