Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Aboriginal Education and the 800 large

*Pic: Above, below, Curiouser and curiouser … Bank Arcade yesterday


First published September 22

In July this year four State Government tenders were awarded to a media company called DCNSTRCT Pty Ltd. They totalled more than $800,000.

There is nothing unusual about the government awarding tenders to private companies. What is unusual about this case is that the company DCNSTRCT is as close to having no corporate persona as is possible. There is a website consisting of a single landing page containing the business name and a generic email address. A Google search reveals that the business is registered with ASIC. Other than that, there is nothing. Even the directors’ Facebook profiles have been deleted.

Given that the tenders awarded were for the provision of digital content and film production the lack of presence on the internet is unusual to say the least.

At odds with this is at least four other companies, local and national that also made competitive bids for the same tenders have extensive websites chronicling their abilities and achievements:





At least one of them has won major national and international awards for their work and has a long history of working with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

This last fact is significant as the tenders in question were for the provision of digital learning assets for the Aboriginal Education Services, Department of Education Tasmania.

The Hag can reveal the manager of Aboriginal Education Services is a lifelong friend of one of the directors of DCNSTRCT, Raef Sawford.

They were present at each other’s weddings and one of them was the other’s best man. In the acknowledgements of his PhD thesis Raef Sawford of DCNSTRCT singles out the manager of the Aboriginal Education Services for special thanks, “my close friend Richard Angus”.

And a picture attained from Facebook before both individuals’ profiles where deleted attests to the fact that they enjoyed a social drink together.

The Questions that remain are:

Why has a company with seemingly no identity appear to have only one client, Aboriginal Education Services.

Why was this company chosen as the successful tender over such a strong field of competition, given they appear to lack experience in all of the criteria.

How can the taxpayers of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Aboriginal community be sure they are getting value for money through the provision of educational assets.

And lastly, how can Tasmania’s creative community be sure that when they engage in the long and expensive process of tendering for government work be doing so on a level playing field.

At no time does Tasmanian Times want to suggest that there may be a conflict of interest between the two parties involved, because we just don’t know who was responsible for the tender and how the tendering process was handled.

All we say is that on the face of it a tender process with an unexpected outcome that was a surprise to industry players and deleted references to friendships between the parties is enough to cause difficulty in passing the pub test.

There are questions raised and we seek answers.

• It goes without saying that DCNSTRCT Pty Ltd is invited to put its side of the story …

What Dun & Bradstreet says about DCNSTRCT Pty Ltd



Rm 11, Lv 2, Bank Arcade 64-68 Liverpool St Hobart , TAS 7000
Phone: 0438857380


Registrant Contact
Organization: DCNSTRCT

Postal Code: 7000
Country: AU

ABC: Government department backs process for granting $880,000 in tenders to ‘relatively unknown company’ … Responding to questions over their successful bids, DCNSTRCT directors Dr Raef Sawford and Aden Narkowicz said. they had “worked in the film and multimedia industry for a combined 25 years plus”. “We have previously produced content for AES which was published on their website in December 2016,” they said. “We spent a lot of time and effort to produce what we thought were very strong submissions for each of the tenders, with a bold and considered creative response borne out of research into the subject matter. “Our website did not form part of our submission and is not currently part of our marketing strategy. “We were of course delighted with our success, but we can’t speak for the selection process … “

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Russell

    October 12, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Re #21
    LOL. That’s a good one!

  2. pat synge

    October 1, 2017 at 9:44 am

    This should probably be referred to the Integrity Commission

  3. john hayward

    September 29, 2017 at 12:23 am

    DCNSTRCT looks like a Tas insider who knows full well that it doesn’t matter if the Emperor is stark naked naked, no one who matters will say a word.

    John Hayward

  4. philll Parsons

    September 24, 2017 at 11:11 am

    #13. In the days of the old school tie probity was assumed but now we know to ask ‘prove it’. Rockcliff as Minister for Education needs to be satisfied and then provide voters with the evidence. WARNING: DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH IT CAN LEAD TO DEATH.

  5. Russell

    September 23, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Where is the DCNSTRCT PTY LTD website?

    All I can find in a google search are ABN details via ASIC. No names, no contact details.

  6. James

    September 23, 2017 at 3:36 am

    For those who don’t know, Quentin D was another student from Taroona High School who tragically passed away a few years ago. Whoever it is using that name to hide their real identity should be ashamed of themselves and should apologise to Quentin’s family, especially K.

