THE December 21 edition of The Catholic Leader provided exceptional relevant variety of subjects for the readership.
None were more interesting than Peter Bugden’s sententious review of the career of a proud Catholic, John Sattler.
Quite apart from my interest and support of rugby league, my regard for John was inflated when I witnessed his selfless time and talent sharing with the inmates confined in the then segregated Woodford Prison that catered for the state’s high-security 17 to 25 age category of men from all regions of the state.
With the assistance of top sportsmen in the areas of rugby league, boxing and athletics, the prisoners relished the personal and team development in many sporting ventures, never before developed in Queensland.
Ultimately, teams travelled and competed in the Sunshine Coast and metropolitan regions.
Not one man defaulted or betrayed the trust.
This was true rehabilitation that has subsequently been abandoned by the political amateurs, who now favour the American concept of sterile confinement.
One of the tutors and inspirational men, most admired for his achievements and communication skills was John Sattler.
On the morning John suffered serious injury on the Bribie Road, the grief expressed by many of the so-called hardened criminals was a testimony to the affection these men had developed for a man who instilled physical development, self-discipline, and the opening of a positive area for exploration by individuals who had been relegated by society to the criminal isolation category.
Like my hard-case criminals, I retain admiration for John Sattler and anticipate the day when a new government administration will ditch the “Battery Hen” concept and return to humane, intelligent confinement and redevelopment of the state’s young men, identified as criminals by a fallible system.