The Canberra Times ran this extraordinary tale at the weekend.

Read more:

I posted this in June last year.


By Mike Welsh

“ Bounding through the bush, knife drawn, in pursuit of an angry and unpredictable boar; Gary Abblett became a blur amid the trees moving expertly across uneven terrain. Such was his strength and primal instincts”  …….“Playing God”  The Rise and Fall of Gary Abblett. (Garry Linnell)

Pretty impressive story ???. Well I thought so, that is until I heard the story about a girl I know doing something very similar. What if I told you she is ……”Feminine, petite, slight and gentle, less than 162 cm tall and weighing 50kgs- the size of your average Feral Pig”?

And Abblett was one described by Journalist Andrew Rule thus ….. knotted muscles and raw bones…. thighs like turkey drumsticks, his neck buttressed with a sloping ridge of muscle that links long, powerful arms. Like a silverback gorilla…”.feral pig

The difference is our heroine was not among of a bunch of hairy males packed into an old ute hunting Feral pigs for sport. Hearing the familiar but frightening noise of a wild pig and hunting dog locked in a stand-off, she was forced to engage a dormant primal instinct in order to protect an animal (the hunting dog she loved) from certain death.

One of her husband’s hunting dogs had escaped its compound and had cornered a wild pig behind a 2 metre high fence at the back of the small acreage the family shared on the outskirts of a rural village.

Unable to see exactly what was going on she knew she must act and quickly.She rang her husband at work who told her that she MUST KILL THE PIG.

If the frenzied stalemate continued the hunting dog would eventually die from exhaustion as its instinct is not to retreat.

Most us with little or no WPS (wild pig slaying) experience on our CVs would respond to the PIG MUST BE KILLED directive similarly…. “now, let me get this straight…. You want me to go down there and place myself in the mix of a Wild Pig (of unspecified proportions) locked in  mortal combat with a dog trained to kill or die in the process …and…. What’s that other thing you said?….I must pierce the wild pig’s heart with a knife.. “  Too Easy….

Without question or alarm, she quickly secured her children in the house, mounted a quad bike and, with a dog lead wrapped around her waist (for the return trip with hopefully a living dog attached), armed herself with a knife (I’d like to say clenched between her teeth but probably not) specifically designed for WPS and juggling her mobile phone on which her husband was giving clear instructions, she level- headedly headed in the direction of the unfolding massacre she and she alone had to bring to an end.

Even though she had never killed a living thing, she simply knew what she had to do.

She was calm and considered and motivated by the task of saving the life of her favourite dog.

“the hunting dog was old and my favourite and I didn’t want him to die”

For the record, our rookie pig slayer had witnessed the method by which an experienced pig hunter permanently disabled a WP during a rare hunting trip with her husband. But before she landed the fatal blow there was just one other, small detail to be addressed. With the clock ticking another skill had to be acquired before she brought about the demise of the WP and saved her favourite dog.

Top of the agenda: Disengage WP from the contest without, of course, allowing it to turn on her. It turns out WP weighed in at about the same number at which she tipped the scales.

The trick to incapacitating WP: Grab it by the hind legs and tip it over on its back. THEN you plunge your knife into its heart.  Too Easy.  But after one failed attempt at “flipping” the WP –which one would suspect was getting crankier and more dangerous by this point- she was forced to retreat to the relative safety of the high fence atop of which was a mobile phone broadcasting precise instructions for her to “kill”.

Oh and did I mention our woman on a mission had been to the gym and was still kitted out in her tights and whatever else one wears to the gym?


Princess Katy, A Political Fairytale

By Mike Welsh

A recent article by Noel Towell in the Canberra Times on outgoing ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher described her as the “impossible Princess of ACT Politics”.

I’m guessing Noel was trying to be kind.

To be fair, Katy Gallagher is a smart and capable person. And politically astute. Sufficiently astute at least to play the Princess to her advantage. And she’s played it brilliantly. She can seamlessly segue from commanding captain of the hockey team on the field to head cheer leader urging on the football team from the sidelines.

After covering ACT politics for 11 of the past 12 years, my view of KG is that she is indeed a “princess”. The “precious poor little petal” type princess who when the heat is applied either whips out and waves the sexist card or drops her bottom lip and flutters her eyelashes with “I’m just a girl”.

Once, just prior to a pre-recorded interview with me for my radio program she coyly said…..”Be gentle with me Mike”

But after I became a little less gentle, on behalf of many victims of workplace bullying in the ACT Public Service, I was informed by a flunky that “Katy has banned you”.  The ban was lifted some time later but I was not notified.

Apart from some at the Canberra Times, Mike Jeffreys and me on 2CC the Canberra based media has given Princess Katy a right royal ride. Anointed by John Stanhope for the top job, and wholeheartedly endorsed by her mob for the squeaky clean image she projected to the electorate, she’s had a dream run through the past few years.

A dream run aided by a mostly soft, ineffective and self defeating opposition.

As a political leader Katy G is that rare and valued political bird. The unencumbered by baggage, cute little blonde cheerleader from cute little blonde cheerleader central. And the strategy has worked a treat for ACT Labour.

And that “rails run” through politics is about to continue. Bored with wading through the mundane day to day trash emptied out on the floor of the Municipal Council which is the ACT government, Katy Gallagher now swans off, without serious scrutiny, to the safety of the Senate leaving a trail of human misery which is the hundreds of psychologically damaged Canberrans bullied in the ACT Public Service. And the scores of whom were bullied again by the ACT Public service which “went after” them when they dared to speak out.

Out of sheer frustration at being unable to get past Katy’s gatekeeper Dr Peggy Brown, Director General ACT Health, on July 29 last year I tweeted @KatieGMLA after a letter I’d received from staffers  highlighting serious bullying at an ACT run department at which the letter said “there would be suicides”

To her credit Katie tweeted back “serious allegation deserves better that a tweet. Pl forward any info you have”

In reply I sought a guarantee there would be no further bullying as “this was almost always central to the issue”. I’m still awaiting a reply. Katie knows but can’t afford politically to know.

Among many bullying cases of which I was made aware, there was a woman from ACT Health who had been in contact with me over a period of time. She had written to Katy about the way she was “gone after” by her superiors after she “blew the whistle” on some inappropriate practices. I contacted her one Sunday afternoon to see how her case was going and was told “it’s too late, I’m on the roof”. She was indeed on the roof, of a very high building and was planning to jump, such was the pressure she was getting from the ACT Gov’s people for “blowing the whistle” on bullying.

The reality is either Katy Gallagher knows, chapter and verse, of the evil and destructive “culture” of bullying which exists in the ACT public Service or, somebody else read those reports from inquiries into bullying at Canberra Hospital which have never been published. This allows her to remain at arm’s length from the political stench attached to the issue and wash her hands as she walks away.