Celebrating six years of untiring abuse of a Disabled Artist by Family and Community Services

This long round of abuse is believed to have started when he was living in a rented house at Budgewoi in New South Wales, Australia, some time around 2004.

He was being cared for by Disability Support workers while suffering heart failure, a broken shoulder and injured spine on top of untreated diabetes, massive skeletal trauma from a car accident decades before, lung damage from industrial chemicals and enough other things to have doctors throwing their hands up in despair when he asked for help.

The artist's home at Alexandra St. Budgewoi until he was driven into homelessness. The agent's sign is on the front lawn
The artists home at Alexandra St Budgewoi. After years of fighting in the tenancy tribunal and courts the agents finally got to make him homeless

The support worker would turn up every few days and she would grab mail which was sitting in plain sight under the mailbox of the empty house next door. One day a few weeks later the property manager turned up and demanded he give up the lease and tried to evict him. This is a story in itself and it can be saved for another time.

The artist would ride his mobility scooter to a local bakery and share coffee and pastry when he was well enough. The locals were delighted and concerned by the situation. They felt the house next door to the artist was being used as an identity theft dead-mail drop. By returning mail to the sender the artist and his carers had killed the business it was generating for an unknown somebody.

Like the Family and Community Services the Budgewoi property managers used their contractors to vandalize the gardens and exterior yard of the artist’s home. Here (out of picture) he desperately tries to stop contractors who have already poisoned the fruiting grape arbor, vandalized and poisoned the flower gardens. Poisoned areas they thought he was using to research spiders, cut down the trees he was caring for, destroyed several sculptures and threw the pieces on the roof and as a parting note drove one tine of a garden fork through the tire of his mobility scooter

People speculated on how a good little house could remain empty in the hands of property managers who were relentless about income and controlling the tenants. Without further speculation the situation between the property managers and the artist became insanely tense without any reason ever given and the air was filled with their spiteful rumors and harassment right up until the very last moment They finally had him evicted in 2012 or 2013 just because they could, and after several of their friends and a licensee of the estate agency assaulted him in front of their office.

The office of the property managers where he was assaulted. The cameras and their date were subpoenaed but the subpoena disappeared for nearly two years and will be the subject of a future story

The artist floated between cheap motels and refuges until the support coordinators noticed several people sharing his situation died. There were criminal “top dogs” emerging in the refuge and they were already assaulting one elderly man every payday and leaving him with ghastly injuries and no money. They realized their charge was going to go the same way and got Family and Community Services to let him have an apartment. He didn’t want that particular apartment which was too small for him to work in and too far from any useful art galleries and even worse it put him in the hands of a bureaucracy he had been resisting since he was a child. He had no choice. He was on the verge of losing everything including his life.

Looking from the front of the artist’s new apartment at Bateau Bay to other identical units.

The Disability coordinators and their case managers thought he would be safe from harassment in the social housing but the connection between local inhabitants and also between property managers was used to raise attacks against him.

Unknown people would try and gain entry to the apartment every few days saying they were Family and Community Services. He had lost his ability to remember who his friends were or to identify people and was becoming traumatized. There was always a problem with filing and phone calls to try and fix it were sent circling through their office with no outcome. They would add a demand for payment to his income reports and start taking money he didn’t owe. It was theft but nobody ever came to ask where it all went. Every few weeks another letter demanding entry for an inspection would arrive. Several times after inspections he would get letters demanding to know why he hadn’t let them in and with a date for another inspection.

The fire alarm must have been made of gold because the electrician turned up every few days for weeks on end demanding to check it. He would seem to know when the artist was at the supermarket with his support workers because he later claimed to have left notes asking for entry but almost exclusively when the artist was asleep or away. The number of times the electrician turned up without an appointment is a breach of the residential tenancy act and the tenants right to peaceful enjoyment To be continued with more video and stories

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