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AFL investigation into Hawthorn will not have key participant

The woman at the centre of the Hawthorn cultural safety review will not participate in the AFL's investigation.

Lawyers acting on behalf of their client said concerns were raised around the independence of the review and its respect for First Nations participants.

In a four page statement Marque Lawyers also stated their client is "refusing to consent to the silencing tactics of the AFL."

The statement outlined the five reasons why they would not be contributing to the investigation.

  • Its lack of independence

  • That it "continues the pattern of abuse it is supposedly addressing"

  • That it has been unduly rushed

  • That it is not "culturally safe", as the AFL claims

  • That "the AFL does not have the appropriate appetite, expertise or strategy to effectively address the matters raised in the Hawthorn Cultural Safety Review".

Earlier, the AFL responded via a statement:

"We acknowledge the pain, trauma and grief of the experience from 'Amy' in the statement and it reinforces how serious these allegations are, and how important it is that the AFL treat them appropriately while ensuring a formal process that provides the opportunity to bring their experiences direct to the independent review in a supportive and respectful process to those impacted, and natural justice to those people against whom allegations of misconduct have been made," the AFL's statement read.

"As previously stated, the matter was brought to the AFL by the Hawthorn Football Club along with the consultant that undertook the review, and given the seriousness of the allegations, it was important to set up an independent external investigation that provides a clear and safe process to investigate the matters.

"The AFL can only investigate the matter under AFL rules, as that is the only jurisdiction we have the ability to determine and — as we have said previously – our process doesn't stop any impacted person from taking separate legal action or seeking redress in another forum or jurisdiction.

"As part of the detailed consultation process preceding the commencement of the investigation, proposed terms of reference were sent to the lawyers representing the potential participants and we took into consideration all their comments and concerns.

"Ultimately there needs to be balance of considerations (including cultural safety and fairness) and different perspectives and no individual had all their requests met.

"While the AFL still has not been informed of the identities of the persons/families who have recalled their accounts as part of the Hawthorn Football Club review, or with the journalist who published those accounts, the independent panel will continue to work with the legal representatives each of the parties has retained."



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