Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Dear friends,

If you're new to this story - one of the most pernicious miscarriages of justice against an innocent person in modern Australian history - please visit here for a quick summary, and/or watch the video on this page.

It's now up to Federal Minister for Finance, Lindsay Tanner, to use his powers to waive any and all of the Commonwealth of Australia's claims against Dawn Rowan. His colleague, Jenny Macklin (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) recommended that he do so.

Here's an email I've just received from Dawn:


Tanner’s Branch Manager sent a letter and file from Macklin’s Department to Dawn’s legal aid solicitor on 27th October 2008.

This File contained a letter from Macklin to Tanner dated 12th May 2008 (following the last email campaign from you all) strongly supporting that the debt be waived. It states, “The loss of a home is a significant final price to pay for defamation proceedings commenced in 1990 in relation to a report published more than twenty years ago. The long history suggests that there has already been considerable anguish and I fear that this will only be compounded by the Commonwealth finally recovering the money owed.”

Astonishingly, this file also contained a submission from Macklin’s Department totally OPPOSING the waiver, misrepresenting the facts of this case, with outright lies, half truths, omissions and misleading statements.

Astonishing because:

• It states “the debt arose as a result of the Commonwealth defending itself against UNJUSTIFIED court action taken by Ms Rowan.” [emphasis added]. Remember I was found completely innocent of all allegations.

• The cover letter WAS NOT SIGNED and no contact person identified – unheard of in any bureaucracy!!!

• Her department “does not consider that the non-waiver of the debt would result in ongoing financial hardship.”

• It then contradicts itself several times. For example:

(1). “that social security benefits are available for Dawn if she has limited earning capacity”

(2). “Ms Rowan has limited future earning capacity due to her age, mental health and damaged reputation.”

• MOST APPALLING: “Ms Rowan's psychiatrist considered that Ms Rowan suffers from ongoing poor health and constituted a suicide risk (psychiatric report from September 2005). However, FaSCIA [Macklin’s Department] does not consider there to be an ‘imminent’ risk, as there is no evidence of attempted suicide". !!!

QUESTION: If Ms Rowan is not under 24 hour surveillance by FaSCIA, how do they know whether suicide has been attempted?

QUESTION: With what psychiatric qualifications did FaSCIA bureaucrats arrive at this definitive assessment with no contact whatsoever with Ms Rowan or her psychiatrist?


We - Dawn's supporters - received advice that it would be good to allow Mr. Tanner to make a bold and compassionate judgment without his having to respond to many emails. It now seems that we were being too kind. Every week we have examples in the press of Commonwealth Ministers over-riding their department's recommendations when enough people raise a fuss about it! Remember, we Australians elect members to parliaments to make decisions. They can get advice from their departments, but in this case it is obvious that the advice these Ministers are getting is deeply flawed and lacking any compassion. Remember, my fellow-Australians, that millions of dollars of your taxes have been wasted by our Federal Government in trying to 'justify the unjustifiable' in this saga.

===>>> So please, everyone, in your own words write (again) to Mr. Tanner ( asking him why it's taking so long? Please email copies of his response to me at

Thank you everyone!

Happy Christmas!

(Rev. Dr.) Rowland Croucher

PS. From one of Dawn's supporters:

It was interesting to see that the Finance Minister waived the taxation debt of the former Governor-General last week... I mentioned this in an email just penned to his office, highlighting the more serious circumstances facing Dawn... Let's hope he gets the Christmas spirit in this matter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

IT'S TIME to resume lobbying Lindsay Tanner

Dear friends of Dawn Rowan (who are also friends of justice and compassion),

We've been withholding pressure on Minister Lindsay Tanner to give him 'space' to deal with this issue without the distraction of answering many emails...

Unfortunately, he and his department have obviously been gobsmacked by the financial crisis, and Dawn Rowan's file has probably slipped under a pile of others.

===>>> It's time to resume lobbying for Dawn. I've talked with her today, and she's increasingly devastated by the terrible weight of this protracted process. Her lawyer is doing a brilliant job of advocacy on her behalf. Two Sundays ago a group of us, her close friends, helped repair her home.

