“DISQUALIFIED”! SameSame & SX Magazine owner Mark Anthony banned by ASIC as queer media implodes with crimes & cover-ups

EXCLUSIVE INVESTIGATION – PART SIX: His nationwide media company is in ruins. Broken into pieces much like the so-called “antique vase” apparently belonging to his mother that was smashed upon his front door by a poverty-stricken and fed-up employee. Likewise, his reputation is shattered. His media group forcibly placed into administration and liquidation, with employees, suppliers, creditors, and the Tax Office thought to be owed more than $1 million. His glossy magazines full of display ads and once-popular websites too, all gone. Kaput. Nada. Can no longer be read, can no longer be seen.

Gone too are his once-loyal hangers-on and even his romantic partner and co-director – who’ve all jumped ship after all the easy money from government-funded corporate dopes and bureaucratic drones dried up. And now, yet another episode of ignominy with the corporate regulator ASIC having “disqualified” him from managing any company for almost three years. It was perhaps put simply a case of one phoenix too many. But those facts are seemingly no obstacle for former SameSame and SX Magazine owner and publisher, Mark Christopher Anthony.

The disqualified company director of Evo Media – which until its recent demise was the country’s largest self-proclaimed LGBTIQ media company – continues to live out a strange and perplexing fantasy life where he remains queen of his queer media empire despite all signs suggesting otherwise. And, it all comes at a nightmare time for the rest of this country’s LGBTIQ community media which is in a state of implosion amid claims of financial irregularities, commercial rip-offs and even allegations of helping cover up for a number of alleged sexual abusers, including one of Australia’s most notorious paedophile rapists.

  • ASIC disqualifies Evo Media director, Mark Christopher Anthony, until 2020 from managing any corporations
  • ASIC’s disqualification order seemingly not enough to prevent Mr Anthony sending threats to respected gay community organisations while pretending that Evo Media still exists as a company and that he is its director
  • Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) refers the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) to NSW Health due to its bizarre and possibly corrupt long-term relationship with Evo Media
  • Serious questions now raised over commercial viability of the Star Observer, which is the oldest and last remaining LGBTIQ community news publisher in Australia
  • Former employees unload on Star Observer for bullying and unethical culture amid claims the organisation has been falsely representing itself as a proper not-for-profit group
  • Allegations of financial irregularities and theft at Joy 94.9 – Australia’s only dedicated gay and lesbian radio channel – with its board also coming under fire for covering up for infamous and unrepentant serial paedophile rapist, David Cyprys, and another alleged serial sexual harrasser who continues to work closely with vulnerable people


The company that published some of Australia’s best known LGBTIQ media titles – from SX Magazine in Sydney to MCV in Melbourne to national website forum SameSame – is now officially no more after Evo Media was forcibly placed into administration by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The decision by the corporate regulator comes on the back of a long-length and extensive investigation by True Crime News Weekly into the now-demised media company which began in April of this year. The investigation unveiled allegations and evidence the company was engaging in a wide array of corporate crimes and other forms of corrupt behaviour. Amongst them were phoenix scams, ongoing rip-offs of employees and suppliers, circulation and distribution rorts, the long-term non-payment of superannuation, a culture of bullying and fraud, as well as other illegal activities for over a decade going back to Evo Media’s previous incarnation which until 2013 was known as Evolution Publishing.


Mark Christopher Anthony, 49, was already under the gaze of ASIC after successfully pulling off a phoenix scam to transform Evolution Publishing into Evo Media while getting away from paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages and superannuation, and tax owed to the Tax Office. His former romantic and business partner – Dean Anthony Bell – was used as a front for Mr Anthony when Evo Media was created in March 2013 with Mr Bell, 44, listed as the sole director of the new entity. That however didn’t prevent Mr Anthony from regularly signing off on official Evo Media business as the company’s director and issuing orders soon after the so-called ‘new company’ was created.

“Social cancer”: The party is finally over for allegedly corrupt Evo Media directors Mark Christopher Anthony (back) and Dean Anthony Bell (front) while their corrupt company is now in the dustbin of history thanks to reporting by True Crime News Weekly

It also turns out that the Tax Office is now after Mr Anthony for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid tax from the shortlived cafe business he was also a director of. Mr Anthony and Mr Bell spent almost half a million dollars purchasing the Locanda Olivetti cafe at 140 William St, Darlinghurst in early 2016. Yet, just a few months later, the pair apparently had no money to pay their employees their wages or even rent for Evo Media’s headquarters, which was housed in the same William Street building as the cafe they had purchased. Landlords of the building are believed to be owed close to $60,000. It is thought the reporting of True Crime News Weekly into the pair’s activities since April has as well resulted in tensions mounting between Mr Bell and Mr Anthony in recent months, with Mr Bell eventually breaking off their relationship. [UPDATE – Although Mr Bell has been evading the courts in cases he is a party to, a witness contacted True Crime News Weekly on August 23 to confirm the former high-flying director remains in Sydney but is now consigned to driving a delivery truck for Botany-based meat wholesalers, Origin Meat]


Mr Anthony’s personal business dreams have as well come fittingly crashing down, with ASIC in late June placing a disqualification order on the failed businessman from managing any sort of company until 2020. The order was only made public within the last fortnight. Mr Anthony’s name can now be found on ASIC’s online database amidst its ‘rogues gallery’ where it lists other “disqualified” individuals who are deemed unfit to run companies.

ASIC Notice banning Mark Anthony 1
“DISQUALIFIED”: Mark Christopher Anthony is banned from “managing corporatons” until 2020 due to the corrupt goings-on at Evo Media

“ASIC has given you notice in the prescribed form requiring you to demonstrate why you should not be disqualified from managing corporations and has given you an opportunity to be heard on the question,” reads the notice sent by ASIC delegate, Graeme Darcy Plath.

“TAKE NOTICE THAT … ASIC is satisfied that your disqualification pursuant to section 206F of the Corporations Act 2001 is justified.

“YOU ARE DISQUALIFIED from the time of service of this notice for a period of TWO years and SIX months from managing corporations without the leave of ASIC.”

The financial regulator then told Mr Anthony that it would like to have his “attention … specifically drawn to section 206A of the Corporations Act 2011“.

The section lists the prohibitions now placed on Mr Anthony which prevent him to “make, or participate in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the corporation.”

ASIC has warned Mr Anthony that if he breaks the disqualification order, he may be looking at a potential jail term.

Disqualified Person Mark Anthony
Former Evo Media director, Mark Christopher Anthony, is now regarded as a “disqualified person” and prohibited from managing any company until 2020

And yet, that’s seemingly what Mr Anthony has done within a matter of weeks of the ban order being handed down. Although Mr Anthony owes debts thought to total more than $1 million and has pulled out all sorts of dodgy shenanigans to get away from paying his creditors, landlords and employees what he owes, the failed company director has instead taken it upon himself to start sending desperate legal threats to local gay community organisations menacingly demanding that money be sent his way.


