I reported earlier this month that CONTACT did not receive media accreditation to cover the Invictus Games in Sydney next week – a decision confirmed on appeal.
FILE PHOTO (2010): Then Chief of Army Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie and Commander Joint Health Command Major General Paul Alexander chat with participants in the ADF Paralympic Sports Program. Photo by Sergeant Brian Hartigan.
Well, I am very pleased to announce that CONTACT has now been granted access (subject to a background check).
I am even more pleased – and frankly overwhelmed – by the level of support I received in attempting to get the original decision and failed appeal overturned.
I had offers of help from many people who could see straight away how non-sensical that original decision was – how could Australia’s best boots-on-the-ground military magazine not be allowed to report on Invictus – the veterans’ games!
Let me say first off that all the support and feedback I got on this was gobsmacking and humbling – the veritable outcry on social media must surely have echoed down a few halls and into the right ears – and everyone’s input most assuredly supported the eventual outcome.
Many people took action on my behalf without even being asked (at least not directly – but I do confess that my own social-media campaign was designed in the hopes of garnering support).
But, there are a couple of people in particular I want to thank – and I hope they will forgive me for any embarrassment in calling them out publicly.
First is my weekly coffee-drinking buddy Mark Croxford who immediately set a political snowball rolling, from Gareth Ward to NSW Minister for Veterans’ Affairs David Elliott.
I know of two other people who also took the political route, so thank you too – Chris Allen and a certain military padre.
But in the end, I have been made aware that it was David Elliott’s direct lobbying on my behalf with senior Invictus Games executives that got CONTACT over the line. So thank you David. I would definitely like to shake your hand if/when I bump into you.
So, in the end, I did get my media accreditation.