An unfortunate story

The story is not about the incredible use of our taxpayer funds enforced by the Federal Court, but about the fact that this Beau Abela chap seems to have become a car thief.

He’s the boy who sued Victoria and won, because he left school unable to read.

But, despite a secret private payout and a free car, Beau Abela has turned to a life of crime, complaining he can’t get work.

Abela, now 22, sued the Education Department for $300,000 in 2007 for failing to teach him properly. He said he couldn’t get an apprenticeship because he lacked life skills such as using a bus timetable, reading a menu or counting money.

After eight years of litigation Abela last year reached a near million-dollar private settlement with the government. . . .

Signing off on the agreement, Federal Court judge Anthony North said Abela’s story was unfortunate.

‘The unfortunate situation of Beau, a citizen of Victoria, with very considerable learning difficulties, is something that should be addressed by a sympathetic State,’ he said.

‘He has had a very unfortunate education experience and is in a position where he needs assistance to develop whatever capacities he has.’

It is, of course, excellent that the Federal Court is filled with such compassionate and far-seeing judges who are able to bring a million dollar’s worth of justice to someone without the life skills to read a bus map but who is, nevertheless, still capable of stealing cars.

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66 Responses to An unfortunate story

  1. Rabz

    He has had a very unfortunate education experience

    How is he any different to the many thousands of others who’ve left those “safe schools” an illiterate, innumerate ahistorical imbecile?

    What kind of a precedent does such an absurd decision set?

  2. ar

    He sued them in 2007 when he was thirteen because he couldn’t read. He should have been counter-sued for not doing his homework.

  3. Hydra

    He sued them in 2007 when he was thirteen because he couldn’t read. He should have been counter-sued for not doing his homework.

    Since when can you keep graduating up classes without being able to read? Don’t they hold you back?

  4. Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Don’t you have to read and sign legal documents to hire a lawyer, or law firm? Or is it all done by an honour system?

  5. Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Or is he doing this all by himself, with himself as his own client? Picked up from TV shows, perhaps?

  6. Fred Lenin

    Looks like the coorupt law trade has found another Taxpayer funded money pot to steal from ,suppose they are plotting the NDIS bonanza to be ? That was created for them by another corrupt theiving lawtrades person who stole from widows and orphans and politics is full of these Grubs.

  7. Barking Toad

    Sounds like a Dishonorable Judge failed photocopying at a law firm and as a consequence was nominated for the bench.

    Even little goatherds can keep track of the numbers in their flock.

    How did this one progress beyond grade 2? Was it because of excelling in the Safe Schools mark?

  8. Bruce of Newcastle

    Abela last year reached a near million-dollar private settlement with the government

    Wow. Since I guess at least a thousand kids will complete high school in Victoria this year without learning to read that is a thousand newly minted millionaires!

    I hope Dan the CFMEU man has a nice fat budget surplus to pay for them all. And the wonderfully deserving lawyers who pocket a good chunk of each million.

  9. Tim Neilson

    Why did they give him taxpayers’ money? Why didn’t they just offer him remedial education if he had a sudden epiphany at 13 years old that being illiterate was sub-optimal? Clearly the money hasn’t been used to lift him out of the sociopathic underclass. What has it been spent on?
    A million FFS. Even now you could put that in an index fund and get about $40k a year, rising for inflation, for the rest of your life without dipping into the capital.

  10. I Am the Walras, Equilibrate and Price Take

    Rabz
    #2020636, posted on May 5, 2016 at 10:45 am
    He has had a very unfortunate education experience

    How is he any different to the many thousands of others who’ve left those “safe schools” an illiterate, innumerate ahistorical imbecile?

    What kind of a precedent does such an absurd decision set?

    A good one, I think.

    We’re on the right track. We just have to change the respondent from the general taxpayer to the teachers and the teachers’ unions. Make them personally liable for screwing up the lives of their charges with their crap teaching methods and materials.

    The fact that there are millions like this unfortunate lad should be an occasion for rejoicing. We can irreparably bankrupt the fuckers holus-bolus. Forever.

    Bring personal responsibility to teaching via personal liability. The best way to end the scourge and immense dead-weight loss that is modern education. Bring sanity back to our classrooms and thus to society.

    Incentives matter. Make them work in the interests of the public.

  11. BelaBartok

    I think you’re all meany mcmeaners.

    We should be grateful that although the filthy little miscreant can’t read, he has at least found a safe outlet for his non-heteronormative, anti-paternalistic, white privilege mongering, and found a vocation that expresses his deeply held beliefs.