Dawn would dearly love to resume her counselling practice without all this hanging over her: her home is ideally suited for that purpose, and those of us who are in the counselling business know there's a great need for a helping hand-and-heart for those in dire need.


So please write - in your own words - to Lindsay Tanner. His email address: . You could emphasize that

* Justice and compassion demands a waiver of 'financial debt' to the Commonwealth

* Minister Jenny Macklin has - several months ago - sent him a recommendation to this effect

* All of the legal proceedings against Dawn have unanimously declared her innocent

* No doubt many of the people in the Canberra bureaucracy are being asked to reverse their stance on this matter: which would be hard for a minister to over-ride (unless he has real courage, and 'a heart')

* Please - soon - bring this matter to a dignified close and do the right thing by an innocent person, whose only goal throughout her adult life has been help people we call the 'underdog'.


Thanks everyone!

This has surely been one of the most amazing miscarriages of justice by elected governments in modern Australian history.

More *here*, if you'd like to 'brush up' on this saga:


* TV Channel 7 video -

* The story -


On behalf of Dawn's many friends,


(Rev. Dr.) Rowland Croucher

Justice for Dawn Rowan


Here's one person's letter, fired off within minutes of reading this:

Dear Mr Tanner

I felt privileged this past weekend to be in Canberra for the National
Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, and was especially encouraged by the
presence and participation of the leaders of the three main parties - Mr
Rudd, Mr Turnbull and Mr Truss.

We were challenged by the presentation of Mama Maggie from Cairo, and by
Imam Mohammed and Pastor James Waye from Nigeria, as we were confronted by
the injustices that are rampant in their parts of the world.

They made me realise that similar injustice is present in our own country,
and that is why I am writing to you about Dawn Rowan. I have had contact by
correspondence on the subject, most recently with Jenny Macklin who, I
understand, sent a recommendation to you to the effect that justice and
compassion really do demand the waiver of what has been called a financial
debt by Ms Rowan to the Commonwealth.

As you will be aware, all legal proceedings against Dawn have unanimously
declared her to be innocent, and I am aware that she continues to live under
great stress, and longs to return to her helping profession as a counsellor.

I realise the pressures you have been under in recent days with the global
economic crisis, and its consequence for your own portfolio, but I would be
so very grateful if you could do whatever is possible to see that justice is
done, and genuine compassion shown, in this sad case which has dragged on
for so long.

With grateful thanks in anticipation for your help, and with kind regards,

David Cohen
Rev David M.S. Cohen


Thursday, August 7, 2008


Thanks to everyone for your interest in this case, and your support of Dawn...

She's still having a battle: especially when she gets a threatening letter from the Insolvency and Trustee Department. Fortunately she has a good Legal Aid lawyer who's helping...

No word yet from Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation. Probably there's a new round of bureaucratic 'toing and froing' again before he'll give his finding.

===>>> ACTION: Why not write a simple email, in your own words, asking Lindsay Tanner's people what's happening? Maybe remind him courteously that Dawn has suffered enough and a quick and compassionate resolution of her situation would be a kind/smart move! Email address:

Thanks: and please email copies of responses to me...


Rowland Croucher
Justice for Dawn Rowan -

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Thanks to all who wrote to Lindsay Tanner encouraging him to concur with Jenny Macklin's recommendation.

Here's his response:

16/06/2008, at 11:02 AM, Tanner, Lindsay (MP) wrote:

Dear _ _ _ _

Thank you for your email in support of Ms Dawn Rowan, requesting that I waive her debt to the Commonwealth.

I am aware of the history and circumstances of Ms Rowan's case and that a number of representations have been made on her behalf both to the previous Government and this Government.

There are a number of steps still to be undertaken before I can make a decision with respect to Ms Rowan's waiver request, including provision of advice from the relevant Government agencies and from Ms Rowan herself. Upon receipt of this information, I will be in a position to make an informed decision.

I appreciate your concerns and thank you for raising this matter with me.

Yours sincerely

Lindsay Tanner


Rowland's comment: My instinct is that we now leave this with Mr. Tanner and (for those of you who pray) with God. The chances of a waiver? All we can say is that it would not be in the Government's interests for two of its ministers to publicly differ on this matter!

