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Your ABC: Who is 'Parker Bourke'?

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 7 November, 2012 - 9:40 AM

This is the tale of a person who does not exist.

The story of an invented person – invented with your money, by your staff who are supposedly working for you and created with your taxes.

Here begins the story of Parker Bourke. Parker Bourke is very well quoted; I have found their name in Teacher Magazine, on the website of the Norwood Football Club, a netball forum, a French and Saunders website and he’s prominent in the Armenian-Australian community forums.

Parker Bourke reminds me of the old story: you ring to make a complaint to a government office and you have strong words with the person who answers.

That person then says: ‘Do you know who you are speaking to?’ You say no, so they say: ‘Good, well buzz off.’ They slam down the phone and hang up in your ear.

This is the same thing. Parker Bourke does not exist, but their title is ‘ABC audience and consumer affairs’.

They have been created because whoever really is in charge of such things doesn’t want you to have their real name in case you are unpleasant. They write off answers to news organisations, they explain things to the Armenians, the teachers, the footballers and the netballers when they complain.

They are quoted and taken seriously across the country, but they don’t exist.

Seriously, this is unbelievable. The ‘ABC audience and consumer affairs’, the spokesman quoted on the Armenian official website, Norwood football club – all manner of places – does not exist.

The person who invited them admitted as much to one of our listeners who was dealing with them. They got a letter signed by ‘Parker Bourke’, wrote back and it was returned unknown at the ABC.

They finally got to the bottom of it. So having created this person, they didn’t even tell their mail room they had a person who didn’t exist answering complaints.

What an unbelievable lot – precious and self-protective. Hey, I wonder if Ian Henderson really exists.

I think I’ll try the same thing. I’ll create a person who doesn’t exist then come on air and stir things up, but not take complaints because I don’t exist.

This is silly, not serious, but it is an indication of a very strange culture at your ABC. If you can judge an organisation by how it handles its complaints, that is your ABC.

Ask for your money back.


Blog comments Your Say

  • Seem to have discovered something similar on ABC RN "Counterpoint", which is sometimes not a bad show, for the ABC. They have twice interviewed "a psychiatrist- Dr George Henry. I thought it was odd I'd never heard of him, and he's not a "real person" either. Maybe a "nom de plume", but it is very inappropriate to be broadcasting this without making that key fact clear.

    Mark Thursday 29 November, 2012 - 12:02 AM
  • How dare they use a pseudonym? No one at 3AW would do that eh, Ross Stevenson (sorry) Campbell?

    Mal Bourne Wednesday 7 November, 2012 - 6:42 PM
  • @mylene, there is a difference between using a pseudonym, nom-de-plume or alias and using a name of a non-existent person.

    Willow Wednesday 7 November, 2012 - 5:55 PM
  • Gee... and no one at 3AW uses pseudonyms? :p

    mylene Wednesday 7 November, 2012 - 10:49 AM
  • Hi Neil,

    I don't know who Parker Bourke is either, but when it comes to Ian Henderson or anything to do with ABC News, I get to answer all complaints as Victorian Editor for ABC News.
    Last time I looked I thought I was real!!!

    Shane Castleman

    Shane Castleman Wednesday 7 November, 2012 - 9:56 AM
  • Well lot better than the culture of your programme.
    I only listen to Ross and John - gee is 3aw lucky to have them.

    maureen mckenna Wednesday 7 November, 2012 - 9:51 AM

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