I wonder how many  armchair critics of the St Kilda teenager who have put her down could match her spectacular achievements.

Prior to meeting Sam, at the tender age of 15, she was the youngest person to be selected to compete in the Australian team at the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy as  revealed here.

The multiple Victorian and Australian junior champion has a lot of fortitude and discipline,  not to mention athletic ability.  Perhaps that is why the St Kilda Football Club have been starting to feel a bit physically intimidated by her.  After all,  mountain running involves running 2 km uphill to an altitude of 2000 metres and then  another 2.4 km downhill on the other side of the mountain.

I wonder how many of the AFL boys  accomplish similar feats during  their training sessions  as elite footballers,  let alone at the age of 15.  She obviously stands out as an exceptional talent which puts her in the category of  an AFL player.  The only difference is that her chosen sport isn’t as popular.

Is that a valid reason to call her a ‘nothing‘ as a lot of sports fans have done?   The fact that the AFL players are engaged in a form of sport that is more entertaining  hardly seems like a  sensible reason to think any less highly of her as a person.

She has been called a slut for sleeping with more than one of the players.    What does that make a player who induces his “girlfriend”  to sleep with several of his friends?

I’ll give you a clue.  It starts with P…and rhymes with GIMP.

Prior to meeting the St Kilda Football players, this girl also had her hands full juggling  steeplechase,  hurdles, high jump, long and middle distance running with a busy study schedule.

Obviously this is a girl that can scale great heights when she sets her mind to it.

One can see these elements of her character shine through in the way she has stood up for herself and others when she has “something to say“,  as she has describes it.

Just like the AFL Players she is a fierce competitor, something her early achievements clearly demonstrate.      Maybe the players and the AFL have met their match,  for she has demonstrated that she has the focus and a steely determination to make a difference.   She has proven that she doesn’t like to give up easily.

She has talked openly about her personal convictions and future career aspirations,  including her desire to stand up and be heard,  giving a voice to other girls who have been harmed through their encounters with the AFL.

She knows what can happen when things go wrong and how it feels like to deal with an organisational culture that silences and crushes anyone who dares to exercise their rights and air their grievances.   Its a culture of  ‘anything goes’ in protecting the sport and its players, even if it means retaliating against young girls to conceal dirty secrets.

The AFL have tried desparately hard to  stereotype this girl as  just another groupie as they have branded other victims.  However they havn’t been able to dispose of her as readily, and seem to have realised  they are dealing with someone whose determination they have underestimated.

The AFL and St Kilda Football Club seem to be  understanding  that isn’t going to go away.  She still has the naivete to believe that there is justice in the world and refuses to give into complacency.   She wants to spread the message to other women to save them the pain of what she has been through.

She has a  collection of pictures, emails, text messages and facebook transcripts which bear testimony to her tortuous experiences in trying to deal with the Police,  the AFL, the media and the unrelenting cruelty of the St Kilda Football Club.

Most importantly it is ‘her story‘, the narrative of the experiences that she endured, not just with the players,  but also with the Police and the media, that she wants to convey.

She wants her truth to come out, to be heard and understood, a story which  would be difficult to comprehend for most of us,  and which no media organisation is likely to publish.  From her experiences to date, she has probably come to understand that nobody wants to hear or more likely  believe what she has to say.

Like all human beings,  when pushed too far,  she can break.  Given the ordeals she has been through and what she has had to contend with,  it is surprising  that her spirit isn’t totally crushed.

Many women who have experienced something of what she has been through and former veteran  Police Officers know about the intimidation and interference which occurs when there have been attempts to hold football players accountable for their actions.

It is a world where investigations are de-railed,  evidence mysteriously vanishes,  and St Kilda Police and football players enjoy a cosy relationship which seems to leave them immunised from charges being brought against them.

It is a world where there is speculation that the AFL works hand in hand with police, the media, and corporate sponsors in sacrificing anyone to protect the integrity of the game.

It is a world where hurtful and distasteful chain emails about complainants are forwarded by past and present St Kilda players, staff at the AFL Players Association,  Department of Justice, the Transport Accident Commission and Melbourne Magistrate’s Court.  Law firms, Police Officers and even stockbroking firms have been onforwarding these viral emails which degrade, shame and subject her to mockery.

This is the real face of the ‘respect and responsibility program‘.