Monday, June 2, 2008


3rd June 2008

Dear friends (from Dawn),

I have now received correspondence from Lindsay Tanner's office consisting of an Application for Waiver of Debt (about 9 pages!).

This is a major step forward.

However here are some questions I'm working through at the moment:

* Does a 'debt waiver' legitimize the 'debt'? Justice would require that the notion of 'indebtedness' be removed from my records...

* Is a 'waiving of the debt' equivalent to an annulment of all record of bankruptcy, which I would need to have done to clear my name?

* And what about the million-and-a-half dollars I'm out of pocket as an innocent person, pursued brutally by the Howard Government, in particular, doing 'whatever it takes' to destroy me?

* I've been delighted with the kindness expressed by Jenny Macklin and her staff. In 22 years of personal agony I've never been treated with any respect and concern... until now.

* More good news: The Adelaide newspaper The Independent Weekly has published a brilliant article in last Friday's (30th June) edition on the whole saga. We can't find the story on their website yet: it will probably appear later this week. (Could someone please send it by email to me at dawn.rowan[at] and to Rowland at rccroucher[at] . Thanks. We'll get it on to the blog asap.)

* If you haven't written to Lindsay Tanner's office encouraging him in this process, please send an email to him at .

We'll keep you all posted!


Dawn Rowan

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Some good news about her bankruptcy battle has brightened Dawn Rowan's day. Picture: MARK FRECKER

Hope on the horizon for St Andrews counsellor

Will Jackson

Some good news about her bankruptcy battle has brightened Dawn Rowan's day.

Some good news about her bankruptcy battle has brightened Dawn Rowan's day.

ST ANDREWS counsellor Dawn Rowan has been given a glimmer of hope in her fight to stop the Federal Government seizing her home.

Jagajaga federal Labor MP Jenny Macklin has revealed she is seeking to have Ms Rowan's bankruptcy debt to the Commonwealth waived.

The Government has been pursuing Ms Rowan for $397,000 in legal fees incurred in a long-running defamation battle.

It won a bankruptcy order last September, allowing it to seize her home and assets.

Ms Macklin, the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister, has been reviewing the case after lobbying from Ms Rowan's supporters.

In a letter to Ms Rowan last week, Ms Macklin said while she had no power to halt the debt recovery, Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner could waive such debts." "

"Accordingly, I am writing to (Mr Tanner) asking him to consider the waiver of your debt," Ms Macklin wrote.

Ms Rowan, whose only remaining assets are her house and car, told the DV Leader it was an enormous relief to "finally" be treated with kindness.

"I've never had anyone treat me as anything but a criminal for the past 22 years," she said.

Ms Rowan, 62, was named in a damning 1987 government report into a South Australian crisis shelter she helped run.

Shelters in the Storm contained anonymous claims of physical, sexual and verbal harassment of Christies Beach clients, as well as intimidation, inappropriate counselling practices, professional negligence and misappropriation of funds.

The allegations were proved false and Ms Rowan successfully sued two television stations and the federal and South Australian governments in 2002.

All but the State Government appealed successfully, but the Federal Government was the only party to pursue her for costs.

Ms Rowan said she believed Mr Tanner would agree to Ms Macklin's request, but there was still potential for the television stations to pursue her for legal costs.

Visit the Diamond Valley Leader website

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


(at least for now).

Dawn received a fax from Hon. Jenny Macklin's office today which says, in part:

'Even though I have no power to halt the debt recovery, you will be aware that the Minister for Finance and Deregulation [Hon. Lindsay Tanner] has the power to waive debts in circumstances such as yours.

'Accordingly, I am writing to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation asking him to consider the waiver of your debt.

'Please let me, or my Electorate Office, know if I can further assist you in this difficult time.

'Yours sincerely,

Jenny Macklin'.


I hope to talk with Jenny Macklin's Canberra office tomorrow (Thursday, May 15) to check about what else we can disclose.

But this is very good news. Hon. Lindsay Tanner has the final call (and he's a bit preoccupied at the moment with the Federal Budget).

There are still quite a few questions to be faced/answered. You'll hear from me again in a few days.