PART ONE: Scams, Frauds & Crimes? Employees lift lid on Evo Media and queer power games

PART TWO: Evo Media director sends late-night threats to employees as more “shonky” rorts in queer media surface

PART THREE: Evo Media caught out with owners now locked out of cafe as debt collectors & authorities come calling

PART FOUR: IN THEIR OWN WORDS! Evo Media owners admit they spent almost $500k with rorted employees hoping company “burns in hell” as death threats made

PART FIVE: FINALLY FOUND! Evo Media’s Mark Anthony served by ASIC as NSW Health mocks murder threat to journalist

It is against the law for Mr Anthony to attempt to recoup so-called debts owed to his now non-existent company, which was allegedly trading while insolvent as far back as October 2016. It is also against the law for Mr Anthony to partake in activities where he presents himself as a representative for a corporation.

But a possible stint in jail hasn’t put Mr Anthony off from trying to claim paltry debts he claims are still owed to Evo Media.

Less than a month after Mr Anthony was disqualified by ASIC, he was busy sending dubious legal threats to well-respected gay community organisations, demanding he and his now non-existent company be paid the princely sum of $2,000.

Mark Anthony Threats to Community Gay Group 1
Former Evo Media head honcho Mark Christopher Anthony seems desperate for $2,000 and was willing to seemingly break orders placed on him by ASIC within a few weeks of being named a “disqualified person”

“Further from our correspondence last year, where you committed to make payment on the 2015 [BLANK] sponsorship of $1000 + gst no payment has been received,” Mr Anthony wrote in an email on July 27.

“Similarly payment was guaranteed for the 2016 [BLANK] sponsorship of $1000 + gst and again no payment has been received. This is particularly disappointing when the [BLANK] organization received considerable sponsorship from Foxtel.

“Two years have almost past where Evo Media has gone beyond what it was required to provided to [BLANK] in the sponsorship agreements and has not received any promised payment from [BLANK] or yourself.

“Unless the full amount outstanding of $2000 + gst is not paid by Friday 28 July 2017, Evo Media without further notice to you will commence legal action against your organization [sic] and yourself personally.”

After not receiving a response to his desperate threat, Mr Anthony was then moved to write yet another email message on August 2, demanding the money be paid to him immediately.

Mark Anthony Threats to Community Gay Group 2
Less than a week later after his original threat, Mark Anthony was once again falsely representing himself on behalf of Evo Media, with the company no longer in existence after being forcibly placed into administration by ASIC

“This email will serve as the final opportunity to contact Evo Media and make payment of the outstanding balance,” Mr Anthony wrote.

“Court proceedings otherwise will commence this Friday 4 August 2017.”

Mr Anthony signed off the message with: “Evo Media Pty Ltd”.

As far as True Crime News Weekly is aware the failed company director though has not followed through with his threats of legal action. Perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that commencing a court case over a $2,000 debt is likely to cost him more in legal fees than what he claims he is owed in the first place.

Ironically, while Mr Anthony was sending the dubious legal threats, just this month a court in Sydney ordered a judgement that Mr Anthony pay close to $20,000 to printing company Fuji Xerox for still-unpaid printing services that were provided to Evo Media.

Mark Anthony ordered to pay Fuji Xerox 20000 dollars
Evo Media’s Mark Anthony was ordered by a court on August 10 to pay almost $20,000 to printing company Fuji Xerox which the company has been attempting to recoup for almost 12 months

True Crime News Weekly has however been informed by the recipient of Mr Anthony’s threats that there is no debt payable to Evo Media in any case. The source said that even if Evo Media was still in existence the so-called debt had much earlier “been written off” by the media group’s long-time “editorial director” and “senior manager”, Reg Domingo.

Mr Domingo – who was given a cushy marketing job with the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) after complaining to its CEO, Nicolas Parkhill, in February of this year that even he of all people was no longer being paid by Mr Anthony – was fingered by colleagues as turning a blind eye to the corporate rip-offs at Evo Media and Evolution Publishing stretching back almost a decade.


At no time during his employment with Evo Media and Evolution Publishing did Mr Domingo report the company to authorities such as the ATO despite being owed tens of thousands of dollars in superannuation himself. Mr Domingo also allegedly didn’t do much about complaints over many years from his colleagues and staff about non-payment of wages and superannuation. Mr Domingo does however claim that he used portions of his own wages “on three occassions” to help pay colleagues in his 10-year career with the media company when Mr Anthony failed to pay scheduled wages. Non-payment of wages as well as superannuation for staff  and unpaid invoices for freelancers was a regular way of life at Evo Media and Evolution Publishing.

Former Evo Media “senior manager” and “editorial director” Reg Domingo has gone all quiet following True Crime News Weekly’s investigation into the corrupt media company and its relationship with ACON

Mr Domingo sent numerous menacing threats of defamation from the ACON-connected law firm, Dowson Turco Lawyers, towards True Crime News Weekly earlier this year to prevent this publication from reporting on his involvement and role at Evo Media. Obviously, all such threats were simply ignored and will continue to be ignored. Mr Domingo, for his part, has now gone to ground in his ACON bunker and prefers to remain silent, rather than issuing baseless and petty threats.


ACON was for most of the media company’s existence Evo Media’s single biggest advertiser and promotional partner. The government funded pseudo-bureaucracy continued to plow hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money to the corrupt media company despite senior ACON executives such as its CEO and others being clearly warned as far back as March 2013 about the financial irregularities and criminal activities occurring at its media partner.

It is believed millions of taxpayers dollars by ACON and others were directed to Mr Anthony and Mr Bell despite the pair consistently faking and inflating circulation, distribution and subscription figures perhaps for up to 15 years. It meant that many of ACON’s so-called important health messages and awareness raising campaigns were never seen by its target audience because many of the magazines the ads were supposed to appear in were just never printed. And it seemed like ACON simply didn’t care.


It has since been revealed by True Crime News Weekly however that ACON kept up its decade-plus long partnership with Evo Media until earlier this year largely because of a symbiotic, parasitic relationship. It only broke its relationship with the media group following pressure brought on by our investigation at True Crime News Weekly.

A former National Sales Manager with Evo Media and Evolution Publishing has now confessed to True Crime News Weekly that senior employees at both ACON and Evo Media sickeningly used the relationship as a front to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in surplus taxpayer funds meant for people living with HIV.

“Towards the each of end financial year, ACON would simply give us a blank cheque basically and we would pretend to list it as an ‘advertising cost’ but there was no advertising or anything that we did for them,” the former senior employee revealed.

“The smallest amount that I ever saw was $20,000 but it was regularly in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that was then put straight into the pockets of senior people at ACON and Evo. ACON are corrupt to the core. It is sick when you think about it.”

