Vitriol no barrier for true champion of families

by PAUL COLLITS – THIS morning I received an unnerving email, headed “farewell from me”. It was from the CEO of the Australian Family Coalition, Damian Wyld. 

He is fighting for his life as the result of a brain tumour, and is resigning his post, very reluctantly, I would imagine. 

Damian Wyld has brought to Australia something of the fight and values of Viktor Orban’s Hungary, a pro-life, pro-family oasis in an anti-family world.

Damian says: “Who could have foreseen that the little apostolate I began in faith – from a post box and my dining room table – would have grown to what it has?

“AFC is now a mighty grassroots network of 50,000 people that has influenced debates too numerous to list here. I believe AFC has been divinely blessed.” Indeed.


He has also resigned as a councillor at Tea Tree Gully Council in Adelaide.

The Council’s statement, on his departure, read, in part: “Cr Wyld served on Council for nine years and his contribution to our community has been significant. I have known Damian for many more years and his decision to resign from his role would have been a tough one,” Mayor Marijka Ryan said.

“A man of great integrity, honesty, foresight and knowledge, he brought much to his role on Council and during deliberations in chambers. We will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers go to him and his family at this difficult time.

“Damian was dedicated to supporting his community as an elected representative. He was also passionate about strong governance and took on a number of leadership roles on Council, including deputy mayor…”

Damian has also been a stalwart of the Liberal Party in South Australia, sometimes as a candidate (Florey in the 2014 South Australian election, where he lost but achieved a three per cent swing).

Fighting the good fight – which may or may not have included a little branch stacking – with champions like Alex Antic and against non-champions like Pyne and Birmingham.

He has always been up for a little “Right faction insurgence”. Good for him. I don’t agree with the arguments for sticking with the Liberal Party, but I understand them.

Damian has also been a strong contributor to the National Civic Council and to its publication, News Weekly, also serving as SA President of Bob Santamaria’s brainchild. In addition, he has been a contributor to The Endeavour Forum.


He has brought to Australia something of the fight and values of Viktor Orban’s Hungary, a pro-life, pro-family oasis in an anti-family world.

Brick by heavily toiled brick, he has been part of a broad coalition building a movement. Mostly under the radar except where exposed by his and our enemies. He would probably prefer to say “opponents”. I will stick with enemies.

The Family Coalition web site sets out its role: “The Australian Family Coalition is a grassroots movement of more than 50,000 Australians that seeks to be a positive influence on our national culture.

“We believe in preserving the fundamental freedoms espoused by our democratic tradition while protecting Australia from the influence of harmful ideologies.

“We do this by informing our supporters and equipping them to take meaningful action on issues that are vital to the national interest.”

The Wikipedia homosexual industrial complex describes one of Damian’s organisations, the Marriage Alliance, as “heterosexist” and homophobic. There is an archives section devoted to him at the Star Observer, a gay rag.

Someone called Mikey Bear, who is self-described as “challenging religious bigotry” said of Damian: “Marriage Alliance CEO Damian Wyld seems to have distorted and fabricated the truth in his March 31 2017 open letter.”


I would prefer to call what Damian and his ilk do as “fearlessly preaching the Gospel, in season and out”. But that’s just me.

Mikey Bear is welcome to his own interpretation. He preaches another gospel, of course. A gospel of a very different kind.

South Australia’s local and utterly world-insignificant gutter press, most notably Murdoch’s Adelaide Advertiser, simply said this at the time of the same sex marriage debate: “A Tea Tree Gully councillor who is helping to lead a national campaign against same-sex marriage has missed more council meetings than any of his colleagues in the past year.”

Talk about digging deep to get one’s enemies. It has all been water off a duck’s back with Damian.

The Advertiser also brought up bullying allegations from a Liberal called Paula Luethen against Damian and the “firebrand” Antic. Liberal wet whinging.

They were annoying the right people, clearly.

Antic has also been called a racist pig for supporting the hugely successful No case at the recent Albo death-knell referendum. There you go.

This is the tone of the fights with which Damian has been associated. Thankless work for brave souls. It is what happens when you take on issues like religious freedom, abortion and the gender agenda.

Buzz Feed clicked in: “The Coalition For is made up of church officials and ex-staffers.

“The Coalition for Marriage (CFM), an umbrella group for a variety of ‘No’ campaign organisations opposed to same-sex marriage in the postal survey, likes to present itself as a ‘grassroots’ movement.”

Well, nearly 40 per cent of Australians voted No to fake marriage. Not entirely made up of church officials and ex-staffers, then.


It is widely accepted that the core battle of our age – setting aside Russians, Ukrainians, Arabs and Israelis for a moment – is the war on the traditional family. And by this I don’t mean two gays and a cocker spaniel, to borrow from Paul Keating.

A war spoken about when the names Karl Marx or Sigmund Freud come up. Or when people speak of the toxic fruits of the sexual revolution. Stalwarts in the USA like Mary Eberstadt have been highlighting this war for many years.

Damian has been one of the very good guys, one of the foot soldiers in this war. A war we are losing, and badly, and whose results will define our very future and the survival of Western civilisation.

The extent and sometimes the vitriol of the epithets hurled at him attest to this. Vitriol not based on Damian’s character but on his beliefs.

A final thought on dying young, and about death as a thief of one’s time.

From two very different sources, both on my radar today, these messages resonate in view of Damian’s note to his supporters.

The first is from Rod Stewart on the radio. The song is Young Turks:

Because life is so brief
And time is a thief, when you’re undecided
And like a fistful of sand
It can slip right through your hands

Young hearts be free tonight
Time is on your side
Don’t let them put you down
Don’t let ’em push you around
Don’t let ’em ever change your point of view

The second message comes from St Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6):

You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about “times and seasons”, since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, “How quiet and peaceful it is” that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it.

But it is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober.

There is that thief again, stealing our time on earth. Billy Joel has it that “only the good die young”.

Well, it was, first, Herodotus, and more recently, William Wordsworth, who used the line well before Billy

In Damian’s case, he isn’t quite done yet. He still has life, and his loved ones.

Where there is life, there is hope. And, above all, he has God is on his side.PC

Paul Collits

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Damian Wyld. (courtesy Australian Family Coalition)