She probably wonders why the public don’t find it strange that an email  smear campaign would enjoy such a wide circulation.  It must feel a little like being in Vatican City where investigations are botched with a degree of  incompetence  which would be difficult to explain by anything other than corruption.  It is a world where allegations of sexual misdeeds against footy stars are not pursued, whether they occur in Australia or overseas.

She knows how harrowing it is to have insult added to injury by an AFL-media-police apparatus intent on maligning her.

Other women and grown men who have had a taste of what she has experienced have long since given up, having realised how futile it is to expect to win a battle against the contagion that has  spread through this multimillion dollar sport.

She probably knows that  others just abandoned any hope for justice, particularly after having been stereotyped and marginalised, with their reputations being left in tatters.

However this is a girl who is also a  competitor.

The organisational culture is starting to realise this girl is going to be a little bit more difficult to dispose of than the trail of victims which have preceded her.

She is showing herself to be a little more resistant to their tried and true tactics.   They have tried in vain to depict her steely resolve to confront them head on as a sign of mental illness.  However she has shown she is one  step ahead of them in many ways and she isn’t giving in.

The public knows little about her.   There hasn’t been much of an opportunity to learn about who she is.  All we have are some small clues.  One of those clues which speaks to her  determination is found in a community newsletter.

It gives us some insight as to who she is and what she represents.  The newsletter article reveals something of her tenacity and fortitude, her disposition, and the manner  in which her life has been misrepresented.

Far from being a malicious trouble maker or misfit,  in addition to her  arduous training schedule and exceptional achievements,  for the greater part of her life she had her hands full  undertaking her VCE at a secondary college prior to  her life taking a turn for the worse.

The picture of her in the Community Newsletter shows a girl who appears friendly, but demure and even a little awkward.  All she evidently had time for was school and training.

Imagine a young girl whose whole life  since her days in little athletics at the age of ten was consumed by training and studying?   She is every parent’s dream,  conscientious and focused.

She is  rudely confronted by the glitz and glamour of AFL football and its Hollywood rock star cult heroes .  Although not as beholden by the bewitching spell of footy fame as the besotted AFL fan,  she found the players attractive.  In their company she felt special.

The St Kilda footballers possibly  had more of an impact on her  for two reasons.  Firstly,  she is more like the AFL players than they probably even recognise, and respected their athletic prowess.   In the article in the community newsletter, when  life was normal,  she speaks of the role that little athletics played in her life.  She says she sees sport as a way of building character and discipline.

Secondly, given her relative lack of exposure to this alternate reality and the dating scene in general  she was out of her depth, but found it exhilarating.     After all,   teenagers not as immersed in sport and study as she had been,  tend to experiment with relationships at a much earlier age, an age when this  girl, with her sights set on Milan and mountain running, was still attired in tracksuit pants and sweaty tops.

For those of us who had their first relationship encounters relatively late in their teenage years having lived relatively sheltered lives,  bad experiences inevitably occur.   Human beings however learn from their mistakes.   It is part of the process of growing up.

There is nothing new under the sun about men stretching the truth slightly to gain access to a pretty young girl.  On the other hand it is not every young girl whose early disappointments are with a star footballer.

With the benefit of hindsight it doesn’t seem  extraordinary that she found  herself  in this situation.  After all,  she has loved sport since her  formative years, and was probably more likely to have a relationship with a fellow sportsman rather than a muso or movie celebrity.

It is fairly simple.   She was an athlete, a young teenage girl attracted to a football player.  Being a young man, the footballer  saw something that he wanted in her.   It is hardly a strange or  unfamiliar story,  but what happened next must have been nothing less than nightmarish.

She found herself caught up in a tribal type of world consisting of maurauding footballers who actively seek out  group sex as a form of male bonding and team camaraderie.

She went from feeling special, the girlfriend of Sam Gilbert, to being treated like a sex object whose boyfriend used her for his own gratification and that of his team mates.    She found herself in unchartered territory, caught up in a world where she clearly started to feel uncomfortable. As her facebook transcripts reveal,  her boyfriend was pressuring her to participate in group sex with the boys and inviting her to bring along a friend to add to the fun.

No longer did she feel like a modern day cinderella or princess.   From her response to Gilbert’s requests of her in the Facebook transcripts she expressed dismay and resentment.

She was dealt another blow when, having   become pregnant, she was jilted by her boyfriend who wasn’t ready to be a father of twins.  He started to hyperventilate and cry.  She felt hurt and used.

