Bowled out by ‘cow­boys’ and into court

Food fight ‘trou­ble­maker’ chal­lenges bowls club black­list­ing

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - VANDA CARSON

A SUN­SHINE Coast re­tiree is tak­ing her bowls club to court af­ter she was black­listed by its “cow­boy” male hi­er­ar­chy, claim­ing she was wrongly ac­cused of slam­ming an­other wo­man’s cook­ing skills.

Robyn Per­ren, 67, from Woom­bye, claims chair­man Ralph Wells wrongly ac­cused her of say­ing “I won’t eat any­thing pre­pared by that b--ch” about a fel­low club mem­ber.

She claims she was wrongly la­belled a “trou­ble­maker” who was dis­liked by fe­male mem­bers and this led to her be­ing “pushed out of the” mem­ber­ship of the Nam­bour Bowls Club “by two men (both chair­men)”, doc­u­ments filed in the Supreme Court in Bris­bane state.

Ms Per­ren (pic­tured) says in court doc­u­ments she has been hu­mil­i­ated and bul­lied by the “bunch of cow­boys” who run the 130-mem­ber club.

Af­ter three years of mem­ber­ship, in­clud­ing as sec­re­tary of the board, she was of­fi­cially banned from the club­house and its grounds in a let­ter sent by the club’s lawyers in Jan­uary.

She ad­mits she was crit­i­cal of fe­male club mem­bers who spent more than $1 per head on club af­ter­noon teas but de­nies claims she had been “run­ning around the club crit­i­cis­ing” mem­ber and cater­ing man­ager June Robson in Novem­ber 2016 af­ter the club ran out of coleslaw at a lunch for 112 vis­it­ing women bowlers on Oc­to­ber 11. Ms Per­ren ad­mits yelling “ex­tremely loudly” when Ms Robson told her how to use the dish­washer and la­belled her a con­trol­f­reak, court doc­u­ments state.

Ms Per­ren has gone to court in a bid to be al­lowed back on to the bowl­ing greens and to clear her name. She told Bowls Queens­land in a let­ter filed in court that when fel­low bowlers talk to her about her ban she has to “turn away so that they don’t see the tears”.

“I have done noth­ing but ruf­fle a few feath­ers,” Ms Per­ren says in court doc­u­ments. “A club mem­ber can have a stand-up fight and just be sus­pended for a few months.”

Ms Per­ren told the court that on Novem­ber 10, 2016 then-club chair­man Brian Flux told her “none of the women like you” and that he had re­ceived “many com­plaints”.

She claims club man­ager Gra­ham Corps told mem­bers “we don’t be­lieve Robyn gets along with other peo­ple” at a meet­ing in April 2017.

“A per­son’s mem­ber­ship can be re­jected if the com­mit­tee be­lieves that they are not of good char­ac­ter,” Mr Corps al­legedly told the meet­ing.

Last May, Ms Per­ren com­plained to Bowls Queens­land pres­i­dent Peter Wil­liamson. “Clubs are be­ing al­lowed to be­come a law unto them­selves op­er­at­ing as a ‘bunch of cow­boys’,” she wrote to Mr Wil­liamson.

Her case is due in court on Tues­day for a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing.

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