The ‘Ballaarat Lawyer’ tries to be a hero of the Farquharson Inquiry effort

by Dr. Jim Saleam


So-called ‘social justice’ lawyer, Luke McMahon, has hung up his shingle in Ballaarat.  His website’s blurb suggest he wants to be known in his new town as one who not only represents ‘causes’, but who serves the common person.

But what is Luke’s true cause – to advertise himself?

Once upon a time Luke was an anarchist leader (secretary of the Melbourne Anarchist Club).  Some anarchists say he wasn’t exactly sincere and may have been some sort of operative who still revelled in notoriety.  And then, if certain cases in the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal are any guide, he went through his university studies as a troll, a harasser (for a cause of course) and a psych patient.

We shall come back to all that colourful material.

We note that at the very start of his self-promotion and game play, he enjoyed the ‘con’.  Luke has advertised on his social media at times an ABC program: ‘The Dole Army’.




He has admitted playing a role in its production and distributing its message.

Put tabloid journalists where they belong – in the gutter” and “using the media against itself”.


The Dole Army was linked to Luke on 4 February 2002, with both Today Tonight and A Current Affair broadcasting stories about a so-called Dole Army. It is understood he has freely admitted publicly to being part of the Dole Army. There was just no such thing in actuality and it was all a sour stunt.

True to form, Luke is now trying a new tack. He is putting himself forth as a lawyer for Mr. Robert Faquharson, a man convicted (many say wrongly) of murdering his three children back in 2005. And he has teamed up with a ‘likely crew’, to self-promote with a broad media campaign to be developed against the Faquharson convictions.

There is currently a mini epidemic of podcasts and books on notorious crimes. Hedley Thomas did a podcast about a Sydney man who was alleged to have murdered his wife in 1982 and has followed that with another alleging a similar crime in the 1990s with another alleged wife killer. The first fellow was convicted of murder and Thomas fights that the second will be. Hamish McDonald did a book on the frame-up of the Croatian Six and won them an inquiry into their 1981 convictions. That was good. The word about town is a bloke is writing a book about the NSW Special Branch’s ‘load up’ of myself for the 1989 shotgun attack on the Sydney home of an African National Congress terrorist. That sounds even better. And so, we come to …..

‘Trial By Water’

A few weeks ago, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and then, Sixty Minutes, ran the Farquharson story, ‘Trial By Water’.

The podcast, narrated by Michael Bachelard, head scribbler for The Age, while telling us the crime story itself stated he was introduced to the affair by Luke.

He further stated Luke had pressed upon him a long while ago the publication of some of his freelance stuff for the Age. Indeed.

And what a hatfull of lying excreta that old ‘journalism’ was – as we shall tell you. Our readers can listen to the first few minutes of the Trial By Water for verification of the relationship. And Bachelard further introduces the Superman of modern journalism, Nick McKenzie (more on Nick in a moment), who has taken up the Farquharson cause:


The Hero Who Isn’t

Luke McMahon is no social justice hero. Indeed, in his self-marketing efforts, his role inside the grubby, drugged and violent Melbourne underworld of anarchism and Antifa, is always overlooked in official media. That’s always necessary to keep him clean (sic).

We have not ignored Luke’s anarchism. Rather, we have published extensively on this illicit ‘connection’. Back in 2017, we timed our material to expose Luke, just as he was claiming it was he who was harassed by a nationalist (!):

Fairfax Anarchism (Part 1): ‘Victimised’ journalist and lawyer was really anarchist leader

We have also published against his ‘honesty’. What this morsel demonstrates was that Luke used Nine Entertainment’s papers (and we assume Mr. Bachelard) to launch his crusade for superman credibility!

We say Luke was lying when he self-promoted over the Joshua Goldberg arrest in 2015 in the USA. Luke’s story was a vainglorious one, but done in the hope that no one would ever check the details. Of course, we checked!

First, we provide the links to the following articles:


Second, we produce the link to the electronic version of the US Justice Department affidavit of the officer who provided the initial court information document in the Goldberg case:

Luke McMahon’s journalism has him at the centre of the arrest of the terrorist Goldberg. He talks of a “joint” Australian Federal Police / FBI operation and his role in providing intelligence to the Federal Police that was then passed on to the FBI and which led to the arrest. The articles also show that Luke was aware of a US FBI affidavit in the case. That was his undoing. In paras 44 – 47, the FBI agent sets out what was received from “LM”.

“I am not relying on any of the information provided by LM to the AFP for the establishment of probable cause for the issuance of a criminal complaint. Nor am I commenting on the credibility of the information provided by LM to the AFP. This information is provided to the Court out of an abundance of caution and the aforementioned information regarding the hoax was not known to the FBI at the beginning of the investigation.”


Given that Luke knew the FBI had not credited him with a pivotal role in the “investigation” of Goldberg, he lied to the public. He played no role in the arrest of Goldberg and nor have our Federal Police. There was no “joint operation”. The FBI records also show they detected Goldberg and were on his trail two months before any contact from the Australian Federal Police with LM’s information.

Given this material proves Luke McMahon created his own crafted ideological-political credentials via a media outlet, we must ask whether Mr. Bachelard has purged the articles?

In 2015 too, Luke Mr. Mahon stalked, as a ‘journalist’ for Nine Entertainment, a Victorian nationalist, Mr. Chris Shortis. His material resulted in Chris, who was a sporting shooter, losing his guns’ license. It was simple ‘journalese’ to create a Nine Entertainment picture that a reasonable bloke who had a Christian belief, was some sort of wild man who might use those weapons.

So, 2015 had been a very good year. So, was Luke ‘over’ his demons?