    Safe Schools means unsafe streets? A new catchphrase?

  12. Andrew

    “Abela” – that’s an unusual name. Is our entitled 1%er car thief Swedish? Danish?

  13. Empire

    Bring personal responsibility to teaching via personal liability. The best way to end the scourge and immense dead-weight loss that is modern education. Bring sanity back to our classrooms and thus to society.

    Ah no.

    The core problem is the curriculum and methods. Teachers have no control over this. The misery is state inflicted and DET is the correct respondent. Whether they were liable in this case is another matter.

    Crap teachers and teaching exist because the state is in the education business. In a free market voucher system the under performance would not be tolerated for long.

  14. Galeoturpis

    So Beau can’t get a job because he doesnt read and doesn’t process auditory information. That’s never seemed to stop anyone in the Labor Party!

    One of the cases is linked here -http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/832.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=Abela

    My list of villains are
    1) the father – sole parent who gave his kid a terrible, sugary diet; never got kid to do homework or read to him; never turned up to parent teacher nights; blamed the government and instigated the legal proceedings
    2) the Victorian parliament for passing such a dumb anti-discrimination act
    3) the primary school principal – never kept the kid down a year; probably didn’t try hard enough to access extra department funds;
    4) beau – life gives you lemons and so you steal more lemons

    The judge, teachers etc. all seem to have done an adequate job given the fact that the villains were sabotaging their best efforts.

  15. Bob

    Fortunately he was able to read PNDLR and variations thereof.

  16. The precedent set is that people who didn’t get the career they think they deserved or are entitled to will sue the DoE. “I dreamed of being a TV star and my school failed to teach me how to do this”, “I wanted to be a high-flying lawyer and I only got to be a legal secretary”, “I wanted to be a Doctor but my high school science teachers didn’t encourage me.”
    Just another tentacle that has grown out of the victim/entitlement beast that grows ever larger the more it consumes.

    He said he couldn’t get an apprenticeship because he lacked life skills such as using a bus timetable, reading a menu or counting money.

    90% of people didn’t have these skills until a few generations ago, it didn’t stop them. Go pick fruit, do deliveries, clean, garden, load bags onto planes, wash clothes, hold a frickin’ STOP sign at roadworks and get paid penalty rates on weekends.
    FFS.

  17. jupes

    The judge, teachers etc. all seem to have done an adequate job given the fact that the villains were sabotaging their best efforts.

    Adequate job you reckon? So the teachers didn’t teach him and the judge gives him a lazy $mil of our money when he was only asking for third of that.

    I’m not sure what you might consider a poor job.

    What do you reckon will be the more likely outcome of this judicial idiocy:

    Teachers will redouble their efforts so this never happens again, or

    Another lawyer’s picnic as hundreds of these idiots sue?

  18. Roger

    Since when can you keep graduating up classes without being able to read? Don’t they hold you back?

    When I was in primary school each student had to go to the principal’s office near the end of the year and read to him at the appropriate age level before he’d allow us to progress to the next grade. Not that hard, really, is it? But I suppose today’s principals are too busy attending conferences, holding staff meetings and attending to paperwork for that sort of personal oversight of students in their charge.

  19. Lloyd Dobler

    I all seriousness will this payout preclude him from the NDIS?

    Is a considerable learning difficulty a disability?

  20. Dr Faustus

    Good that the legal system has determined that there is an implicit guarantee by ‘government’ for some objective standard of lifestyle.

    Now to start work on my claim for compensation for the debilitating lifestyle deficit I have experienced by not getting to romance Halle Berry, on a tropical beach, with the LSO accompanying proceedings with Ravel’s Bolero on repeat. Should be good for $5-$10m after fees.

  21. Diogenes

    Bring personal responsibility to teaching via personal liability.

    Walrus,
    your attitude is why our best and brightest are actively avoiding teaching. If it is all soooooooooo simple, get your degree join us, YOU put YOUR house on the line as well.

    My prescription
    1. Don’t start kids until they 7. We have done an analysis of our biggest troublemakers/worst performing (there is a correlation), and there is a massive correlation with the fact they are the youngest in their year groups. There is enough research that says if students, especially boys, are not emotionally ready, or mature enough to start school they get lost very quickly and never ever catch up (there are exceptions, no 1 son started early, skipped a grade and finished school @ 16.5 with an ATAR with 97 !)

