Why the fuss about Bettina’s honours award? Find out who wanted her cancelled…


On January 26, 2020 Bettina received an AM “for significant service to the community as a social commentator, and to gender equity for advocacy for men.”

She received this award for recognition for her 47-year public career, firstly educating Australia about sex, then working as a social commentator and more recently an advocate for men’s issues. Her contribution was previously recognised through a Centenary Medal in 2003.

Why did she come under attack?

The reasons behind the media pile-on that followed the announcement of Bettina’s award are very clear – certain people wanted her cancelled.

Bettina attracted widespread public attention last year for speaking out on university campuses denouncing the kangaroo courts for adjudicating sexual assault, which deny normal legal rights for accused young men. Her campaign has undermined the efforts of End Rape on Campus activists responsible for bullying universities into establishing these courts.

Bettina’s campaign had some big wins late last year with a Queensland Supreme Court case declaring these courts illegal and the Federal Education Minister instructing universities to leave these matters to the criminal courts.

Immediately following the announcement of Bettina’s honours award, End Rape on Campus activist Nina Funnell circulated distorted material from Bettina’s articles and videos designed to damage  her reputation and recruited high profile people to denounce the award.  Here’s detailed material Bettina prepared for the Press Council about this malicious campaign against her.

And here was Bettina on Sky News the next day discussing what was going on.

Video with sex offender

Funnell carefully edited and circulated grossly misleading extracts from an interview Bettina conducted with a convicted sex offender. Here’s the original, complete version of that video. See Funnell’s malicious edits exposed here. The fact that this highly edited video was showed on media sources across the country was very damaging to Bettina’s reputation. Here’s Bettina’s explanation of why she did that interview.

Canberra Doctor

Funnell also quoted Bettina out of context discussing a case where the judge and a full court determined a Canberra doctor should not be charged for his historic crimes of molesting patients.  She chose not to mention that Bettina was one of the actual victims of this doctor – as explained here – and hence had every right to comment on the matter.

What about Bettina’s alleged attacks on victims of violence?

The Victorian Attorney General, Jill Hennessy, tried to have Bettina stripped of her honour claiming she “blamed and shamed” victims of violence and abuse. Bettina has never denied the importance of supporting victims of these serious crimes but simply points out that domestic violence involves female as well as male perpetrators, and a third of the victims  are male, according to our official statistics. Read the true statistics here.

The ABC’s Media Watch took up this issue, misrepresenting the Australian Bureau of Statistics data on violence to claim Bettina had the statistics wrong. Here’s an analysis of how the ABC deliberately misled the public, wrongly suggesting Bettina was misinformed.

What about the evidence that Bettina faked her psychology qualifications?

Nina Funnell spent two years trying to find evidence that Bettina was misrepresenting her professional background and published a lengthy article on the subject two days after the honours award was announcement. Funnell also used social media to recruit people to make complaints to authorities about this issue but AHPRA, the organisation regulating psychologists, dismissed the complaints, announcing they were taking no action against Bettina. See here.

Bettina received legal threats when she tried to defend herself

During the initial period when Bettina was under attack, whenever she wrote about what was happening or appeared on radio to discuss it, she received three legal letters from lawyers representing Funnell, threatening legal action. Funnell has previously tried to stop Bettina speaking out about what is going on by threatening defamation action.

Reaction of the honours committee to complaints about Bettina’s award

A month after the award was awarded to Bettina, the Honours Council had received hundreds of letters asking for the award to be rescinded but just as many commending the Council for honouring her.

No special investigation has taken place into Bettina’s award – the Council simply had to decide whether Bettina has done anything since the award was announced to warrant rescinding the honour. Since she committed no criminal offence the award was always going to remain in place. The Covid-19 lockdown meant the Council’s normal February meeting didn’t eventuate and the final announcement regarding Bettina’s award was delayed until the second of their bi-annual meetings, held in late August.

What about Bettina’s controversial comment about the Baxter murder?

In late February, Bettina used social media to support a police spokesman who was under attack for his language during a press conference about an investigation into a horrific homicide. She quoted the policeman saying they were “keeping an open mind and awaiting proper evidence, including the possibility that the Rowan Baxter might have been ‘driven too far’”

Bettina’s single Twitter post regarding this crime was then widely misrepresented by the media which claimed these were her own words, rather than a quote from the policeman. The Australian Senate similarly misrepresented the issue when they passed a motion condemning Bettina for her action – as Senator Amanda Stoker explains here.

The current media narrative is that this deliberate misquoting of Bettina’s tweet regarding the Baxter murder is the reason for the controversy about her award. This is a nonsense. The campaign against Bettina started a whole month earlier within hours of her award being announced.

The NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman was one of many prominent people who chose to buy into the misinformation campaign against her, to the astonishment of renowned Canadian commentator Mark Steyn. Here’s Steyn’s denouncement of Speakman – “Screw you, Mr Attorney-General.” 

Our captured media

The most shocking aspect of this whole affair is the complicity of most of the media in signing up to the relentless pile on against Bettina. Here is the perfect demonstration of how much of our media has sold out to the feminist narrative, happy to parrot misinformation and deliberate distortions rather than do their homework and check facts.

Ever since the campaign to cancel her began on Australia Day, January 26, Bettina has posted the truth about what was going on here on her website. But our captured media simply isn’t interested.

Bettina’s recent history is the perfect example of the cancel culture in full flight.

Not cancelled

Following attacks on her family Bettina stopped using social media but is still very busy on various projects, most importantly exposing the campus kangaroo courts which deny legal rights to young men accused of sexual assault on university campuses. These were declared illegal by the Queensland Supreme Court late last year and Education Minister Dan Tehan told universities to leave these matters to the criminal courts. Shockingly the university regulator, TEQSA, recently encouraged our universities to ignore this advice. Learn more.