|There are 35 personal tributes|
|John Van Raay|
June 10th, 2017 at 8:16 am
Over two centuries ago Napoleon said, "Put your iron hand in a velvet glove." One century ago President Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Neither of those men knew Anthony Foster. A man of this century. Anthony took his iron hand of truth to the Melbourne Archdiocese. Then took his big stick and brave men of Ballarat across the world to a tiny pretend nation state, which conveniently provides sanctuary and diplomatic immunity for miraculously, ontologically transformed men of God. Anointed as the 'Princes of the church'. Over twenty years ago our two worlds collided under uniquely, horrible circumstances. As we all grieve along with Chrissie, Aimee and Katie, in these past days, some have suggested I was his wingman. Perhaps I was their wingman avoiding the media. But without dispute, their public wingman is Paul Kennedy. Your professionalism has shone over these last days. Thankyou Paul. I was in the shadows as the horrors of Emma and Katie's demons wreaked havoc, whilst Aimee struggled in the chaos. I walked as 'Bill Nelson' in Chrissie and Paul's book, 'Hell on the way to Heaven', then its elevation to the Victorian Parliamentary library, including the Italian version. Together we walked through many stages of our State Inquiry, resulting in the 'Betrayal of Trust' Report. When the historical Royal Commission was announced by then PM Julia Gillard, we were up and running to the Melbourne County Court. There we witnessed Justice Peter McClellan's opening address, along with the seven days of Case Study 16. After my Private Session with Royal Commissioner Bob Atkinson, Chrissie and Anthony even made time to lunch with my wife Monica and I to debrief. Anthony was always on a serious mission, but he never took himself too seriously. It was a rare trait he possessed. We also enjoyed many lighter moments. On more than one occasion we went bush dancing in a Gippsland hall, to 'Strip the Willow' or do a 'Heel and Toe'. We even planted trees for Landcare. Along with another survivor and his wife, we gave Chrissie and Anthony a Red Oak tree, that was planted at their bush haven, to mark the beginning of the Royal Commission. Now Chrissie, as I approach the end of my tribute a private confession needs to be made. Just to you. No one else is listening. Bless me Chrissie for I have sinned, it has been too long since my last confession. A small but growing group of individuals have seduced me. We were plotting behind your back to nominate you and Anthony for an Australian of the Year award. We can later discuss my penance. For all the people eavesdropping, due to the unforeseen change in circumstances, perhaps a nomination for Anthony in the posthumous category for 2018 should be considered, as the precedent of Eddie Mabo's award has been established. Bryan Keon Cohen who dedicated much of his career to that historic Mabo ruling, also worked with Anthony, contributing many solid legal submissions to our State Inquiry and Royal Commission. Thankyou Bryan. Anthony John Foster, quintessential family man, atheist and plumber, began a legacy which lifted the hopes of many devastated, innocent childhoods from the deepest chasms of their humanity. Given voice and wings so we can continue to fly higher than we ever dreamt! So as we bid farewell, on behalf of every other man, women and child affected by the disease of paedophilia, we say thankyou. I will always cherish the moments we talked; we listened; we walked; we danced; we wrote; we toiled; we laughed; we cried; we wined; we dined; we dreamt; we flew. But most of all mate, we lived. As eternity beckons, Anthony, leave your iron hand and big stick behind. Take your soft voice and velvet glove, you deserve now to rest in peace. Thankyou.
June 8th, 2017 at 6:35 pm
As a friend Anthony was kind and gentle. He should be remembered as a brave man who in conjuction with Chrissie was prepared to denounce the Catholic Church and its hieracharchy for the way they were prepared to hide the many vile paedophile within its ranks.
June 7th, 2017 at 12:34 pm
I just cried all the way through ABC Melbourne radio's broadcast of Anthony's state funeral. So healing. So inspiring. For anyone who has been abused and betrayed in any way by any one at any time, Anthony and Chrissie are, and will forever remain, true super heroes. Rest in Peace now Anthony. To Chrissie and the whole Foster family I wish you the many blessings that you deserve for the rest of your lives. My deepest sympathies to you on the passing of Anthony. Julia
June 7th, 2017 at 7:55 am
Thank you Anthony, for your dignity and grace and for all you have done to make the world a better place. Your courage is inspirational!
|Raymond D'Brass |
June 6th, 2017 at 11:42 am
My love and thoughts go out to the amazing Chrissie Foster along with all of Anthony and Chrissie's family and friends. Like many others, I have been inspired by Anthony's example of dignity, love and courage through tragic and extraordinary circumstances. His sudden passing does nothing to extinguish this spark left in myself and others, now and in the future. Many survivors of abuse have been supported and countless numbers of children have been protected, in part, due to the efforts of Anthony. I feel honored to have briefly met Anthony and to thank him for what he has done and what it means to me. For those few minutes in the company of Chrissy, Anthony and a couple of their close friends, I couldn't help but feel that I was surrounded by Love. Rest in peace you Good, Brave Man.