ACON Income and Expenditure Annual Report 15-16
ACON supposedly spent more than $1million on advertising in 2015/16 but it has been revaled some of that spend may have been part of a long-running rort where surplus taxpayers funds meant for people living with HIV were simply divided up by senior employees at ACON and Evo Media

A look at ACON’s most recent available annual report shows the NSW Government-funded bureaucracy spent over $1 million in 2015/16 on advertising, almost double on what it spent on actual services and programs for people living with HIV. It should be pointed out, a significant proportion of that one-million-dollar-plus figure was given to Evo Media.

So, while people living with HIV are struggling to gain access to new methods of treatment and prevention – with ACON not even spending any of its own funds in trials of new Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs – executives and senior employees with the “LGBTI health agency” were only too happy to allegedly skim hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more than a million over the last 10 years or so in fake advertising deals with the likes of Evo Media.


SMS sent to Nicolas Parkhill About Evo Media on March 4 2013_NamesRedacted

Nicolas Parkhill responds back via SMS to 2013 Message_UnrelatedSMSesBlackedOut

Puzzlingly, ACON will not say why it hasn’t commenced some kind of legal action against its former media partner, considering the millions of dollars it directed towards Evo Media under fraudulent pretenses which resulted in important health messages and awareness campaigns never being seen thanks to longterm circulation and distribution rorts.

True Crime News Weekly is also aware of messages sent by concerned members of the LGBTIQ community to Mr Parkhill and ACON’s president, Justin Koonin, over the past few months about why the NGO hasn’t made an attempt to reclaim any of the taxpayers’ money given to Evo Media.

Not speaking: ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill is supposed to be a LGBTIQ community leader but refuses to answer questions on the allegedly corrupt relationship with Evo Media that saw millions of taxpayer dollars essentially laundered away

“Why have ACON not issued a formal letter of demand to Evo Media for the return of funds most likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to the advertising corporation over a number of years? You have clear proof that Evo Media’s circulation of papers was falsified and misleading to advertisers,” one of the messages sent to Mr Parkhill and Mr Koonin reads.

“I am sure this could be confirmed by the ex-employee of Evo Media, Reg Domingo, now working in a senior role with ACON.

“ACON is funded by the government, these are taxpayers dollars that ACON paid to Evo Media. I could only attribute the lack of action you have taken is for the simple reason that ACON and Evo Media are in cahoots with each other and the hard working dollars of taxpayers money is not of importance to you and your organisation.”


Neither Mr Parkhill nor Mr Koonin have provided any sort of response to the allegations. Mr Parkhill’s close friend and 10-year “senior manager” at ACON, Michael Badorrek, although did attempt to plan to organise a ‘murder hit’ from Thailand on this very publication due to our investigation into the matters.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) however has in the past few weeks made recommendations to the NSW Health Department following ACON’s role in the demise of Evo Media. ACON receives more than $10 million from taxpayers via NSW Health each year.

ICAC says it has raised issues about ACON with NSW Health
ICAC believes the issues “raised in relation to ACON may be of interest to the NSW Department of Health” in a letter sent in July following True Crime News Weekly’s investigation

“The Commission considers that the issues you have raised in relation to ACON may be of interest to the NSW Department of Health. Accordingly, we have referred your concerns to that agency for its information,” a message from ICAC reads.

True Crime News Weekly also sent a series of questions by email to Mr Anthony about his latest peculiar threats and activities, but he refused to provide a response. Mr Anthony also didn’t provide a comment when asked why he was trying to reclaim non-existent debts on behalf of a non-existent company while acting in a role that no longer exists – one he is “disqualified” from in any case.

Partners in Crime? We will leave it up to the authorities to decide whether Dean Anthony Bell and Mark Christopher Anthony were engaging in criminal behaviour

ASIC though has been made aware of Mr Anthony’s recent actions and behaviour, and has also been provided a copy of his latest legal threats and attempts to pass himself off as a representative of Evo Media. A spokesperson for the corporate watchdog told True Crime News Weekly that anyone with information on Mr Anthony’s and Mr Bell’s recent and past activities should contact them if they were in a position to do so.

“Unfortunately, we are not able to provide commentary on any investigation or potential focus of investigation as [the legal regulations] makes clear,” the spokesperson added.

In late July, ASIC announced it would be combining forces with the likes of the Tax Office and the Australian Federal Police to better coordinate its activities against individuals alleged to have committed similar corporate crimes as Mr Anthony is said to have done.

“Phoenix advice is an area of increasing focus,” ASIC commissioner John Price told The Australian Financial Review.

“We are working closely with other regulators and maintaining a multifaceted approach to disrupt, stop and punish.”

ASIC to disrupt Phoenix Scams
“Rise like a phoenix”: It wasn’t Conchita, but ASIC who announced in late July it will team up with the Tax Office and Australian Federal Police to better clamp down on phoenix scams and individuals involved in planning them

While Mr Anthony is seemingly desperate for a few dollars more, one of his former journalists who is now an academic at the University of Sydney has contacted True Crime News Weekly to reveal how Mr Anthony and Mr Bell may have laundered their alleged ill-gotten taxpayer gains.

The academic and archaeologist informed True Crime News Weekly that even as far back as 15 years ago when he was employed by Evolution Publishing, the pair were engaging in a host of dodgy and illegal activities.

“I have a very large scar that bothers me more than I would like, and it is the shape of the SX logo,” the source said.

“It was a toxic environment even back then, and talk of inflated circulation numbers was commonplace.”

The source suggested to True Crime News Weekly that much of the public money that the likes of ACON directed towards Evo Media and Evolution Publishing mainly went into the back pockets of Mr Anthony and Mr Bell rather than paying employees or suppliers correctly, or even the Tax Office.

Justin Koonin
ACON president Justin Koonin is an expert in pure mathematics and a former senior employee of global financial services firm PwC but seemingly can’t add two and two together when it comes to Evo Media

“Dean Bell and Mark have, I dare say, laundered a lot of their ill-gotten gains through their art collection. I now also collect art and can see how easy it would be to hide suspicious funds in art,” the source continued.

“They screwed me and a bunch of other people. I am just glad they’re being revealed finally as the social cancer that they are.”

Unsurprisingly, ACON now refuses to respond to any queries sent by True Crime News Weekly.


Meanwhile, the turmoil within the queer media is now spreading to other entities. There are fears that as the country lurches forward towards a ludicrous, expensive, undemocratic and non-binding plebiscite on marriage reforms designed simply to appease homophobic elements of society, that the LGBTIQ community will itself be in a weak position to fight back with no real regular community news media left anymore.

The fears come following allegations that the country’s oldest, and longest-running LGBTIQ publication, the Star Observer, may itself be in serious financial and business strife. Of deep concern, it also turns out that the organisation that runs the Star Observer may be falsely representing itself as a proper not-for-profit outfit. Meanwhile, former employees as well as other staff and contributors have suggested to True Crime News Weekly that the Star Observer may be just as big as “crooks” as their one-time rivals at Evo Media.

