Truth & Justice For Joy

A recent Management meeting was not a happy occasion

The angry and threatening response by Joy management to the criticisms levelled against them clearly demonstrates their inability to comprehend any viewpoint but their own.

This is the same behaviour that led to the disastrous situation when Midsumma was signed up to viciously anti-LGBTI media organisation newscorp. Back then the response from management was similar: obfuscate, deflect, act hurt and offended, but ultimately, do nothing.

Shortly thereafter they were permitted to resign from Midsumma and picked up by Joy without proper due diligence, according to one former member of Joy management who spoke to the stirrer. The current debacle shows that nothing was learned from that lamentable failure of judgement and understanding.

the stirrer has been approached with numerous examples of volunteers being entrusted with important and difficult tasks, only to be denied the tools and information to carry them out, and then blamed for their failure by management. However, people are reluctant to speak openly lest they be picked off one by one.

Josh Pearson Operations Manager has now resigned and Katie Purvis (Social Media Coordinator), a totally dedicated Joy volunteer, has had her social media admin rights revoked, because she signed the letter to the board. Clearly the bullying and intimidation is ongoing.

The board, in their response to Save Joy, makes appeal to the Joy Rules Of Association, which they themselves broke knowingly when they hired current management in March 2016, feigned ignorance of  until October 2017, and say they have now addressed. A search this morning still has Tennille Moisel listed as a lecturer at JMC. They are not supposed to hold a second job, but devote their whole time to Joy.

Only a full independent audit which brings to light everything that has gone on – a Joy Truth & Justice Commission – will cleanse the Augean stables. However, the stirrer understands that Minister Martin Foley and Commissioner Ro Allen are fully apprised of the situation (by management only, of course), and are content to leave matters as they are. An election looms: perhaps if they wish to retain the LGBTI vote they should step up and help Save Joy.

Below is the response to management from the Save Joy group.




Statement from SAVE JOY Committee

The SAVE JOY committee would like to correct a few misconceptions and defamatory comments made about the group since Wednesday.

SAVE JOY is made up of a substantial group of people who are gravely unhappy with the current situation at JOY 94.9 and fearful of the direction our beloved station is headed, under its current management and board.

We are made up of passionate volunteers and members whose involvement at JOY spans many years and in some cases, decades.

Members of the group have given over many years, hours of their lives to broadcast, volunteer, fundraise, donate and generally contribute to the growth and sustainability of this vital community asset.

Our decision to call for a SGM was not the first step we took to try and resolve our issues. We have repeatedly tried to directly engage the JOY board with the issues we have raised. Our issues have either been dismissed, unsatisfactorily addressed or buried and denied.

Furthermore, our intentions are not ‘vicious’ or ‘ridiculous’. To label us so is clearly a blatant PR spin by JOY’s president, Melinda Rich, to smear our reputations and our objectives.

We are not ‘vicious’, we love JOY as much as any other volunteer or listener. For us, JOY is family.

We refute many of the claims in Rich’s statement including the assertion that, ‘a small group of JOY members has sought to bring into the public domain internal matters that deserved to be dealt with in-house’.

The SAVE JOY Committee, since inception, has always wanted to keep its concerns out of the public so as not to risk JOY in any way.

We have followed JOY policies and procedures to the letter to tried repeatedly to seek a resolution. For the sake of full transparency, these are the actions we’ve taken so far:

  • 1 February 2018: SAVE JOY sent a letter to the board informing them of our concerns and proposed a set of resolutions.
  • 21 February 2018: Three JOY volunteers – including two life members – met with three board members to further discuss the matter.
  • The board sent a letter in response following the meeting, but SAVE JOY was not satisfied with its response.

Rich also accused the group of stealing a JOY database. This is an accusation we categorically deny and we welcome a full Victoria Police investigation.

We are also seeking legal counsel to pursue a complaint of defamation against Rich and the current JOY Board.

From day one of our interactions with JOY’s board it has been made clear they do not take our concerns seriously.

The board and CEO claim to have achieved high levels of listenership and a healthy financial position. But none of this would have been possible without the 25 years of hard work from a range of volunteers, staff and board members that preceded them.

SAVE JOY is so much more than the leadership illustrated by the 28 people who were prepared to put themselves on the line by signing our recent letter to members.

SAVE JOY is the many, many people who are disgruntled with the direction and management of the station. The many, many people who have let their memberships lapse or actively cancelled their membership after the way they were treated.

Momentum is growing rapidly for the SGM.

We urge people who would like to know more about SAVE JOY and members who wish to sign our letter calling for a SGM to reach out to us:

Media Enquiries should be addressed to the email above.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)