Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teacher wants justice for 'nude sacking'

I have some sympathy for this woman. Teachers are entitled to a private life too. And bureaucrats sure have ways of getting nasty. On being ordered to reinstate her, they gave her a difficult job for which she is not trained. What does it say about a bureaucracy that fills positions with unqualified people? Someone needs to crack down on these petulant sulkers. Pic concerned below -- JR

A TEACHER sacked for posing nude in a women's magazine is fighting for an apology and compensation. Lynne Tziolas was sacked from Narraweena Public School, in Sydney's northern suburbs, after she posed nude with her husband Antonios also a casual teacher in the sealed section of Cleo magazine last year.

After finalising legal documents Mrs Tziolas plans to file her claim against the the New South Wales Education Department with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in the next two weeks. She is seeking answers and compensation for the "irrevocable damage’’ done to her career, The Manly Daily reports.

Her initial sacking divided the school community and caused a public uproar with both parents and students campaigning to have the popular year one teacher back in the classroom. After an investigation, the Education Department overturned the decision and reinstated her.

However, she was offered a position at a school for students with behavioural and learning difficulties, one she says she is not qualified for. The second offer was for an interview, not a position, for a school in the northern Sydney school of Ryde about "an hour and a half away in peak hour traffic’’.

Mrs Tziolas said there were many double standards within the Education Department. "Antonios is a teacher and nothing happened to him. He was in the same picture.’’

Mr Tziolas said there was also a gender inequality with other public servants, such as firefighters, who pose for nude calendars. "We’re going to argue not only has Lynne’s career been irrevocably damaged, but her health has suffered directly as a result,’’ he said. "It’s not the same as in the corporate world where you can look for another job outside of the company. We won’t deny compensation is something we’re seeking but also the acknowledgment that they (department) have stuffed up.’’


Attempt to rip off KFC?

Judging by the names, the family appears to be of Egyptian origin. Note also that the father said that he, his wife and son also had a bite of the twister and also fell ill. A twister is quite a small thing yet FOUR people had a bite of it?? I think I can see the father being done for perjury

Sales records contradict a father's evidence of buying a KFC chicken twister at the centre of his daughter's $10 million damages case, a judge has been told. In the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, Ian Barker, QC, for the fast food outlet, said documents showed conclusively "no twisters were bought in the relevant period".

Monika Samaan, now 11, is suing KFC - through her father Amanwial Samaan - claiming she developed salmonella poisoning from a twister bought by him on October 24, 2005. KFC has denied being responsible for her illness, which has effectively left her a quadriplegic and severely brain damaged.

Last week, Mr Samaan gave evidence in the Sydney court of picking up the then seven-year-old Monika and her brother, after school on October 24. He said they then went to the Villawood KFC outlet, in Sydney's west, where he bought his daughter the twister and his son a burger, before they went home and ate the food. Mr Samaan has yet to be cross-examined.

The case has been delayed as the girl's legal team have sought voluminous documentary and other material from KFC. On Tuesday, the Samaans' barrister, Anthony Bartley, SC, listed some material sought, including an investigation to see if CCTV footage exists of the Villawood store from the relevant date and records relating to the cash registers. While agreeing to see if certain material could be produced, Mr Barker opposed an adjournment, saying Mr Samaan's cross-examination could go on. He said KFC would apply to amend its defence by denying that Mr Samaan bought the twister he said he had purchased. "He has already nailed his colours to the mast," he said.

Mr Barker said KFC will submit that the documents produced in answer to the subpoena show conclusively that at the relevant time on October 24 no twisters were bought. Justice Stephen Rotham adjourned the case to November 30 for a three-week hearing. He also listed the matter for directions on August 21 when KFC may apply to amend its defence.


That great airport security again

Passengers takes long knives through airport security

Barry Padgett couldn't believe it when he absent-mindedly took three long, sharp cutting knives in his carry-on luggage bag and managed to get through airport security. The 59-year-old from Labrador, on the Gold Coast, was flying home last Sunday on a Virgin Blue flight from Melbourne to Coolangatta Airport when he claims he “forgot” to check in his bags containing the sharp weapons.

Without thinking he put his carry-on bag through the airport's security scanners at Tullamarine Airport and successfully got through the tight checkpoint before realising he should have checked in the dangerous knives. ”I was tired, I was travelling from Melbourne and went through the security at the airport with three knives in my bag,” he said. ”One knife had a 20cm blade, there was an 18cm Chinese or Japanese-style knife, and a filleting knife, they are all very sharp. ”It wasn't until I went through security that I realised I shouldn't have the knives with me.”

Mr Padgett, who works in the catering industry at V8 Supercar events across Australia, said it was extremely “concerning” he was able to get such sharp weapons through the tight security checks at Australian airports. ”The person working at security was probably as tired as I was,” he said. ”But I think there is a duty the public should know this is happening. ”I could have taken those knives on board and that's a concern. I couldn't believe afterwards that I got them through.”