A Matter of Dog%^#t Credibility

We have said that Luke’s 2017 articles led to the arrest of a nationalist (Mr. N. Sykes) for harassing and threatening him. Of course (as is the sad practise of prosecutorial agencies), material that undermines a state witness is often not revealed. Had this material been released (the police reasonably knew of it), the charges might have simply disappeared. We say that because the new evidence showed a certain ‘tendency’ on the part of Luke to be involved in campaigns (sic) against people and which then turned with the suggestion they are the ones who are threatening and intimidating him. Ultimately, we were alerted to the evidence. But at no point has Luke ever addressed it in public.

The evidence shows Luke, was as Mr. Bachelard said, the sort of fellow who ensured “never a dull moment” when he came on the scene.

We refer to two legal decisions from 2012 and 2014:

  1. McMahon v RMIT University (Health and Privacy) [2012] VCAT 1423 (21 September 2012)
  2. McMahon v Watkinson [2014] VSC 123 (28 November 2014)

Mr. Farquharson should be alerted to these decisions.  Maybe Nick McKenzie or Mr. Bachalard might do it?

We quote from both decisions, if not in sequence from the published findings.  That we leave to the curious reader, but you can make sense of it:


“In 2009 Professor Hayward was Dean of the School of Global Studies, Social Sciences and Planning in the University ..” when a ‘campaign’ came into being against him at the RMIT.
“In December 2010, a posting appeared on the website Youthwork.Biz showing photos of Professor Bondy and Professor Hayward with a caption ‘Dumb and Dumber’. It stated that a group called ‘Youth Work Defence’ was ‘proud to announce the formation of the David Hayward School of Academic Rigour and Scholarly Excellence’. I am satisfied that the posting was abusive and directed to Professor Hayward. Professor Hayward accessed that material.”
“Towards the end of 2010, Professor Hayward ‘googled’ the name ‘Luke McMahon’ and then accessed certain material on the web which related to a dispute between Mr. McMahon and the manager of a former employer. Professor Hayward contacted that manager who gave him certain information. It is unnecessary for me to make findings about the information….”

“Professor Hayward made an application for an intervention order against the plaintiff in the Magistrates’ Court and an interim intervention order was granted against the plaintiff on 1 February 2011.”

“On 10 November 2011, the plaintiff filed an application for an intervention order against Professor Hayward. In his 18 August 2014 affidavit the plaintiff states: ‘On 10 of November 2011, I filed an application for a intervention order of my own after Professor Hayward had posted comments online falsely identifying me as author of a website titled ‘slackbastard’ which exposes members of the ‘far right’ in Australia ….’

“Although Mr McMahon in his evidence is reluctant to admit that he played an important part in what has been called the ‘campaign’ which followed the changes, I am satisfied that he did. He was the media contact person …”

“Mr McMahon gave certain information about being in what he called ‘semi-stable accommodation’ in 2002, having suffered from an ‘untreated disorder’, and having been diagnosed in 2009 with a ‘neurological disorder’. He said that he did not want his name disclosed to Professor Hayward as he felt ‘unsafe’ with the professor being in possession of that information.”

“On 25 January 2011, Professor Hayward emailed one of the University’s solicitors, Ms Abraham, asking if the facebook matter could be referred to police. Later that day, one of Professor Hayward’s colleagues referred him to a ‘clip’ on the U-tube site (the clip). Professor Hayward accessed that clip. It was on a site called ‘’, which had links to the website Youthwork.Biz.”

“The clip is in evidence. I briefly describe it. Its title is “A.R.S.E.” (School of Academic Rigour and Scholarly Excellence). It includes a photograph of Professor Hayward. It includes some music which (according to Professor Hayward’s evidence which I accept) is from the band ‘The Stranglers’. It speaks of the professor as the founder of the A.R.S.E. School and then says about him:

‘Your soul is dogshit. Every single fucking thing about you is ugly. You are physically repulsive, intellectually retarded, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid, you have no taste, a lousy sense of humour and you smell. I don’t like your jerk off name, I don’t like your jerk off face, I don’t like your jerk off behaviour and I don’t like you”. It says that ‘there is going to be claret all over the gaff’ and ‘this is going to be a fight to the finish’.”

“The investigation found a student, Luke McMahon , to be likely a contributor to the site and the offensive materials. Luke has self identified as a leader of this group and has been in the newspaper twice in this regard as well as the lead person in launching a string of complaints which were not substantiated.”

“Luke is known to be unstable and has furnished to me previously a letter from his psychiatrist reporting a mental health issue.”

A Dark Place

We cannot say when, or if, Luke addressed his mental health problem. We cannot say much beyond the evidence and the findings in these cases.

But we can see that Luke has been tolerated by the media to run his falsehoods and ‘attack’ particular organisations and people. We record that a journalist like Nick McKenzie in 2017, ran with Luke’s stories. Would ‘Saint’ Nick, that hero of anti racist journalism pull down his articles that involve Luke because we offer some ‘facts’? Or do facts get in the way of a good story? We leave that to Nick.

We say that being accused of anything by Luke McMahon, in a court at least, would demand a sharp cross examination. We would also conclude taking him seriously politically would be a leap of faith.

So, we return to the start: hiring Luke as a lawyer, is a matter for you, dear reader!

We are not convinced Luke’s involvement in the Farquharson is a good thing.  By all means let that case be reviewed and let Luke return quietly to the day-to-day problems of the Magistrate’s Court.

Pursuant to s 43(1) of the Information Privacy Act 2000, this Tribunal finds the complaints in these proceedings not proven and dismisses them.  The respondent’s costs are reserved.  The respondent has liberty to apply for those costs on giving reasonable notice to the applicant and the Tribunal.

It could be fairly suggested that Luke McMahon is not a person who should serve as a solicitor.

Of course, his mental health may have improved and he may not harass academics and so on these days. Perhaps he is struggling to serve an innocent man.