Monday, February 9, 2009


Dear friends:

Dawn Rowan has (physically) survived the St Andrews fires, and her home is safe, so far, though, as many of you have heard, 12 (or more) residents of that small town lost their lives, and many others their properties... Of the 1000 or so homes destroyed so far throughout Victoria, 550 were from the Kinglake/St.Andrews/Yarra Valley area.

Dawn is suffering from 'after-shock' and will possibly stay with us for a few days.

Regarding the dreaded decision about Dawn's future to emanate - sometime - from the Minister for Finance, Lindsay Tanner, Rev. Gary Heard (a constituent of Tanner's) received this today:



The advice from the Canberra office is that there has been a lot of detail being finalised in regard to Dawn Rowan's situation and that a recommendation from the Department is very close indeed. This will then go to Mr Tanner for final approval. It is likely to be only a couple of weeks, at the most, before it is completed.

Marg Gott

Electorate Officer for Lindsay Tanner MP
280 King St Melbourne 3000
Ph: 9602 2911 Fax: 9602 1122


That is actually somewhat ominous. The message of the bureaucrats to Tanner is mostly 'You can't overturn the law'. But ministers of the Crown frequently exercise their discretion to act compassionately where 'the law is an ass'.

===>>> Dawn's support-group, guided by Rev. Simon Moyle, Baptist minister and peace activist, is recommending a series of escalating communications to Mr Tanner by all her supporters, and in letters to the press, culminating in a Lenten/Easter vigil outside his Melbourne offices if (a) there is no decision by then or (b) the decision is not compassionate. Churches and community groups will be asked to participate as they're able in this exercise.

Please browse this Blog and watch the video on the frontpage of our website for more... And please ask your friends/networks/congregations to write to Mr. Tanner. The email address and info is all on this Blog, and the emails are best written in one's own words...

Let me know how he replies (if you get one: he's been silent for the last month or so).

Thanks everyone: I'll keep you posted.


Rowland Croucher

Justice for Dawn Rowan -


Thanks to many of you for copying your letters to Mr Tanner to me. Here's a good one:

Mr Tanner,

Once more I have to ask -- what is happening regarding the Commonwealth's claim against Dawn Rowan? It is now more than a month since you last replied to my second email and I have to say that your comment that this claim 'may be a lengthy process' is difficult to understand considering how long the case has been dragging on already. How much money is the Commonwealth Government prepared to spend -- and go on spending -- in order to illegally recover payment from Ms Rowan who, after all, originally won her case for defamation decades ago? This is an appalling waste of public money.

If the Government can see good reason to drop cases like Dr Haneef's and reverse decisions in other matters, it must be possible for you to immediately arrange for your department to formally and forever waive the Commonwealth's claim against an innocent Australian citizen. Even the amount currently being claimed from Ms Rowan must be nothing but a drop in the Government's bucket of money, and the Government must have already spent much more than is being claimed in fighting this case. How much longer are you prepared to allow this travesty of justice to continue?


Billie said...

The whole of the Wallace-Yarrow family have been thinking of Dawn often over these past few years and our thoughts have especially been with her over these past few days. We are very glad to hear she is ok. We send our positive thoughts and hope that at some point soon, the troubles that have been plaguing her life for so long will be resolved. Please pass on our love, we hope all our paths cross again soon. I will always think of Dawn as a great source of cuddles and the most amazing person for teaching me how to make chocolate salad (pure GENIUS!!) I hope to share cuddles and chocolate salad with her in the near future. XOXO

Stuart said...

I was a client of Dawn's well over 10 years ago. I have been desperate to know if she is okay as soon as I heard about St Andrews. I am thankful for you for posting this in your blog, because it is the only source of information I have found.
I remember fondly staying at her home and looking after her and Toni's two lovely Labs. I will never forget the warmth, comfort and support both Dawn and Toni showed me. Words are failing me now, because nothing I can say can surely make any difference given this terrible disaster. Dawn, you are in my thoughts and I wish you all the best and send my love.