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Anti-China activist and inveterate poo-stirrer Drew Pavlou leaves a trail of mischief wherever he goes.
In 2022, Pavlou was detained and released without charge in London over an alleged bomb hoax involving the People’s Republic’s embassy in the British capital. Later that year, he was booted from Parliament House by the federal police.
Anti-CCP activist Drew Pavlou outside court in March after police withdrew a charge of offensive behaviour.Credit: Kate Geraghty
Now Pavlou has been expelled as a member of Amnesty International, whose local branch seems to spend more time on internal fights than human rights.
According to an expulsion letter seen by CBD, Pavlou committed a “serious breach” of the organisation’s terms of membership, following a series of complaints against him. But the activist says he wasn’t made aware of those complaints until after the board had voted to expel him – depriving him of procedural fairness.
Those complaints arose from Amnesty’s annual general meeting in June, which descended into a nine-hour debacle – in part thanks to fierce debate over the organisation’s infamous 2022 report on Ukraine, which was co-opted by Russia as a propaganda tool, attracting the ire of Pavlou and associates.
During an intemperate Zoom meeting, Pavlou allegedly “made unsubstantiated and repeated allegations of vote rigging and bias” against chair Mario Santos, according to anonymous complaints.
Pavlou is known for being robust. Past stunts include carrying around a profane sign about Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and getting a Kim Jong-Un impersonator to gatecrash Scott Morrison’s press conferences. Some of his allies conceded, in a letter of support sent to the Amnesty board, that his “combative and emotional outbursts … did not help the situation”.
But some of the particulars made against Pavlou, including a complaint that he was “seen to lean into the Zoom screen in an aggressive manner”, seem a bit much.
A second complaint related to “repeated interruptions” and “discourteous behaviour” toward others at the meeting. Pavlou is alleged, among other things, to have claimed another attendee’s criticism of his actions insinuated he was a “woman basher”.
Pavlou vows to fight Amnesty International expulsion.Credit: John Shakespeare
A spokesperson for Amnesty told CBD the organisation was committed to creating a “safe and productive culture” for all involved.
“Any complaints by or about Amnesty’s members are taken seriously by the Board and handled through a robust process, with due care extended to all parties involved,” they said.
Pavlou plans to exercise his right to appeal to the national board, and is considering enlisting top silk Tony Morris KC to help out. “I’m going to fight this all the way,” he told CBD.
It’s fair to say that Australian Olympic medallist boxer Harry Garside has been through some interesting times of late, what with being accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend Ashley Ruscoe, having the charges dropped and then Ruscoe being arrested and charged – she’s pleading not guilty – with assaulting, stalking and sharing intimate images of the lightweight from Lilydale.
Olympic boxer Harry Garside.Credit: Janie Barrett
Then there’s the appearance on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, filmed in South Africa earlier this year.
So there’s material to be mined for Garside’s upcoming book, which he hopes to see hit the shelves in early 2024. But the six-time Australian champ told us on Thursday not to expect your run-of-the-mill sporting memoir.
“It’s not going to be a tell-all book of my life, I’m way too young for that,” Garside told us. “It’ll be more around little lessons. Over the 26 years of my very short existence, I’ve picked out a few things that I think are quite universal and I think people might get something out of it.”
Garside’s collaborator on the project, former Murdoch empire reporter and author Shannon Molloy, has also had his ups and downs this year.
A short stint at media insider news site Mumbrella ended in interesting circumstances last month with the publisher announcing it had parted ways with its editor.
“The decision was made by mutual consent with both parties agreeing on the direction forward,” Mumbrella said.
Molloy was not a bit happy, telling his online followers that it sounded a bit like he’d been punted. “I resigned. It was my decision. It’s as simple as that,” he said. Sounds like Molloy and Garside can share a few notes about rolling with the punches.
Two days after announcing his shock early departure, former Qantas boss Alan Joyce was spotted ducking into swanky new Sydney steakhouse Clam Bar on Thursday afternoon.
And while the company told us there was no official farewell planned, the venue confirmed the entire joint was booked out for a private event. We reckon he could use a drink.
There’s a shuffling of the deck chairs near the top at the NAB, with Damian Callachor, the bank’s government relations boss taking over as chief of staff to chief executive Ross McEwen.
Callachor, a former chief of staff to ex-deputy prime minister Michael McCormack, was drafted by NAB in 2021 after a tortuous six-month quest to find a new executive government affairs.
Now he’s moved up, and with the bank yet to settle on a replacement, it’s a process they’ll have to go through all over again.
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