    2. Get all of the early childhood crap out preschools (see point above)

    3. Actually do what primary school teachers and experts fed back to the Pyne review, get everything except literacy and numeracy out of grades 1 & 2 – they will use science & tech and music as hooks to get kids interested in reading and writing and numeracy, but they are not reported, tested etc etc on.

    4. Have the students sit the NAPLAN test in term 4 of years 2,4,6,8, & 10, instead of 3,5,7,9 as now. Students will be sitting it in the next few weeks, and we will not get results back until December(!). Changes to the way the test is administered & electronic marking coming in the next few years will see results turned around in time for it to be actually useful for a school. It should be made illegal for a child to progress, regardless of what the parents say to the next stage until they meet the minimum criteria for that stage (Gonski should be paying for extra support for those kids, and those kids alone) – if that means a 17yo in primary school – so be it. Before I became a teacher I had enough indignant friends who were told their child would benefit from being held back, and it was bloody obvious they should be, who demanded their child progress with the cohort, and then wondered why their child ended up with a very low ATAR, or were asked to leave on their 17th birthday as they were not meeting any of the requirements .

    5. Station a permanent DOCS worker in every school with power to take kids off parents who send their kids to school hungry after a dinner of 2 minute noodles the night before), who do not send them with basic necessities (an exercise book and pen – I end up supplying 22/29 kids in year 10 with a pen for the lesson as they do not have one), put some responsibility back on the parents as well.

    I have not read details of this case, but if the kid had a diagnosed learning difficulty (paediatrician not GP) and was not given any support at school, the verdict is fair enough. If he started school with poor English skills, and was given no ESL help , then again the verdict is fair – if you think a teacher can give much more 5 minutes 1:1 time with a student, and believe me they are like impatient baby birds who want your help all the time, you are a fool, for one – the math works against us … 26-30 students – 60 minute lesson ….

    Note : whilst I really hate doing the “Finns are doing it” thing because there are many cultural differences between Finland & Australia, they are actually doing steps 1-3, they have research that backs up their philosophy , and the results speak for themselves.

  22. Diogenes

    Since when can you keep graduating up classes without being able to read? Don’t they hold you back?

    Since parents started complaining to the Minister and the policy was changed. Parents have the final word, and I cannot remember the last time a parent actually agreed to hold their child back.

  23. John Comnenus

    I was going to be a rocket scientist but didn’t get good enough marks.

    How much should I sue the education dept for before I descend into a life of crime?

  24. Michel Lasouris

    What REALLY hurts is the fact that nobody asked if this ESN fellow was even capable of learning? If he was not, everyone with any intellectual impairment will be a food source for the rapacious legal industry. And does no one realise that the incompetent teachers ( if they are the problem ) will suffer nothing, other than the increases in Rates, tax, levies, insurance etc. that the state and fed governments can, and will impose on all of us to cover this stupidity.

  25. Michel Lasouris

    An African, a Socialist government and a corrupt judiciary. What else can you expect?

  26. cynical1

    A million FFS. Even now you could put that in an index fund and get about $40k a year, rising for inflation, for the rest of your life without dipping into the capital.

    Yes, but what did the grubby fucking lawyers trouser?

  27. Lloyd Dobler

    You would need to be able to read if you have a Facebook account.

    It seems he does.

  28. JJF

    Its all Tony Abbots fault!!!

    If only he funded Gonski for the next hundred years!!

  29. wreckage

    More people should sue the school system. It is an absolute disgrace that anyone should leave school unable to read. Making the educators accountable is necessary.

  30. Simon/other

    It’s always nice to see the private sector excoriating government institutions. Keeps them honest or results in greater expense to cover their inadequacy. The fact is that this should have been a billion dollar class action that forced serious changes in either funding or public school access. I do hope that many more are considering doing the same.

  31. wreckage

    Actually do what primary school teachers and experts fed back to the Pyne review

    That’s crazy talk. What do teachers know about teaching? No, we need a committee of childless academics with qualifications in ANY FIELD OTHER THAN child learning and development.

    My comment above on suing? It should be the department that gets sued. The higher up, the better.

  32. judiciary has been stacked full of communists

  33. Toiling Mass

    The precedent set is that people who didn’t get the career they think they deserved or are entitled to will sue the DoE

    Sadly that is the way elites seem to think.

    “If someone fails because they didn’t make an effort, well, it would be tasteless to hold them responsible for not making the effort because they are already feeling bad about their failure.

    “We’ll just blame someone else.

    “And it’s not our money.”