She went to the AFL naively expecting her grievances to be heard.

After that her life spiralled out of control as the AFL apparatus was put into action to humiliate and degrade her.  A cascading series of events saw her idyllic existence transformed into a living nightmare.  She was abused by a Police officer,  sought justice in vain from both the St Kilda Police and AFL, and was  subjected to a concerted campaign of ridicule and contempt.

Under this kind of stress, it isn’t surprising that her health suffered and possibly had an effect on the unborn twins  she was carrying.   She suffered a miscarriage, losing one of the twins, and in October of last year, lost the other one which was stillborn.

It is inconceivable that a pregnant woman could be subjected to such cruelty and indifference, and then treated so unsympathetically by the community and football besotted fans in the aftermath of a grief reaction.

She was completely  alone without anyone to hear her side of the story.  That was the design and intent of the AFL apparatus. The efforts to isolate and marginalise her worked masterfully.

The  reason we have laws against  statutory rape and policies to protect minors from inappropriate sex, derive from the same reason that fathers watch their daughters, skeptical of what teenage boys say to them.  After all, they were also teenage boys themselves at one point.  Vigilante justice is still part of our culture, but doesn’t always work when dealing with  Police and footballers.

If you look carefully at  the picture in the Frankston Community Newsletter, you can’t help but detect the outwardly shy,  demure and  almost awkward nature of this young girl.

It is a picture that is hard to reconcile with the imagery created by the mainstream media and the young girl’s erratic outbursts.  Herein lies  part of the contradictions which seem mysterious and strange to the casual observer.

Shyness and humility isn’t necessarily inconsistent with an  inwardly competitive mindset or strength of character which many sportsmen and women possess.  However we have become accustomed to males particularly in sports such as football celebrating their status in ways that are different than women and men in other sports.

This young girl may appear to be a person with contradictions or someone who is “out of control” or “troubled“.   Who wouldn’t label someone who thought they could take on the AFL as crazy?

The AFL have consistently played that card in the media and their horrible approach of portraying this girl as the archetypal troubled slut may well work unless we are prepared to open our eyes and see her for what she is.  After all, she has had the humility to admit that she is imperfect, unlike the footballers who fans see as  immortal.

She is a young girl whose life has been re-written by inaccurate historians. Historians have an agenda to protect their own interests and particularly powerful when they are the only ones writing the story.

Much was made of her outbursts, however the sad reality is that people who have been severely and systematically abused tend to show signs of abuse.

The process of growing up is a bit messy, but  is quite ‘normal’ in a normal world.   Men take advantage of young womens’ naivete and vulnerability everyday and it is hardly a new phenomenon.

The vast majority of  womens’ behaviour could be viewed as ‘crazy‘ at some point in their development, particularly during those difficult teenage years.  After that women become a bit more discerning about how they choose their partners.

The thing that the public fail to appreciate is that there was nothing normal about the situation this girl found herself enmeshed in.   It was the environment that was pathological and dysfunctional, not her.

The spin doctors are trying desparately to convince us that this girl has serious ‘issues’, which I havn’t seen any evidence of.   It is  well known  that early childhood resiliency plays an important role in the recovery process for victims of abuse.   It is probable that she will come out of this bizarre and tragic saga, carrying some bad memories.

If it could be said that she does have ‘issues‘,  then it must be understood that  they are of a completely different kind  than the AFL media machine would have us belief.

They are issues which belong to the AFL, the St Kilda Football Club and the Victorian Police, issues which have besieged them for years.

Nothing much has changed in ‘Vatican City’.  It is like the Da Vinci Code with conspiracies,  and a kind of unholy trinity consisting of the Police, the AFL and the mainstream media.

What sets this girl apart from others is that she believes she can take on these issues.  People with strong convictions and a competitive spirit,  particularly when aimed at achieving ‘justice’ can so easily become enmeshed in conflict with powerful interests.  By her own admission she was driven by a combination of a desire for revenge and noble motives to  “right a wrong

What she really needs is practical support,  to be uplifted, and most importantly to be heard and understood, as she has a very important message that the public need to hear.

Very often even well intentioned people feel  a need to fix a person or change the essence of who they are.  However contemporary studies demonstrate that young girls and women who have been abused often do far better if left alone, allowed to develop their sense of self and heal.

As she has said herself, there is some solace from the belief that she can take something positive from this situation and help women who have been through similar experiences to her.

