Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Win For Human Decency

In an all-too-rare win for human decency, the petition started by Melinda Liszewski in support of Jeannie Blackburn's request to have the Bravery Award that the Royal Humane Society awarded to Paul McCluskey revoked due to the violent behavior of McCluskey against Jeannie Blackburn that left her blinded in one eye and resulted in the loss of her unborn child has resulted in this award being revoked.

When actually honoured with the certificate for bravery for his efforts in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, McCluskey was serving a minimum 3 year jail sentence after pleading guilty in the Victorian County Court to criminal damage, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and recklessly causing serious injury to Ms Blackburn between 2006 and 2007.

Now, along with another 18,000 people I signed this petition which was presented on Tuesday 19th June, 2012 to the Melbourne Mayor who is also the Vice President of the Royal Humane Society. Jeannie did a series of interviews about the petition on the nightly news for television channels 2, 7, 9 and 10, radio station 3AW and it was also covered in the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Australian and various other media locations.

It really is a shame that this sort of media and political pressure was required to force the hand of the Royal Humane Society - who convened a crisis meeting after all of this media coverage and voted unanimously to strip McCluskey of the award.  If only the Royal Humane Society took a look at the central word in their title and the central tenet of their charter maybe Jeannie's initial request for the revocation of a bravery award to a violent criminal would have been heeded without the need of all this additional pressure and poor media they have caused themselves to be subjected to.

I just hope Jeannie can get some comfort in the knowledge that she has the support of a large number of people and that this violent person has been stripped of this certificate and recognition that he absolutely did not deserve to be awarded.


The Outspoken Wookie


Anonymous said...

thankyou for your support that people that violate other people are not brave. kind regards, jeannie

Simone said...

this is such an important issue and one worth commenting on. Sometimes reputable organisations need to be reminded what they stand for!!