  34. Louis Hissink

    I wonder how much his lawyer got as commission?

  35. Paul

    I sometimes wonder if these judges would be so generous if they were giving their own money away. Call my cynical but I think not.

  36. Rabz

    I seem to remember a similar case where some entitled little bint sued her (private) school because she didn’t obtain a high enough leaving certificate score to pursue a career in the Leuuuurrr.

    Anyone remember the case?

  37. dweezy2176

    “I seem to remember a similar case where some entitled little bint sued her (private) school because she didn’t obtain a high enough leaving certificate score to pursue a career in the Leuuuurrr.
    Anyone remember the case?”
    Forget the details but she lost

  38. Toiling Mass

    Forget the details but she lost

    Did she sue the judge?

  39. Tim Neilson

    By the way, what was the parent doing up until the kid dropped out of school? Yes, rhetorical question. I doubt very much that at every step of the way the parent was carefully monitoring the student’s progress and pressing hard at parent teacher nights for remedial action to be taken.

  40. notafan

    Geelong Grammar case dweezy

  41. Rabz

    the case of Rose Ashton-Weir, who, with her mother, Elizabeth Weir, was suing Geelong Grammar because she alleged it did not support her to a sufficient degree to allow her to get into Law at Sydney University

    Thank you, notafan, that was indeed the case.

  42. Lily

    He has no difficulty reading and responding – writing – on his Facebook page.

  43. Fred Lenin

    How agout tge judge and teachers union comrades pay the compo. Then confiscate the money in fines and compensation for tge crimes this muppet has committed ? Fair is Fair!

  44. notafan

    The hustle and bustle to get the 99.75 I am so glad my being a mother of school students is over.

    I’m sure Mr Abela grew up in front of a TV and conversations from an early age were monosyllabic. Still schools are known to graduate non performers regardless, no-one left behind, everyone gets a prize in this all pigs are equal age.

    Remings me of Turnbull and his people want social equality, snort.

    Oh and from the penultimate comment at the lini

    It is useful to understand that as your friend experiences very ‘bright / gifted’ people are often confused, disorientated and misplaced in their environments from an early age.

    That is so my excuse.

  45. Fred Lenin

    Louis Hisslink , the law firm would deduct all expenses incurred,Barristers Fees ,Solicitors Fees ,and a pre agreed percentage of the compensation , the illiterate client woukd be sent a cheque for the balance. If the payout was $500,000 ,he would get maybe $234,56. Thats what No Win no Fee is about ,its all for the clients benefit ? Yeah Right !

  46. Robbo

    This illiterate numbskull has now been found guilty on TWO occasions of stealing cars but still no jail time. This is another fine example of the sort of soft cock nitwits we have administering their version of justice in the courts of Victoria. Many of them were, no doubt, appointed to office by that prize left wing moron Rob Hulls during his time of disgracing the office of Attorney General and now the general public of the State are stuck with their decisions. It doesn’t help that once again we have a Labor Government in Victoria who are always front and centre in defending those convicted of crime rather than siding with the victims of those crimes. This clown should be required to pay back the money he was awarded by that idiot Judge in the Federal Court, and after a well deserved spell in jail for his thefts, told to go and work at a job where reading, writing and basic intelligence is not required. I suggest he should ask Daniel Andrews for a position as a Minister in the current State Government. He would fit in perfectly.

  47. meher baba

    FWIW: Michael Lasouris, Abela doesn’t look the least bit African in the newspaper photos.

    And the settlement mainly consisted of the Ed Department agreeing not to enforce orders allowing them to collect $800k of costs from the Abelas in relation to their failed litigation. So a great deal of taxpayer money seems to have been wasted, but it ended up in the hands of lawyers rather than the Abelas.

  48. Rabz

    a great deal of taxpayer money seems to have been wasted, but it ended up in the hands of lawyers rather than the Abelas.

    There’s nothing like a happy ending.

  49. JohnA

    Roger #2020717, posted on May 5, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Since when can you keep graduating up classes without being able to read? Don’t they hold you back?

    When I was in primary school each student had to go to the principal’s office near the end of the year and read to him at the appropriate age level before he’d allow us to progress to the next grade. Not that hard, really, is it? But I suppose today’s principals are too busy attending conferences, holding staff meetings and attending to paperwork for that sort of personal oversight of students in their charge.

    Roger, an alternative (albeit pejorative) reason could be that the principals could not read that well themselves, and would be therefore incapable of making a valid assessment of the pupil.

