Gillian Triggs has made an abject apology to Kyran Findlater, one of the seven QUT students subjected to a racial vilification case brought against him under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act over a Facebook post in May 2013.
Previously, on the 730 Report, 2016 Professor Triggs had explained to Leigh Sales that the Human Rights Commission had spent 14 months trying to conciliate between Miss Prior and the seven students. It turns out that this was not true. Mr Findlater was never involved in the conciliation process. The first thing he knew about it was a message from Miss Prior’s solicitor, in November 2014, offering to discontinue a case against him if he agreed to confidentiality and paid $5,000 in compensation.
After spending about $10,000 in legal fees, Mr Findlater subsequently paid Miss Prior $5,000 to make the problem go away.
Professor Triggs said that there had been an administrative error within her commission. One of her subordinates had mistaken Kyran’s surname as an instruction. That is the reason contacting him had been delayed, and subsequently he had not been included in those invited to participate in the conciliation process. She agreed it was all most unfortunate. She has offered to personally recompense Mr Findlater for his compensation payment and his legal fees. “It is the least I can do”, she said.
For those of you interested in the detail, what Kyran Findlater said in his Facebook post was:
“My Student and Amenity fees are going to furbish rooms in the university where inequality reigns supreme? I believe if we have to pay to support these sorts of places, there should at least be more created for general purpose use, but again, how do these sorts of facilities support interaction and community within QUT? All this does is encourage separation and inequality.”