[Marxism] Last words on my dispute with QUT please circulate

gary.maclennan at gmail.com gary.maclennan at gmail.com
Thu Nov 1 03:42:37 MDT 2007


Dear Friends

This is to notify you that John Hookham and I have reached a settlement with
the university.  The details of the settlement are confidential but the
upshot is that I have resigned from QUT.   I had intended to accept the
university's first offer which we had reached as a settlement of the Federal
Court proceedings.  That settlement awarded me $100,000 dollars in damages
plus costs.   The findings of the misconduct tribunal conducted by Barry
Nutter were also set aside and my suspension was lifted.

I wished in those circumstances to fulfill my promise to my students to
return to work. However on Friday afternoon when John Hookham and I went
back to Kelvin Grove Campus to get some personal belongings, we were refused
entry.   In what was the ugliest scene of my professional career a young
post graduate student slammed the door against me.  Fortunately I was not
injured.   I am 65 years old.  I have a bad back and am being treated for a
serious heart condition.  The young man who endeavored to ram the door
against me was not alive when I began to teach at Kelvin Grove Campus.  I
wish to say that my career at QUT spans four decades.   I have worked for
principals and directors who never agreed with my politics and who no doubt
regarded me as a nuisance.   But to be fair to them they respected my right
to dissent.  Moreover they would never have tolerated the kind of
vigilantism that I was subjected to on Friday.

I hold no enmity against the post graduate student who attacked me, but his
actions brought home very forcibly to me that I was not safe at QUT and
accordingly I yielded to the urgings of my doctors and my lawyers and I

I wish now to thank you for your support.  I and my family have endured dark
hours in this struggle.   At times it looked like John and I would be
crushed and driven into penury.   But thanks to your help and the courage
and tenacity of my wonderful and brilliant lawyers Stephen Kerin and Susan
Moriarty, I and John have survived. I thank you all again from my heart.

It is a terrible thing to pick out a few from the many  people who have
walked with me through these dark hours.   I wish first to name those former
colleagues  Hugh Childers, Noel Preston, John Bisset, Merv Welch, Graham
Bruce and Nea Stewart-Dore.   The warmth of their support was a bitter sweet
reminder to me of what teaching at QUT used to be like.  In this context I
wish to mention my personal and professional debt to the late Basil Shaw,
Ken Leask and Clem Young. They were great educators, whose example and
spirit were always with me in the decades that I have worked at QUT. From
them I learned that any leadership in education which is not based on ethics
and morality will be as nothing.

I cannot name all those current staff and students at QUT who have given me
support for obvious reasons.   But I can and will express my deepest thanks
to Alan Jones from 2GB.   He and I are from different ends of the political
spectrum, yet when I sought his help he did not hesitate to put my case to
his audience. For that decency I can never thank him enough.   He will
always have my prayers.   I also wish to mention my old and honoured friend
Mildred Grant whom fate and the powers have given to me as a gift and an
inspiration. For over 12 years we have met every Sunday to read our
Shakespeare and, when I can prevail upon her, my beloved Dickens.  She is
now in her tenth decade and is very frail but she has been with me always in
the worst times.   I wish also to speak of the brave Adrian Strong whose
videos on < youtube.com/globaldawning>  have  documented our struggles and
I must say a special thanks to those members of the disability community who
expressed to me and John their support and thanks. I offer as well a special
thanks to my good comrades-  Lou Proyect whose Marxism list is a bright
light in a dark world; Sam Watson -Indigenous Activist extraordinaire;
Ciaron O'Reilly of the Catholic Workers, and Jim McIlroy of the Socialist
In addition I give thanks to Brian Laver who has endeavored over the years
to explain to me the necessity of speaking truth to power as well as to
domination and who did not betray those ideals as he stood by my side in
person, with spirit and at court against the might of QUT.  I must make
mention too of the fearless historian Ross Fitzgerald who spoke out for me
and John, though I have been critical to the point of cruelty of him in the
past.  But he is a good man whose commitment to free speech is
non-negotiable and he has acted accordingly, although he appears to have
paid a great price for speaking out in support of John and me. To my family
in Ireland, America and here in Australia I return fully the love you have
given me in such abundance.

I ask you all now to know that I have survived and am well.

Gary MacLennan


1st November 2007

<d_cabsy at hotmail.com>

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