Monthly Archives: November 2012

Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and other religious institutions

Pedophile priest, Father Risdale, who is said to have abused hundreds of children, walked to the Melbourne Magistrates Court with his support person, Bishop Pell – Source: Broken Rites

12 November 2012 – 5.30pm: Breaking news. Prime Minister Gillard announced, this afternoon, that the government has agreed to a royal commission into institutional responses to allegations of child sex abuse in Australia – The Australian


Everyone I know agrees we need a national (not state) Royal Commission into child sex abuse – AKA child rape – in the Catholic Church and other religious institutions.

There are now several petitions floating around the internet, but I’m very pleased and proud to be one of eight well-known Australians to launch the petition below.

Petitioning the Prime Minister of Australia:  Australian Government: It’s time for a Royal Commission into child abuse by the clergy including the Catholic Church

At the invitation of Catherine Deveny, social commentator, comedian and celebrity, I’ve joined with:

  • Jane Caro, social commentator, media personality and education expert
  • Michael Short, editor at The Zone and editorial writer for the Age
  • Father Bob Maguire
  • High profile PR consultant and corporate strategist, Sue Cato
  • Andrew Knight, writer of shows such as Sea Change, Fast Forward and Rake (and multi-award winner)
  • Josh Bornstein, principal in charge of employment and industrial law practice at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
  • and Catherine Deveny

to launch this petition today.

That’s a pretty high powered group with amazing contact networks. And you can be sure this is only the beginning of the lobbying process. A major media release will also be issued later today.

Lawyers worked through the weekend to establish there is no constitutional law impeding the government from calling its own national Royal Commission into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and other religious institutions.

THIS is the petition that needs to go viral in the same way the Alan Jones petition went viral.

Will you help? Blog it, Facebook it, Tweet it, talk about it to your friends and work mates. We have the power and this time, we have some really very big names behind us.

Chrys Stevenson

Related Reading:

Detective challenges O’Farrell over Catholic abuse claims – ABC News

Former priest alleges system of abuse cover-ups – ABC News

Royal commission on church abuse is not the answer: Hockey, Shorten – Sydney Morning Herald

Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally – Saturday, 17 November

OK, I know that most of my readers don’t live in Gladstone. But you all have contact networks and among those networks there must surely be some people in Gladstone, or people with friends in Gladstone who would love to know there’s a Marriage Equality Rally planned for next Saturday, 17 November. So please, blog, Facebook, Twitter and spread the word!

The rally is being organised by the incredibly talented and rather gorgeous Dylan Carmichael. He’s put such an enormous amount of effort and passion into organising this event, that it really deserves a huge social media push over the next week. I really hope you’ll all get involved.

Gladstone may be a small town, but I can’t believe there’s not enough gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queers, transgender and intersex people to show Gladstone what it is to be out and proud; not to mention a whole slew of we boring but supportive straights!

Let’s get that rainbow network  working overtime so that, on Saturday, Dylan’s not left looking like he’s the only gay in the village!

Here’s the amazing promotional poster courtesy of Faye Ktajjar of Squid Ink Designs.

And while we’re on the subject of Marriage Equality rallies. If you want just the right thing to wear to your next one, Dylan has the solution for you!  For the latest thing in Gay Rally political couture  here’s Dylan’s t-shirt design which exposes, for the first time, that sinister ‘gay agenda’!  It’s available on Red Bubble as a t-shirt, hoodie or sticker:

Please spread the word about the Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally to be held next Saturday, 17 November. The rally will begin in Apex Park, Gladstone at 1pm. There will be a short march around the CBD followed by a reception at Scottie’s Restaurant. The Facebook page is here if you want to link to it.

Remember, you may not know anyone in Gladstone, but the ‘pebble in a pond’ effect is powerful.

Chrys Stevenson

Euthanasia Poll – St James Ethics Centre

The St James Ethics Centre is running a poll on voluntary euthanasia.

The question is simple. Should euthanasia be legalised?

It would have been nice if they’d added the all important word ‘voluntary’ – but we know what they mean.

I’m told by an observant reader (thanks Julia!) that the Australian Christian Lobby is pimping this poll on their website. This may explain the overwhelmingly negative response so far.  Yet, we know that well over 80 per cent of Australians support law reform to allow voluntary euthanasia.  With your help we can get this poll to reflect the reality of public opinion.

Would you please share this link among your own networks?

St James Ethics Centre – Euthanasia Poll

And here’s the ‘blurb’ from their website.  Apparently, voluntary euthanasia will be the subject of the next IQ2 debate to be held in Melbourne on 7 November.

“Death is the most personal of matters, but it’s also a political hot potato. Most of us don’t choose (or even expect) the way in which we die, but for the terminally ill, death is a looming certainty to be dealt with. And as humans live longer – largely thanks to the interventions of modern medicine – we’re more likely to die of serious illness, and to have our deaths medically postponed. There has long been a call for governments to grant us the right to choose our own death, by legalising euthanasia. But what are the circumstances in which this right should be granted? Who gets to decide – and when? And then there’s the sobering knowledge that this is one life decision that can’t be reversed. From medicos to philosophers, politicians to law enforcers, the terminally ill to their loved ones, this one issue we all have an opinion on – and a possible stake in. ‘Euthanasia should be legalised’ is the subject of the next IQ2 debate in Melbourne on 7 November.”

Chrys Stevenson