Mary Crooks, February 2014

Richard Cooke’s piece (Dec–Jan) about our public event, ‘Credit Where Credit Is Due’, warrants comment.

Significant male support for the leadership of Julia Gillard gives a complete lie to Cooke’s patronising conclusion that there is a strange absolution taking place by “baby-boomer feminists who can’t quite believe it all went wrong”. If your readers had to choose between the analysis by Cooke and that of retired Independent MP Tony Windsor (who spoke at the event), they would find Windsor’s easily the more grounded and authoritative.

Cooke is seriously wrong again by claiming we were “laundering” the legacy of Gillard by ignoring issues such as asylum policy, same-sex marriage, sole-parent hardship and so on. Had he bothered to research our public position, he would have found that we have made clear our differences with the Gillard government – hardly the action of an organisation sanitising the public record.

These flaws could have been avoided had Cooke not rushed to judgement and aired his prejudice. Sadly, it was just such mainstream media commentary over the life of the minority government that impelled the Trust to take action in the first place.

Mary Crooks
Executive director
Victorian Women’s Trust