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The Tragic Story of Rod Owen



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20 minutes ago, dieter said:

You make it sound so easy cranky franky...ever heard of there but for the grace etc? Were you ever molested? I wasn't, but I have enough empathy to see how difficult it would be to walk in the shoes Rod Owen was given.

Right on cue there Dieter.  Do try & pay attention. Where exactly have I made it sound so easy ?

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That was compelling reading, and I don't normally engage with in-depth personal stories of tragedy so much.

I don't know if there was any direct connection but the comments about the all too brief flicker of optimism at Melbourne led me to do some remembering.

For what it is worth as a reminder that help does actually help, and maybe if anyone feels like making a donation, too -

https://www.reach.org.au/

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that certainly was a long harrowing and tragic read. i do hope his life stays turned around

child abuse is such an horrific and devastating crime

it's also such an insidious and secretive activity carried out by very calculated people

for too long no-one wanted to talk about it (victim or just anyone) and it was ignored, disbelieved or brushed under the carpet with little or no consequences to the perpetrator(s)

sadly paedophilia still thrives and has gone further underground. It's perpetrators could come from any class or occupation. I was just reading yesterday of the current trial of Sir Ron Brierley an active paedophile at 85 ffs. they are everywhere.

Increased vigilance, more transparency and education of minors is still required

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2 hours ago, Cards13 said:

The trail of destruction sits firmly with the filthy, disgusting abusers and those cowards who allowed this to all continue unabated for generations. 
While the acts of the abused are what are highlighted it was the acts done to them that have caused hundreds if not thousands of people to be swept into the vortex of destruction. Along with millions of $$ being tied up in police, mental health facilities and prisons. 

Yes I have seen it first hand, previously worked in the Sex Crime area. Whats seen can't be unseen and what's read sometimes has a bigger impact.

I became immersed in an investigation that consumed my life more than it should have a few years ago.  It impacted me and my family to a point I never thought it would.

It was tragic the victims ranged in age from late 30s to late 40s when they came forward and to see the effect it had on their lives and the destruction had a big impact.

The offender was a Catholic priest who in the 70s and 80s preyed on vulnerable children and destroyed lives.

The actions of the Catholic church we uncovered were deplorable. The bravery of those victims to relive some horrors of their childhood should not be underestimated.

The day we knocked on the priest's door was gratifying to look him in the eye and acknowledge we knew what he'd done and they were no longer frightened children, who didn't speak up because they thought they wouldn't be believed.

Many of the victims were substance abusers, suffered mental health and were severely effected to a point they will never recover from.

The Rod Owen story unfortunately is not isolated

 

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The stories of Rod Owen and Robbie Muir before him warrant an investigation by St Kilda into its past culture and what the club can do to make good the sins of the past. If honours and awards have been given to people involved in the past, they can be revoked. An apology and a pledge to do better in the future would also be helpful.

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4 hours ago, dieter said:

The highlight of this story for me is A: the Child abuse he suffered and B: the advice he was supposedly given by Ian Stewart and the St KIlda Board to just sign your life away, don't worry about school.  This was advice reportedly given to a sixteen year old kid whose father had just died. 

I find the responses on this page which highlight how good he was at Melbourne a bit annoying because they miss the point about how damaged the poor kid was. 

It all reeks of  deep Tragedy, and shows us how thin the veneer of our so-called Civilisation in our society really is. Yes, there will be people on this site who will highlight his lack of 'responsibility', but what would a sixteen year old being, who was seduced by fame and mates to 'live it up' , know about 'responsibility'?

I find the word used in this post "highlight" in the opening paragraph absolutely mis used.and thoroughly imappropriate in its context.

Spoils what I acknowledge was a genuine article about a very sad story of a great sportsman who for  many reasons was not able to achieve his level of performance in his life. 
 

Hope ha is faring better in life today.

