Wednesday

The failed AUSCAS Logo Competition

At an AUSCAS Committee Meeting on 14 March 2012 I asked Meg Wallace what I should tell people who asked me about the failed AUSCAS international Logo Competition for which her husband and academic, Max Wallace, was Publicity Officer. She told me, "The truth." I am therefore telling the truth here.

At the same Committee meeting, in which former President Ralph Seccombe presented a motion for a special meeting to close AUSCAS, I asked Ralph Seccombe if they were planning to start up a new similar group. He stated "not immediately". Apparantly "not immediately" meant waiting 9 days after the vote to close AUSCAS (10th April 2012). At that time (19th April 2012) AUSCAS was rebirthed on Facebook. (See information below.)

The application for the cancelling of the original AUSCAS as an incorporated association was accepted by NSW Fair Trading. It became effective as of 8th June 2012 as announced in the NSW Government Gazette.


What was AUSCAS?  It was Australians United for the Separation of Church and State with the following Aims and Objectives.


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Aims & Objectives
Preamble
We, the members of Australians United for the Separation of Church and State, view Section 116 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia,
Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth
as the basis of our efforts to secure a secular state, in which all governments within the Commonwealth neither favour nor disfavour any belief system, thus providing an environment in which all beliefs, religious or otherwise, can co-exist. It is our goal to ensure that Section 116 is recognised and observed both legally and in practice throughout the Commonwealth as meaning strict separation of church and state.


Accordingly we neither favour nor disfavour any belief system.
Aims & Objectives
As per Section 3 of the AUSCAS Constitution:
3. Aims and Objectives
(a) To promote secularism, meaning the equality of institutions—religious and non-religious—in the state of Australia, to be advanced by the separation of religious institutions from the state
(b) To promote human rights, including free speech and the avoidance of discrimination in state-funded activities
(c) In particular, to insist that neither the state nor any emanation of the state express any religious beliefs or preferences or engage in or fund or otherwise support religious activities or practice
(d) To support the right of children to free, secular education
(e) To advance the above aims by appropriate means including:
- holding meetings, seminars and conferences
- publishing articles
- disseminating information and opinion including via internet or broadcast
- sponsorship via donations and prizes
- responding to enquiries from the public and the media
(f) To foster links with similar organisations in Australia and abroad
From http://auscas.org.au/about/aims-objectives


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The AUSCAS Logo Competition was found at http://auscas.org.au/events/2012-logo-competition 
—— DESIGN OUR LOGO ——
——— and WIN ! ———
AUSCAS is kicking off 2012 by holding a competition!


We’re calling on all you creative designer types with a leaning toward fairness
for all Australians, to create a new logo for our organisation.




The WINNER of our competition gets copies of both of these enlightening books…

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The Purple Economy by Max Wallace



Realising Secularism: Australia and New Zealand
…each signed personally by the author, Max Wallace…
—– PLUS —–
Lifetime Membership to AUSCAS !


ALL OTHER APPROVED ENTRIES EARN
A FREE YEARS’ MEMBERSHIP
(to 30th July, 2013).
But hurry! Entries close Saturday, 10th March, 2012.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(After the 10th April 2012 all links to AUSCAS will be removed as AUSCAS folded by a vote of 9 to 3 on that date.)

The new AUSCAS logo was supposed to be on a banner at the Global Atheist Convention, Melbourne, beginning 13th April 2012 at a table set aside for AUSCAS and shared with another organistion.

Former AUSCAS Publicity Officer, Max Wallace, repeatedly told AUSCAS that he was co-writing Leslie Cannold's address at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne and that she would be mentioning AUSCAS in this address several times. He also told AUSCAS that this should gain many members for AUSCAS. It is mentioned in Leslie Cannold's overheads on page 19. I quote: "What can we do? Today • Like Australian United for Separation of Church & State" (Found in Separating Church & State - A Call to Action! document at  http://cannold.com/articles/article/separating-church-state-a-call-to-action/ )

Backing this up a comment on http://www.youngausskeptics.com/2012/04/diary-of-a-gac-attendee-ch-3/

I quote from that site: "Lesley Cannold educated us with a comparative history of the united states against Australia, and how we fare with the separation of church and state. Not as great. ... Here are the ways suggested to help out LIKE Australians United for Separation of Church and State on Facebook."

