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.

Recent Comments by John Bell

Alice in thrall of week-long sports extravaganza
@ Bob Taylor: Thank you for that, mate. You mention three great Alician names in sport – past, present and future: Rhonda, Dick and Emma.
Three wonderful ambassadors who have enriched and continue to grow Alice’s proud sporting heritage.

Alice in thrall of week-long sports extravaganza
The Masters Games has been a great initiative over the years. Many good people have been associated with its organisation and all are to be congratulated.
Above all else the games place a positive focus on togetherness and inspiration in the community as we grow older.
For inspiration, it does not come much more magnificent than the wonderful effort by Dicky Kimber in the 100m track event in the 2018 Games on the weekend.
The lad is a living example of loving life and all it has to offer. Every step of that 100m was gold. Wish I could have been there to see it.

Ice Age in Alice
@ Eugene’s Mate: I am surprised that ice as you say does not have a foothold in remote communities out of Alice.
It is so cheap, so readily available and is an epidemic in the lower socio-economic strata of the general urban community, in all ethnic sections, including Aboriginal, in Melbourne.
It is almost off the scale and out of control.

Ice Age in Alice
@ Russell Guy. Sorry mate. While I really do respect your view on this subject – and we have all seen this growing problem first hand for many years everywhere – I think the police request for light beer at the Masters Games was laughable.
It was like removing a very small, well behaved fitness-conscious pimple once every two years on a very large 24/7/36 public pumpkin of out-of-control drug and alcohol addiction in the Alice (as down here in Melbourne Town).
Common sense should have told the cops that this Masters Games judgment call simply got it wrong.

Tony Abbott sent packing on his first Aboriginal envoy trip
It has bothered me for a long time that individuals in remote Aboriginal communities so often claim to speak for the whole community in Australian politics without any questioning of other members of the community for their individual political views.
I began to see the politicisation of remote isolated communities in the NT first hand during my work in the Alice and then in Darwin in the late 60s and 70s.
One major party in particular captured the political mindset of so  many communities with hard sell, patronising welfare policies with a sit-down money focus that I thought it made so many good people in these communities vulnerable and captive to the group think mentality of a particular major party view.
I believe it created a  political herd mentality perception of Aboriginal people that demeaned them in the wider white community. 
It suggested that individual Aboriginal people in remote communities were incapable of forming independent individual views in Australian politics.
This did not promote healthy political debate in those communities and made Aboriginal people with different views fearful of speaking out. 
Only in fairly recent times have Aboriginal individuals started to challenge and break that mindset.
So, when reading media political releases such as this one on Borroloola, my first thought is to ask – who wrote the report? What is his or her political affiliation? And have all residents in that community expressed their individual views in the compiling of the release?
Until the person(s) who write such media reports come clean with honest, transparent and factual answers to those questions, the ugly herd mentality captive image of remote communities will remain entrenched in the Aussie political landscape for the vast majority of white urban dwellers in the Big Smoke.
And the diverse political views of Aboriginal people will continue to be devalued.

Be Sociable, Share!