Like its doomed rivals Evo Media, the Star Observer is alleged to be facing a whole host of serious issues and problems

The allegations come after True Crime News Weekly received a message from a 30-year subscriber to the publication. The long-term subscriber said she was extremely concerned for the Star Observer’s future after not receiving her monthly issue of the print magazine for six months. She informed True Crime News Weekly it was the second time her subscription delivery with the Star Observer has suddenly stopped and it has taken months to get copies eventually sent to her.

“I wonder how the Star Observer’s print run and distribution numbers are going?” the source told True Crime News Weekly in reference to the alleged long-running circulation rorts run by its rivals at Evo Media.

In an emailed letter sent to the Star Observer and copied to True Crime News Weekly, the source – who is known as “a ’78’er” having fought against police brutality at what was Sydney’s first Mardi Gras in 1978 – wrote that she was left dumbfounded to have been told her subscription had now been cancelled after the publication failed to deliver any of its editions this year.


The source said she was left further frustrated by demands for payment by the Star Observer when she had already paid for her subscription, while there had even been some tentative discussions to allow 78ers free access to the Star Observer.

“You can throw your subscription has expired notice in the bin and you can send me at least six issues for the next six months and an extension on my subscription due to having not sent my paid for publication to me for six months of this year,” the subscriber wrote to the Star Observer after not receiving any editions.

“I am so sick of this happening. You sent me an email many weeks ago telling me that I would be getting all issues I have missed in the mail. Of course nothing arrived at all. Instead I get an EXPIRY NOTICE. You are a community company, you are not hopefully like other gay publication outlets that are treating subscribers and customers badly.”

The source said the Star Observer had since replied to her message promising to send her the back issues owed her, which she finally did receive but only after copying True Crime News Weekly in her message to the print publication.

“Why they keep asking me for evidence of my paying them and when and by what means is beyond me – surely their records would clearly show payments and subscriptions and if they don’t, they should just give me a free subscription for a year because of the mess it has been,” the source added.

“I will never ever again be subscribing.”

Sebastian Rice
A whole host of questions to answer for Star Observer chairperson Sebastian Rice

When True Crime News Weekly approached the Star Observer to query if it was having any distribution, subscription or circulation issues, the company’s chairperson, Sebastian Rice, admitted that they had received some complaints from other readers too but played down what it meant for the company.

“We have not stopped delivering subscriptions. We did change our magazine and subscription distribution method quite some time ago,” Mr Rice said.

“I believe we have had a few complaints from individuals about subscriptions. Whenever our team has been notified of these types of problems, we have worked to correct the problem. If there are any readers who are still experiencing problems, I would encourage them to contact the Star Observer team directly so that we can sort it out.”


The publication, which for most of its existence since 1979 was a weekly newspaper, went to being a monthly news and culture magazine in April 2014 in a bid to cut costs in a flagging and struggling media market.

Even more worryingly though, there are calls now to have financial authorities to get involved in the affairs of the Star Observer, which is supposedly run by a not-for-profit company, Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing Ltd. The Star Observer has been in existence since 1979 when it started life off as a publication to support the businesses in Sydney’s Oxford Street and surrounds that had commenced servicing the interests of gay and bisexual men at a time when homosexual relations were still illegal in New South Wales and many other parts of Australia.

Mark Bailey, a foundational shareholder in the Star Observer, has informed True Crime News Weekly that for over 18 months he has been given the run-around after requesting basic information from the company.

“I’ve been asking for my change of address to be noted and for AGM and meeting details to be sent to me as a shareholder,” Mr Bailey said.

“No response to letters, emails nor messages left on the editor’s and publisher’s voicemail. I am sending one more email and then if no response is received will be lodging a formal complaint with ASIC and NSW Fair Trading.”

Another person, who says he is “an original share holder” of the Star Observer, and was its chairperson for two years in the early 1990s, said he too had noticed some troubles at the publication.

“I’ve given up trying to get the current management to tell me my share status,” he wrote over social media.

Mr Rice however denied the claims made by the original shareholders that the company has been difficult to contact or actively avoiding them.

“As far as I am aware, we have responded to shareholder inquiries,” Mr Rice told True Crime News Weekly.

“If there is any shareholder that is unclear how to contact us … I encourage them to contact me directly at chair@starobserver.com.au.”

ASIC Listing for Star Observer as Public Company
The Star Observer calls itself a not-for-profit but offficially it is a “public company, limited by shares”

True Crime News Weekly however has been informed of a possible reason for why foundational shareholders and others have been finding it so difficult to ascertain financial information about the Star Observer and its parent company. Despite sales staff and its own journalists being under the impression that the company is a not-for-profit, ABN searches and information held on ASIC’s website only list the Star Observer as a “public company”. Searches conducted on the online register for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) also fails to bring up any information on the Star Observer being listed as an official not-for-profit group. The ACNC “contains information about more than 54,000 charities registered” with it, however, when the Star Observer’s company name or ABN is entered into a search function, the response comes back that “there are no records”.

The charities and not-for-profit groups that are “listed on the Register have met the ACNC’s legal meaning of being a charity and other requirements under our Act, and have ongoing obligations to the ACNC, including keeping their information on the Register up-to-date”.

When asked about the matters and whether the Star Observer was actually a not-for-profit organisation, Mr Rice said the company was “limited by shares, with a constitution that mandates that it is a not-for-profit. Shareholders cannot benefit in any manner financially from their shareholdings”.

Charity Register has no records of Star Observer being an official not for profit
The Star Observer is not listed as an official not-for-profit with the nation’s charity and not-for-profit regulator, the Australian Charities & Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)

It’s early days to say whether the Star Observer will soon fall like its direct rival Evo Media but if the writing is not on the wall, the pens, pencils and permanent markers can’t be far away with large sections of the media in Australia and elsewhere struggling to stay afloat. In mid-2014, the Star Observer was forced to turn to crowdfunding to make up a $75,000 gap in its budget, which it claimed came about because of costly legal proceedings on a number of fronts.

In response to the fears about the future of the publication, Mr Rice explained: “We have very limited resources, and rely on a mix of paid staff, casuals, freelancers, and volunteers. We pay for everything we do via advertising sales and fundraising, with all proceeds reinvested back into LGBTI community activities. We will report our full year financials at our AGM later in the year.”


When asked why the Star Observer – which calls itself the “journal of record” for the nation’s LGBTIQ community – had failed to cover the debacle involving Evo Media and ACON, Mr Rice suggested the media group’s editorial team thought there were more important stories to cover. However, a number of other queer media websites, publications, radio stations as well as the likes of mainstream marketing website Mumbrella covered the story a number of months ago on the back of True Crime News Weekly’s exclusive investigation. Coincidentally, or otherwise, ACON also happens to be the major promotional and advertising partner for the Star Observer, and has been for a long while.

Mr Rice insisted though that the Star Observer believes in editorial independence.

“Our editor decides what news we cover and how it is covered. Our board does not control news coverage,” he told True Crime News Weekly.

