Coun­cil hope­ful tweet con­cern

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - Earn­ing the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent the coun­try in Ja­pan. The ec­static 21-year-old told the Gee­long Ad­ver­tiser she had no clue she would take out the top prize. “It was all such a shock, I couldn’t be­lieve it,” she said. “It’s been so crazy — but my fami

A LARA woman who was scouted by a mod­el­ling agency af­ter she was tagged in a Face­book photo has been crowned Miss In­ter­na­tional Aus­tralia.

Am­ber Dew emerged vic­to­ri­ous from the na­tional fi­nals of the world’s fourth largest pageant this month— mod­el­ling firm on so­cial me­dia.

The then-teenager set off to Tai­wan to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in Miss Char­ity Queen. “Af­ter that ex­pe­ri­ence I fell in love with pageants and be­came a free­lance model and now of­ten judge pageants,” she said. THE head of Gee­long’s mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism peak body has voiced his con­cern over a Gee­long coun­cil can­di­date’s online com­ments about Mus­lims.

Diver­si­tat chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Martinez said he was con­cerned and dis­ap­pointed over a num­ber of Twit­ter posts from Win­der­mere Ward can­di­date Ken Dick­ens.

Mr Dick­ens yes­ter­day de­fended his online com­ments, claim­ing he only took is­sue with Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ists, and that he was “anti-vi­o­lence”.

In one post, Mr Dick­ens re­sponds to a tweet claim­ing “Is­lam puts no value on life. How do you fight against that?” with his sug­ges­tion: “Bap­tise them. Chris­tians can’t get the vir­gins. Ei­ther that or get a priest to give the last rights (sic).”

In an­other tweet, Mr Dick­ens re­sponds to an im­age of an al­leged car­jacker’s heav­ily in­jured face with “He’s got a head like a foot­ball. No won­der they kicked it!”

Mr Martinez yes­ter­day said Mr Dick­ens’s tweets were con­cern­ing.

“The con­cern is that there’s talk of vi­o­lence there — ‘kick­ing heads’ — there’s other kinds of sex­ist tones as well, and I’m dis­ap­pointed,” Mr Martinez said.

“Mr Dick­ens came out to the hub and he met our peo­ple and I in­tro­duced him, and he didn’t ex­press any views like that at the time.

“I ex­pect when I meet with peo­ple for them to be hon­est with us about their be­liefs, so I do find it con­cern­ing.”

Mr Dick­ens, who de­scribes him­self as “non-PC but pas­sion­ate”, yes­ter­day rub­bished any sug­ges­tions he was an Is­lam­o­phobe.

“I’m anti-vi­o­lence, it’s got noth­ing to do with anti-Is­lamic,” Mr Dick­ens said. “I’ve got Is­lamic friends, I’ve got Jewish friends, I’ve got ev­ery type of friend that a typ­i­cal Aus­tralian would have.

“If any fun­da­men­tal re­li­gious per­son kills some­body then we should do our best to make sure that if they be­lieve they are go­ing to go to Heaven and get 72 vir­gins we should do our best to discourage them. I’m not anti-Is­lam at all.

“If I see vi­o­lence from fun­da­men­tal­ists of any re­li­gion, I’m go­ing to call it out, and I’m not go­ing to stop.”

Mr Dick­ens, a waste in­dus­try leader, said he would not change who he was just be­cause he was now run­ning for coun­cil.

ROWAN FORSTER

Pic­ture: PE­TER RISTESVKI

Pageant win­ner Am­ber Dew

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