Croatian Diasporan Voice Presents Lifetime Achievement Award To Charles Billich

Awarding Lifetime Achievement to Charles Billich
Croatian Diasporan Voice
From left: Branko Miletic, Anne Dujmovic, Ina Vukic,
Alenka Bonic, Charles Billich, John Ovcaric
Mary Suminga, Valentin Perkovic

Recognising the dedication from the Croatian diaspora to the nation building of the independent and democratic Croatia, to the well being of Croatian people wherever they may be, has been a tireless, selfless pursuit of many people of Croatian descent living across the world, outside Croatia, for several decades. Recognising and awarding that dedication has been a goal of the Croatian Diasporan Voice association to which I proudly belong. On Saturday 9th December 2017, in the company of many distinguished guests from the Australian community, the worldwide renowned artist and humanitarian, Charles Billich, became the first inductee of that Hall of Fame dedicated to Croatians who have and who excel in their tireless dedication to the prosperity and well being of the Croatian homeland and Croatian people. An annual event for this Award is planned.

Lifetime Achievement Award
for helping Croatia from the diaspora

On the night of the Award presentation to Charles Billich in Sydney, Australia, the Member of Croatian Parliament for the Diaspora, General Zeljko Glasnovic, arrived to the ceremony via Skype from Zagreb, Croatia with the words that included:

“… independent Croatia was created in sweat and blood …Charles Billich is a part of that birth, of the rebirth of Croatian freedom. He is a great ambassador of Croatia, and I’m overwhelmed to be here at this commemoration to him … follow Charles’ example, he is got this, he has led by example and Croatia is one of them… Stay true, follow the course, and don’t stray from dimension – never quit. I wish you all the best, Merry Christmas and may the birth of Christ come to you with the best, thank you all …”

General Zeljko Glasnovic
Member of Croatian Parliament for the Diaspora

At the moment of the Award presentation to Charles Billich, John Ovcaric, Vice-president of the Croatian Diasporan Voice said that “this Award represents Lady Liberty, who we affectionately call Jelena, after Jelena Zrinski, the last of Croatian royal family and she represents the Croatian people and their defense of Europe from invading (Ottoman) forces and we feel that it’s a very apt figure and one that represents also the determination of Croatians such as Charles who worked tirelessly in this country to represent Australia first and foremost but also to represent our culture. Charles it is our great pleasure to present this to you as the first inductee of the Croatian Diasporan Voice Hall of Fame.”

Charles Billich and Christa Billich
Walking into the Hilton Sydney
Award night hall
9 December 2017

Charles Billich was visibly deeply touched by the honour bestowed on him, saying:

It’s like getting an Oscar for something that you’ve done, but this is better! Thank you so much. I am deeply touched and I declare I’m undeserving of this fuss, but yes, over time I have painted a few paintings that have skimmed over the history of Croatia so the highlights and symbolism of Croatia are thus recorded and it’s my intention to keep on doing it at an accelerated pace because I don’t want time to run out. My schedule is very, very busy and I have to rationalise my time from now on. Every moment counts and through hard work, working many hours a day, seven days a week, I achieve a modicum, a little fraction of what I would like to achieve, but even that little is holy to me. Thank you!

Charles Billich (L) John Ovcaric (R)

Reflecting upon his own past when he was persecuted by the former Yugoslav communist regime and upon this Award, Charles Billich said:

“Thank you the brotherhood of Croatians. I said that word, brotherhood, because I believe in that word perhaps a little bit more than in the word nationality, you know, we are brothers and sisters.

We are within parameters of this definition brothers and sisters with all the other tribes in the world. But in this, to each his own, I am very proud to be part of the Croatian tribe.

Ina Vukic (L) Charles Billich (C) Nila Oreb (R)

Tonight is a great surprise, I was not expecting it. You know, such a tribute to me, my work has just started …thanks to the inspiration of my new country Australia and my old country Croatia – beautiful people who populate both countries…

I have a body of work coming up in the future, which may disappoint you but will stun you. So bear with me for a little while longer and you will see something decent and professional coming out of my brushes. One of the things I want to do in the near future is a monument to another pioneer of Croatian and global links – Marco Polo – he is a super hero in Croatia, he is a superman, he is the one who established contacts with the Far East, particularly China, Mongolia and virtually put Croatia on the map – for all times. I’m working on a great monument to Marco Polo, which will be erected in Korcula, which is a Croatian island, the island where Marco Polo was actually born.

