Letter To Joy President Melinda Rich


pic: Denise Krebs

After receiving no response, the writers have decided to go public with their concerns, and urge all current members to sign the petition for a Special General Meeting.

UPDATE: no meaningful response from the station

Good morning Melinda.

Sadly, after your message sent to members we have both became very agitated by the actions that you have decided to pursue. Both John Oliver and I were on the periphery of all of this, for many, many, months, with constant emails and phone calls, from more than a small group. Earlier this year I called [redacted] to make them aware of what was going on. You are aware of the response that [redacted] gave me.

How and why could you consider that [redacted] would have been impartial, and able to reach a fair and equitable resolution, after such comments? You then suggest in your email that [redacted] was independent, after I told you how the conversation between us went. Please note, we still did not get involved. It was not until credited and respected life members and volunteers also became part of the groundswell.

Both you and the BOARD chose to take this path, not the volunteers. This is a situation that both of us had been tryingto calm down, and also to resolve without the public slingingmatch that is now underway. This has been caused by the BOARD and its slow approach to such serious allegations and other matters.

We both agree, for some reason, the Board has had a protectionist approach to the CEO. We also both agree she should have never been employed to manage a volunteer and member-based organisation. This was a serious failure by the past BOARD and some present BOARD members. The risk of the reputation of JOY, has been caused by both the CEO and the Board, not its volunteers or members. They are not a group of people to be bullied or intimidated. You and the BOARD keep forgetting, JOY is a volunteer and membership organisation, whose members and volunteers believe in what JOY represents.

You mention a one-sided bias: this rests with the BOARD. You have NOT listened or been aware of what is happening at the coal face of the organisation.

You also mention the bullying has been investigated and cannot be sustained. As you quote: directing a person in a professional and respectful manner and requiring them to do their job effectively, correctly and appropriately. The quoted issues, should have been directed to the CEO a year ago by the BOARD.

The groundswell of a lack of confidence in the CEO by volunteers has been around for all that time, if not longer. Her management style and techniques are ones used in a call centre, not a volunteer and membership-based organisation. Some of those volunteers you mention as a small group have described the environment in which they give their time willingly, as a toxic space since her appointment.

Both John and I engaged in emails and phone calls with you. We both mentioned how the crisis was building, and how it could be easily handled. After one call I chose to contact my nephew, having spoken with you, and get a legal approach to the present employment of the CEO. He is a barrister in South Australia. After explaining the situation, and some of what had transpired while she has held the position, he had NO doubt that there were enough grounds to dismiss her instantly with NO ramifications for JOY

JOY would not be facing the battle that is about to occur, if the board had listened. The BOARD is fully aware of the list of JOY Melbourne Association Rules the CEO had broken – yet you chose not to act. The one you did act on, was just one, after it was pointed out by members, of the so-called small group. We suggest that it is evident the BOARD have had an apathetic and complicit approach to the governance of JOY.

Your suggestion of a person or persons stealing or using the JOY Melbourne database is a disgrace. It appears that the BOARD is now trying to score points. A little late for that! If the database of members has been compromised, and we doubt that it has, this again reflects on the BOARD and the CEO.

The privacy of the membership base has always been a sacred part of the organisation.

You and the other members of the BOARD, tend to forget volunteers at JOY, do build and form friendships. They also exchange both phone numbers and other contact details. This is why, for many years, volunteers were deemed part of a JOY family. Both John and I have a huge list of contacts, that we have made over the years, because of our association with both JOY and other allied groups. We would suggest that many others who give their time as volunteers would have similar contact lists.

From recollection of both of our time on the frontline, it was only accessible by 2 people only. As an early JOY President, I never ever viewed it. We both remember in the early years of JOY, the talk of a broadcasting association and partnership with Foxtel. This did not proceed, as part of the deal was the handing over of the membership database.

You mention, at the close of your email, that you respond to reasonable requests appropriately and fairly. Why is it thenthat the BOARD did not respond to the many issues and countless breaking of the Associations rules by the CEO?

We both agreed to stay silent with the many press calls on this issue. We are both however beginning  to feel, we can no longer maintain this silence.

We wish to both to state our disappointment in the BOARD concerning the political spin and lies that you published to members, this undoubtedly will have inflamed the issue further.

John Oliver [Joy Founder and Member #1] and John Jennings

The name of the life member and former President has been redacted at the writers request


Allegations that the stirrer either invented this (“fake news”) or did not have permission to publish are untrue: I have the written permission of both signatories. I have removed John Oliver’s picture at his request.