An update on events between the Univ. Western Australia and D. Rindos
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 16:30:15 -0400
Please Note: This message was initially posted to anthro-l, arch-l, and
the Usenet Newsgroups sci.anthropology, sci.archaeology, and
sci.archaeology.moderated on September 18th. However, since it never seems
to have reached sci.archaeology an dsci.anthropology, I have resubmitted
it! Sorry to any who get it more than once!!
* * * * * * * * * *
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 12:42:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: Hugh W. Jarvis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: An update on events between the Univ. Western Australia and
Regrettably, I am obliged to send out this update to the Net without
input from the University of Western Australia. I sent a copy of my
proposed posting to the Vice Chancellor's Office on June 22nd, and to
their Legal Counsel on July 16th, soliciting comment or additions to
what follows below, but neither correspondence was even acknowledged.
I find it quite frustrating to provide a balanced discussion of all
sides of this whole issue when one of the major parties is unwilling
to contribute! Quite recently there have also been some further
developments, but they will have to wait for the next update. This
post has been delayed long enough! (The usual apologies to any who
receive it more than once, as I am posting it the same lists and
groups as always and know that some of you are subscribed to more than
Several months have passed since I last brought you up to date on
the status of Dr. David Rindos and his quest for justice with the
University of Western Australia. Events in Western Australia have been
developing in directions which none of us would likely have
While details are fleshed out at the Rindos/UWA Sites, with one
entry page at:
a few of the main events of the past few months are outlined here.
The Western Australian Parliament's Standing Committee on Government
Agencies has begun investigating both the events surrounding Rindos'
dismissal and allegations of wrongdoings at UWA. They have been
interviewing and taking statements from scads of people, including
officials and faculty from UWA, Rindos himself, and students and
former students of the now defunct Archaeology Department. These
Parliamentary sessions have received considerable press coverage in
Australia, including not only the print media, but also radio and TV.
UWA has been highly critical of the committee from the beginning,
raising objections to its operations, pointing to possible "political"
aggendae in its creation, and noting that it was cooperating with
Parliament "under protest." According to recent press reports, the
Committee should have a preliminary report out by the end of this
year. This apparently will only consider Dave's treatment and further
inquiries into the general managment problems which led to the
archaeology scandal at UWA will continue next year.
In what might be described as a rather bizarre development directly
related to the Rindos/UWA Site itself, a number of Australian
newspapers and the national Australian Broadcasting Corporation have
received threatening letters from UWA's lawyers. Similar letters have
come to SUNY, directed towards myself, and to an Australian academic
who had merely mentioned the Site's address in a letter to the
newspaper (which was published in their editorial section).
UWA's position as given in its lawyer's letters is that the Site and
my various updates on the events at UWA contains unspecified material
defamatory of unnamed persons at UWA. UWA's lawyers demanded that SUNY
monitor the site, and ensure that I never again posted (IN ANY
MEDIUM!) on this topic!
In other lawyers' letters to Australian newspapers, and television
and radio stations, they made the (rather remarkable) claim that the
mere publication of the Site's URL, or the creation of links to it, IN
AND OF ITSELF CONSTITUTES DEFAMATION! UWA has also forced its own
"independent" students' organization to remove links to the Site and
to delete material about the case. This deleted material included
newspaper coverage and a speech in the West Australian Parliament!
They are also rumoured to have tried to get their computing department
to erradicate all links from peoples' personal pages, and even from
their "bookmarks" files!!
Requests from yours truly for clarification regarding what they
might consider offensive on the Site have been ignored aside by UWA,
and all of my attempts to encourage them to present their point of
view have proven unsuccessful. As noted above, my most recent
communications with their administration, in connection with this
posting, have gone totally unanswered. While UWA continues to act as
if it were not being allowed to present its point of view, it has done
little but complain about the facts which are presented, and threaten
unspecified legal actions. It seems totally uninterested in presenting
its own version of the sequence of events.
The Rindos/UWA Site has recently been updated to reflect these
important developments in the Parliamentary and Legal spheres. In
addition, details of the Site have been posted at a number of
locations, including the Anthropology Departmental Site at the
University of North Dakota:
Links have also appeared on the home pages of various individuals in
Australia in defiance of UWA's ban and stated intent to take legal
action against anyone who posts or provides information on sources of
information on the whole scandal.
Finally a second location for the Site is now provided at the
Justice on Campus Project Site at MIT: