Stop defending a man convicted of
  • Petitioned Royal Humane Society

This petition was delivered to:

Royal Humane Society
President, Royal Humane Society
Ross Campbell
Royal Humane Society

Stop defending a man convicted of

    1. Melinda Liszewski
    2. Petition by

      Melinda Liszewski

      Brisbane, Australia

June 2012


Incredible news! The Humane Society have just decided via an 'emergency meeting' that Paul McCusky should be stripped of his "bravery" award. Here's more in Jeannie's own words. I felt like crying all over again, but this time for a very different reason. Last night the Royal Humane Society emailed me to say that they had revoked the bravery award they gave to the man who bashed me, left me blind in one eye, and killed my unborn child. For years, I've been reliving what he did to me. And the bravery award just made it all so much worse. He made my life a living hell, leaving me permanently disabled -- and yet society was holding him up as a hero. But that all started to change when I saw Melinda Liszewski's petition. Suddenly it felt like people were on my side again, standing with me against what he did. Knowing more than 18,000 people signed Melinda’s petition gave me the courage to publicly speak out. So yesterday I delivered the 18,961 petition signatures to Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle (also a Vice President of the Royal Humane Society). I did interviews about the petition on the nightly news for Channel 10, Channel 7, Channel 9 and ABC. I was interviewed on 3AW, and the campaign was covered in the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Australian and in lots of other places. For me this was never about just one award. It was about sending a bigger public message that brave men don’t bash women and that as a community there must be zero tolerance for anyone who commits such a vile act. Thanks to this petition, the Royal Humane Society has finally agreed with me. After all of the media coverage yesterday they convened a crisis meeting and voted unanimously to strip him of the award. By starting this petition on, Melinda stood up and spoke out when I couldn't find the strength to. And I can't thank her enough. This morning, we're both sharing the news with our friends and family, and you can do the same by sharing this news piece about our victory on Facebook. With my deepest thanks, Jeannie Blackburn.

BREAKING NEWS: The Royal Humane Society has tonight (Tuesday) revoked the "bravery award" given to the man who viciously bashed Jeannie. It comes after a huge media turnout for Jeannie delivering the petition to Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, a vice-president of the Society. 


"Among his brutal acts, McCuskey punched a pregnant Jeannie Blackburn and while she was on the ground he kicked her in the stomach, while she screamed, "Stop it Paul, the baby!"." -- Herald Sun, 1st June.

Paul McCuskey was convicted of viciously beating his former partner: she miscarried soon after and was left permanently blind in one eye -- but the Royal Humane Society has decided he should keep his "Bravery Award" and hero status.

I just read all this in this Herald Sun article:

I'm a mum from Brisbane, and the details of McCuskey's beatings are terrifying and are so hard to read. But even worse is that a charity that I trust to hold up role models to our society could think this man should still be labelled a "hero". As they awarded him the honour, he was serving a minimum three year sentence for a series of violent attacks against his former partner. 

Our Governor-General Quintin Bryce, and patron of the charity, has today called publicly for the award to be retracted.

Please join her and sign my petition calling on the Royal Humane Society to stop endorsing a man convicted of viciously beating his partner, and strip him of the "Bravery Award".

Domestic violence in Australia is at 'epidemic' proportions - I recently read in Mamamia that in Australia almost every week someone is killed by their partner or former partner. 

This is completely unacceptable -- and the Royal Humane Society's endorsement of Paul McCuskey is disgraceful. This is not the type of person that should be celebrated as a 'hero' - no matter what their previous record. 

Can you please share this on Facebook and Twitter too? This is too important to go unnoticed! 

Recent signatures



      Nathan Elvery
      Campaigner, Australia

      After more than 18,000 sign petition, Society revokes award given to man jailed for domestic violence attack; victim lost her baby and sight in one eye after attack

      The victim of a brutal domestic violence attack has welcomed the decision by the Royal Humane Society to revoke the bravery award given to her attacker.

      Domestic violence victim Jeannie Blackburn was informed this evening that the Royal Humane Society had revoked the award given to her former partner, Paul McCuskey. McCuskey was in jail serving a five and a half year sentence for a series of vicious attacks on Jeannie when he received the bravery honour from the Society for his actions with the Reefton CFA during the Black Saturday bushfires.

      “I am completely overwhelmed by the support the public has given me on this issue,” said Jeannie.....

      For more, contact Tony Robertson, Communications Director, 0419 867 230

    2. 'Brave men don't beat women'

      Melinda Liszewski
      Petition Organizer

      So proud of Jeannie Blackburn for speaking out. Click on the link to hear Jeannie's interview on Melbourne's 3AW radio.

      A domestic violence victim has presented an 18,000 signature petition to Mayor Robert Doyle in a bid to have a bravery award taken away from her ex-partner.

      "The society has devalued the award for all the other recipients," she said. "Brave men don't beat women."

    3. Woman says attacker must lose bravery award

      Melinda Liszewski
      Petition Organizer

      "A VICTIM of domestic violence who suffered a miscarriage and was blinded in one eye in savage beatings by her former partner hopes an 18,000-strong petition will get him stripped of a bravery award."

    4. Reached 17,500 signatures
    5. 'I'll give back my bravery award' Sergeant John Delahunty

      Melinda Liszewski
      Petition Organizer

      "It does not sit well with me to be associated with McCuskey," Sergeant Delahunty told Hinch.

      "I'm proud to receive the award but I think domestic violence is a major problem in Victoria...I'm prepared to return my award to the Royal Humane Society," he nobly added.

      Fantastic to see Sergent John Delahunty supporting a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence.

    6. Paul Francis McCuskey is no Black Saturday hero

      Melinda Liszewski
      Petition Organizer

      This is an article about the petition. Jeannie Blackburn says she is stunned by the support. She is quoted in the article:

      "I saw the petition on Saturday morning. When I realised thousands of people had signed it, I was overwhelmed," she said. "It sent a shiver down my spine and I began to cry.

      "I still can't understand how a man who is in prison after leaving me with one eye and taking my unborn baby away from me can be given hero status. And I'm terrified by the message this sends to other women going through domestic violence."

      Please continue to show Jeannie Blackburn your support by sharing the petition with friends and networks.

    7. Reached 12,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sylvia Heavens MANNING, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      'Humane' relates to kindness, compassion and mercy, none of which was shown to Jeannie Blackburn and her defenceless unborn child. whose life was lost. Sense at last that the 'bravery award' has been revoked.

      The 'humane society' is stating loudly and clearly that there is no excuse for domestic violence, or room for a bravery award in another arena. A major crime was committed by cowardly acts; Jeannie must've had many black Saturdays and other days too. Where was her hero then?

      Good luck and God Bless Jeannie in your life from here onwards.

    • Carol McDowell POINT COOK, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      Why award someone for being an abuser!!

    • Brady Burns BENDIGO, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      This man does not deserve to keep the award he is a coward and a murderer.

    • Amanda Kersten BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      I too was married to a well known man of the community who devoted his time to a local AFL club, to these people he was a God BUT behind closed doors he was different.....

    • Marie Dalton Morgan SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 2 years ago

      To support Jeannie and all women who have suffered from this horrific humiliation which is rampant in society.


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