Graham Tjilpi: Your efforts to assist Aboriginal kids with your …

Comment on More hide and seek with de Castella’s marathon funding by John Bell.

Graham Tjilpi: Your efforts to assist Aboriginal kids with your cycling venture is quite remarkable. Your initiative deserves far greater publicity as a privately funded project on a shoestring budget.
Deek also told me in 2009 and 2010 that his Indigenous Marathon Project was in a shoestring budget – but I now know the truth.
In comparison, Deek’s Indigenous Marathon Project, which is based in Deek’s charity’s offices in Canberra, has been funded since 2009 to the tune of nearly $3m by the Commonwealth government and is publicly promoted by the Department of Health and politicians such as Opposition Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Leigh.
With this level of support for a high profile public figure such as Deek in a project that offers the Big Apple as a most attractive prize for any young person, you are pedalling uphill in the bush to gain just recognition for a project whose similar objectives are just as worthy and with similar key performance indicators.
As the New Year is about to dawn, I wish you all the very best in your project endeavour in 2017. It is a real pity that your initiative does not get a fraction of the publicity Down South in The Big Smoke that it deserves.

John Bell Also Commented

More hide and seek with de Castella’s marathon funding
Dear Erwin, Thank you for publishing facts that have remained hidden by the relevant authorities for years.
I would also point out that the $80,000 I am seeking consists of remuneration that Deek denied getting from the government to pay me for my role as project coach.
I worked 505 days being told we were on a “shoestring budget” with no money to pay me. I accepted that in good faith, because I loved working with the Aboriginal community in this project.
It was only when Deek sacked me without pay in very sensitive and hurtful circumstances that I subsequently discovered the $80,000 under FOI from the Government.
For five years Deek has successfully cast me as the villain to a Camberra tribunal, paying his legal costs from project grant funds, telling the tribunal he had an agreement with Health to do so. A secret audit report in 2012 now suggests that he did not have any such approval.
But Deek persuaded the tribunal that the money he had to use for legal fees was money that would have gone to the athletes, and that I had deliberately “set out to undermine his work and the value of the Indigenous Marathon Project”.
The Tribunal Senior Member subsequently awarded costs against me to Deek, who is now seeking $88,000 from the Supreme Court.
The Tribunal Member is also a family friend of Deek and invited him and his family to catch up socially in Canberra during the hearing proceedings.
The Senior Member also accepted Deek’s allegation that I am a racist.
That is the most hurtful of all.
Anyway, that’s life. Canberra loves Deek. I had no chance to get the truth out. Your courageous reporting helps me to sleep a bit better night.
My family and I thank you, Erwin. From my heart. You are a good man.


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