Speaking of the couple’s relationship when Mr Dawson was a physical education teacher and Ms Curtis was a Year 11 student, Ms Wheeler said everybody knew about it.
“He was such a huge man, he was a very athletic man, he was tall, and he was extremely heavy set,” she said in The Australian ’s podcast.
“He was a bit of a rock star because of his physical presence and also his reputation as a first-grade footballer.”
Mr Dawson was once a star for the Newtown Jets’ rugby league team.
“Joanne wasn’t nasty, she was nice,” Ms Wheeler said. “Girls of 15, 16, 17 are really vulnerable and to have a man of that stature and celebrity power preying on her, I don’t think she would have had too much choice.”
Ms Wheeler said parents of students knew about sexual relationships between teachers and teenagers and went to the school to protest. She said those responsible were “the same teachers pretty much year after year”.