 

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5 minutes ago, 58er said:

I find the word used in this post "highlight" in the opening paragraph absolutely mis used.and thoroughly imappropriate in its context.

Spoils what I acknowledge was a genuine article about a very sad story of a great sportsman who for  many reasons was not able to achieve his level of performance in his life. 
 

Hope ha is faring better in life today.

 

I agree: poor choice of words. I should have written: What stood out for me...

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25 minutes ago, whatwhat say what said:

Tragic story told with genuine empathy by Rusty Jackson

Another Quill looms

yes, one doesn't want to use words of praise to to such a tragic story, but it was a story that needed to be told and was very well crafted and objective.

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23 hours ago, dee-tox said:

These pieces by Russel Jackson are top notch and prove there is a place in the world for a long read, not just shallow, sensationalism that we're too often served up nowadays ...

Reading Owen's story it is hard not to feel empathy for his victims. As much as he has now turned his life around, the trail of damage he left was extraordinary. I saw that first hand at a suburban club where, as a spectator, he started an all in brawl in the crowd that ended in multiple ambulances arriving.

I met Russell while working as a journo 5-6 years ago.

His knowledge of the Saints is unparalleled. He has been their historian forever and has an endless supply of these stories.

There are many that he has his own personal embargo on, to protect the club.

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On 4/3/2021 at 10:41 AM, Old Man Rivers said:

Very tough read. 
I remember those 9 games in 91. 
He was explosive, kicked a couple of bags then did his knee & we never saw him again. 
Hope he finds peace @ some point. 

I too remember them- particularly one where he just ran through opposition players with no care about self injury - the other players stood taller as a result 

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Tough read indeed and I hope he can find some peace & fulfilment in the rest of his life.
I find it strange that this story seems to have fizzled so quickly. Were it Collingwood involved it would be news for weeks if not months.

For those who can't remember Owen's brief time as a Demon, here's a minute to savour. The boy could play.

Rod Owen - Melbourne v North 1991

Edited by Go the Biff
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On 4/3/2021 at 3:59 PM, Pennant St Dee said:

The actions of the Catholic church we uncovered were deplorable. The bravery of those victims to relive some horrors of their childhood should not be underestimated

 

And unfortunately the bravery of the victims often doesn't translate to sufficient punishment for these rockspiders. This teacher who abused Rocket and nearly 20 other kids over a 10 year period only got 1 and a half years in jail because he pleaded guilty. Initially he received a wholly suspended sentence from the Magistrates Court!

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11 hours ago, Go the Biff said:

Tough read indeed and I hope he can find some peace & fulfilment in the rest of his life.
I find it strange that this story seems to have fizzled so quickly. Were it Collingwood involved it would be news for weeks if not months.

For those who can't remember Owen's brief time as a Demon, here's a minute to savour. The boy could play.

Rod Owen - Melbourne v North 1991

I think one of the big differences is that St Kilda have not hesitated to own the problem and apologise.

Collingwood seem to bury their heads in the sand and are if my recollection is correct yet to apologise to Heritier for example.

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On 4/4/2021 at 10:47 AM, Cheesy D. Pun said:

I met Russell while working as a journo 5-6 years ago.

His knowledge of the Saints is unparalleled. He has been their historian forever and has an endless supply of these stories.

There are many that he has his own personal embargo on, to protect the club.

Are you sure you aren't confusing Russell Jackson with Saints historian Russell Holmesby.

Russell Jackson isn't old enough to be have been doing anything forever, plus he's been a little busy being a cricket writer and publisher.

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2 hours ago, dice said:

And unfortunately the bravery of the victims often doesn't translate to sufficient punishment for these rockspiders. This teacher who abused Rocket and nearly 20 other kids over a 10 year period only got 1 and a half years in jail because he pleaded guilty. Initially he received a wholly suspended sentence from the Magistrates Court!

