Morcombes: alleged sex offender did not affect program

DENISE Morcombe has rejected claims that a 52-year-old man facing charges over 10 child sex offences had played a significant role in creating the Daniel Morcombe Foundation's child safety curriculum.

News Corporation said an internal email from Bruce Morcombe spoke of working with Brett Anthony O'Connor, 20 or 30 times over about three years, but Mrs Morcombe yesterday said Mr O'Connor had been only one of a huge number of people who had contributed to the program.

"He (O'Connor) didn't write the program at all," Mrs Morcombe said yesterday.

"It was written by a big working group.

"He (O'Connor) was just one of the small players on it."

Mrs Morcombe would not comment on the charges against Mr O'Connor, preferring to focus on the new school term, when she and Bruce will again take their child safety message to Australian schoolkids.

The group that formulated the curriculum alongside the Department of Education and Training comprised the Morcombes, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the Queensland Commissioner for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, as well as other advisers.

Mr O'Connor, a former director of child safety services with Education Queensland, faced 10 child sex offence charges in Tweed Heads Magistrates Court on Monday.

Stood down once the charges came to light, Mr O'Connor was appointed in 2012.

Cameron Dick, current Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, had been Minister for Education at the time of Mr O'Connor's appointment, however, he did not play a direct role in the appointment of the man now facing serious allegations of child sex offences.

A ministerial spokeswoman yesterday said the appointment of Mr O'Connor in 2012 had been made in accordance with Public Sector Commission guidelines.


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