No Comment Part 2

After the release of documents which highlighted the salary of Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation Director, Ralph Kelly, there was justified outrage across the board.

On Friday February 19th, we published the details here 

Shortly after a number of Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation related websites and assets were taken down or locked down, including –

It was quite bizarre that certain assets went down, and only makes us more curious than we were when this investigation kicked off, with the explosive article – Keeping Up With The Kellys

The daily telegraph then reported the story Sunday night, after sources apparently spent all day trying to get in touch in Mr Kelly for clarification. 24 hours later, known supporter of Ralph and the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation Kate Aubusson published the rebuttal.

However it wasn’t really much of a rebuttal though, with more questions asked than answered. We discussed this in full in this article, but for those who have wanted a trimmed down version, the main points were as follows –

The figures did not reflect more than half a million dollars paid to the Salvation Army by charity sponsors to run the charity’s cornerstone program, Mr Kelly said –

The salary is well above average. The average salary for a CEO of a charity is $15,000 less than what Ralph is being paid. The average salary for a Director is $35,000 less.

“My salary was approved by all of the [TKYF] board members [and] all of the directors and it was disappointing to see that [the Daily Telegraph] reported that without waiting to speak to the directors or myself,” Mr Kelly said. –

“All of the board members and all of the directors”.

The annual reports specify “The Directors resolved effective 1 December 2013 to enter into an employment agreement with Ralph Kelly, a director of the company”.

As discussed in our previous article, the information suggests there were only 3 directors who voted. These were Dr Gordian Fulde, Macquarie Bank Executive Director Guy Reynolds and Associate Professor Jane Burns. Two of which appear to have a vested interest.

If that is true, HE ONLY NEEDED 2 VOTES. And his good buddies Dr Fulde & Guy Reynolds were always in the bag. Maybe Professor Burns voted in favour too. Maybe she didn’t and that’s why she was forced out. Maybe Dr Hawkes and/or Dr Carr-Gregg weren’t keen on the idea and were forced out or quit in disgust. Who knows, but the fact remains he has clearly attempted to make the vote sound vastly bigger than it was.

Between December 2014 and February 2016 the Salvation Army has received $540,000 to operate the Take Kare Safe Spaces in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross, Mr Kelly told Fairfax Media –

As per our investigation, it would seem the majority of that $540k is attributed to this current financial year, so what does it have to do with how much he has been paid in previous years?

“However, the majority of that funding is attributed to the current financial year, with all but the launch sums and the Macquarie / TFN grant being given on or after July 1st 2015. Given the Ralph was very specific in the dates he mentioned, so that holds weight. Is there information that can not be located? If there is not the simply, what do these have amounts to do with how much Ralph was paid in previous financial years?  The response appears to be a deliberate deflection and gives no justification for his salary during the time period in question. If there are figures that are not clearly available, then one must ask why they can’t be found.” – the pantomime

“The majority of these funds are paid directly to the Salvation Army under an arrangement with TKYF and its sponsors,” TKYF chairman Philip Crawford said in a statement. –

It would be helpful to see these agreements.

“To date the Take Kare Safe Space has trained 273 volunteers who, along with the Salvation Army, have staffed the Take Kare Safe Spaces for over 15,000 hours and helped 13,600 people in 2015,” Mr Crawford said. –

“TKYF has in place a governance structure to ensure that the foundation is managed prudently and that funds raised are earmarked in accordance with their purpose.” –

Again, this is covered in far greater depth here, but to summarise – The costs of this program have still not been properly clarified. According to the evaluation report from the first trial, potential savings related to emergency services we listed at almost $5 million per year. But this is based on estimates, anecdotal evidence and hypothetical scenarios.

It would be helpful to see where the value for money is and what it actually does. As mentioned previously, the trial period covered a NYE, and “interventions” seem very undefined. The people want clarity.

His family and staff have received numerous threats since an article decrying the lock outs laws went viral earlier this month –

Following the publication of his salary, Mr Kelly said he was forced to temporarily shut down the foundation’s website and Facebook page after they were inundated with abusive messages. –

Nobody deserves abuse or threats. Unfortunately there are the odd unhinged individuals who lack the mental capacity to properly articulate themselves who may have resorted to abusive messages. Poorly written messages no doubt. I personally do not recall seeing any threats and can obviously no longer check. But if indeed there were threats, I personally condemn those who made them and call on NSW Police to investigate them.

To clarify, to the best of my knowledge the website did not go down after the telegraph article referred to by SMH. The website went down on Friday February 19th 2016.

But more importantly, it was not just the Foundations website and Facebook page. It was Kathy Kelly’s motivational speaker website, it was Ralph Kelly’s linkedin page plus his Twitter and curiously the page on The Funding Network website where the 13/14 annual report was found was also down. There was nowhere for people to leave comments there. All you could find there was financial records. Not many would have even known of the connection. Why did that go down? Especially since you can find financials here? Why were there so many changes to the website?

All in all, everything was in lock down for about 12 hours. Saturday February 20th 2106, everything appeared to be back to normal.

“The foundation is working with all sorts of organisations, the City of Sydney, the Hotels Association of Australia, the police, hospitals – to make this city safer, which should be everyone’s focus,” he said. –

Again, this is just posturing and deflecting. In all these answers a lot of questions have been raised. Wasn’t this supposed to be a simple, honest clarification? This has proven extremely very difficult. We still don’t have a justification for the salary and we now have many more questions.

The people of NSW look forward to hearing some answers.



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