Jan and I are meeting with Dawn again tomorrow. To those of you who pray, let us give thanks for this milestone event, and pray for an uncomplicated positive decision by Mr. Tanner!

Thanks again to all of you for lobbying for justice for Dawn.

===>>> Why not email Jenny Macklin and thank her? ( )

Rowland Croucher

Sunday, May 11, 2008


The Diamond Valley Leader - the local newspaper in Dawn's region of Melbourne - has published four articles about Dawn. The earliest

Another... (or

Another... (or

And the latest (or

You can contact these good people to thank them here...


From Dawn Rowan:

Some of you might have read (on the frontpage of the Melbourne Herald Sun May 6 2008) that high profile lawyer-businessman-TV funnyman Steve Vizard has has this week handed back his ORDER OF AUSTRALIA award.

He said 'This is partially out of respect for the ORDER, to protect it,' and 'because it is the right thing to do.'

Steve Vizard collected his ORDER OF AUSTRALIA medal for services to the community, in 1997.

Vizard also said his decision to hand back the ORDER OF AUSTRALIA was brought on by his civil conviction concerning his financial dealings described by the judge as 'dishonest and a gross breach of trust'.

The Herald Sun article also says 'Previously an award could be revoked for a criminal conviction. Last September that was extended to include Civil penalties.'

Comment: Although this change to the Australian Awards rules is not retrospective, Steve Vizard, having received his award in 1997, in the light of these changes (ie. to include a ban on persons with CIVIL CONVICTIONS) has decided to 'do the right thing'.

Judith Roberts has a CIVIL CONVICTION in the Rowan Vs. Cornwall and Others case for 'gross defamation' in the judgment of June 2002. Justice Debelle was scathing in his condemnation of her behaviour as Chair of the 'Independent' Review into the management of Women's Shelters in South Australia, conducted in 1987.

See Justice Debelle's judgment (especially para. 79).

Just before the Full Bench Appeal in this case was about to start, Judith Roberts, at the time guilty of MALICIOUS Defamation, was curiously awarded an AO for 'services to the community'. How does the award process evaluate the decency and credibility of its recipients?

Given Steve Vizard's act of decency and respect for the Australian Awards system, I call upon Judith Roberts to also do the decent thing and hand back her AO, since she remains guilty of the civil charge of Defamation.

Or will she hang on with the shallow technical defense that these changes are not retrospective?


Here's the latest article in Dawn's local paper, the Diamond Valley Leader...

Sunday, May 4, 2008


A statement released a few days ago by Dawn's lawyer, in response to a Leader journalist's question. (More details will be posted here if anything unfolds):

'It may be that Minister Macklin has misunderstood what Dawn requested
of the Government. Dawn has not asked for the Secretary of the
Department to not pursue her for the legal costs that she owes - that
would have been pointless as the Department has already pursued her to
the limits of the law. Dawn was, after all, recently made bankrupt at
the request of the Commonwealth Government.

Rather, what Dawn asks is that the Minister intervenes and uses the
powers that the government has under S.34 of the Financial Management
and Accountability Act to now waive that debt. Dawn's supporters have
been advised by the Govt that the Finance Minister would only act on a
recommendation from the relevant Minister, i.e. Jenny Macklin.

This is a source of enormous frustration for Dawn, because both the
former and current governments have not even acknowledged that they do
in fact have the power in their hands to assist her.'

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Here is a letter written by former minister Mal Brough in response to a Liberal colleague's enquiry about the Dawn Rowan case. Presumably the same bureaucratic advice will be given to current Ministers who have to decide on this matter. (If the link above doesn't work, try this one in the Dawn Rowan Documents Blog: ).

Dawn Rowan, April 12, 2008.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The suburban Leader newspaper in Dawn's area has published several articles about Dawn. Here's one... Or here:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


See here.

or here:

Here's a sample letter to Jenny Macklin to guide you as you email/write to her.

Thanks everyone. Let's keep this pot boiling...!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Dear friends,

Thanks to all of you for contacting so many of the new Labor parliamentarians on behalf of Dawn. They are now - slightly to very - aware of her plight. But more needs to be done: and it's still urgent! They have been told in no uncertain terms than an innocent woman is being slowly executed by ongoing abuse/injustice driven by the legal system, parliament and government bureaucracy...

