Sunday, May 11, 2008


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...

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