Mr Padgett checked in his carry-on bag containing the knives before boarding the flight.


Catholic church still being slippery about perverted priests

MELBOURNE'S Catholic Church is under pressure to overhaul its handling of sexual abuse cases after revelations that a priest accused of abusing a minor was told beforehand that he was the subject of a covert police probe, undermining the investigation.

The pressure is likely to intensify amid claims from the Catholic Vicar- General, Bishop Les Tomlinson, that there exists a sexual abuse ''victims' industry'' that seeks to exploit victims' suffering to make money.

The priest who was told of a police investigation is the now-convicted sex offender Paul Pavlou. Pavlou was informed of the police inquiry by a church-appointed investigator in July 2007, only days after his victim's lawyer requested that the priest not be told of the investigation. Three weeks later, police raided Pavlou's house and discovered the priest's computer had been wiped. They also found a letter warning him of their inquiry.

The Age's investigation into the Melbourne Archdiocese's system of handling sexual abuse cases - known as the Melbourne Response - can also reveal that St Patrick's Cathedral's July newsletter named as a ''living treasure'' a priest who - according to the church's own investigator - had sexually abused at least three women, including a former nun. The former nun, Catherine Arthur, has said the naming of James Barry Whelan as ''living treasure'' was deplorable, while the archdiocese has said it was the result of a mistake and has apologised.

In another case, a victim of a pedophile priest had questioned why the church-appointed investigator warned him only after interviewing him - rather than before - that the interview could be used in any future court cases. Lawyers for pedophile priest Terence Pidoto later used the interview to question the victim in court.

Thirteen sexual abuse victims have formed a collective - which includes families and advocates and is backed by two interstate bishops - calling for a review of the so-called Melbourne Response.

The Melbourne Response was set up by archbishop George Pell in 1996 and has handled about 450 cases. Its inquiry arm is headed by a church-appointed barrister and respected Queen's Counsel, Peter O'Callaghan, while its compensation panel has offered up to $55,000 to about 280 abuse victims. All but six have accepted the pay-out.

In dismissing claims that the Melbourne Response is sometimes intimidating, flawed and in need of review, Bishop Tomlinson told The Age: ''You could perhaps draw a conclusion that there is what could be termed a victims' industry … willing to exploit these victims for their own gain.'' Asked who was in the industry, Bishop Tomlinson said: ''I think that is apparent enough … I am not saying the victims' support groups per se are suspect but I would also be saying there is the scope for an abuse to occur there.''

In a letter to the victims' collective, retired Sydney bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who headed the Australian church's response to the clerical sexual abuse crisis in the 1990s, said that ''a thorough review of the Melbourne Response … (was) most timely''. ''I have over the years heard a number of reports of victims feeling intimidated by the system itself. These feelings need to be heard and addressed,'' Bishop Robinson said.

Newcastle bishop Michael Malone has told the victims' collective that ''I applaud your initiative'' and that he would not excuse a church ''which refuses to listen or admit there is fault''.

The Age's investigation into the handling of the Pavlou case by the church can reveal:

* A church official disclosed to the victim's mother during a taped interview in late 2006 that ''because he [your son] is the youngest person who has come through the process we are feeling our way a bit and we don't want to make it such a big issue … like if he [your son] has got it under control. So we are learning as we go here.''

* The victim's mother was not told for three months by church investigators about some of the allegations her 15-year-old son had made about the priest's inappropriate behaviour.

* Pavlou was told about the police probe after his victim's lawyer, Paul Holdway, asked Mr O'Callaghan not to tell the priest about the police inquiry.

After he was told this, Mr O'Callaghan wrote to Pavlou's lawyers and told them that ''apparently the police are considering the matter''. Mr O'Callaghan has defended his decision to tell Pavlou's lawyers of the police probe, saying he needed to tell the priest that his own inquiry, in which a hearing was imminent, would have to stop.

''I was informed by the solicitors for [the victim] that the matter has been referred to the police with the inevitability that I would have to abstain from taking any further steps in the matter. I had no option but to inform the solicitors for Father Pavlou as to why the matter would not be proceeding," Mr O'Callaghan said. ''I did not believe, or had any apprehension, that I would be jeopardising a police investigation.''

Police were not consulted about the decision to tell Pavlou about their investigation.

Last month, Pavlou was given an 18-month suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent acts with the teenager and of possessing child pornography.

Mr O'Callaghan has also defended his decision not to encourage the teenage victim to contact police because the barrister considered the priest's conduct ''inappropriate, equivocal and suspicious'' but not criminal. However, two of the allegations made by the victim to Mr O'Callaghan in March 2007 later formed the basis of the ''indecent act'' charges. Mr O'Callaghan also defended the delay in telling the victim's mother about some of the teenager's allegations because the victim had asked that she not be told.


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