The ex-Labor staffer by Brittany's side.

Something you won't find in the media reports of the Brittany Higgins rape trial is mention of this lady along side her. 

The lady in blue is PR and political messaging advisor Emma Webster, a former Kevin Rudd staffer and these days a big bucks Hawker Britton Labor-aligned spin artist.  
She also spent time working for Chairman Dan in Victoria.

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Here she is in yellow and black the day before. 

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Here's a little more on Emma Webster. 
And her CV. 

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Worth pointing out, don't you think?


Archbishop of Melbourne's statement on Essendon Football Club


"If the Essendon situation is a litmus test of the value and place of people of faith in Victorian society, then we are in big trouble.
It is outrageous that a person of good character has felt that he must choose between a public leadership role and being an active member of a Christian community.
Andrew Thorburn, a dedicated supporter of Essendon since childhood and a known man of faith, was appointed CEO after years of leadership in major Australian organisations that have been inclusive of all people. Why is this now a problem for this football club?
I commend Andrew for his charitable and Christian response to this awful treatment.
Sadly, this situation sends a chilling message to ordinary faith believers in Victoria, that they can’t be trusted to exercise leadership and service in the community. I offer a word of encouragement to them.
This has been a polarising and divisive moment. It has not been about respecting diversity.
I feel for young women and men currently seeking to further their football or other careers, now asking whether their personal faith might hinder their progress.
I think of the families who have long supported their club, now wondering if their beliefs are acceptable to the leadership of the club they belong to or sponsor.
I became a supporter of the Bombers on my first day ‘in the job’ here. But frankly, if Essendon can’t be inclusive and fair to supporters who hold a religious faith, maybe its time to find a new club." Archbishop Peter A Comensoli

Statement from Andrew Thorburn re Essendon CEO position

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Statement re. Essendon Football Club CEO:

Yesterday was one of the proudest days of my life. To be offered the role of CEO of the Essendon Football Club - who I have followed since I was a boy - was a profound honour. At last night’s Crichton medal, I could hardly contain my passion and wonder at the opportunity. I love the club, love the people, and was incredibly excited about the work ahead. I had seen a picture of a club that was not as broken as feared, and that with leadership and focus, could rebound strongly.

However, today it became clear to me that my personal Christian faith is not tolerated or permitted in the public square, at least by some and perhaps by many. I was being required to compromise beyond a level that my conscience allowed. People should be able to hold different views on complex personal and moral matters, and be able to live and work together, even with those differences, and always with respect. Behaviour is the key. This is all an important part of a tolerant and diverse society.

Let me be clear - I love all people, and have always promoted and lived an inclusive, diverse, respectful and supportive workplace - where people are welcomed regardless of their culture, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. I believe my record over a long period of time testifies to this.

Despite my own leadership record, within hours of my appointment being announced, the media and leaders of our community had spoken. They made it clear that my Christian faith and my association with a Church are unacceptable in our culture if you wish to hold a leadership position in society.

This grieves me greatly - though not just for myself, but for our society overall. I believe we are poorer for the loss of our great freedoms of thought, conscience and belief that made for a truly diverse, just and respectful community.

My faith is central to who I am. Since coming to faith in Jesus 20 years ago, I have seen profound change in my life, and I believe God has made me a better husband, father, and friend. It has also helped me become a better leader. That is because at the centre of my faith is the belief that you should create a community and care for people, because they are created by and loved by God and have a deep intrinsic value.

As it happens, I do sometimes disagree with things I hear in church - but I believe strongly in the right of people to say them, especially when taken in context. Reducing complex matters to a sentence is dangerous. Australia has a long tradition of diversity and religious freedom, and that must include preserving space for religious people to be able to express their religious beliefs.

I am saddened by these events. I wish the Club success, and thank Dave Barham in particular for the opportunity he gave me. I hope the external review leads to great change. I am truly sorry that I will not be able to work with the whole Essendon team, and Brad Scott and Josh Mahoney in particular. 

Can't be a practising Muslim or Christian & run a footy club in Melbourne


The Board of the Essendon Football Club has accepted the resignation of Andrew Thorburn as CEO.

As soon as the comments relating to a 2013 sermon from a pastor, at the City of the Hill church came to light this morning, we acted immediately to clarify the publicly espoused views on the organisation’s official website, which are in direct contradiction to our values as a Club.

Essendon is committed to providing an inclusive, diverse and a safe Club, where everyone is welcome and respected.

The Board made clear that, despite these not being views that Andrew Thorburn has expressed personally and that were also made prior to him taking up his role as Chairman, he couldn’t continue to serve in his dual roles at the Essendon Football Club and as Chairman of City on the Hill. 

The Board respects Andrew’s decision.

We are deeply committed to our values and support wholeheartedly the work of the AFL in continuing to stamp out any discrimination based on race, sex, religion, gender, sexual identity or orientation, or physical or mental disability.

I want to stress that neither the board nor Andrew was aware of the comments from the 2013 sermon until we read about them this morning. I also want to stress that this is not about vilifying anyone for their personal religious beliefs, but about a clear conflict of interest with an organisation whose views do not align at all with our values as a safe, inclusive, diverse and welcoming club for our staff, our players, our members, our fans, our partners and the wider community.

Acting CEO Nick Ryan will continue in his role whilst we commence the process to appoint a new CEO.