Charles Billich (L) Valentin Perkovic (R)

I compare tonight and I compare my joy that I feel tonight with the joy I felt a long time ago, since a century ago it seems, but it was only maybe 1952, I think, when something really unexpected happened like tonight was unexpected and which filled me with great joy. Now, if that’s possible in a communist country where I was in prison.

But because of prisons being so overpopulated and crowded finally the communist Yugoslav government, which dominated over communist republics Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia the government had to do something in order to satisfy the insistence of the International Red Cross to do something about the status of the persecutions of Croatians. I was in the prison one day and I was serving a ten-year sentence for political reasons and sedition when there was some announcement. And it was announced that because of the overcrowding of the prisons there would be an amnesty and the amnesty actually included some half of the jail population.

And guess what! I was one of them! I can’t tell you the joy I felt at that moment, I was orgasmic, it was really something I can’t describe, I couldn’t sleep for two days after that – and this night is like that – thank you very much. Thank you to all the Croatians and Australians. Za Dom Spremni! (For Home Ready!) We are ready to defend our home.”

To capture in this article the character, the mood and the significance of this event here are other speeches of note delivered at this event.

John Ovcaric, Croatian Diasporan Voice/ Glas hrvatske dijaspore:

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen
Dobra večer Dame i Gospodo

On behalf of the Croatian Diasporan Voice,and the entire Australian Croatian community I wish to welcome you all to this gala event in honour of Charles Billich, recognising his lifetime achievements and contributions not only to Australia, but his community and his beloved country of birth Croatia.
My name is John Ovcaric, founder and vice-president of “The Croatian Diasporan Voice” and it is my sincerest honour and privilege to serve this evening as your master of ceremonies.

Before we commence with an evening that we all hope will leave lasting impressions and memories with you all, I would ask that we all take a moment to first recognise not only the man we are here to celebrate but also his dedicated wife.

Ladies and gentlemen, could I ask you all to stand and join me in a round of applause for Charles and Christa Billich.
This evening has played heavy on the hearts and minds of many for some time now.

Croatian Diasporan Voice as an association was formed not only to represent the interests of Australian Croatians, who now number in the vicinity of some 200,000, but also to preserve our cultural heritage.

Women of Croatian Diasporan Voice:
From left: Mary Suminga, Anne Dujmovic, Ina Vukic, Alenka Bonic

As Australians we embrace all that it is to be Australian, Australia gave us the rights and opportunities that our forefathers left their place of birth to seek in order to provide their children that which they yearned for but could not have.
The story of Charles is no less dramatic.

Having suffered as a young student the repercussions of speaking out against tyranny under a communist regime
And having any resemblance of freedom taken from him, Charles also looked beyond the beauty of his homeland seeking afar a place where, as an individual and artist, his artistic abilities and beliefs could merge and express themselves.

Australia provided him those inalienable rights, and in return he reciprocated by adding to its unique and rich cultural beauty through his work.
Charles, this evening a number of your friends, admirers and those privileged to be custodians of one of those works are here to celebrate with and honour you
Yet so many more, that you don’t know this evening also celebrate with us.

Each of us here this evening will at some point stop and reflect on a work you have created, a work they may have, seen adorning a place
All too often we forget that a digital world can never replace the expressions of an artisan who not only through the subject, but through its creation conveys emotions that existed as each brush stoke was executed.

When you create Charles, each of these brush strokes captures a small moment in time, they capture the essence that is you, and it is the colour, texture and their interplay together that capture the hearts and minds of those that admire.

These moments pass for you as you transition from one creation to the next, but for us, you are most certainly thought of and admired somewhere, every minute, of every day as we focus on each and every stroke, a moment captured in eternity, a moment that inspires and delights.
After this evening comes to an end, and you return to your studio and your easel, we sincerely hope that the memories of this evening in some small way inspire you, that as you create you know that the beauty you bestow upon us all will live forever and that this brings a smile to your face in return.

David Jakic, President of Australian Croatian Chamber of Commerce NSW:

David Jakic
President, Australian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce NSW

Dear friends, colleagues and guests,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate the team at the Croatian Diasporan Voice for creating such a sensational event.
John, Valentin, Branko, Ina, Anne, Mary and Alenka you have done such an amazing job in helping us create tonight and it’s an honor that I am able to stand here and express my appreciation for this memorable occasion.

To be honest… for my first official speech as president I’m nervous… it had to be at a night that’s appreciating such a inspirational person Mr Charles Billich.

