COMMENT:

The current stoush over Victim Support and what they're doing with all the money we donated for the mosque shooting victims is an ugly example of what happens when a complex issue gets pushed into the media and has to be turned into digestible bite-size pieces.

It's complex because there's obviously so much going on that we don't know about regarding the more than $10 million that has been donated.

I, like many others, was quick to be upset when I saw victims coming forward saying they were struggling to make ends meet because they had no access to money.

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Like many other donors, I immediately felt cheated - I wanted those victims to have as much money as they needed and pronto.

But that of course is an emotional reaction.
Victim Support, given the industry they're in, are probably better versed at being able to step back and look at things more objectively. Weigh up all the factors, including the less palatable bite-size media-friendly minutiae.

The first thing to note about Victim Support is that it's a highly regulated charity, subject to stringent rules and conditions, transparency and accountability.

In short, they're not cowboys here to rip people off.

Secondly, it is an unprecedented situation, there is no blueprint for how to deal with this.

And thirdly, the charity must be seen to account for everyone, and as we know, this tragedy affects many, many families not just based here, but also overseas.

Getting the amount and the numbers right must be difficult to say the least, and being good guardians of those funds is a huge responsibility. They must be seen to act in a consistent and sparing manner – showering all the money onto the first lots of people with their hands up may bite them in the bum down the track.

What if more people come forward later? What if circumstances change – I mean last week is a case and point as the death toll went from 50 to 51 – what if there'd been no money left to address an evolving situation?

Also the way the money is divvied up between victims, victims' families, those traumatised, those who witnessed it, then there's the definition of a 'victim' - who qualifies exactly and for how much?

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All of these things I imagine have to be meticulously and scrupulously weighed up.

But here's the part that stinks a bit. Hiring PR companies.

The hiring of PR companies sends a message and that message is: we can't deal with this, we need help, our 'image' is being adversely affected.

Worrying about your image at a time like this, surely is the last thing on the list of priorities.

Why can't they keep it simple?
Front up, and just keep fronting up - until there is no room for anyone to claim you're not talking.

No room for rumours to start. No room to be accused of arrogance.
Fewer PR companies, more transparency.