  50. Louis Hissink

    Fred Lenin,

    What? the lawyers made that little – good grief, must have been a junior QC handling the brief.

  51. Only yesterday we were learning of a Catholic man removing his daughter from a State school because of the Safe Schools Program and the bullying and harassment she was receiving. He can’t really afford for her to go private, still, she will likely turn out to be an outstanding individual.
    Meanwhile, a blow-in car thief gets a million and a free car in compensation because he claims he learnt nothing.
    And the fucktards who caused both these situations still whine about “unfair”.

  52. Gilas

    Abela is a Maltese surname.

  53. Tim Neilson

    the Safe Schools Program and the bullying and harassment she was receiving
    Just more evidence that the “Safe (for pae do philes) Schools Program” was never about bullying.

  54. alexnoaholdmate

    Though this case appears to be one of pure laziness, I think there is something to be said for suing a school system that consistently sends kids out into the world unable to read, write, or do sums. Such an education system is manifestly failing to achieve its promised outcomes, while taxpayers are forced to support it.

    My 15-year-old cousin has never read a book, doesn’t know what 6 x 8 is, and believes that Gough Whitlam gave the vote to women – but boy, she sure knows about global warming and the Stolen Generations…

  55. Perplexed of Brisbane

    “Free car”??

    Shouldn’t you have to be able to read and write to learn to drive properly?

  56. wreckage

    alexnoaholdmate, that’s been our experience. No amount of pressure from us has resulted in anything other than the school suggesting we teach our kid maths while they teach her the world is ending, the reef is dying, Western culture is the worst thing evar, etc.

    No, school attendance is compulsory, and if the school attended cannot teach in the time allotted, then it is tantamount to mandatory illiteracy. There are more than enough teaching hours and resources, funded by far more than enough of taxpayer’s money. Failure to achieve basic outcomes is malfeasance and should be punished.

    I do NOT accept that the school should have legally mandated access to my child for six hours every day for the purposes of brainwashing, only to then blame the parents for educational outcomes the parents must achieve with no government resources, no training, and maybe two free hours in the evening after work, at best.

    It is not the parents’ fault. We have mandatory attendance and a huge educational budget exactly because, we are told, the government must be empowered to brute-force its way past parents to ensure education for all.

    This is the society the government has carefully built and in many cases legally enforces. I didn’t choose it or vote for it, I resile and reject its entire moral and intellectual basis, and to the extent that it fails, JUST AS I HAVE SAID IT MUST, I will NOT accept the blame.

    Sue the fuckers, since we’re not allowed to load them on a rocket and fire them into the sun.

  57. Lem

    And there we have it. One day, when a new Hans Christian Andersen starts writing cautionary stories to inform the kiddies living in hovels why the great Western experiment failed, the details are all there.

    It did occur to me however that the State if it has not completely capitulated could appeal this errant nonsense in a higher court.

  58. Habib

    Slugs & Grubs or Morrie Blackheart? What a truly cretinous outcome. Apply fork.

  59. John L

    Federal Court judge Anthony North

    How far north? Far, too far, so far that this “learned” judge is of the planet.
    Obviously, to prevent him from suing the government for a failure to properly educate him in the law school, the government made him a judge.

  60. Michel Lasouris

    meher baba

    #2020911, posted on May 5, 2016 at 3:11 pm
    Ok African…Maltese.. no difference really. The Maltese in London ran the entire network of prostitutes and were excessively cruel if they didn’t get their ‘cut’. Then they ‘cut’ the girls so they couldn’t earn. Really, really nice people. And this ( whatever) seems typical.

  61. BorisG

    I often read on Cat how this country is stuffed, beyond repair etc. but having lived in a number of them I take it with a grain of salt. Yet this story for the first time makes me think it is going indeed down the drain.

    I have some friends on the judiciary and I will ask them what they think.

  62. Herodotus

    “Families on over $150,000 don’t need welfare.”

    Maybe so. But why do executive salaries have to be so high?

  63. T Bull

    The Australian education system provides all school age people the opportunity to learn. Whether that student takes up that opportunity to learn is their and their parents decision. You can lead a horse to water but you cant teach it to read.

    Having said that most parents I know teach their kids to read before the child attends school. To rely on the Government to give your child life skills is a ‘courageous’ decision.

  64. John L

    Just imagine if did managed to learn how to read and write, he would be another lawyer, or judge!

  65. herodotus

    Uh-oh! Wrong fred!

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