[See the video at for background to the story; and Dawn's Blog - for up-to-date news].

The situation at the moment: the Federal Court-appointed Administrator of Dawn's Estate (yes, it's called her 'Estate' even though she is still alive!) has applied a caveat on her property in St. Andrews, outside Melbourne, Victoria. The acquisition of her home could be executed at any moment, at the pleasure of the Administrator. Can you imagine living with this sort of tension - and after 21 years of her life being on hold after the first SA government-ordered bomb landed on her, and her colleagues at the Christies Beach Womens Shelter, in Adelaide (November 1986)?

===>>> Dawn's private psychotherapy/counselling practice has collapsed; she's had almost no income since 2000; she's been critically depressed - a result of the constant cruelty and injustice; she has suffered gross character assassination; she can't pay for insurances, superannuation or financial advice; she cannot participate in any professional conferences; she lost the sponsorship of a World Vision child; she's been unable to pay for home repairs, maintenance, car servicing, dental treatment, holidays, entertainment, recreation, visitors at home, visiting others, household apliance replacements, plumbing improvements, energy and water-saving systems etc. etc.

After 40 years working with people in severe crisis, Dawn is now at 62 left with nothing. What a sad and disgraceful waste, that someone with Dawn's compassion and skill is not able to function for the good of others, particularly those suffering the long-term effects of extreme trauma, which is Dawn's area of specialist expertise.

===>>> What can we do? The Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, has the final call. But he is waiting for a recommendation from Jenny Macklin, Minister for Community Services (etc.), the Department responsible for the ongoing execution of the costs order against Dawn. Lindsay Tanner will, we hope, offer an 'Act of Grace/Waiver': which he knows he has the power to exercise.

So: 1. Let us continue putting pressure on any member of parliament we can contact (including your local member) but especially Hon. Jenny Macklin (contact details below). 2. Please send a copy of your letter/email to me - and especially any responses. 3. Please also send me the email addresses of any concerned friends who could be added to this list. 4. Bounce this email to your networks.

Thanks so much.

(Rev. Dr.) Rowland Croucher


The Hon. Jennifer Macklin
Minister for Families, Housing,
Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs
149 Burgundy Street (PO Box 316), Heidelberg
Vic 3084
Tel : (03) 9459 1411, Fax : (03) 9457 5721
Canberra Tel: (02) 6277 7560
Canberra Fax: (02) 6273 412



Politicians (the government) APPOINT all judges. Party political ideology dictates WHO the appointed judges will be. That is, the Government appoints the individuals they want to perpetuate their political ideology. The higher the court, the more political the appointments.

[For example: John Howard's appointments to the Australian High Court and Federal Court; State Government appointments to the various State Courts; President Bush's highly controversial politically-motivated appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court).

Courts throughout the so-called 'Western democracies' are stacked with POLITICAL appointments for POLITICAL purposes.

Question: What therefore happens when a Government commits a crime against an innocent citizen? More....

Friday, January 18, 2008

'Act of Grace payments and waivers'

Dear friends,

Things are moving fast. If you're not quite up to speed on the Dawn Rowan Saga, please read the summary at

1. The Prime Minister, Hon. Kevin Rudd, has responded to an email, and forwarded the matter to the Attorney-General.

2. Dawn's case has now been bounced to The Hon Jenny Macklin MP who is the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.


See the letter from Lindsay Tanner below:

From The Hon Lindsay Tanner:

Thankyou for your email of January 9 2008.

I have raised Ms Rowan's case with the Attorney-General, who has advised me that the issue is being handled by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. He has indicated that he will brief me on the case in the near future.

As I am the Minister with responsibility for deciding on Act of Grace payments and waivers on behalf of the Commonwealth, it would be inappropriate for me to meet with Ms Rowan. It is conceivable that I may be faced with an application of this kind at some point. It would be difficult to fulfil my responsibility in this instance if I have previously engaged in lobbying or actively investigating with respect to the matter.

