A whistleblower, an inspiration and a hero.
These are some of the words people have used to describe former detective chief inspector Peter Fox in the wake of his long investigation into sexual abuse crimes, corruption and cover-ups in the Catholic church, particularly in the Hunter region.
A veteran of 36 years in the NSW Police Force, Mr Fox was renowned for his work in exposing these crimes.
This was major factor in establishing the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr Fox will visit Forster and Taree later this month for a series of talks following the release of the acclaimed book, Walking Towards Thunder.
As expected, this book is not for the faint hearted.
It will be a homecoming of sorts as Mr Fox investigated priest Denis McAlinden in the mid 1970s following his appointment to the Forster church.
Mr Fox didn't hold back while describing how the "idyllic coastal community surrounded by sea" was immediately impacted by Fr McAlinden's arrival.
Mr Fox revealed the priest resorted to 'old habits' which drew the ire of parishioners.
A group of parents met with senior priest Fr Francis Coolahan to demand Fr McAlinden's removal in light of claims he had touched young girls.
Many protested to the Catholic Education Office about his conduct, however there was no action taken against the priest.
Fr McAlinden was eventually moved on from Forster but continued to commit the crimes in other parishes for years to come.
In November 2012, Mr Fox put his career on the line by going public with allegations the church covered up crimes and disrupted police investigations.
He took part in a now infamous interview with ABC's Lateline, which later prompted then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard to launch a royal commission.
The book details how this took a toll on his health, battle with post traumatic stress disorder and the well-being of his family.
It's an Irish phrase that means no matter how big the storm is, walk towards it and you'll come out the other side.Peter Fox, author and former detective
He also covers the backlash of going public and the ways those in the firing line attempted to avoid the truth.
Survivors of child sex abuse and affected communities outlined how they were indebted to Mr Fox's work.
However, he was lambasted by police at the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, which failed to find evidence suggesting a "Catholic mafia" in the force hindered the investigation.
Mr Fox addresses those who had battles of conscience- covering up abuse to avoid putting a black mark against the church.
He criticised the church at the time for not putting the concern of children at the forefront when it came to disciplinary action on guilty priests.
Mr Fox retired from the force in 2014.
He said many parishioners and concerned residents have shown great interest in the book, which was released in September last year.
"There is lots of interest up there (Forster and Taree)," Mr Fox said.
"When I had talks in Newcastle, people would travel from Taree to attend."
The title of the book was derived from a conversation had while investigating another priest, Jim Fletcher.
"The title came to me from the mum of one of the victims," Mr Fox said.
"It's an Irish phrase that means no matter how big the storm is, walk towards it and you'll come out the other side."
Not only does the book recount the horrific details and discoveries of his investigation, it shows the impact on victims and their families.
Book talk dates: Thursday, February 20 at Taree library (Victoria Street) from 6pm and Saturday, February 22 at Forster library (Breese Parade) from 2pm.
These events are free but bookings are essential.
In case you missed:
Bookings can be made through the library section of the MidCoast Council website.
Light refreshments will be provided and copies of the book will be for sale.
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