“Our business dealings with ACON are industry standard commercial arrangements for display advertising and sponsored feature articles. ACON does not have any input into our news coverage.

“I personally believe that the way the owners of Evo Media have treated their clients and staff has been disgraceful. I cannot understand why any business or community organisation would work with them.”

However, True Crime News Weekly has been informed that the Star Observer’s editorial team was prevented by its newly installed CEO, Rob McMaster, from following up the story involving Evo Media and ACON after it was broken in early April by this publication.


True Crime News Weekly also has an email in its possession from the Star Observer’s current editor, Matthew Wade, where clear interest was expressed in covering the Evo Media debacle. But, for one reason or another, it simply did not eventuate. True Crime News Weekly can as well confirm that phone calls from numerous members of the LGBTIQ community, including celebrities, were made to the Star Observer urging them to cover the story.

On a related note, it can be revealed that back in 2013, ACON pressured the Star Observer to not publish a news story with documentary evidence about how its CEO, Nicolas Parkhill, had lied about rising HIV rates at the time. When ACON could not convince the journalist involved to drop the story, senior elements of the government-funded organisation then pressured the publication’s then publisher and CEO, Daniel Bone, to do so.

A source has also informed True Crime News Weekly that in a telephone conversation with Mr Rice in April of this year, the chair of the Star Observer said they wouldn’t be publishing a story on their doomed rivals at Evo Media as it was apparently in their interests that there were “two strong LGBTI news groups in existence”. Seemingly, Mr Rice didn’t have much to say when the source responded to him that having a media group which indiscriminately ripped off its own queer employees and queer community groups and many others for over a decade was perhaps not a great look for the LGBTIQ community.


A former employee of the Star Observer, meanwhile, told True Crime News Weekly:

“The lack of Evo coverage is not because they’re trying to hide something but because – my understanding is – they were unsure how it would affect them to report on it. But it was the new CEO, Rob, who made that decision. Which is not cool for the business side to have editorial influence.”

OPINION: How gay media got into this mess

The same source also revealed that they themselves were aware of subscription, circulation and distribution issues plaguing the Star Observer, going back to last year at least.

“I took calls from multiple stockists that they hadn’t had a delivery in ages,” the former employee said.

“At least three I can remember. And I did take other calls where people asked for the deliveries to be reduced because they were receiving too many, as in that, nobody was really picking them up.

“I think there was a lot of bad management and bad administration. I can’t speak if it was deliberate.”

The source told True Crime News Weekly that the culture at the Star Observer wasn’t much better than what has been described about Evo Media, with rampant sexism and bullying by senior management and slurs against transgender people par for the course.

“Everyone I know had a really rough time,” the source said.

“I still have PTSD from that place.”

A former freelance contributor also made contact with True Crime News Weekly to unload on the media group.

“Between you and I, Star Observer isn’t much better than Evo Media. There is something fishy in that place, mark my words,” the source revealed.

“I was working for them on the clear understanding that revenue would be shared once the section built up a following. Of course that never happened. I long suspected they were crooks. Everyone there seemed shifty when asked anything probing, and completely incompetent any other time!”


True Crime News Weekly is also aware of another editorial contributor who ended up taking legal action against the Star Observer over unpaid wages and other entitlements and was eventually awarded close to $15,000.

Another departed employee has as well contacted True Crime News Weekly to confirm some of the allegations surrounding the Star Observer, saying serious issues continue to plague the media group.

“Let me know if you go after the Star [because] I have loads on them,” the source said when they approached True Crime News Weekly.

The former employee claimed that the Star Observer like Evo Media is even involved in “ripping off” local LGBTIQ community organisations so as to benefit its major promotional partner, ACON.

“They have been ripping off Mardi Gras on advertising regarding the pricing they are offering them. Charging them so much but ACON gets 40% off. It’s bullshit,” the source revealed .

“I care about the community but the Star just wanted money. I also know magazines don’t get delivered to all the places they say.”

The former employee said like Evo Media the Star Observer was known for rorting its own staff and contributors.

“I had to get an accountant to work out how much they owe,” the source added.

“I brought hundreds of thousands of dollars into the business but they still owe me money.

“I’d suggest all the Star Observer’s current and former employees check their payslips and superannuation as well as other entitlements that may be owed.”

And similar to how senior employees at ACON have been accused of pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for people living with HIV, sources have informed True Crime News Weekly that management at the Star Observer had also behaved unethically in recent months by essentially stealing money meant for charitable organisations.

“The money that was raised from a suicide forum earlier this year still hasn’t been given to any charity,” a source informed True Crime News Weekly.

“The funds raised were meant to be given to a suicide prevention charity. It’s now almost four months later and they still haven’t given the funds to anybody. People who donated money are asking which organisation got the money.”

When questioned whether the funds had been sent to any charitable organisations, Mr Rice admitted he simply did not know.

“The Star Observer held a community forum at ACON at the beginning of May 2017 on the topic of suicide prevention,” Mr Rice said.

“I have asked Star Observer’s CEO to check back … to determine whether any followup items relating to the forum have been overlooked. If there is unfinished work, or payments that still need to be made, then we will sort that out.”

Much like the case with Mr Domingo at Evo Media, a number of former employees of the Star Observer have as well contacted True Crime News Weekly to unleash on the publication’s recently departed editor, Corey Sinclair. Some employees have alleged that Mr Sinclair was a volatile bully who had an addiction to methamphetamine. Mr Sinclair, who was the editor of the Star Observer for less than a year between April 2016 until March 2017, is now the editor of the News Corp operated Centralian Advocate based in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Recently departed Star Observer editor Corey Sinclair is alleged to have been an “ice junkie” who bullied and intimidated other staff before suddenly leaving under a cloud in March after just 10 tumultuous months in the role

Corey the last editor was an ice junkie and they covered it up,” one former employee said.

“He was a horrible human. His bullying behaviour was quite notorious.

“And when one of the staff bravely stood up and made an official complaint, the management then treated that person horribly.”

Those sentiments were also backed up by another well-respected former employee.

“Corey and [the former CEO Daniel Bone] really were terrible to me,” the employee revealed.


In response, Mr Rice told True Crime News Weekly that he had not spoken to Mr Sinclair since his departure from the Star Observer. Mr Rice, pointedly, however did not deny the claims that Mr Sinclair had a drug addiction to methamphetamine and was volatile or threatening towards other staff.

“He was our editor for about 10 months. In that time, I believe Corey faced some very difficult family situations, and frequently worked from home,” Mr Rice said.

“Corey Sinclair’s resignation occurred with little notice. We publicly announced Corey’s departure and the appointment of Matthew Wade as our editor soon afterwards. We have not attempted to hide his departure.”

Mr Sinclair would not comment about the allegations made by other staff, or, the reasons for his departure from the Star Observer when approached by True Crime News Weekly.


