One of the things I enjoy about writing is the feedback and communication you have with readers, haters (check the comment section!) as well as other writers. It’s always enjoyable to bounce ideas off one another, discuss theories, etc. Yesterday I had another writer contact me and we had a fascinating discussion about some research they had been doing on our favourite charity, the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.
This writer has done some brilliant research into some companies owned by and associated with TKYF. You can find their article here, I highly recommend giving it a read. They share an intriguing theory on possible conflicts of interest involving companies owned by Mr Kelly and establishments managed by those companies.
What about if the venues that Hemisphere makes their money from were located in the Sydney area and the “lockout” zones? Would we think twice if Ralph Kelly had a financial interest in liquor-selling establishments in Sydney’s CBD?
According to a Whois domain name search the online hotel room sellerpubrooms.com.au is the property of J.M. ARMSTRONG & R.A. KELLY. That the trading name is also property of Hemisphere Hospitality Solutions can be confirmed through another abncheck.com.au lookup.
Pubrooms.com.au, a member of the AHA, promotes itself as providing
“conveniently located, affordable accommodation. From budget accommodation rooms to funky hotel rooms.”
According to the pubrooms.com.au interactive map, the Pub Rooms Group appears to represent thirty one hotels in Australia. Zoom in to NSW, and there are seventeen. Zoom in to Sydney, and there are ten. Zoom in to the CBD, and the lockout zone, and there are three.
With this information, Surely Not decided to embark on an investigation of our own and found some perplexing information, which will yet again require an explanation. From the info shared with us, we looked into a few seemingly rogue entities that had not been easily noticeable until now. As our new pal wrote, all URLs led to pubrooms.com.au (another R Kelly side business – promoting the business interests of pubs mainly outside the lockout zone) but what was quite strange was one of the entities domain was actually registered to TKYF.
What we then uncovered was quite overwhelming. There are dozens of domains registered to TKYF, as per the screenshots taken from a Whois report generated around midnight this evening –
The following 26 domains all appear to link to http://www.kathykelly.com.au – Kathy Kellys motivational speaker business website. If this is the case and these domains exist purely to direct traffic, why are they registered to the foundation and not a business entity? Given this structure, if the speaking gigs have attracted fees, should these not all be in the foundations accounts and records? TKYF is a publicly listed company that is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Something doesn’t add up.
All in all, there is a massively tangled web (
unintended) of domains that all link back to various Kelly business interests – Pub Rooms (part of Hemisphere Hospitality Solutions) and Kathy Kelly Motivational Speaker as well as the foundation itself.
I’m no search expert, but from what I’ve been led to believe this practice is usually done to generate google traffic/SEO. Basically it’s used to draw people to your site. The question is though, why were they all registered to the charity? Does this suggest the charity was paying for the domains? If so, could there potentially be a chance funds are being misappropriated in some way? – charity funds going towards business costs? Surely not… At best, it looks like a massive bit of self promotion using TKYF as a vehicle. At worst, well… It’s best not to speculate too much.
Hopefully that is not the case, but I do feel this is something that requires urgent clarification especially given the foundations legal status and eligibility for tax exemptions and other benefits. Preferably one from an independent auditor as well.
Recently the Shane Warne Foundation was investigated amid claims of mismanaging charity funds. During the investigation conducted by Consumer Affairs Victoria, the foundation shut down. The alleged wrongdoing related to Warnie giving his brother a high paying role on the board and funds being used for family interests… That 16% of revenue found its way to those it was raised for sounds bad, but is in line with a lot of other charities far bigger than SWF. Point is, if we’re going to hold Warnie, an Australian legend and arguably one the greatest cricketers of all time to this level of scrutiny, I feel we must for all.
This has been published upon hitting the tip of the iceberg and updates will be coming over the next 24 hours as more information comes to hand. But like we have done since our first article on the Foundation followed by Ralph Kelly and has his tax free salary scandal and most recently our rebuttal to comments made in the herald – first priority is getting the information to the readers so we can get some answers.
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