Wednesday, 21 July 2010

And now for a break...

I am taking a break for a few weeks into August. I am off to the US, where I'll be:

  • attending the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conference. There will be a segment there about same sex domestic violence which I am hoping to attend. One of the speakers is Terra Slavin. Terra is an attorney working at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center- dealing with same sex domestic violence. I had the privilege of meeting Terra in 2006. She acts for both gay and lesbian survivors of violence.
  • visiting human rights memorials and museums.
  • meeting colleagues
  • going on patrol with police. I am looking forward to that. So no posts for 3 weeks, then back into it.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Speaking Out piccies

Last month I attended the launch of Speaking Out, the book exposing the level of homophobic violence in Queensland.

Now thanks to the generosity of Qnews, I'm posting piccies of yours truly with some of the notables at that launch:

With Carolyn Male MP, former Attorney-General the Hon. Kerry Shine MP, and the Hon Justice Margaret McMurdo of the Queensland Court of Appeal.

With co-author Dr Alan Berman.

With publisher of Qnews, Ray Mackereth, Felipe and Pierre.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Beyond that's so gay comes to Brizvegas


Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel Witthaus, who had come to Brizvegas as part of the national listening tour as Beyond that's so gay, on behalf of the Human Rights Commission. His 37 week national tour is an anti-homophobic one, and will hopefully highlight how far we as Australians have moved away from prejudice and division, and how far we have come- as well as how far we are yet to go.

In case you were confused, Daniel is the one on the right (as opposed to the man on the left trussed up like a chook). On a day that everyone including myself thought was a bitterly cold one in paradise, Daniel was the ONLY person in town wearing shorts and tshirt. When I asked him how he coped, he gave two answers:

  1. he'd cycled to my office
  2. he's from Melbourne
The really good news is that Daniel is not mad enough to cycle across the breadth of Australia - a car does him fine.

Good luck, Daniel!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Statement from Bobby Goldsmith Foundation

On checking my email this morning, I found this letter from the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, which I have not edited:

Dear Steven,

I am writing to you as a valued supporter of the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) to reassure you about a complaint recently made to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing about the organisation.

Following an enquiry by two community members, BGF has been asked by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing to participate in a compliance audit. The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing is the government body charged with managing the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW).

We understand the complaint to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, which initiated the audit, concerns the way we report our accounts. Prior to the commencement of the compliance audit, BGF had already started a review of the way fundraising expenses are disclosed in our statutory audited accounts. This enhanced disclosure is to be implemented in the FY 2010 audited accounts to be published in November 2010.

As a registered charity, BGF welcomes this review and is willingly cooperating with the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

This audit is being undertaken to determine whether our processes fully comply with the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW). There is no allegation of misappropriation of funds. BGF’s annual financial statements are audited and unqualified. Our organisation’s accounts are independently managed by PKF Chartered Accountants, one of Australia’s largest accounting firms, and audited by Walker Wayland NSW, an independent firm of Sydney chartered accountants.

The “Other Expenses” item of $1,334,966 from the Income Statement in the Financial Report, which is the principal subject of the complaint, comprises fundraising expenses, client services expenses and administrative overheads.

It is also important to note that BGF has given the complainants numerous opportunities to discuss their concerns with us directly. When they first raised their concerns about the changes to the provision of our client services, BGF’s Chief Executive Officer Bev Lange provided a written response. Bev then invited them to meet with her to discuss the issues in more detail. This invitation was declined.

The complainants have also been invited to view our accounts at the BGF office. No response to this invitation has been received.

The compliance audit commences on the week beginning 12 July. I will report back to you about the results of the audit when it is completed.

Please be assured that whilst the BGF Board has every confidence that our practices and processes are compliant, we welcome any opportunity to improve any aspect of our work.

The Board is also focused on continuing BGF’s commitment to providing services and programs to people living with HIV in NSW. Our 1450 clients will continue to receive financial assistance, financial counselling, No Interest Loans (NILS®), and access to vocational guidance programs and capacity-building workshops.

On behalf of the BGF Board, I also take this opportunity to thank you for your support.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact Bev Lange, BGF’s Chief Executive Officer, on (02) 9283 8666, by email at bgf@bgf.org.au or by post at P.O. Box 97, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300.
Yours sincerely

Martin Walsh

President

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Brisbane LGBTI legal service starts tonight 6pm to 9pm at QAHC Helen St Newstead for free legal advice for LGBTI people.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Facebook remains a goldmine for divorce lawyers. http://ht.ly/26u1d it can be very, very useful!