A few former employees and others close to the Star Observer however have pointed to the departure in February 2016 of highly-respected and talented former editor, Elias Jahshan, as a real turning point in the fortunes of the publication. The experienced and likeable Mr Jahshan was at the helm for close to three years before he left for a new challenge overseas.

“We were lucky we had Elias for a bit,” one source added. “But I think all the journos and other employees and contributors should come together to reveal how terrible it was working there.”


But it’s not just the Star Observer that’s in some major strife. Queer radio station Joy 94.9 based in Melbourne is said to be facing a raft of serious problems too. The issues range from personnel clashes, to alleged falsehoods over its recent donation drive which apparently netted more than $300,000 in donations. While others have alleged the station has a culture of sexual harassment, bullying and racism.

Joy 949 LogoThe allegations and claims come at a time when the station’s most high-profile and perhaps best respected on-air talent, Dean Beck, has been forcibly shafted by management. Mr Beck has been prevented from doing his weekly show as well as banned from Joy 94.9’s premises for six months with no clear reasons given for his removal. True Crime News Weekly understands Mr Beck’s forced hiatus is linked to him simply doing his job as a journalist and commentator and raising a minor criticism of the Victorian Government’s LGBTIQ community and HIV policies.

Mr Beck, an award-winning broadcaster whose show Word for Word is the only Joy 94.9 program to be syndicated nationally across the Community Radio Network via the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), would not speak with True Crime News Weekly about the matters when contacted.

Of perhaps most concern though, are claims the radio station’s management is alleged to have helped cover up for sexual harassers and even criminal serial sex offenders, including David Cyprys, who is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most notorious paedophiles and unrepentant child rapists. A number of hearings at the recent and historic Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse were devoted to Cyprys’s crimes.

Mr Cyprys – a practising Orthodox Jew well-known in Melbourne’s conservative religious Jewish community – was finally jailed in December 2013 to a sentence of eight years for multiple rape attacks on a 15-year-old boy in 1990 and 1991 as well as for the sexual assaults on a further eight young boys.

David Cyprys.
Regarded as one of Australia’s most notorious paedophile rapists, David Cyprys, spent years trying to infiltrate Melboure’s gay community despite outwardly being a married, conservative and homophobic Orthodox Jew

In 1992, Mr Cyprys was actually found guilty over indecent assault but thanks to a lenient judge, he was only fined $500 and placed on a good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded. One wonders how many children, their families and others would have been spared trauma and abuse had the courts done their job properly back then.

Mr Cyprys, now aged 49, was a married security guard, locksmith and youth leader at the Yeshivah Centre and College in Melbourne’s beachside suburb of St Kilda East. Outwardly, he was also a devoted believer in Orthodox Judaism which largely frowns upon homosexual relations.

Yet by September 2007, following his separation and divorce from his first wife a year earlier, Mr Cyprys began attempting to groom sections of Melbourne’s queer community.

His first port of call was a Jewish support group for LGBTIQ people, where its organisers within a matter of months began to grow extremely suspicious of Mr Cyprys’s true motives. True Crime News Weekly has been told by those close to the support group that Mr Cyprys was very insistent on gaining access to the organisation’s membership list for its youth offshoot group despite being a new member himself and about 40 years-of-age at the time.

True Crime News Weekly has been provided with a number of photos showing Mr Cyprys attending gay-themed events in the city. True Crime News Weekly has been informed that Mr Cyprys had a ‘fetish’ for young, hairless Asian men.


By January 2008 however, Mr Cyprys had earned the trust of enough people in Melbourne’s queer community that he had landed himself a guest speaker role at an outside radio broadcast held by Joy 94.9 at The Glasshouse. The radio event was held to discuss LGBTIQ issues and religion, with Mr Cyprys present on the day to discuss his thoughts on Judaism.


Over the next six months, Mr Cyprys then began grooming individuals connected to Joy 94.9. This included an alleged rape attempt on a young gay man who he had met at the outside broadcast for Joy 94.9 at which he was a guest at. Although over the age of 18, the alleged victim has told True Crime News Weekly that he believes Mr Cyprys targeted him as he looked underage.

“When he finally had me in a room alone with him, his demeanour suddenly changed and he just started trying to pull my jeans down and I had to fight him off,” the survivor of Mr Cyprys’s attempted sexual assault said. “It was really creepy and scary.”

That wasn’t the end of the matter though. Mr Cyprys then began stalking the young man, even going to the extent of setting up fake Facebook profiles in a bid to ‘catfish’ the victim. After ignoring the messages over a number of months, Mr Cyprys all of a sudden gave up and began looking for further victims. This time within the premises of Joy 94.9 itself.

By June 2008, Mr Cyprys was invited to complete work at the radio station’s headquarters to install a new security system. While working at Joy 94.9, True Crime News Weekly can reveal that a number of volunteers at the station expressed their concern at some of his “creepy and sexually inappropriate” behaviour.


One long-serving former Joy 94.9 volunteer has referred to Mr Cyprys as an “equal opportunity offender” who was seemingly harassing both men and women, and young and old, at the station. At no point did the radio station’s management take action against Mr Cyprys. No background checks were conducted either despite the radio station giving Mr Cyprys access to sensitive security systems and data. He was simply allowed to finish installing the new security system before departing.

Joy’s management has previously claimed that it only found out about the concerns surrounding Mr Cyprys when Manny Waks – a former Yeshivah student and now one of the world’s leading advocates against child sexual abuse – publicly outed himself in July 2011 as a survivor of the security guard and youth leader’s heinous and evil crimes. When the Royal Commission handed its down is findings in December 2016 into the sexual abuse that Mr Cyprys was involved in, it laid a large part of the blame on senior rabbis and others at the Yeshivah college and within Melbourne’s Orthodox Jewish community, saying that “that the leadership did not create an environment conducive to the communication of information about child sexual abuse”.

Manny Waks
Abuse survivor and world leading anti-child abuse advocate, Manny Waks, believes it is important that David Cyprys’s attempts to groom Melbourne’s gay community is finally revealed

Mr Waks has told True Crime News Weekly that allegations surrounding Mr Cyprys’s inappropriate sexual behaviour and potential criminal behaviour have been known about by members of the Yeshivah community in Melbourne since 1984. While by the early 2000s, large segments of the city’s tight-knit Jewish Orthodox community and others were aware that Mr Cyprys was a sex offender but insistent that his 1992 guilty finding was his only offence.

True Crime News Weekly has however been provided with information that Mr Cyprys was targeting young gay men to groom as far back as 2004 through the use of internet dating sites meant for 16-25 year olds and websites targeting gay youth. Mr Cyprys would pretend he was aged in his early 20s to strike up conversations with teenagers and others despite being well into his 30s at the time. He even ended up on a few ‘dates’ thanks to his lies. One 21-year-old man who had recently come out as gay and had met Mr Cyprys through the gay youth website and forum Mogenic in 2004 said the prolific child rapist made him feel “very uncomfortable” throughout their time together on a date at a Melbourne cinema. The same man was later shocked to find Mr Cyprys working at Joy 94.9 in 2008 while he too was present at the station as a volunteer.

