Wow, that was a wild ride! As you know, I expected my Order of Australia award to cause a stir but I had no idea just how massive it would be. I’ve put together a little article here, just published on Spectator Australia, describing the whole fracas – which includes some of the key events and interviews.
So, right from the start it was quite amazing, with constant messages from young friends telling me I was trending on twitter for the whole weekend, then the pile on from hostile media who used Nina Funnell’s dirt to attack me, followed by her own New Matilda article claiming I had no qualifications.
Petitions were started seeking to have the award rescinded and then, amazingly, on Wednesday the Victorian Attorney General, Jill Hennessy, announced she had written to the Governor General asking him to strip me of my honour. I was delighted by that development because it turned the attacks on my award into a free speech issue and I am now hearing from hundreds of people keen to help with my campaigns.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the ABC, our public broadcaster, didn’t utter one word about my award – until Hennessy joined the pile-on and then suddenly invited me on Virginia Trioli’s radio show to discuss it. Trioli has a long history of abusing me in public, hence I went into the interview keen to have a real go at her – in case you are wondering why I was so antsy.
It’s been wonderful hearing from so many of you who have written to congratulate me and offer support. I’m sorry that I have been unable to respond – am only now just beginning to tackle the many hundreds of messages awaiting me.
But there are things you can do to help me.
I urgently need someone to help me with the bile that is being put up on Wikipedia about me. This has happened to me a number of times in the past and wiki editors have been very helpful in blocking certain people from adding defamatory material. But I gather what has happened now is that my enemies have a bot, a computer programme which is automatically reloading the nasty stuff every time we change it. I am writing to wiki to see what they can do but I am told I might need my own bot to mount a counter attack. If you can help please contact me urgently. (As you can tell, I know nothing about this business but you will get the drift)
Write to AHPRA and support their past decisions
Over the past few years the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has received a number of complaints about how I present my qualifications and each time has determined there is no substance to them. They have now announced they are investigating my qualifications – following Nina Funnell’s hit job on me in New Matilda. No doubt many of Funnell’s mob is contacting them trying to push them into taking action against me.
It is really important they don’t just hear from these troublemakers and it would be great if you could please contact them expressing support for their sensible decisions in the past regarding this matter. You can refer them to my website where I explain the whole situation here.
Here’s the number you can use to call in to discuss the matter. 1300 419 495. And you can use this link to access the web enquiry form – https://www.ahpra.gov.au/About-AHPRA/Contact-Us/Make-an-Enquiry.aspx. Please also copy and send your comment to this address – AHPRAfeedback@ahpra.gov.au. They say they welcome feedback on how they are handling issues.
The point I would like you to make is that they have very rightly concluded I was not misrepresenting my qualifications in the past – most recently in September last year. I had an email exchange with them at that time and sent them a letter explaining exactly how I am trying to control the way I am described in the media. Please use Nina Funnell’s own experience to point out how difficult that can be. Despite having spent two year preparing her New Matilda article attacking me for failing to control how I am described in the media, last Sunday (Jan 26) I was described as both a “psychologist” and “clinical psychologist” in captains attached to the article she published on news.com.
It is hard to imagine they will find any incident which has occurred since the last complaint which will encourage them to change their decision about me.
It is best you use my own language to address the issues because it is rather complex. For instance, many articles are attacking me claiming I wrongly claim to be a registered psychologist. As I explain on my website I never bothered to register because in 1973 when I first started working there was no requirement to do so in NSW and within a year I gave up clinical practice. I have never touted for business as a psychologist, never sought to attract clients for therapy.
Write to Hennessy and the Governor General.
It’s obvious my enemies are bombarding the Governor General and the Honours Council with letters complaining about my award. I am not concerned that they will rescind the AM. This has only ever happened in the past when someone has committed a criminal offence after receiving an honour. The relevant authorities can’t afford to respond to this highly orchestrated campaign because then the whole process would be even more politicized, with ever increasing pressure to respond to manufactured community outrage. It’s interesting that none of this fuss occurred after Jane Caro’s award last year.
But I still think it is really important they don’t just hear from my opponents. Please could you write a quick letter supporting my award to the Governor General and the Honours Council. And write to Hennessy and voice your concerns about her actions. It’s been great to see so many people supporting me in comments sections, even in newspapers which are normally hostile to me and I’d love to see more of you adding balance to the public debate over this issue.
Here’s the relevant addresses.
His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC – https://www.gg.gov.au/office-official-secretary-governor-general/email-contacts
Honours Council -firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Hennessy: Attorney-General@justice.vic.gov.au
That’s it for now. Hopefully now the dust will settle and I can get back to my real work. Will be in touch with my exciting plans.
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