Yours sincerely
Lindsay Tanner MP
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Federal Member for Melbourne

2. So it's now up to us to contact Jenny Macklin - Send a nice, polite letter, maybe something like the one below, (you can probably omit the reference to me, unless you think it's important), from a Baptist minister/colleague (and copy it to your local member, and maybe others):

Dear Mr Tanner,,

I have emailed you before on this matter--as have many others, full of hope that a new Government would bring a 'breath of fresh air' into a sordid case of legal vindictiveness by the previous Howard Government. So far there is no news of action, though there may well be action going on behind the scenes. But no action means disaster for an innocent woman, so we are daring to risk making a nuisance of ourselves for her sake!

May I again underline, that Rev. Dr. Rowland Croucher is a highly respected Baptist Minister, who, within the John Mark Ministries with its many overseas links, and the Victorian Baptist Ministers Network, has very wide and influential internet connections. There is widespread dismay about this case, and it is simply NOT going to go away.. On the other hand, action NOW to stop the bureaucratic wheels from crushing an innocent woman will win widespread acclaim. This is an appalling precedent in our Australian public life!

To a non-lawyer like myself, the crux of the matter is that, in 2002,
Justice Debelle found that the two main players in this matter--Dr John
Cornwall, a Minister of the Crown in South Australia,, and Ms Judith
Roberts, AO, guilty of malicious defamation, with misfeasance in Dr
Cornwall's case. They had submitted evidence that both knew to be false.

Dawn Rowan was completely exonerated, and damages awarded.

To my knowledge, that apportionment of blame/innocence has never been
legally overturned. Yet it is the innocent that is being pursued and
crushed. But by some judicial "sleight of hand" all costs have been awarded against the innocent party, and she is being pursued into bankruptcy.

While in my opinion, only a Judicial Inquiry can reverse that legal travesty of justice--a painful process to all concerned--the urgent need is to make the decision NOW to act against injustice, and to STOP the bureaucratic process..

I am sending a copy of this email to my local member, Nicola Roxon, and the the Attorney General, Robert McClelland--as I have done on previous occasions.. May I stress again how closely many of us are following this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Wright (Rev.)
Westgate Baptist Copmmunity.

3. Let's go - now! Thanks!


Shalom/Salaam/Pax! Rowland Croucher

Friday, January 4, 2008


Note: all of this is on the public record, and can be viewed in the court transcripts etc.

1981: Dawn appointed manager of Christies Beach Women's Shelter, Adelaide

1983: A behind-the-scenes sabotage of Dawn and the Shelter begins

1987: Police and Corporate Affairs ordered by Dr. John Cornwall, Health and Welfare Minister to investigate (ie. find something illegal) in the shelter. These investigations cleared the shelter of any wrong-doing, and in fact praised the work of the shelter. But Corwnall five days after receiving the final reports, released under parliamentary privilege damaging 'unsubstantiated allegations' against Dawn and the shelter. Funding was ordered to be withdrawn three weeks later. The shelter had to cease operations, and all the workers lost their jobs.

1990: Dawn filed an action in the Supreme Court of South Australia against the SA Government, Federal Government (as the co-funding body they had to agree to the shelter's closing), Channel 10 TV and ABC TV.

2002: Justice Debelle handed down a 300-page judgment completely exonerating Dawn and her co-workers of any wrongdoing whatsoever. He severely condemned the use of unsubstantiated allegations in parliament - allegations which the two key players, Dr. John Cornwall and Mrs Judith Roberts AO knew to be false. Justice Debelle found Ms Roberts guilty of malicious defamation, and Dr. Cornwall guilty of misfeasance (abuse of public office). The court discovered that five - yes, five - Government departments had 'lost' a cohort of all the relevant documents pertinent to this enquiry (four SA and one Commonwealth department). The judge ordered compensation for personal damages of $225,000 (compounded to $500,000 with 14 years interest added) to Dawn - almost all of which was spent on legal expenses (not tomention loss of earnings and destruction of her personal and professional life.

August 2003: All the other parties appealed the judgment.

November 2004: Dawn won the appeal, but the full bench of the Supreme Court of SA found the Commmonwealth and the two TV networks not liable for the damages done to Dawn as a result of the defamation. The Commonwealth immediately commenced action against Dawn to bankrupt her.

An application to be heard by the High Court of Australia was denied.