The president of Joy 94.9, Melinda Rich, refused to comment about any of the issues concerning Mr Cyprys and his time at the radio station when approached for a response by True Crime News Weekly.

Interestingly, the Star Observer was prevented back in late 2013 from publishing the revelations regarding Mr Cyprys and his infiltration of Melbourne’s gay community. Senior management at the publisher at the time kiboshed the story due to claims that it would upset both Joy 94.9 as well as powerful elements of the Jewish Lobby. Journalists spent over a month researching the story but were told it would not be published. The journalists however had received permission at the time from the likes of Mr Waks as well as organisers of the Jewish LGBTIQ support group to publish the story.

But Mr Cyprys was not the only alleged sex offender or serial sexual harasser at Joy 94.9 to have stepped foot within the station in recent times. True Crime News Weekly has learnt that Greg Adkins, who heads up Victoria’s Anti-Violence Project was banned from the premises of Joy 94.9 in mid-2013 after he was accused of consistently sexually harassing and groping a female lesbian volunteer as well as making lewd, sexually explicit suggestions to others at the station.

Greg Adkins Image_BlackOut
Head of Victoria’s Anti-Violence Project, Greg Adkins, is alleged to have been banned from the premises of Joy 94.9 after numerous complaints were made about sexual harassment and abuse but he then resigned before any real action was taken

Mr Adkins, a former director of the National LGBTI Health Alliance and company secretary with Joy 94.9, has previously worked as a sexual assault counsellor and has held numerous high-profile roles within Victoria’s queer community, including working closely with police in his current role as the head of the Anti-Violence Project.

A number of sources have confirmed the reasons for why Mr Adkins was banned from the premises of Joy 94.9. However, his alleged actions were never noted to authorities, nor did Joy 94.9 seemingly warn other community groups about Mr Adkins’s alleged behaviour.


True Crime News Weekly has spoken to some of the complainants involved about Mr Adkins’s behaviour. In June 2013, one of Mr Adkins’s alleged victims, a young transgender volunteer, went public with their claims over social media.

“I’m so fucking upset right now,” the alleged victim wrote four years ago on Facebook.

“I was sexually harassed last year, I reported it [to Joy 94.9’s management] and asked for help to deal with [the] situation. Now turns out all they did was tell him not to be sexually explicit in his interactions with me.

“He’s still ALLOWED to interact with me. Last week he tried to talk to me. He made extremely explicit sexual requests and comments to me AND HE WASN’T BANNED FROM EVER COMMUNICATING WITH ME?

“This is fucking bullshit. He didn’t give a fuck about my feelings or boundaries when he said that shit to me and he sure as fuck doesn’t care now.

“I went to the organisation’s management since he’s another volunteer and they said they would speak to him.

“He spoke to me in person last week so I sent off an email regarding whether they did talk to him and I got the reply today saying they only told him not to be sexually explicit towards me.

“I’m in fucking tears over the email I got [from Joy 94.9’s management] today. I told them he was sexually explicit towards me. Would they have banned him from communicating if I told them EXACTLY what was said to me? Would they have still treated it so lightly if I had disclosed the requests? Do they really need to know the fucked up things he wanted me to do in order to take it seriously??”

Greg Adkins Bio 1
Greg Adkins’s bio on his Facebook page where he lists that he was a former CEO of Sexual Health and Planning Australia, as well as a counsellor with the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault

Alleged female victims of Mr Adkins have also claimed that he made threats towards them if they spoke out about his alleged behaviour. It is alleged that Mr Adkins would regularly grope the breasts and other intimate body parts of female volunteers.

“He said he could easily find out where some of the victims lived,” True Crime News Weekly was told by one former Joy 94.9 volunteer.

“The radio station is supposed to be a safe space for all queer people from all backgrounds but it is not. Management don’t know how to deal with instances of sexual harassment, assault, bullying or racism.

“All they usually do is put the onus back on the victim and cover up for alleged perpetrators who are usually more privileged white men. It’s actually a common theme right throughout queer community organisations sadly.”


True Crime New Weekly has discovered that Joy 94.9 recently returned a grant meant for anti racism work unspent, allegedly. Combating bigotry, prejudice and harassment seems to have been low on the list of priorities at the radio station.

In an ironic turn of events, Mr Adkins is now attempting to score a permanent position within Victoria’s planned new Pride Centre, which is meant to be the centralised epicentre for the state’s LGBTIQ advocacy and community groups under the umbrella of the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC). The building is also meant to be the new home of Joy 94.9 when it is finally constructed.

Ms Rich however, once again, failed to comment on the issues when approached by True Crime News Weekly. We had asked her whether Joy 94.9 staff and volunteers could feel safe in their new headquarters at the Pride Centre knowing someone who was an alleged danger to the well-being of staff and volunteers could be present and working in the very same building. Ms Rich was also asked about the exact steps it took when the complaints regarding Mr Adkins’s alleged behaviour came to management’s attention.

One source close to the matters though has informed True Crime News Weekly that Mr Adkins definitely had a ‘hands-on’ reputation while at the station.

“He was a very touchy-feely person with everyone, always coming up behind you and putting his arms around you, giving unsolicited back rubs and the like,” the source said.

“Some people enjoyed it, some people didn’t, but his boundaries were definitely rather slack.

Following the complaints about him and while an investigation was still ongoing, Mr Adkins resigned from his position in a letter sent to station management which has been leaked to True Crime News Weekly. In the resignation letter dated July 4, 2013, Mr Adkins attempts to construe he was the victim of “petty grievances” and that it was him who was being bullied.

“Petty grievances have been drawn out and massaged so that they are supported by processes and outcomes falling outside the organisation’s policies, procedures and constitution while serious grievances have been deliberately dumbed down or even ignored,” Mr Adkins wrote at the time.

“On top of this I’ve had my personal integrity questioned and the personal safety of myself and those close to me put on the line. This is inexcusable.

“However I cannot support this current board given its deficiencies and especially in the way I feel it has allowed myself and others to be subjected to systemic bullying and harrassment.”

Greg Adkins at Joy 949_BlackOut
Former Joy 94.9 company secretary, Greg Adkins, resigned from the radio station in 2013 while he was being investigated over numerous sexual harassment and abuse complaints. In his resignation letter, Mr Adkins alleged other crimes such as theft went unpunished at Joy 94.9

Mr Adkins did however highlight in his resignation letter other crimes and financial irregularities committed at Joy 94.9 which seemingly went unpunished.

“During my time as a director I’ve raised concerns of potential breaches of community broadcasting guidelines, particularly around community sponsorship/advertising breaches,” Mr Adkins wrote.

“I’ve discussed potential risk mitigation issues including the raising of questions at board which identified poor financial oversight and revealed theft of a large amount of funds from the organisation. Action has been limited and rarely addresses concerns.

“I note also that the theft and it’s resolution remained hidden from the membership at the last AGM through to this day.”

Mr Adkins did not respond to a series of questions sent by True Crime News Weekly regarding the allegations made about him. He also would not answer questions on whether members and volunteers of Joy 94.9 could feel safe in the planned Pride Centre if he too was to take up tenancy in the same building. Mr Adkins did not take up an opportunity to apologise for his alleged behaviour or answer questions on whether his alleged behaviour meant that his work with the Anti-Violence Project was compromised.


The revelations about Mr Cyprys as well as Mr Adkins come as information has been leaked to True Crime News Weekly concerning Joy 94.9’s current CEO, Tennille Moisel, who is under a cloud over claims of financial impropriety at her previous role as festival director of Midsumma. Ms Moisel is also at the centre of credible claims that figures relating to Joy 94.9’s just recently completed ‘Radiothon’ donation drive may have been fudged.

Ms Moisel only joined Joy 94.9 as its CEO in April of last year following a merry-go-around of numerous individuals in the position and other senior positions, such as the station’s general manager role over the last few years. Back in 2011, the controversial gay lobbyist, Corey Irlam, famously lasted only a few weeks as general manager at Joy 94.9. During the 2013 federal election, Mr Irlam attempted to prevent the Star Observer from asking certain questions of now Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, when it sat down with him for an exclusive one-on-one interview. Mr Irlam then had a public tantrum over social media when the journalist interviewing Mr Turnbull told him to go away and not interfere with the media. Reasons for Mr Irlam’s sudden departure from Joy 94.9 were never explained.

Well-known controversial gay lobbyist Corey Irlam was another to have left Joy 94.9 in bizarre circumstances, after only lasting a few weeks as the station’s general manager in 2011

The Midsumma festival happens to be the largest annual social event for the LGBTIQ community in Victoria. The claims about Ms Moisel’s tenure at Midsumma have surfaced following a recent donation drive run by Joy 94.9 where Ms Moisel claimed that more than $300,000 was raised. It was a record amount pledged by the community for the station at a time of great economic uncertainty, job instability and stagnating wages. There are claims from station insiders that the figure is most likely made up. All previous donation drives run by the station have seen less than half that figure received while the station has also seen a stark drop in members and volunteer numbers over the past couple of years.

It has also been revealed that the board of Joy 94.9 did no due diligence on Ms Moisel before handing her the role of CEO as it was claimed that senior people associated with Midsumma were “on holidays” and couldn’t be contacted.

Although she was unwilling to answer questions about convicted serial sex offenders such as Mr Cyprys who had stepped foot inside Joy 94.9 in recent years, Ms Rich was seemingly happy to defend Ms Moisel’s alleged conduct.

Joy 94.9 CEO Tennille Moisel is alleged to have been allowed to quietly leave her role as festival director of Midsumma last year despite allegations of financial impropriety. There are now claims that the $300,000 raised by a recent donation drive at Joy 94.9 is not what it seems

“Our recent Radiothon was very successful, and raised just over $300,000 from our community to support the station. The funds came in the form of donations and also memberships. It was our most successful Radiothon and significantly better than last year,” Ms Rich told True Crime News Weekly.

“The Board is fully supportive of Ms Moisel, and her achievements have been significant in her first 15 months as CEO.”


Ms Rich however refused to be drawn on why her CEO was forced to leave Midsumma last year. She also didn’t deny that Joy 94.9 failed to contact Midsumma to discuss the reasons for Ms Moisel’s departure.

Melinda Rich
Joy 94.9 president Melinda Rich refused to make any comment on matters relating to notorious paedophile rapist, David Cyprys, as well as sexual harassment claims regarding former Joy 94.9 company secretary, Greg Adkins

To find out more about the matters, True Crime News Weekly sent an email to Midsumma’s current CEO, Karen Bryant, who was installed into the position in May of last year – a few weeks after Ms Moisel departed from her position as the festival’s director.

Ms Bryant received our emailed request but simply avoided commenting for a number of days, however True Crime News Weekly then got into contact with her by telephone. midsumma final logoA nervous and flustered-sounding Ms Bryant would only offer a “no comment” when the allegations were put to her regarding Ms Moisel’s conduct as festival director at Midsumma. Ms Bryant also claimed her “week was really busy” and that’s why she had avoided our attempts to speak with her. When it was pointed out that the claims regarding financial impropriety at Midsumma could easily be put to bed, Ms Bryant claimed it “was before her time” and that she did not want to get involved. Ms Bryant also couldn’t answer why she didn’t want to defend Ms Moisel or help clear matters up.

When Ms Moisel did leave her role with Midsumma in March 2016, in sharp contrast to this week’s comments from Ms Bryant, the festival actually publicly paid tribute to her, perhaps in a move to save the queer community and themselves from being embarrassed.

“The festival has gone from strength to strength in recent years and Tennille has played a significant part in this journey, firstly on the board and then as festival director,” Midsumma chair John Caldwell said.

“Tennille leaves us with our thanks and best wishes.”

Midsumma-Karen-Bryant Australian Arts Review
Midsumma CEO Karen Bryant was nervous and flustered when approached for comment by True Crime News Weekly

Ms Moisel was invited through requests made to Ms Rich to comment on the allegations regarding her conduct at both Midsumma and Joy 94.9 but has so far refused to do so.

However, one of Australia’s most respected LGBTIQ advocates who has led important wins in law and social reform across the country for over the last decade has contacted True Crime News Weekly to suggest that queer community media across Australia is essentially now dead.

The highly-respected advocate said many of the media groups were simply concerned about keeping the likes of ACON and the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) as well as Mardi Gras and Midsumma on side at the expense of important community advocacy.

“It’s all an in-group thing with contra deals, favours for friends, backscratching and very little actual reporting,” the source told True Crime News Weekly.

“And because of the cosiness there is no real analysis in the media, or, a way for the community to really bring forward important ideas that may be critical of the established and well-resourced groups such as ACON and the VAC, which are largely government bureaucracies these days.

“They basically control what is said and by whom, as the media groups are essentially reliant on them and their taxpayer dollars for survival. And it’s no surprise you now find the entire queer media and the community divided and in such a corrupt mess.”

DISCLOSURE: True Crime News Weekly editor Serkan Ozturk was employed with Evolution Publishing between 2011-13 and was the person who first blew the whistle on the company over its consistent failure to pay employee entitlements and superannuation as well as claims of circulation and advertising rorts. Mr Ozturk was also employed by the Star Observer between July 2013-March 2014. If you have any information about this investigation, get in contact with True Crime News Weekly.



About Serkan Ozturk 132 Articles
Serkan Ozturk is an investigative journalist and the publisher and editor of True Crime News Weekly. His journalism has previously been featured by the likes of RT News, Sydney Morning Herald and Crikey. He is a member of the MEAA.

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