The whole system - as has been highlighted by the drama in Canberra - is corrupt and stacked in favour of the perpetrators of these horrific crimes. Not much has changed: Pell was able to buy his freedom, for example.

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2 hours ago, rjay said:

I think one of the big differences is that St Kilda have not hesitated to own the problem and apologise.

Collingwood seem to bury their heads in the sand and are if my recollection is correct yet to apologise to Heritier for example.

He should apologise to us for take us for a ride

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4 hours ago, DeeSpencer said:

Are you sure you aren't confusing Russell Jackson with Saints historian Russell Holmesby.

Russell Jackson isn't old enough to be have been doing anything forever, plus he's been a little busy being a cricket writer and publisher.

Haha...good pick up. Yep, Russell Holmesby is the guy I'm thinking of.

The depth of the article automatically had me thinking it had to be him.

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41 minutes ago, Cheesy D. Pun said:

Haha...good pick up. Yep, Russell Holmesby is the guy I'm thinking of.

The depth of the article automatically had me thinking it had to be him.

Thank goodness. Your suggestion that he had embargoed some stories made me wonder what else he knew about St Kilda which was so much worse than the Rod Owen story that it shouldn't be told.

What I found surprising in the story was that Melbourne was considered to be so much more professional than St Kilda and therefore a better environment for Owen. I'm pleased, but still surprised. 

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1 hour ago, rjay said:

Pretty sure he's talking Heritier not Rod...still not particularly appropriate.

Was Heritier mentioned?

Rod came to Melbourne to clean up and he would have done it, if not for that knee injury. 
Lot of my friends knew him ( i met him a couple of times) and he was genuinely upset that he couldn’t play out 1991. His time at Melbourne was taken seriously. Sad it didn’t work out 

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23 minutes ago, Sir Why You Little said:

Was Heritier mentioned?

Rod came to Melbourne to clean up and he would have done it, if not for that knee injury. 
Lot of my friends knew him ( i met him a couple of times) and he was genuinely upset that he couldn’t play out 1991. His time at Melbourne was taken seriously. Sad it didn’t work out 

Indeed - his time at MFC was covered in the article. My wife is a social worker and frequently sees this in childhood abuse victims who develop in to self-abusing adult; even when they try to set themselves on the right path, they come unstuck at every and any setback, because they don’t have the required resilience due to the trauma. Invariably they end up in trouble with the law, and from there the only mechanism society has to deal with them is punishment. At no stage is the root problem ever addressed. And society in general is just unforgiving and has no understanding of how a traumatised mind works. Often the person will be seen as a monster.

I didn’t follow VFL in the 80s and I can’t remember Owen as a player, but this story was gutting. I truly hope he is finally on a path towards peace and surrounding himself with people who can help him. I hope the player’s  association do everything they can to help.

I also hope St Kilda investigate and rescind Albert Briggs life membership if they haven’t already. Contributing to the destruction of one life (that we know of) cancels out any good he did and then some. 

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10 minutes ago, Nasher said:

Indeed - his time at MFC was covered in the article. My wife is a social worker and frequently sees this in childhood abuse victims who develop in to self-abusing adult; even when they try to set themselves on the right path, they come unstuck at every and any setback, because they don’t have the required resilience due to the trauma. Invariably they end up in trouble with the law, and from there the only mechanism society has to deal with them is punishment. At no stage is the root problem ever addressed. And society in general is just unforgiving and has no understanding of how a traumatised mind works. Often the person will be seen as a monster.

I didn’t follow VFL in the 80s and I can’t remember Owen as a player, but this story was gutting. I truly hope he is finally on a path towards peace and surrounding himself with people who can help him. I hope the player’s  association do everything they can to help.

I also hope St Kilda investigate and rescind Albert Briggs life membership if they haven’t already. Contributing to the destruction of one life (that we know of) cancels out any good he did and then some. 

Yes the fact that Briggs got awway with it for so long, is very disturbing 

I cannot fathom how that happens 

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