CORRECTION: by Mary Crooks AONews Weekly
Victorian Women's Trust requests correction to News Weekly article
, March 15, 2014
The Victorian Women’s Trust Limited has written to Patrick J. Byrne, national vice-president of the National Civic Council (NCC), with the following complaints about his article, “How feminists defeated Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella”, published in News Weekly, February 1, 2014.
Mary Crooks AO, Executive Director of the Victorian Women’s Trust, wrote:
1) It is a serious error of fact to state that the Purple Sage project developed a strategy to “attack marginal seats” in the run-up to the 1999 Victorian state election. This suggests an overt political agenda which is simply not supported by the facts. The Purple Sage project prepared an interview kit for men and women across the state to help them interview their own candidates. All candidates were to be covered, in all seats, with no special selecting out of marginal seats (refer pages 98-104 of the Purple Sage document). You had the opportunity to establish this accurate representation of the interview kit from the document which is on our website, but you failed to do so.
2) It is a serious error of fact to imply that a grant of $125,000 made by the Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust to Women’s Health Goulburn North East in 2011 was in some way connected to a candidates meeting in Benalla conducted by the Women’s Health group two years later in 2013. This particular grant was made to support the region’s successful BSafe program that was helping women and children who were experiencing violence in their homes. It had absolutely nothing, repeat nothing, to do with any activity the group may have engaged with, such as holding a meeting of candidates (nothing wrong with this anyway). To link a charitable grant for a violence prevention purpose with such an electorate meeting is very sloppy or, worse still, mischief-making. This alleged link should be publicly retracted.
3) The Victorian Women’s Trust has a proud record of independence, and has been supported over twenty-nine years by women donors who respect this commitment and track record. We have no particular ties to any government. We have no particular ties or “close” alignments with any section or grouping of any political party. Our donors and supporters span the political spectrum. To suggest otherwise is to wilfully distort the truth of the matter. The allegation of close alignments and ties to special groups must also be publicly retracted.
The Victorian Women’s Trust requested that a correction, for the record, be published in News Weekly.