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GOTCHA: VEXNEWS claims first scalp as draft dodger Garrie Hutchinson quits veterans post after "grubby tabloid campaign" against him

hutchisonousted Nine News reported this evening that Garrie Hutchinson – a draft dodger turned Victorian government veterans’ representative – had quit his position after being exposed on Andrew Landeryou’s blog, VEXNEWS and by military affairs expert Sasha Uzonov.

A campaign by veterans’ groups and other media outlets followed Uzonov’s investigation, including a telling report in the Herald Sun that quoted the head of the RSL condemning the government for its poor choice of veterans representative.

VEXNEWS had commenced a special investigation into Hutchinson’s writings and past including examining his book poetry with the charming title “Terror Australis” published in the glory days of 1975 and other exploits. The investigation will be suspended.

hutch1_thumb VEXNEWS understands that upper house President and Vietnam Veteran Bob Smith played a decisive role in ensuring the government was no longer embarrassed by this situation. The prospect of the Premier being bailed up by justifiably perturbed veterans at a Vietnam Veterans function next week might also have focused the mind of John Brumby’s pragmatic team of advisers.

One observer also pointed out that a tidal wave of concern was about to strike the Department of Planning and Community Development that employs Hutchinson as a veterans’ heritage expert who was routinely attending government announcements commemorating military service including tours of battlefields and celebrations of the Anzac spirit.

Hutchinson – a former senior journalist and writer – has many friends in the media who were clearly not keen to report the story. He appeared to call in a favour on Nine News this evening which presented his resignation in the best possible light in the circumstances, even agreeing to label him an “alleged draft dodger” despite some reasonably clear and unashamed admissions by Hutchison. He’s an alleged draft dodger in the same sense that Martin Bryant is an alleged multiple murderer.

While having never fired a shot in anger in military service, Hutchison was keen to shoot the messenger who had reported his somewhat hypocritical position. He blamed a “grubby tabloid campaign” for his demise and also attacked “institutions” (the RSL) for daring to want him ousted.

Hutchinson will be re-assigned within the Department that employed him to other duties, sources say most probably in a media liaison role where he clearly has considerable expertise.


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  1. and you can relive all the glory online!

    click here

    Posted by perce | August 13, 2008, 22:01
  2. Is not Draft Dodging also part of the Vet-Name era.Surly they also deserve a part in Australia’s history. After all they served their country also,be it in a different way.Many went to prison for their beliefs and most were not paid by the government. I think this guy has been denied a fair go mate.

    Posted by The Artful Dodger | August 14, 2008, 5:10
  3. Yep, Dodger, feel free to dodge the draft and let your fellow citizens fight in your place. Feel free to flee your country to take an active role in the enemy’s propaganda war.
    …just don’t come back and take a taxpayer-paid job representing Vietnam veterans.
    Who could blme our Vietnam Vets objecting to this piece of – let’s be generous – insensitivity by the department?

    Posted by Jack O'Lantern | August 14, 2008, 8:49
  4. I like how in the headline the pejorative ‘draft dodger’ is not in inverted commas but the pejorative ‘grubby tabloid campaign’ is. What are you, Donald Rumsfeld? Did you agree with Rumsfeld’s campaign (before he was driven from office) to pursue ‘draft dodgers’ in Canada with legal action and threatened jail terms after 40 years? Cause that’s what this reminds me of.

    Surely the only point is whether Hutchinson was good at his job, and if the veterans were happy working with him BEFORE this ‘investigative campaign’ – i.e. did the outrage and dissatisfaction manifest itself anywhere before this Cold Warrior got locked and loaded for his journalistic mission.

    Posted by Cath Stuart | August 15, 2008, 12:32
  5. To you appeasers: ‘Surely the only point is whether Josif Stalin was good at his job’. Who cares if he killed his own people – he was an ‘efficient’ Cold Warrior. This bloke (an honest journalist?) has no ‘right’ to represent those he denigrated & despised while in the UK. One will probably find a bunch of similar people running the various Governments throughout Australia who were cowards or communists during Vietnam.

    Posted by Jack Dube | August 16, 2008, 7:53
  6. Jack, what the hell are you talking about.

    If you’re comparing him to Stalin, how many people did Hutchinson order to be exterminated?

    How exactly did he denigrate and despise veterans (and why would he want to represent them if he did?)

    Who do you think I am appeasing? I commented on this story because it just looks on the face of it to be a giant hatchet job/smear campaign.

    BTW I wasn’t doing much during Vietnam, having been born in 1968. Can’t comment as to whether there were ‘similar people’ being communists at the time who are running anything now.

    I was directing my post at the authors of the story, but if you feel they need the support of your arsenal, poor defenseless little things that they are, go ahead.

    Also, “Cold Warrior” = someone who believes in the values and moral framework of the Cold War (and may have been involved in it, and may be still fighting it, like Sasha Uzunov seems to be). Stalin pursued the Cold War, but he was pretty cynical about the ‘ideals of communism’, and was mainly concerned with doing whatever would concentrate his own power and control over the Soviet Union. He didn’t give a toss about ‘the people’.

    But by all means, call me Stalin, call Hutchinson Stalin, call anyone you like Stalin. It’s a great way to ‘argue the moral toss’.

    In response, I will say you are Hitler, supporting ‘undesirable subversive leftists’ being purged from their jobs, and leave it at that.

    Posted by Cath Stuart | August 17, 2008, 12:42
  7. Madam,
    You have a chip on your shoulder. I never called you, this Hutchinson person or anybody else Stalin.
    Your Quote: ‘I was directing my post at the authors of the story, but if you feel they need the support of your arsenal, poor defenseless (sic – added by me) little things that they are, go ahead.’ Do you really believe that Hutchinson needs YOU to ‘support’ him?
    I will leave it at that.

    Posted by Jack Dube | August 22, 2008, 5:11


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