Condolences to the Gillard Family
Bye from Brissie

The AWU Scandal - Lawyer Harry Nowicki Answers PM's Nut Job Allegations

On 5 September, 2012 The Prime Minister defamed my friend Harry Nowicki using the government owned ABC radio as her publisher.

The lawyer Jon Faine is the person responsible for the decision to publish her remarks, that is to allow her defamation to go to air.  

They should both have known better.   Harry Nowicki is a fine man, whose sober and detailed analysis of the Prime Minister's role in the AWU scandal will become an important part of an accurate historical record about Australia.

Here is the link to my article about the interview in which Julia Gillard defamed my friend.

Asked about Harry, Ms Gillard replied saying there were nut-jobs still pursuing the AWU matter.   She said people like Harry were people on the fringes, people on the margins of political life.   She said there are idiots out there who are still pursuing the AWU matter.

Here now is Harry's letter to the publisher of Ms Gillard's remarks, Jon Faine of the ABC.


Harry Nowicki

(Address supplied)


Jon Faine

ABC Melbourne


Dear Jon,

RE : Interview with Julia Gillard - 5 September 2012

I missed your program on 5 September 2012 as I was engaged in my historical research into the AWU between 1985 to 1997. One chapter will be the rise and fall of Bruce Wilson in the AWU.

I now  have a copy of the transcript of your interview with  the PM, Julia Gillard .

The first inaccuracy in your interview is  your reference to my name as “ Barry “ Nowicki  -  for
future reference my correct name  is Harry Nowicki

No one in Australia to my knowledge has “a file about [Julia  Gillards ] activities at Slater
& Gordon “ which they are hawking around .  I do not have such a file. This is a rhetorical
flourish of your own making and I believe it is inaccurate.

I am certainly  not awking  stories about the activities of Julia Gillard  17 years ago and trying to
rekindle interest in some of that material.

As I have told numerous people over the past 9 months I am researching material for a book on the Australian Workers Union from 1985 to 1997.

Between 1991 and 1995 the W A and Victorian AWU Branches retained Slater & Gordon as their lawyers .  Bill Ludwig and Bruce Wilson for most of this period controlled the majority of votes on the National Executive .This is one topic I am investigating .

Recently I interviewed both Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt, two amongst many  union officials who played a role in AWU affairs  between 1985 and 1997.

They have assisted me in a chronology of events and motives for their conduct and answered in an informative way  questions as to how certain documents came into existence.

Why is this matter now not over ?

 Simply put it is not over  because new documentary evidence became available on the 22 August 2012, certain admissions were made by the PM on the 24 August 2012, relevant witnesses have not spoken on the public record and as yet not all relevant documents been disclosed.

Ralph Blewitt will shortly obtain the original documents concerning his conveyancing/mortgage file conducted by Slater & Gordon in 1993.

So far Ralph Blewitt has made no statements about the documents he signed on 22 April 1992 applying to incorporate the Association in WA. As the author of these documents he is a relevant witness. The documents themselves and Ralph Blewitt’s instructions are not consistent with answers  given by the PM in her interview on the 11 September 1995.

Bruce Wilson is a relevant witness and for the time being he remains silent.

The Slater & Gordon Board of Directors until this day have chosen not to review the conduct
of the firm over the relevant period and appear to have relied upon participants in the events and a CEO who was an employee of the firm from 1994 to make limited  statements about the
resignation of the PM effective on the 6 May 1996.

The PM refers to President Obama in her interview but as Michelle Obama stated in her speech on 4 September 2012 to the Democratic Convention : “ I’ ve seen how  the issues that have come across a president’s desk are always the hard ones, the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer , the judgement calls where the stakes are so high , and there is no margin for error”. 

As a judgement call the PM has chosen to deal with the issues about the intermingling of her personal and  professional conduct between 1991 and 1995 through the media rather than through a full and frank Parliamentary Statement.

As Paul Kelly recently stated the conduct and activities of the Prime Minister 17 years ago are  of
legitimate interest as they go to the issues centred around character and trust. Those in public office should expect that their professional lives  become the subject of legitimate interest by the public.

Anyone pursuing the truth in this matter must carefully review document, interview witnesses who have knowledge of these documents and consider the admitted facts.  This is the task of a historian who must weigh up the authenticity of documents , the credibility of witnesses and do the best they can to put these into an understandable historical context.

As Hugh Trevor – Roper stated , “History is not merely what happened; it is what happened in the context of what might  have happened'.

I am continuing my investigations into the history of the AWU between 1985 until 1997 in an attempt to establish an accurate historical record and to make understandable the choices made by various parties as events unfolded.

 It is an eccentric hobby for a retired lawyer.


Yours faithfully,

Harry Nowicki