She has spoken of her desire to be a journalist.  Perhaps the AFL should consider recruiting her as someone who could play an important role in their ‘respect and responsibility program‘, rather than hiring more lawyers and PR agents to crush her.

If  the desire to bring about positive change is a sign this girl is  ‘troubled’ then what hope is there for the rest of us,  particularly those who self-righteously sit in judgement of her.

If treated with compassion and fairness she  has the ability to effect real and meaningful change, but the public doesn’t seem to be ready to listen to what she has to say.

She has faced more legal and other threats than most of us would  receive in a lifetime.  Is it surprising that she turns up at a St Kilda training session carrying a few placards?

If that is the worst that can happen to a young girl who continues to be pushed beyond inconceivable limits, then it is difficult to fathom why the AFL continues to see her as such a threat.

It seems as if the AFL have finally met their match in the form of a dimunitive, understandably fragile yet incredibly  courageous and remarkable 17 year old girl.

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  1. Col Chapman says:

    Well written, concise and thought provoking article. Thank you to whomever wrote it. And good on you XXXXXX.

  2. admin says:


    Thanks for your generous comments. I have edited out the name you alluded to by replacing it with XXXXXX for legal reasons.

  3. Casey Hribar says:

    Wow. I think my post is gone… Oh well… I may have the wrong blog entry though… Sorry if this is a repost.

    After having read her blog that was deleted. I think I’m of the opinion that no one has the guts to publish the truth because of the power structures involved are so legally entrenched and the media has so many conflicts of interest

    This just isn’t going to see the light of day in anything but blogs. There’s too many vested interests and conflicts of interest that would prevent something as far reaching as this being brought to the light of day in a timely fashion.

    I’ve said before how this sport is not just a national, but an international money making PR f**king machine. Forget the photos, forget anything else, it’s actually about the story she has to tell that’s actually what’s important, about the organisations she’s listed and about exposing them through the narrative of the experiences she went through involving not just the players or the AFL but the police and the media as well and their collusion to keep this story as badly covered as possible.

    She’s literally going to have to write it as a book and change names for legal reasons at the best. No news organisation is going to publish what she wants to, and needs to talk about, in the time it would take for the truth of this to come out and for her side to even be heard let alone understood or given a fair hearing.

    This is why it is actually more important for her to get her story out there rather than any photos or video footage, it’s actually irrelevant. I now remember why I’m a nihilist.

  4. pacelegal says:

    I agree that the truth and her story is unlikely to see the light of day in the mainstream media. We have seen one media organisation give her the opportunity to tell her story, however it wasn’t really a ‘Royal Commission’ type of interview.

    Other interviews havn’t gone so well for her, and I don’t believe that she will ever be invited to appear on the Footy Show, as they would probably wipe out their guest list if they did. It is not the appropriate forum for a discussion of the type of issues that she has to discuss. Hard hitting journalism isn’t going to come from that quarter.

    I wouldn’t like to see her go through a legal process. I know she has a lawyer and I hope she is getting decent practical support as it appears as if she has been largely unrepresented and isolated in her dealings with these organisations to date.

    At best I can only conceive of a media organisation conducting a ‘softball’ interview with her, as they aren’t going to compromise their interests by any serious discussion or real content. It is also a legal minefield.

    The problem with the blogosphere is it’s limited audience reach and the lack of credibility to make much of an impact compared to the mainstream media. Furthermore bloggers don’t have the resources, sources or access to evidence to conduct investigative journalism. It is hard to establish credibility or the credentials of a person coming through the ether.

    I agree that a book would probably be her best shot of conveying her side of the story, although you would want to do more than change names for legal reasons. Perhaps an ‘Underbelly’ type version where it is unmistakeable who and what she is talking about but it fictionalised. Non-fiction just doesn’t have the same appeal to mainstream audiences as fictionalised accounts.

    At the end of the day they couldn’t stop Underbelly, apart from the injunction that occurred around the time of the release during the gangland trials.

    She could give her material to a ghostwriter and let them handle it. I think she needs to be heard and validated if for nothing else than her own sanity after the madness she has been through.

  5. Sato Jones says:

    What a rubbish article. It’s no ones fault but her own that she threw away whatever sporting career she may have had to be an ALF groupie.

    You can’t seriously suggest she wasn’t a willing participant given her history also includes having sex with the Police officer investigating her for stealing.