Again information about this at http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/global-atheist-convention-saturday-14-april-part-one/

I quote: "Some things that WE can do immediately, says Leslie is: Go to Facebook and ‘Like’ Australians United for Separation of Church and State."

The membership of AUSCAS, a year after its formation, was 23 people. Max Wallace's Australia New Zealand Secular Association (ANZSA) seems to have been formed as an organistaion to publish Max's two self-published books and apparently consisted of one person, Max Wallace, the Director. According to hs profile on
http://freethoughtalliance.org.au/resources/speakers/ Max Wallace completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Masters degree in Sociology at the University of Waikato. There is no mention of a PhD.  His book "The Purple Economy" and  http://www.humanist.org.nz/seminar/conf08.html and http://www.iheu.org/fr/the-purple-economy-supernatural-charities-tax-and-the-state mention that Max Wallace has a PhD. http://www.nzarh.org.nz/council.htm states that Max's PhD is from Macquarie University.

The former AUSCAS Publicity Officer, Max Wallace, failed to get a single entry for the international Logo Competition. He told AUSCAS Committeee members that he thought merely having the competition mentioned on the webpage and blog was sufficient. When it was apparent that the AUSCAS Logo Competition was going to fail Max & Meg Wallace decided that they would design a logo themselves as it could be "easily done on the back of a napkin".  Though told that a logo was an icon or symbol they instead came up with a nameplate of "AU" plagiarised from the logo of the American's United For the Separation of Church and state (found at http://www.au.org/ ) The black font contained a 7 pointed red star that looked similar to the NAB logo on the "A" (without the two parallel black stripes on the far right point - see http://www.nab.com.au/ ) and the Southern Cross from the New Zealand flag on the letter "U" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_New_Zealand ).

After being confronted with the failure of the AUSCAS Logo Competition Max Wallace resigned from the AUSCAS Committee.  There was a special meeting that dissolved AUSCAS held on 10 April 2012 that was approved by Max Wallace, his wife Meg and the President of AUSCAS, Ralph Seccombe.  Ralph Seccombe wrote:" I consider that AUSCAS, which was founded with Max and Meg, two leaders in the field of the separation of church and state, has lost much of its raison d’être with their intention to resign from leadership positions."

Quite strange. It was never explicitly mentioned that Max and Meg Wallace were central to AUSCAS. Max and Meg Wallace are not mentioned in the AUSCAS Constitution, Aims or Objectives.

According to http://www.editorsnsw.com/esd/ae1000558.htm Ralph Seccombe has BA (Hons) Melbourne and Cambridge" and "Experience: Production and editing of documents for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the United Nations, Lifeline and magazines."

There was talk by one of the ex-members of AUSCAS  that they were starting a new and similar group "by invitation only".   This seems to be what they have done while AUSCAS was being officially shut down. See the new Facebook AUSCAS group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AUSCAS/#!/groups/AUSCAS/  As of 25th April 2012 29 people are in this group. Some of the first people were added on Thursday 19th April 2012 by former AUSCAS President Ralph Seccombe. The page states:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Who we are


auscas@ymail.com (that's ymail with a y)


PO Box 554 Milsons Point NSW 1565

Australians United for Separation of Church and State–AUSCAS™–aims:
(a) To promote secularism, meaning the equality of institutions—religious and non-religious—in the state of Australia, to be advanced by the separation of religious institutions from the state
(b) To promote human rights, including free speech and the avoidance of discrimination in state-funded activities
(c) In particular, to insist that neither the state nor any emanation of the state express any religious beliefs or preferences or engage in or fund or otherwise support religious activities or practice
(d) To support the right of children to free, secular education

AUSCAS neither favours nor disfavours any belief system.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Max Wallace's ANZSA address is PO Box 554 Milsons Point NSW 1565.  The creator of the Facebook group is Ralph Seccombe. The Administrators of this Facebook page are Meg Wallace and Ralph Seccombe.

At the AUSCAS special meeting of  Tuesday 10th April 2012, Meg Wallace stated that there had been "serious personal attack" on Max Wallace but that legal action was "deferred".

It has come to my notice that words from my personal emails have been sent to third parties, without my knowledge and without my consent, which have spoilt my good reputation, which made people want to avoid me and which hurts me in my work and profession.  Legal action is deferred.


Meg Wallace (seated) and Max Wallace.