Josh Goyne, who promotes himself as ‘the gay cowboy’ and the face of Stroke Support and Awareness Australia (SSAA), is again soliciting for public donations. QNews previously reported on SSAA’s apparent failure to properly account for funds raised over a number of years.
Update at bottom of article. 26.02.2021
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Now, Joshua Goyne, the founder and former Vice-President of SSAA, is asking for donations for a new cause.
The ‘gay cowboy’ posted an appeal on 18 November 2020 for donations to fund a gay rights ‘billaboard’ on the Hume Highway.
Despite relinquishing its registration with the ACNC in November 2020, SSAA continues to promote itself as one of Australia’s leading stroke charities.
“We deliver stroke services across Australia, campaign for better stroke care, invest in research and fundraise to expand our reach to as many stroke survivors as possible.”
The only one of those claims that a 2020 QNews investigation could substantiate was that the charity fund-raised.
QNews forwarded the results of our investigation to the ACNC. The commission then requested SSAA answer a number of questions about its fund-raising. A whistle-blower forwarded that document to QNews.
On 31 August 2020, the charity announced an upcoming ’round of grants on its Facebook page.
Consistent with previous pledges, no further details were forthcoming. In fact, that post remains the last on the charity’s page.
SSAA relinquishes registration
On 5 November 2020, SSAA voluntarily relinquished its registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
But on that same morning, Joshua Goyne posted an appeal for donations on one of his Facebook pages.
Goyne has Facebook pages under various names including Goyne Josh, Josh Goyne and Jo’shua Scott, in addition to the Gay Cowboy and SSAA pages.
Following the publication of a QNews article on the relinquishment, Goyne claimed in a video that the ACNC recommended a particular course of action.
“We worked with the ACNC on this, and they said to deregister and re-register with our new board which is what we are doing.”
He said similar in a Facebook post.
QNews then contacted the ACNC to ask if a charity could erase its previous financial history through ‘phoenixing’. We also asked if the ACNC was working with Josh Goyne to resurrect SSAA as a new entity.
A spokesperson for the ACNC replied on 16 November 2020.
QNews: 1/ [Is] phoenixing permissible – voluntarily revoking the registration of a charity in order to immediately re-register with a new board – and with the previous financial history of the charity thereby erased?
ACNC: A charity that had its registration revoked voluntarily can apply for registration again. If, as the same entity with the same ABN, it meets the eligibility requirements and is registered again, its full financial information should be available again on the Charity Register.
There is no requirement that a charity be registered with the ACNC. However, a charity must be registered to be eligible for Commonwealth tax concessions.
The Charity Register shows the voluntary revocation of Strokes Support and Awareness Australia Incorporated took effect on 5 November, 2020.
QNews: 2/ [Is] the ACNC working with the former Vice President of Stroke Support and Awareness Australia to resurrect the same entity with a new board.
ACNC: Due to secrecy provisions in the legislation that established the ACNC, we are prevented from commenting on the circumstances of individual charities.
However, the ACNC does not work with anyone to establish an entity. Once we receive an application, we may clarify aspects of it that are unclear or incomplete by communicating with the applicant about the details, but we do not work with anyone to set up an entity. All charity applications must meet the legal requirements to become registered as a charity.
QNews did not consider the information newsworthy at the time.
Josh Goyne was no longer, to our knowledge, undertaking fundraising activities. QNews has no wish to carry on a vendetta against any individual. As LGBTIQ+ media, we only report on such issues when we consider our communities will benefit from the knowledge.
On the morning of 18 November 2020, Facebook banned Australian news services from its platform.
That evening, Josh Goyne posted to his Gay Cowboy Facebook page celebrating the deletion of ‘defamatory articles’. (He since deleted that post.)
However, the articles apparently referenced, remain accessible on the QNews website.
Within half an hour, Goyne renewed his fund-raising efforts.
He posted an appeal for donations to raise funds for a ‘gay rights billaboard’ [sic] on the Hume Highway.
Our communities long ago proved their generous nature. There are many causes that compete for our donations. Sadly, not all deliver on their promises. Some take advantage of our compassion and willingness to assist.
Community members owe it to themselves to perform a little bit of due diligence before donating money to any cause. Remember, our communities include many charities registered with the ACNC. Their financial records are transparent and they provide evidence of the work they’ve done, in contrast to the vague assertions and boastful bullshit of some scammers.
Think before you give.
The billboard Goyne claims he is renting is beside the Money Money Parking Bay on the Hume Highway north-east of Coolac, NSW.
Josh Goyne has claimed emphatically and repeatedly in posts and videos that he got a deal on the billboard because he owns the land it is located on.
He does not own the farm referred to. QNews checked sales records of the farm.
Goyne’s former partner bought the farm on 1 December 2020 with settlement on 11 December 2020. Goyne alleged months before that he left that relationship because of domestic violence and other abuse. He has repeated that claim numerous times in posts and videos over many months. In fact, yesterday, 25 February 2021, Goyne described the man as his ‘violent ex’ in a TikTok video.
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