    Add to that her outright lies at the beginning of this, her insistance on getting a publisher for a book and the court documents claiming she tried to sell the pictures and it seems clear that she is trying to make money out of her actions.

    Should also point out there are a number of unproven allegations in that article that have been written as though they are fact.

    All she is doing is making herself look bad, her reputation is shot which is also her fault, she brought her actions to the general publics attention, no one else did.

    The majority of the blame for her current predicament is her own doing. That is the fact no matter what spin you try and put on it.

  6. admin says:

    It is hard to dignify your malicious comments with a response.
    It is incomprehensible to me why you so vehemently defend what is so indefensible.

    People like you seem to be very complacent when it comes to the despicable stone-age like treatment of women today and the misogynistic culture which pervades SOME quarters of the AFL.

    Your commentary is abusive, self-righteous and lacks any judgement whatsoever.

    How her reputation can be tainted by the fact that she was abused by a Police Officer who was in a position of trust is beyond the last molecule of my imagination. It is reminiscent of exactly the type of culture that condemns women for having been raped and prefers to stone them to death rather than bring their rapists to justice.

    The Police Officer was a representative of the law and is on trial for many offences against her involving sexual abuse.

    Whilst you point to a number of unproven allegations which are portrayed as ‘fact’ you are quite comfortable to cite allegations in court documents made by a party in contest with the girl as conclusive proof of their truth. None of the assertions in the ‘court documents’ presuming you have cited them properly, have ever been tested in a court of law.

    I think you have the chronology wrong of who came forward and publicly disclosed what had occurred. However it is immaterial. By that logic any victim of crime who comes forward “makes themselves look bad” and ruins their reputation, with the fault lying with them. How perverse.

    Such behaviour should be brought to the public’s attention unless it is too painful for you to live with given what appears to be some kind of holy worship of AFL players who can do no wrong.

    If you cared about the game you would appreciate that the behaviour of certain AFL figures and authorities brings the honour and integrity of all AFL players into question, which is not in their interest or the interests of the AFL.

  7. Bernadette says:

    Agree Sato. These Kim Duthie lovers need to get a life. Col Chapman and Casey Hribar just want to root her and Adel Pace just wants to represent her to get money off her. “Guts to tell the truth”, wish Kimmy had the “guts to tell the truth”.

  8. admin says:

    Bernadette you are symbolic of the pathetic form of character assassination that takes place by people who peddle malicious gossip on blogs and social media websites such as Facebook. In my opinion Facebook and other social media sites need to take more responsibility for the way in which they enable hate speech and destructive commentary to remain resident on their web properties.

    After seeing the content that was created on Facebook relating to Kim Duthie and the contagion that spread to all concerned I was appalled by the way that Facebook enables this to take place. Profiles are so easily created containing false information about people’s sexual orientation, religious and political views. Lives and reputations are ruined and more vulnerable young people the stakes are even higher.

    We forget how long ago US teenager Megan Meier took her life over a fake profile that hurt her, believing it to be a boy that she like which was in fact created by an adult woman.

    We have learnt little from her death and those of other people who are exposed to such destructive mindless commentary. You are conflating hate speech and other forms of proscribed speech with free speech, a mistake many people make.

    All of this was very academic to me until I jumped on Facebook and took a peek at the revolting commentary and manipulative practices people engage in to inflict hurt on others and engage in cyberbullying which in some incomprehensible way adds some meaning to their otherwise vacuous lives.

    Deservedly, Facebook is facing a deluge of lawsuits from users seeking to find out the identity of individuals who create profiles that defame and reveal private information about them which is defamatory and hurtful. People who use social media and blogs as a vehicle for character assassination need to be held to account.

    In publishing the material you have posted I am in effect re-publishing defamatory material, however I have no doubt that you are hiding behind a fake email address to publish your invective.

    It would be apparent to the reader that you have some vendetta against the persons you mention whose views you obviously don’t agree with.

    I have noticed a well defined pattern of internet trolls cowardly spewing their hatred against Kim Duthie and by extension anyone else who tries to inject some sanity into a debate.

    I have nothing to gain from KD. I do not represent her and indeed have never even spoken to her. As for the baseless allegations against the other persons you mention, your comments are ridiculous and pathetic.

    If you continue in the manner that you do you will face lawsuit however I suspect by making such remarks you will continue to wallow in your own misery in furthering whatever vendetta you have

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