Now for people that might be wondering why I’m slightly nervous, I just want to take this moment to recap on some of Charles achievements…
• Paintings for the United Nations in New York
• 2 Paintings at the Vatican
• The official artist for the Olympic games of Sydney 2000, Beijing, Athens and Sotchi
• The key to the city of Atlanta
• Charles art is on the Nobel peace prize certificate
• For me, my favorite… He purchased a beautiful Bentley.

Now I know I can go on much more but I’m sure you get the point…
But then, it doesn’t end there… not only did achieve so much, he is a man with an enormous heart.
This is a man who has not had it easy;
• He was imprisoned overseas for standing up for what he believed in a communist regime
• As they did, he came here on a boat which I’m sure wasn’t the ‘ovation of the seas’
• He helped Europeans coming to Australia find work
Again, I could go on but the one I love… he was once a taxi driver… so much respect.
Mr Charles Billich, You are an inspiration to so many and your work has brought so much happiness to people around the world.

Australia may claim you as their own; Croatia theirs… but its only fair to say that both countries should be proud to call you their son as you are an international treasure.
Please raise your glasses…”

Ina Vukic, Croatian Diasporan Voice:

The only embroidery of friendship is fidelity”, Antun Starcevic, 19th century politician and writer referred to as the father of the Croatian homeland.
It is both an honour and a pleasure to be with you all here tonight when we celebrate excellence and outstanding dedication and devotion from the Croatian diaspora to the advancement of our Croatian homeland. This award tonight is also given in recognition of Charles Billich’s enduring vision for a free and democratic Croatia and his enormous contributions to the defence and promotion of truth and Croatian name throughout the world – not to mention his outstanding humanitarian generosity.

Croatia! The cradle of Croatian peoples’ existence; the mother of our history; the father of our freedom fighting spirit; the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition; the grandfather of Za Dom Spremni (For Home Ready) and the great grandfather of patriotic love and resolve.
Patriotism and nation building has been the Croatian diaspora’s artery of existence.

Patriotism means a love of country.

Yet, that on its own – says very little.

We can, after all, love many things in different ways, but to love something always means to have certain devotion, and to care for that object of love in a special, thrilling way.

For a Croatian migrant to love and succeed in the new, as well as the original homeland, translates into that special love, that special devotion.
Some people express that special love through momentous actions that touch a whole nation.

And Charles has been and is right up there with them!

Many today regard patriotism with scepticism.

In a globalised world, multiple identities, nationalities and allegiances are commonplace.
Many would say that it would be better for us simply to celebrate our common humanity, to become citizens of the world – and not worry about our country of origin as well as the one we have built our lives in, being special.

I disagree. I don’t believe that we should abandon patriotism because patriotism is to countries what self-respect is to individuals:
You need it as a condition of collective self-improvement.

The unspeakable and brutal losses of family lives, the oppression and persecution by the communist regime of former Yugoslavia are all too well known to the young Charles Billich, way back then.

But Australia has been a balm that only a homeland can provide; another homeland that gives you freedom to nurture your dreams for the country of you birth and helps you work towards realising them.

Over almost three past decades I have had the privilege and utter delight in being touched by the selfless stewardship championed by Charles for a collective wellbeing of the Croatian people in the homeland and those in the diaspora.

Charles Billich has consistently and steadfastly delivered not only to Australia but also to Croatia on actions that are so important to our collective wellbeing.
Both countries have benefited richly from the talented and dedicated Charles Billich over several decades.

16 January 1992 was a day when Australia became among the first non-European countries to recognise Croatia as an independent and sovereign state.
Here, in my hands I hold the testimonial of that very day when we celebrated that momentous occasion of which Charles was a significant part!
I am gifting this publication to you Charles as one of the many beacons for Croatian freedom you have held in your hands throughout many years!
I salute you, Charles Billich!

Portrait of late General Praljak.
John Ovcaric (L) Charles Billich (R)

To honour the unwavering determination in defending the Croatian people from the brutal attacks waged in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Serbs and Bosniaks/Muslims during the 1990’s war Charles Billich unveiled on this night his portrait of the late General Praljak, who recently committed suicide in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in response to the injustice pointing to Croats served by the tribunal. The proceeds of the sale of this portrait are intended for helping the late General’s family. May the proudest and the highest bidder for this stunning portrait do Croatia proud also!

