Former minister Ron Charles Brookman was a senior pastor at Newton Mission Uniting Church in New South Wales. It was there that the alleged assault took place. The victim was, at the time, a thirteen-year-old boy in his care. The year was 1989.
Brookman went on to have a long and comfortable ministerial career running pastoral programs that claimed to address problems of sexual addiction, pornography use, homosexuality, and — get this — sexual abuse. He served as the director of Living Waters Australia from 1999 until its closure in 2014. Living Waters has been called “one of the foremost and longest running ex-gay/conversion therapy programs” in Australia by LBGTQ advocacy organization Ambassadors and Bridge-Builders International (ABBI).
Throughout his tenure at Living Waters, Brookman was frank and vocal about his own history of same-sex attraction. He claimed to have successfully prayed away the gay, even testifying as a “former homosexual” in front of parliamentary committees considering the question of marriage equality.
At the time, questions came up about whether his sexual orientation really had changed. In 2012, LGBTQ community leader and former minister Anthony Venn-Brown claimed that Brookman had confided in him about his ongoing struggles with his sexual orientation: