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Brief History

1990 July – Australian Chornobyl Children’s Relief Foundation, herein after known as the “Foundation”, was formed by a group of ladies from PLAST Ukrainian Scouting Organisation. The first President was Zina Botte”.

During the period since its inception there have been several person who were elected to the position of President

Irena Krasulak was elected President of the Foundation at the April 2001 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Melbourne, Australia and her term as President was extended at the 2002 and the 2003 AGM’s.

Mr. Myroslav (Ross) Merunovich is the last known President.

Request has been made to him for details of the Foundation - no response has been received.

I am further investigating this Foundations activities.

 

 

 

Australian Chornobyl Children's Relief Foundation

I refer to the Ukrainian Orphan Relief Foundation Inc. (Australia)  page detailing the Award received by  Mrs. Irena Krasulak, the Past President of this Foundation,.

On her receiving the Humanitarian Award in Ukraine, I have had many people, including close friends criticising me for associating and helping her in her efforts to help underprivileged children in Ukraine.

Rumours, accusations and innuendoes

I was recently told there were many accusations and allegations of embezzlement against Mrs. Irena Krasulak and Father Vladimir Wolochy and inappropriate actions by Mrs. Irena Krasulak. Yet no one had any concrete details - sounded just like gossip.

The comments I heard were denigrating, humiliating and belittling; people ignored, discriminated and ostracised them. It was quite obvious that rumours, lies and innuendoes spreading like wild fire about them. To this day they have been treated in the community as Leapers.

These allegations against them spread across our Ukrainian communities in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

The rumours of embezzlement against Mrs. Irena Krasulak and Father Vladimir Wolochy ranged from $60,000, $40,000 and other such large amounts. There were rumours that she purchase an apartment in Lviv using Foundation Funds for her own personal purposes; which I found to be totally untrue, as I have seen the title to the property.

As I have been the brunt of similar unfounded allegations and have been ostracised in our community, I have an intense dislike for such rumours, allegations and behaviour by members of our community.

I was told that legal action had been taken against them, and yet no one knew the outcome and assumed the worst.

Research

Given Irena Krasulak's 25 year history of humanitarian aide in Ukraine, I just could not believe what I was hearing. As such, I decided to research this matter.

Over a short period, I obtained a great deal of evidence which equated to volumes of files which equated to approximately 40 Kg. These documents included affidavits, statements, legal and court documents, minutes of meetings, agenda, financial statement, property titles, bank statements, emails, copies of newspaper articles and letters from Ukraine.

I must stressed that the information provided to me from several sources is not the complete set of the Foundation's documentation. Also, I stress that the information provided to me, may have been culled, edited, tampered with, manipulated or lost by some means.

Notwithstanding this, from my in-depth reading and analysis of the documents provided and my interrogation of several people who were involved with the Foundation, I was able to form my own personal opinion as to the events and circumstance surrounding the derogatory comments about Fr. Vladimir Wolochy and Mrs. Irena Krasulak.

During my inspection of the documentation, I could not see any evidence, by the Plaintiffs, supporting their accusations against Fr. Vladimir Wolochy and Mrs. Irena Krasulak. In fact, the Plaintiffs did not have one shred of evidence to support their allegations. They were just allegations. However, I did see evidence by the Defendant which supported their counterclaims.

It is my opinion that Fr. Vladimir Wolochy and Mrs. Irena Krasulak had NO case to answer.

Retraction Statement

One of the Terms of Settlement was that the Plaintiffs pay the sum of $400.00 to the Defendants' (Fr. Vladimir Wolochy and Mrs. Irena Krasulak) solicitor as payment for the publication of a Retraction Statement.

The Retraction Statement were agreed by both parties to publish in The Melbourne Herald Sun, The Adelaide Advertiser, The Ukrainian "Free Thought" and "Church and Life" newspapers as well as to be announced on Ukrainian Language Program on SBS Radio.

This retraction was only published in the Melbourne Herald Sun, the Adelaide Advertiser and in the Adelaide Community Newsletter "Nasha Hromada".

The Terms of Settlement agreement was not fulfilled, as for some reason, which I am currently investigating, the Ukrainian "Free Thought" and "Church and Life" newspapers did not publish the retraction.

As a result of the non-publication of the retraction, the derogatory comments and the discrimination against Fr. Vladimir Wolochy and Mrs. Irena Krasulak continued to fester, hence the current wave of derogatory comments about them.

The Retractions Notice supports my conclusion about the allegations of embezzlement and inappropriate behaviour made during and after Irena Krasulak's term as President of the Foundation.

In fact, there is strong supporting evidence that Mrs Irena Krasulak, as President, was constantly undermined by certain members of the committee and are still doing it to this day.

I hope, once and for all, the discrimination and the derogatory comments against Irena Krasulak and Fr. Vladimir Wolochy stops.

Retractions Newspaper Copies (Click on links)

The Adelaide Advertiser and Nasha Hromada (Adelaide Community Newsletter)

The Melbourne Herald Sun

Observations

As can be seen in the Retraction Statements, there are three members of the one family on the Foundation's committee who are mentioned in the retraction. I also noted that there were a further two members of another family were on the committee as well.

To me this is equivalent to cooking the agenda in the family kitchen and presenting a fait accompli to the committee.

This type of committee compositions should be outlawed. There should never be more that one member of a family or extended family, including godparents (хресні) on any committee or board in any organisation.

This principle should extend to the number of positions a person can hold in the Ukrainian community. No one person should hold no more than one position across the board in all Ukrainian organisation.

If a person occupies more than one position:

  • it deprives others from participation in decision making

  • if a person occupies more than one position they them are forcing their ideas, ideals etc. on the whole community. This is a risky situation and has in the past led to disenchantment in the community.

Given that the Ukrainian community provided the vast majority of the funds that are at the disposal of the Foundation to use in accordance with the Constitution's "Statement of Purpose", the community has an absolute right to be made aware of the Foundations activities.  The following statements require responding to:

  1. Given that accusations that was levelled at persons for embezzlement of funds were not proven; has the Foundation engaged an Auditor to identity the value of missing funds. The community demands to see the Audit report, if any.

  2. After the sale of the apartment in Lviv, Ukraine, by the Foundation, how were the furniture and equipment disposed of and what were the proceeds, if any.

  3. It is alleged that there was in the order of $70,000 - $80,000 in the various account of the Foundation for period ending 30 June 2005. Please confirm or otherwise by providing the Financial Statement and Minutes of Meeting for the 2005 AGM.

  4. The community:

  • requires details of the AGM Financial Statements together with the AGM Minutes of the Meetings for the subsequent years.

  • requires that a list of committee members and their roles be published in the Ukrainian newspapers for all to see.

  • want to know how many persons are financial members of the Foundation.

  • want to know how to become a financial member of the Foundation.

  • want to know when and where is the next AGM to be held.

I will give equal right of reply, in the same format as this article, to anyone who wishes to correct any information that I have raised.

Michael Karaszkewycz

Editor

 

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