This Award giving event for dedication to Croatia’s freedom and democracy was also organised with the memory to the 18th anniversary of the death on 10 December 1999 of Croatia’s first president dr. Franjo Tudjman! His determination for freedom inspired also the whole of the Croatian diaspora to become a major element and fighting force, alongside Croatian homeland forces and people, in achieving independence and democracy. With profound respect and fond memories Croatians in the diaspora – remember! Ina Vukic

Australian Labor Party Should Apologise For Persecutions of Croatians

“It’s Time”
by John Ovcaric

It would seem that Tony Jones recently plagiarised a Yugoslav era work of Propaganda titled “Dvadeseti čovjek” (the Twentieth Man) written by “Đorđe Ličina” and while we sit and read this in astonishment, Jones, who obviously must be suffering some form of writer’s block let alone dementia has the gumption to think that this will go un-noticed? Well no it isn’t, and this isn’t the most alarming factor here so let’s try again.

Perhaps it’s because he is supposedly writing about a situation that had passed all legal burning hoops and is undeniable in its accuracy? Sorry still no cigar, shall we try again?
OK, how about, not only does he appear to have plagiarised someone else’s propaganda, and not only are the supposed facts unfounded by lawful process, but that he laces into the plot fictional characters which only serves to subliminally cement in the readers mind that this work of semi fiction is based on fact?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, we are getting close.

It’s actually all of the above and much more, but, he is perpetuating a smear campaign against a segment of the Australian community who have spent the last century battling conspiracy and injustice designed to deliver cultural genocide at the hands of what many now realise, but dare not admit, was as evil a regime as that of either Pol Pot or Idi Amin.

The fascinating reality is that like some cursed undead creature from the grave, this regime and its political secret service continue to campaign against us in a modern Western society let alone within the shadows of the modern political corridors of the Croatian parliament in Zagreb at this very moment.

But what Tony Jones is doing, which I will take a leap of faith and define in a few moments, reaches back further than many of us would care to remember and which some of us reading this may be too young to.

In the 1960’s, Broz Josip Tito, after his break with the Soviet Union of the 1950’s, realised that in order for his abomination Yugoslavia to survive, had to peel back the Yugoslav Iron Curtain and allow unthinkable numbers of the regime’s citizens out so as they could work and inadvertently fund the country through their earnings, Dad goes off to work in Germany and sends Deutsche Marks home strategy.

The exodus of citizens, namely from Croatia made their way not only to Germany and other like European economic powerhouses but far further flung places globally, consequently the benefit economically gained from doing so for the regime was counted by a new problem, these economic workers now joined with political exiles and Croatian nationalism and the fight against the tyranny of Yugoslav communist rule was fueled.

Such was the concern that estimates put the number of workers allowed out from behind the curtain near the end of the 1960’s to be in the vicinity of 600,000, a number based on declassified CIA documents of the era, and of greater concern, as also discussed in these CIA reports was the fact that the Yugoslav Secret Services (UDBA) could not keep track of their movements.

During this time, the CIA was dealing with a host of communist actions globally, Vietnam, the growing threat of communism spreading through other parts of Asia, not to mention South America, were key focal points for the U.S. administrations of the day, of equal focus in Australia’s back yard was the expansion of communism into the Pacific region and as a result, and as later exposed in a number of Royal Commissions, ASIO actively worked with the CIA in numerous Black Operations globally in the good fight.

No, I haven’t forgotten Tony Jones, bear with me, the enigma will all come together shortly.

Ok, back to Tito’s mobsters the UDBa, the 60’s apart from being a drug induced footnote in modern global history was also a time of incredible political psychedelia, the Yugoslav government of the day, which played a very similar if not identical game to the Serb’s of today, played West against East for its own gain.

As reported in several CIA and ASIO intelligence reports for the time, the West’s socialist “Stick that up your backside Stalin” pin up boy Broz tried to conjure the West to assist in monitoring its citizens and dissidents globally, Foreign Governments of the day however had more pressing business to attend to.

Ok, quiz question time. You are a foreign Government, concerned about your dictatorship and a potential revolt internally fuelled by Nationalists in exile, inadvertently you had the bright idea to tell the Soviet Union in the 1950’s to go shove the hammer and sickle up their collective Politburo orifices and opened the doors up to allow 600,000 of your citizens to work outside your borders to raise money, and now your global buddies from WW2 are too busy fighting the good fight against your very own kind elsewhere to help as your eyes and ears in their own backyards – what would you do?

If you answered as follows, big elephant stamp for you.

