Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Dear supporters of Dawn Rowan


===>>> Does anybody know of any other living Australian who is still fighting for justice after 24 years?

But Dawn Rowan's battle may nearly be over. Whether it's *won* or not is up to us - and our lobbying of Federal Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and/or our local parliamentary representative/s.

Mr. Tanner has intimated that he is close to making a decision about waiving Dawn Rowan's debt to the Commonwealth.

There are some excellent reasons why he should do so:

1. Dawn is innocent of any wrongdoing: she's the victim of untrue, trumped-up allegations. At every stage in the Court proceedings she has been vindicated.

2. It is strange - to use the mildest word - that the innocent party has to pay any costs. It ought to be highly unusual that the guilty parties - particularly the two key individuals involved (Dr. Cornwall and Ms Judith Roberts) - can put together a bevy of lies, and not be liable for one cent! Similarly with people responsible for the five SA and Federal Governments' departments 'mislaying' a whole cohort of documents relating to the case! And why do Australian taxpayers have to foot the bill - millions of dollars - this travesty of justice has cost in legal and bureaucratic costs?

3. Dawn has been fighting for justice for nearly a quarter of a century. Besides being bankrupted, she's forfeited a $7-figure sum in lost earnings and unpaid superannuation, and over half a million dollars in legal fees and costs. Her professional life as a counsellor of victims of abuse has been destroyed. Not to mention the horrendous emotional cost she has borne - including being hospitalized as a result of an emotional breakdown.

4. A fourth reason Lindsay Tanner should waive this debt, is that his colleague Ms Jenny Macklin, as head of the department seeking to recover costs from Dawn, has already put in a formal recommendation to Lindsay Tanner that he do so. (She made this recommendation against the advice of some legalistic bureaucrats in her department).

5. Finally, it's bushfire season. The Black Saturday fire was stopped 500 metres from Dawn's place at St. Andrews; many of her neighbours died and many more lost their homes. If it hadn't been for a favourable wind change her home would almost certainly have burned. It would be a nice gesture to exercise some compassion for her at this time - and an atrocious response if Mr. Tanner sent in the bailiffs.


A recent meeting of Dawn's 'Action Group' is recommending the following:

===>>> 1. An intensive publicity campaign, involving these supporters communicating with their networks:

1-1 Dawn's immediate core support-group: people who've actually asked that their names be added to a list to receive regular updates (currently 165 people). Most of these circulate news to other lists/networks.

1-2 Usenet Newsgroups familiar with the Dawn Rowan story: 10 secular and religious groups with posters numbering between 100 and 400 a day ('lurkers' who read these posts rather than posting themselves are usually reckoned as ten times this number). Google lists 16,500 entries on Usenet newsgroups about Dawn Rowan. (Of over 1 million Google web-entries for Dawn Rowan, 'our Dawn' has the top ten, and 19 of the top 20).

1-3 The DAWN ROWAN SAGA Facebook group - a recent and low-key venture currently numbering a core group of 170. Each of these is encouraged to multiply news-stories about Dawn to their networks. To join visit here.

Dawn Rowan is also personally on Facebook - invite her to be your FB friend (

1-4 The Victorian Baptist and NSW Uniting Church clergy-lists. Pastors subscribing to these lists are encouraged to put news about Dawn into their church bulletins and Blogs, and many have done so.

1-5 Articles and Letters to editors of national, State and suburban newspapers: currently we're contacting some 'high flyers' to sign a letter about Dawn Rowan. Dawn's local suburban paper, the Diamond Valley Leader has published some excellent articles about her story. The Adelaide Independent Weekly has also published a detailed article on this case.

1-6 The Dawn Rowan Saga Blog, the main article on the John Mark Ministries site about Dawn's story and the Channel 7 video on the frontpage of the JMM site (this video is seen by over 8000 unique viewers every month).

===>>> 2. A small task force to research lodging - and publicizing - a submission to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. There are two, possibly three categories relevant to Dawn Rowan's situation.

===>>> 3. Letters/emails to Lindsay Tanner - - and local parliamentary representatives - ongoing, are now especially important and urgent. Email and postal addresses can be found on the links at the side-bar of Dawn's Blog.

===>>> 4. Unless Mr Tanner makes a favourable decision before the week prior to Good Friday (April 10), we will be organizing a 24-hour Vigil outside Lindsay Tanner's Melbourne office - corner of King and Lonsdale Streets, during the week prior to Maundy Thursday (April 9). Already we have networks offering participants for about four days. If you - or your group/church - can encourage half a dozen people at any one time to occupy the footpath, without impeding pedestrian traffic, for up to a total 24-hour period in that week (or even part of a day/night), please contact me (Rowland Croucher with your preferred day/night.

A senior Age writer has agreed to cover the vigil-story - if that event happens (and we hope it won't come to that). We'll also be sending out press-releases to all media bodies.

Your participation, prayer, and support are most appreciated!


Shalom/Salaam/Pax! Rowland Croucher

Justice for Dawn Rowan -

1 comment:

Ninure said...

I certainly have been praying!!

May I suggest that you consider writing a "model letter" for concerned /supporters readers to modify and send?

Many social-justice organizations from America's ACLU to the United Church of Christ do this around issues that need letters/e-mails to go out, and tey seem to get more letters/e-mails going out.