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Jobless for telling the truth

$11,605 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 188 people in 4 months


Hi there, this is Bettina Arndt . I’m a well-known Australian journalist and I’m crowd-funding to provide support for Rob Tiller, a Perth counsellor who has lost his job at Relationships Australia WA (RAWA) for telling the truth about domestic violence. 

Rob Tiller is an experienced, well- liked counsellor who worked for this government-funded counselling organisation for the past eight years. He was respected by his colleagues and much in demand as the only male counsellor working in Perth, running workshops in addition to seeing his clients. See his website.

Rob posted on his personal Facebook page an article I wrote, Always Beating Up on Men , published in Weekend Australian some years ago, which gave the latest official statistics and research on domestic violence, providing evidence that most family violence is two-way, involving women as well as men. 

Relationships Australia WA uses a “feminist framework”  on domestic violence which denies women’s role in family violence and claims men are the only perpetrators. Unlike the equivalent organisations in some other states, RAWA offers no support to male victims . 

RAWA claimed Rob breached their domestic violence policy by circulating this article in emails to a professional men’s network. The organisation's executives alleged these breaches pointed to 'unconscious bias' which impacted on Rob’s ability to service clients effectively. He was told he had to 'resign or be fired', with the latter course leading to a black mark on his record. He had no opportunity to end his relationship with long-term clients. More details here. 

Rob has taken RAWA to the Fair Work Commission claiming unfair dismissal. 

I am fund-raising for Rob’s legal costs and  to help him establish full-time private practice and workshops. He needs urgent assistance.  

By raising funds to help this young man I seek also to draw attention to this action taken by a government-funded organisation which is promoting feminist ideology rather than providing proper help to all victims of domestic violence.  Join our protest compaign
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Really sad news – Rob Tiller lost his unfair dismissal appeal at the Fair Work Tribunal.

The Commissioner ultimately rejected Mr Tiller's unfair dismissal claim because he found he had resigned on his own accord and was not fired. Commissioner Williams gave a list of reasons why the dismissal would have been unfair had Relationships Australia (RAWA )dismissed Rob rather than him resigning.

He was very critical of the way RAWA had handled the matter, stating that the CEO’s intense 90-minute meeting confronting Mr Tiller over the allegations was "highly prejudicial" and "gave every appearance of having prejudged the matter".

The Commissioner discussed RAWA's domestic violence policy "historically framed by a feminist analysis of gendered power relations," saying that the philosophy applied to the minority of RAWA's cases, such as women's violence against men or between same-sex couples, was uncertain and "problematic.”

While Mr Tiller was obliged to abide by those policies, the Commissioner said they were "not entirely satisfactory given the internal inconsistencies and deficiencies".

"Whatever views and beliefs Mr Tiller did hold I find there is no evidence he had not been carrying out his duties in accordance with RAWA's policies."

He found management was influenced by Mr Tiller's Facebook posts which they found personally offensive. "Whilst individuals will react differently to attempts at humour, judged objectively these Facebook posts and cartoons were innocuous," the Commissioner said.

Rob will be posting media stories regarding the decision on his website. We are all very disappointed with the news but pleased that the media coverage is highlighting RAWA’s feminist domestic policies and the dismal failure of the organisation nationwide to properly support men.

But many thanks to all the people who supported Rob’s crowd-funder which has raised over $11,500. Rob’s lawyers were amazing – Steve Heathcote who helped with initial advice for Rob and Jason Raftos who represented him at the hearing – both very generously enacting pro-bono. We always knew the resignation was a real stumbling block – one that ultimately proved too difficult to overcome.

The financial support has enabled Rob to regroup and work on establishing a full-time private practise. We are delighted that he’s now pretty busy with many new Perth clients and also skype and telephone counselling with people all over Australia.

And he’s about to run a workshop on The Impossible Business of Keeping Women Happy:

Don’t dare live with them but can’t live without them? How to navigate the treacherous world of finding the right partner, keeping her happy and hanging on to your house.

Perth men, do go along and bring all your friends!
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-impossible-business-of-making-women-happy-tickets-46439593073
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G'day friends, here's an update from The Sunday Times WA regarding my unfair dismissal claim against Relationships Australia WA. John Flint was at my Fair Work Commission hearing last Monday and wrote about it:

RELATIONSHIPS Australia WA felt it unsafe for one of its experienced counsellors to work with clients because his views on domestic violence clashed with their own.

RAWA staff were alarmed by articles Rob Tiller shared in emails to a network of male counsellors, a Fair Work Commission hearing was told.

Mr Tiller, pictured, appeared before Commissioner Bruce Williams on Monday, claiming unfair dismissal from his job at RAWA where he worked from 2010 until March.

His lawyer Jason Raftos said it was a “resign or be fired scenario” when Mr Tiller was called to a meeting with RAWA chief executive Terri Reilly and executive director Susan Visser on March 14.

The commission heard some of Mr Tiller’s emails to the Men’s Focus Group had been forwarded to RAWA management. The emails had been sent from Mr Tiller’s work email account.

They included an email that shared an article written by social commentator Bettina Arndt in The Weekend Australian challenging the “feminist-framed” policy on gendered domestic violence, which is supported by a range of organisations including RAWA. Ms Arndt said domestic violence was a two-way street, with male victims in some cases.

Mr Tiller told the commission Ms Arndt’s findings matched some of his professional observations. He said the emails that landed him in hot water were “cherry picked”.

Under cross examination by Mr Raftos, Ms Reilly confirmed RAWA’s policy acknowledged female-to-male violence in some cases.

Ms Reilly said the meeting with Mr Tiller was to establish whether Mr Tiller’s views were consistent with RAWA’s “critical” policy on family and domestic violence: “I asked if he agreed with the views of Bettina Arndt. He said he absolutely did. It became clear to me that he did have views that breached our policy.”

Ms Visser denied Mr Tiller had been told he had to resign.

“In the meeting, on a couple of occasions, he said he was going to resign ... We said, ‘Where to now Rob’, and he said, ‘I guess I will have to resign’.”

Ms Visser said Mr Tiller had been under performance management, but RAWA’s human resources manager Larry Chew said he wasn’t aware of any performance issues.

The commission also heard of RAWA’s concern that posts and cartoons on Mr Tiller’s personal Facebook page breached RAWA’s social media policy. Mr Raftos claimed some of them were obviously jokes referring to Texas-raised Mr Tiller’s use of the Dirty Harry quote, “Go ahead punk”, when sharing an article about Texans being able to shoot people vandalising monuments.

Mr Raftos asked Ms Visser if it suggested Mr Tiller supported violence. She replied: “That’s how I would read it.”

Lawyer Robert Greig for Relationships Australia said the facts pointed to resignation, not dismissal.

Mr Raftos said Mr Tiller had been an asset to RAWA: “He lost his job because of what he thought, not what he did.”

Commissioner Williams reserved his decision.
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Sky News' The Outsiders programme did a terrific interview with Rob Tiller last Sunday. We thought you might like to see the attached video. We're delighted with the number of people donating to our crowd-funder and also with the many offers of professional support for Rob.

Please remember also that he is now trying to build up his private counselling practice so please tell everyone you know that he offers telephone and Skype counselling for people outside Perth. Contact him via his website www.robtiller.com.au.

We will let you know how the unfair dismissal case develops. Cheers, Tina
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Howdy friends, have a listen to Miranda Devine interview Bettina and me. I thought it went pretty ok.

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/miranda-devine

scroll down and click play button under "listen to the interview"
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