What you do is create a threat, spread misinformation, conduct black op or black flag operations in other sovereign states under the guise that such actions are being perpetuated by the same dissidents you asked your buddies to keep an eye on, you send in agents who infiltrate the immigrant population and either set in play black flag operations or collect information on those individuals while proudly acting as one of them.

And then if you’re really smart, you infiltrate the Governments of those nations and manipulate them so as to either use or draw information from their security agencies.

By the start of the early 1970’s Australian politics was moving away from the decades old conservative governance, which had existed under the Menzies era. Consequently, Australian’s were questioning our alliance with the United States particularly in light of our involvement in Vietnam, let’s not forget also that it wasn’t uncommon for a Prime minister to dip a toe in the water, go for a leisurely swim and disappear, times were changing and the left of politics in Australia were looking North towards new potential trading partners and regional players.

Times were a changing, and this gave rise to Gough Whitlam’s campaign theme of 1972.

“It’s Time”

Edward Gough Whitlam was swept into power based on a sway in the Australian public’s perception of decades of conservative governance that was no longer being in touch with a modern Australia both politically and socially, and the growing involvement of Australia in global affairs (Read Vietnam), which they believed the United States was dragging Australia into. Behind the scenes, this perception was true as ASIO was secretly working with the CIA without the Australian Governments knowledge as would later be revealed in a number of Royal Commissions.

Attorney-General Lionel Murphy upon entering his role with the new Government in Canberra was so suspect of ASIO that he had his offices in the old parliament building swept for surveillance and phone bugs numerous times, his and Whitlam’s suspicions were correct in that ASIO had become as powerful within the Australian political scene as that of the CIA in the U.S. equivalent.

Dr Jim Cairns who had held a number of portfolios during the course of the Whitlam Governments reign completed what would become for Croatians in Australia the Unholy Trinity of the Labor Government of the day, with Murphy’s focus on ASIO, Whitlam’s overtures to China and Cairns support of the Anti-Vietnam movement, the stage was set for a showdown and years later, as CIA documents would justify, the Australian Government of the day, leftist in its views and abhorrent to its partnership with the U.S. became the focus of an angered CIA and subsequently the British equivalent in MI5.

What connected the Croatian community in Australia to all this was the simple fact that the Whitlam Government of the day, for all its perceived foresight and vision for a modern Australia, was playing straight into the hands of foreign influence and as I previously mentioned foreign concerns. It was Yugoslavia and it’s UDBa that saw opportunities in Australia to indeed infiltrate the Government and use its security agency, namely ASIO, as its pseudo secret police force on Australian soil.

What transpired as this uneasiness grew resulted in what is dubbed the “ASIO Raid” and the Croatian community in Australia was flung into this international web of intrigue.

On the 15th of March 1973, Attorney-General Lionel Murphy and senior Commonwealth Police officers forcibly entered ASIO’s headquarters in Melbourne as a result of Murphy’s suspicions that ASIO was withholding information on terrorist threats and undermining the newly elected Whitlam government.

The Yugoslav Prime Minister was due to visit Australia and there were concerns that local Croatian dissidents were planning to assassinate him. Due to post WW2 propaganda, these dissidents were labelled as “Ustashe” and the remnants of the Croatian movement of that time that had been allied with Germany in World War Two and had active networks in Australia.

Dreaming of overthrowing Tito’s communist regime, “Ustasha” supporters were implicated in bombing Yugoslav diplomatic buildings and social clubs throughout Australia in the 1960s and 70s. In 1962 and 1973 they launched unsuccessful military raids into then Yugoslavia.

But ASIO was relatively indifferent to this perceived terrorist threat and was chiefly concerned with Soviet espionage and the perceived menace from that quarter of the time being communist subversion. The NSW Police Force had presumptively uncovered evidence that a Ustasha group planned to assassinate the Yugoslav Prime Minister, which was passed through the Commonwealth Police to Murphy, but ASIO denied knowledge of these threats.

Not trusting ASIO’s assurances that they had no information to support these concerns about assassination threats, the Attorney-General entered their Melbourne headquarters on St. Kilda road and declared to the ASIO staff that “it is our policy to bring open government to Australia” and demanded to know if they had been hiding information from him. Murphy questioned the officers for hours while Commonwealth Police carted off documents.

It is the question as to what occurred to those documents while in their care that has always plagued me and a recent piece I wrote on a UDBa document GHD (Croatian Diasporan Voice – Glas hrvatske dijaspore) recovered from Belgrade which clearly shows my father’s file number next to his name “X.2257” and which I believe to be an ASIO file reference that leads me to think this information was passed on to Yugoslav authorities.

