“Violence against women; throw away the key as far as I’m concerned,” Jimmy Barnes told the Q&A panel last night.
It was just one of many insightful, eloquent and raw admissions from the rock legend who is today being heralded as the ABC’s ‘truth-o-metre.’
As the conversation dipped and turned from climate change to mental health to homophobia in schools, Barnes spoke his truth bluntly but politely – calling out questionable claims and holding weak excuses to account.
When asked about the epidemic of domestic violence in Australia he was particularly candid.
He has seen it first hand, after all.
Here’s Jimmy Barnes on Q&A last night. Post continues after video.
“I have seen this kind of behaviour many nights in our home with my father…my mother’s friends would constantly be in the house with black eyes, fat lips, I’d see my mum lying on the floor,” he told the audience.
The 63-year-old grew up in Adelaide, having moved there from Scotland aged five.
He had a violent, alcoholic dad and a long suffering mum who eventually left when she couldn’t take the poverty, drugs, booze and fighting anymore.
She’d moved her family from the slums of Glasgow in the hope of a better life, but the reality was it was the same problems just in a strange place – and this time she had no one to help her.
Sometimes Barnes and his siblings found themselves hiding her under the bed to protect her, but eventually, she fled when Barnes was just eight.
By nine he was drinking and by 11 he was taking drugs.
What followed was teenage years embroiled by gang culture, fighting, and hardship, all largely unsupervised.
It was scary, it was gritty, and it is the story of many Australian families dealing with the fallout of domestic violence.
Barnes writes about it in his book Working Class Boy.
If Barnes hadn’t quit his job as an apprentice moulder and fled to Armidale with his band mates, the Cold Chisel singing Aussie legend we know today could have found himself on a very different path.
View this post on Instagram