Dear Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,
On January 26th, 2018, it will be eight years since you awarded an Order of Australia Medal to one Donald William Burke, of Kenthurst, NSW.
Mr Burke was awarded this prestigious honour, one created by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, because of his outstanding achievement and service.
Along with a shiny medal on a silky ribbon to pin to his jacket lapel, Mr Burke was allowed to use the acronym OAM after his name at all times. Those letters infer status, seniority, grace and selfless service. They are, quite literally, an honour. They put you in a small and esteemed group of your countrymen, to be held above others as among the best our nation has to offer.
Listen: On this bonus episode of Out Loud, Holly, Rachel and Jessie discuss Don Burke and ask the question – what happens next?
Long before that medal was pinned to Mr Burke’s chest, women who had worked alongside him had approached their superiors to express their concerns that Mr Burke was not a man of good character.
In fact, he was a man capable of groping, bullying and frightening those who worked around him.
He was, they say, the kind of man who would say to them things like this:
“If anything goes wrong, I will rip off your head and shit down your neck.”
“Is your c*nt as big as that?”
“You’re a dumb slut.”
“I bet you’re a demon f**k.”
“I bought [young relative] a horse so I could watch her rub her c*nt on its back.”
He was – is?- also the kind of man who allegedly pawed at a female co-worker’s top and bra-strap, trying to pull it from her body. Who tried to seduce young female reporters with promises of promotions and good jobs and then insulted them when they refused. Who insisted a young woman audition for him, but only if she’d do it “topless”.
While Mr Burke OAM denies these allegations, people who worked with him, from his crew members to his bosses seem to confirm them.