So much has been uncovered since the 16th of March 1973 as to the involvement of both Yugoslav consulate staff and undercover UDBa agents during that time and their infiltration into both the Australian Government and their service arms and the Croatian community that it bewilders me to this day that a blind eye has been cast and a total lack of reflection on their activities maintained while the perpetuation of untruths continues, Tony Jones and his comic strip paperback being a prime example of this attitude.

For the Croatian people, Australian Citizens in every respect of the term, what transpired as a result of these raids is despicable. Personal threats both known and clandestine continued for years, the naming of names in the media of Croatian Australian Citizens being terrorists and war criminals would be unthinkable in this day and age, Jim Cairns stating under parliamentary protection in the old Parliament House that every man, woman and child of Croatian heritage should be returned to Yugoslavia as war criminals and terrorists is incomprehensible.

Yet it did deliver us one crucial thing in spades, fortitude, fortitude to continue the struggle with greater focus and depth of conviction and this was never more apparent than at the outbreak of the 1990’s war in Croatia when we rallied to the cry.

Eventually the Whitlam Government came into disrepute, Dr Jim Cairns was uncovered for his affair with Junie Morosi, we watched The Loans Affair unfurl as the political scandal involving the Whitlam Government demonstrated how they attempted to unconstitutionally borrow money from Middle Eastern countries through the agency of Pakistani banker Tirath Khemlani, bypassing standard procedures of the Australian Treasury. Minerals and Energy Minister Rex Connor, along with Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Jim Cairns misled Parliament and were forced from the Whitlam Cabinet over the Affair, and finally The Dismissal itself instigated by Sir John Kerr then Governor General of Australia with an ever towering and defiant Gough Whitlam declaring on the steps of the old Parliament House “Well may they say, God save the Queen, for nothing will save the Governor General!”

It wasn’t the Governor General as such at the time as it was the CIA, ASIO and Yugoslavia’s UDBa that ushered in the eventual fall of his Government.

“Yes! Yes! I know! Tony Jones, I’m getting there”

Tony Jones and his current likely plagiarised book “The 20th man” reflects much on the circumstances of that era based on propaganda and the effects of inter-government manipulation and espionage facilitated by unseen interests, where it fails is that it is a perpetuation of lies and deceit and delivers any potential reader a skewed view of history based on those premises.

But Tony is just a small pin in the greater machine that we thought had come to a grinding halt when Prime minister Paul Keating stood up in Federal Parliament, in January 1992, and recognised the Modern State of Croatia as a sovereign nation when in our darkest hour under attack we looked to the world for affirmation. To me that moment defined the crowning accomplishment of the Australian Croatian Community and justified our struggle, but it didn’t and never will justify what we were subjected to.

We cry for Lustration in our matriarchal homeland, yet is it paramount that this action must start in the heartland we call the Diaspora, our Diaspora, our Australia.

John Ovcaric

I put it to every reader that just as Prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to indigenous Australians back in 2007 for the indiscretions imposed upon them as a culture, that we, as persecuted Australian Citizens of the day are as deserving of such an apology from the current Labor Party on behalf of their leaders in the Whitlam Government of 1973.

I call upon you, the reader, to deny Tony Jones his moment in the sun and send him back to the crypt of corruption deceit and treachery from whence the material he writes about came from.

I call upon every Croat, every Australian born citizen with a drop of Croatian blood running through their veins to protest the malicious play of words in the “20th Man”.

I call upon every one of you who read this to commit to signing a petition to the Attorney General of Australia and to the leader of the Labor Opposition calling upon him to apologise in Federal Parliament on behalf of his party and its predecessors to the Croatian community.

I call upon the Government of the day to release all documents highlighting and exposing the affairs of the Government of the day in its dealings with the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and to enter into Lustration, providing the Australian public with details of all information of a personal or communal nature that was transmitted to the FSRY.

Finally, I call upon the same Government to bear pressure on the Republic of Croatia to also Lustrate and reveal through the opening of its FSRY files all information collected and used against both Australian Croatians and their families under siege at that time in Croatia.

Lustration starts in Australia, and as the campaign slogan of the ALP in 1972 stated, “It’s Time”

I would urge you all to speak to your loved ones of that time, learn the stories of what we endured and then take a moment to visit the following Australian Human Rights Commission page which clearly compliments and demonstrates our rights which in my opinion are retrospective and applicable to the circumstances of the 1970’s.…/racial-vilification-law-au

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