2006: Dawn took out an action alleging undisclosed bias by the Full Bench judges - Justices Bleaby, Sulan, and Besanko - as a result of discovering their connections with Ms Judith Roberts. (Adelaide is not a large city). Their judgment - handed down six weeks later - denied any bias. They ordered Dawn to pay a lump sum to the Commonwealth of $380,000 (which coincidentally was the value of her home and a few other assets). Note that the Commonwealth and the State of SA have consistently refused to disclose the millions of taxpayers' dollars spent destroying this innocent woman.

2007: The Commonwealth Government took action in the Australian Federal Court to enforce bankruptcy. This is now in the final stages of being enforced.

In several communications with the Federal ministers responsible, it has been pointed out that the Government is completely free to exercise discretion in pursuing the bankruptcy or not.

Summary: As Julian Burnside QC, a highly respected Australian human rights lawyer put it: 'I have carefully considered your situation... You have exhausted all possibilities of legal recourse... It is now important that your story be known by the public rather than buried... Be more assertive in pushing this issue in the media. Exposure of the Commonwealth's shabby behaviour might cause a change of heart.'

Comment: 'Shabby' is a mild word for it. 'Deliberate torture' is closer to the truth. Why is Dawn paying any damages to anyone, when all the court-hearings found the SA government guilty? Why did the guilty individuals get off scot-free? The SA Government is also pursuing Dawn for costs - to the tune of $60,000 would you believe!!! If true justice were to prevail, Dawn should be compensated for lost earnings, legal expenses, pain and suffering - and a couple of million dollars would not suffice to cover for all that.

Please pray for Dawn: she is very low, emotionally. And continue to make representations on her behalf to any Federal Labor ministers you know.

See and for links to the legal transcripts etc.

Channel 7 This Day Tonight video - and excellent summary:

(Rev. Dr.) Rowland Croucher

January 4th 2008.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Dear friends of Dawn Rowan,

Feel free to adapt any of this for your submissions to a newspaper/ Federal parliamentarian.

Dawn has in the past week received two letters towards finalizing bankruptcy proceedings: one exempting her from paying out any cash (she hasn't got it anyway); the other from the court-appointed administrator who has executed a caveat over Dawn's St. Andrews property.

Dawn is feeling very depressed and fragile. Please pray for her.


Letter sent to The Age Newspaper:

I turned 70 last month. I have graduated from one overseas and five Australian tertiary institutions. And I still don't get it.

John Howard's government wouldn't (couldn't?) say sorry to Aborigines for what Michael Mansell suggests was a 'well-intentioned benevolent policy [which] saw the removal of thousands of Aboriginal children from their families' - the so-called 'stolen generation' (Age letters January 1, 2008).

Howard was also not inclined to apologize to anyone for the Iraqi debacle where hundreds of thousands were killed/displaced due to a failed policy.

But Alexander Downer and S. A. Premier Mike Rann want an unconditional apology from David Hicks: even though he was imprisoned for five years without trial, and pleaded guilty to get the hell out of Gitmo (who wouldn't?).

Back to the SA Premier: when I google 'Dawn Rowan' I discover that an innocent woman (no one denies that) was 'grossly defamed' by a previous SA government, and Rann wants $60,000 from her because she took legal proceedings alleging undisclosed bias by the judges of the SA Full Court (which they denied).

Worse: the Federal (Howard) Government, having been released from liability by this Full Court judgment, has now finalized legal action bankrupting her, and is currently proceeding to acquire her property and possessions.

The Federal and SA Governments have spent millions of taxpayers' dollars pursuing this innocent woman, inflicting psychological torture and destroying her professional reputation. Julian Burnside QC describes their actions against Ms Rowan as 'shabby'.

The Rudd Government has ordered a full judicial inquiry into the bungled Dr Haneef case - 'including the possibility of an apology'. Might I also suggest that a similar inquiry be held into the Dawn Rowan fiasco? She has suffered a worse fate than Hicks or Haneef - for 21 years!

(Rev. Dr.) Rowland Croucher

(7 Bangor Court,
Heathmont 3135)

1st January, 2008

Note: Visit for an excellent letter sent on 19 December 2007 by Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja to the Federal Attorney-General, with a copy to Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation.