Rugby Australia's choice of barrister going up against Folau is telling
Rugby Australia's choice of barrister going up against Folau is telling

RA’s not-so-secret Folau agenda has been revealed

AFTER suffering through their worst season in 40 years, the Wallabies managed to eke out a win against Argentina on the weekend, the first since Israel Folau was sacked.

As Folau prepares to take his religious discrimination case to federal court this week, his treatment by Raelene Castle and Rugby Australia looks increasingly like a spectacular own goal.

Take, for instance, the curious choice of barrister Kate Eastman SC as RA's nominee to the three-person code-of-conduct panel which ruled on Folau.

She has been described as one of Sydney's most aggressive sexual discrimination barristers.

Judging by her previous work, it's easy to see why Rugby Australia chose her to be on the panel.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle has appointed barrister Kate Eastman SC as Rugby Australia’s nominee to the three-person code-of-conduct panel which ruled on Folau. Picture: Don Arnold/Getty
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle has appointed barrister Kate Eastman SC as Rugby Australia’s nominee to the three-person code-of-conduct panel which ruled on Folau. Picture: Don Arnold/Getty

For one thing, she has told the Australian Women's Register that she was inspired to become a human rights lawyer by reading the biographies of human rights activists in Chile in the 1970s.

She has said her 'dream job' was as senior legal officer at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

She was part of a working group of the NSW Bar Council which recommended that firms with at least 25 lawyers and government agencies should give 10 per cent of all briefs to female silks.

 

Rugby Australia’s problem with Israel Folau has been obvious for some time. Picture: David Swift
Rugby Australia’s problem with Israel Folau has been obvious for some time. Picture: David Swift

She has long had an interest in LGBTQI issues from a human rights perspective, according to an article published in the Law Council Review, and she has argued in a paper for an AHRC conference that Muslims be included in the Racial Discrimination act by defining them as ethno-religious because they are "new targets for racism".

Last year, she spoke at the Labor Party's Annual Conference about the need for a charter of Human Rights on behalf of the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers.

She also spoke about the need for legislating social change at the Human Rights Commission's 40th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Which is all fine and dandy, and there's no suggestion Ms Eastman wouldn't have done her job properly and independently, but by appointing her it makes it pretty clear that Rugby Australia had an agenda all along.

@mirandadevine



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