Australia suspends psychologist Graham P. Holbrook for repeated strange, sexual behavior

On July 13, 2010, the Psychologists Tribunal of New South Wales (Australia) cancelled the registration of psychologist Graham Patrick Holbrook for three years (equivalent to a revocation, during which he may not reapply or seek registration).

Holbrook was employed by the Department of Education as a school counselor in schools in New South Wales from 2002 to 2006, when the incidents which form the basis of the complaint against him occurred.

Holbrook was found by the Tribunal to have engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct, professional misconduct and to be not of good character. These findings were based on the following:

In approximately May 2002, at school meetings, Holbrook make comments which were inappropriate, particularly words to the effect of “I like to ogle the high school girls in their gym skirts” and “Gee, I love my job. All those young girls in gym skirts.”

“I am a psychologist and I work in local schools, but the money is terrible. I am thinking about taking photos of young girls for extra money.  Would it bother you if I took photos of your daughter for the internet…photos for dirty old men?”

In approximately June 2002, Holbrook, in an interview/counseling session with a student, asked that student words to the effect of “Do you masturbate?” and “Do you ever masturbate in front of anyone?”

On February 23, 2004, during an interview/counseling session with another child, Holbrook pulled the chair in which the child was sitting toward him, placed his hands on the child’s thighs and moved his hands up the child’s thighs moving the hemline of her skirt up her thighs. When the child pushed herself away from him, he said words to the effect of “Sorry, you’re just such a tease.”

Though required to keep the door to his office open so that both he and whomever he was interviewing could be seen by passersby (in accordance with policy), the Tribunal’s document states that he locked and/or failed to keep the door open sufficiently during instances in 2004 and 2006.

On approximately July 24 or 25, 2006, Holbrook obtained the personal mobile phone number of a female student from the psychologist’s office at one the schools he worked it. A few days later, he said spoke to the student, words to the effect “Are you free on the weekend?” and “I thought maybe we could catch up.” Later on that day, he called the student and stated words to the effect “Are you still okay to talk to me” and “Don’t tell anyone about this because I could lose my job or worse.”

In approximately December 2006, while at a hair salon, Holbrook made inappropriate comments and/or asked questions of the staff, to the effect of “I am a psychologist and I work in local schools, but the money is terrible. I am thinking about taking photos of young girls for extra money,” and “Would it bother you if I took photos of your daughter for the internet…photos for dirty old men?” and “Do you know of any young girls who I could photograph for men to look at?”

He was deemed a risk to children and young people.

Source: HCCC v Holbrook [2010] NSWPST 5 (13 July 2010), Matter Number: PST 006/2009, PS 0060257, Inquiry under Section 109 In the Matter of Graham Patrick Holbrook.

Story used with permission of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.

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