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This category contains 33 posts

My first story in Big Issue Magazine (2006)


This was my very first story published in Big Issue Magazine as part of a regular fortnightly series back in 2006. Big Issue employed me with money they received from Sarina Russo and The Vodafone Foundation. Dear Mum, Sorry I haven’t written for a while. Okay, so it’s been three years. This is just a … Continue reading

Australia Day or Invasion Day?


A nation’s national day of celebration is meant to unite a country, but in recent years that has not been the case in Australia. So is it time to change the date we celebrate our national day? The date of 26 January has always been controversial as our national day of celebration, even though it … Continue reading

Centrelink are still using income averaging


Income averaging was found to be illegal by the Federal Court in the Robodebt Test Case of Amato vs Commonwealth (2019), yet Centrelink still use this methodology when calculating income for certain windfalls. These windfalls include lottery wins, inheritances, gifts, bequests, insurance payments, bursaries, scholarships and anything else Centrelink decide is income, if they are … Continue reading

My jump from prison officer to social justice campaigner


One thing I learnt in my time as a prison officer is that there is no such thing as the justice system, and we should stop referring to it as such. It is the judicial system, run by judges and with little concern for victims or offenders. My jump to social justice campaigner started with … Continue reading

Centrelink needs to be broken up


Centrelink is a totally dysfunctional organisation, due in large part to the fact that it has become too big to be able to function efficiently or effectively. They administer all forms of benefit payments, and the call centre staff rarely know the answers to an enquiry when they are called. That is, if one can … Continue reading

Life as a white man on an Aboriginal community


Back in the year 2000, I was honoured to be invited to live and work on the Aboriginal community of Woorabinda, 170 km south west of Rockhampton in Central Queensland. Woorabinda had a population of about 3000 then, and there were only 21 non-Indigenous people living on the community. I was employed by the local … Continue reading

Robodebt architect now has NDIS recipients in his sights


Jason Ryman, the architect of Centrelink’s infamous Robodebt scheme, was seconded to the NDIA with the task of using a similar scheme to target recipients of NDIS funding. The NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) is the agency charged with overseeing the running of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). The secondment was made by former … Continue reading

Bring back the CES (Commonwealth Employment Service)


Job Services Australia, or Workforce Australia as it is now called, has failed to live up to the promises the Howard government made when they introduced it in 1998. Originally known as the Job Network, it has devolved into a giant money making venture by about 30 multinational organisations, and offers few tangible services to … Continue reading

Centrelink staff need to learn some manners


One thing that was consistent during the Robodebt Royal Commission was Centrelink’s victims reporting that staff had been rude and aggressive. Sadly, this has not changed. Witnesses at the Royal Commission recounted that staff had yelled at them, mocked them, refused to listen to any defence and generally treated them with contempt. Witnesses recalled being … Continue reading

Dominic Perrottet and the Nazi uniform: he doesn’t know what he did was wrong


Dominic Perrottet has failed to apologise to everybody that he offended by wearing a Nazi uniform, showing he doesn’t really understand what he did was wrong and why. To be fair, a 21 year old probably wouldn’t understand the significance of the Nazi uniform, and he shouldn’t be judged on what he did as a … Continue reading

Why retrospective law can be applied to the NACC


With the passing of legislation for the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), it is worth reflecting on the history of retrospective law in Australia, and how the courts have found it to be legal. It is possible in Australia to break laws that have not yet been created, but there are instances where many would believe … Continue reading

Churches are businesses and should pay tax


It is difficult to know how much revenue churches make in Australia each year, but some estimates put it at $40 billion dollars, all tax free. This means Australia is missing out on about $10 billion dollars a year in taxes. Not just corporate tax, but also income tax, GST, payroll tax, council rates, land … Continue reading

My first venture into social justice: Australians for Reconciliation


My first venture into social justice was an eye opener, and I spent six weeks in gaol for my efforts. After having worked in Goulburn Prison for three years, as a prison officer, I became concerned at the disproportionate number of Indigenous people in gaol compared to the mainstream population. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander … Continue reading

Corporate welfare cheats: the real bludgers in Australian society


While Australia’s poor and marginalised are portrayed as “welfare cheats” by the LNP and right wing, the real welfare cheats are pocketing billions at the expense of the Australian taxpayer. These are the large corporations, particularly their CEOs and executives, who receive handouts from the government that they don’t really need and are not really … Continue reading

It is social security, not welfare


In the pre-Centrelink days, the unemployed, disabled, aged, marginalised and students were treated with some respect by the Australian government. Those days are long gone. Up until 1997, Australia had the Department of Social Security, which administered social security payments. This is how they were referred to by both the government and the department. Then … Continue reading

Centrelink are in the firing line, and it’s about time


My recent article The aged pension is not welfare has now been read by nearly 40,000 people in just two days, and I have received emails from over 100 people having problems with Centrelink. The response has been overwhelming. I have responded to many of these emails, and will respond to all of them over … Continue reading

Centrelink’s war on people with disabilities


One thing people with disabilities dread hearing is when Centrelink tells them they are not disabled enough., but it is something they hear all too frequently. Disability can take many forms: it can be intellectual, mental illness, physical or sensory. One can be born with it or acquire it later in life. It doesn’t discriminate … Continue reading

The aged pension is not welfare


The aged pension is an entitlement and Centrelink should not be treating it as welfare. All Australians should be entitled to it as a reward for a lifetime of contribution to Australia. While it is true that some contribute more than others, we live in one of the most democratic countries in the world, and … Continue reading

How Centrelink are causing domestic abuse in Australian families


Centrelink are a major contributor to domestic abuse in Australian families because of their antiquated laws, and it is time the Australian government stepped in and stopped it. Under Centrelink law, if one partner in a relationship is working, the other partner is not entitled to any income support, or gets a drastically decreased amount. … Continue reading

Centrelink legislation is in drastic need of reform


The Social Security Act and Social Security (Administration) Act each contain over 1,000 sections, most of which are designed to deny people payments, and many of which are in contradiction to other legislation. Lottery wins, insurance payments and inheritances, when paid in more than one payment, are not classified as income by the Australian Taxation … Continue reading

Courier Mail article about my fight with Centrelink


https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/qld-politics/nightmare-former-townsville-prison-officer-has-disability-pension-cut-after-60k-lottery-win/news-story/aa5ffb93cef8f27c52ec1bf8d97b73f6

news.com.au article about my fight with Centrelink


https://www.news.com.au/finance/set-for-life-winners-upset-after-centrelink-strips-him-of-thousands/news-story/7c5dcc588b079e51ad24698cec5d6c87

Daily Mail article about my fight with Centrelink


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11380255/Centrelink-cuts-disabled-teachers-pension-won-Set-Life-lottery.html

Why retrospective law can be applied to the NACC


It is possible in Australia to break laws that have not yet been created, but there are instances where many would believe this is highly appropriate. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) may be one of these. The two main principles that exist in rule of law in Australia are that if the person doing the … Continue reading

On this day (Australia): In 1974, Cyclone Tracy devastated the city of Darwin, killing 71 people


On 24 December 1974, Cyclone Tracy devastated the city of Darwin. The official death toll was 71. Cyclone Tracy, which mostly hit Darwin in the small hours of Christmas Day 1974, killed 71 people and devastated 80 per cent of the city. In the days and weeks following the disaster, most of the traumatised population … Continue reading

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