    I’m not bitter about anything Angus and Sawford did at high school. I actually thought they were nice guys. …


  7. O'Brien

    September 22, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”
    (H.L. Mencken 1880 – 1956)

  8. Quentin D

    September 22, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    @James: Clearly you weren’t one of the cool kids at ‘Roona High in the mid-80’s. …


  9. Scott

    September 22, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Before casting aspersions and damaging reputations, did Hag bother to check whether Angus declared any conflict of interest in the tender evaluation? Or is guilt by association the new standard on these pages?

  10. Russell

    September 22, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I can’t find a single contact number for this ‘Company’. Can anyone else?

    Think I had better ask ASIC


  11. Simon Warriner

    September 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    The quality of party politicians is subject to a law that dictates an inexorable decline in the quality of representation. In that respect I humbly submit that they are “worse than us”. Here is why …

    What starts as a good idea shared by a like minded group will, based on observation, inevitably devolve into a lust for power and an arrogant impulse to tell everyone else what is good for them. Party discipline will become ever more demanding of the loyalty and obedience of those chosen to represent the party and that inevitably conflicts with what is required to serve the greater common good. As this becomes ever more obvious the standard of representation from party candidates falls, (not because the candidates are always individually lesser individuals, but because even the best of them are subject to the discipline imposed by their peers, who in aggregate are prepared to accept conflicted interests and all the harm that comes with that confusion. Seeing the likes of Roger Jaensch reduced to the role of noddy behind whoever is delivering the latest Hodgepodge nonsense of the week is embarrassing to watch, for example). Rinsed and repeated enough times and we get to where we have got to.

    This is not cynicism, it is a realistic assessment of where we are and how we got here.

    The road back to something worthwhile and safer requires a lot more representation and a lot less party politics.

  12. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    “Situation hopeless?” asks Comment 9. Only for those who really are cynics, and who use their mindset to excuse themselves from any and all involvement in the (seemingly) intractable difficulties of life as we know it.

    H L Mencken and Ambrose Bierce are two of the giants of 19th century American literature. They find as ready a readership now as they did then for the same reason: cynicism can be as roll round the floor laughing now as it was then because we’ve all experienced, either in person or vicariously, the sort of MP who is a “broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods”.

    Far better to be skeptical about that, because skepticism’s main attitude is this: don’t believe or accept anything unless there is a good reason for doing so.

    Another biblical quote (and a personal favourite) to balance Comment 9’s:

    “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe”.

    Mr Stannus’ defence of pragmatic skepticism should be welcomed 100%, if only ‘coz it makes a nice change. (And uplifts TT’s standards.)

  13. Peter Bright

    September 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Garry Stannus at #8 perceptively declares …

    [i]” In my opinion (politicians) reflect – as does a mirror – some of my fellow Tasmanians who regularly lie, cheat, steal and suchlike, and then at elections endorse these types.

    “The problem is within us, I suggest, and does not reside solely in the hearts of politicians.”[/i]

    Garry has perceived a truth as summarised in the Bible’s [i]”The human mind is the most deceitful of all things. It is incurable. No one can understand how deceitful it is.”[/i]

    Your observation is correct, Garry.

    Situation hopeless?

  14. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    September 22, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    In principle I’m in agreement with Tony’s (#7) in which he recommends online referendum government: “…governance should be directly in the hands of the people“.

    I must say, however that these days I’m beginning to doubt the common goodness of my fellow man and woman and as some sort of anarcho-democrat … that leaves me between a rock and a hard place (or Schylla and Charybdis, as Leonard C. might put it).

    ‘O’Brien’ (#3), again as elsewhere, quotes from his apparent patron saint of cynicism, H.L.Mencken who paints a wretched picture of govt, though interestingly, Mencken does so while telling us that “…the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me…“. Admittedly, Mencken goes on to posit that those who enter into govt have some sort of special talent, a talent for ‘getting and holding office’. It’s a ‘Yes Minister’ scenario where often the public interest loses out to the personal/political interest.

    Me? I don’t share O’Brien’s cynicism. I’m at least prepared to grant that our leaders are neither better nor worse than we who elect them. Yes, those in the government (meaning more broadly: often those in the Parliament) do seem to put their own political survival before the public good. In my opinion, they reflect – as does a mirror – some of my fellow Tasmanians, who regularly lie, cheat, steal et al., and then at elections endorse these types. The problem is within us, I suggest, and does not reside solely in the hearts of politicians.

  15. Tony Stone

    September 22, 2017 at 9:56 am

    This is a perfect example of why governance should be directly in the hands of the people, using online referendum government.

    The further it goes on, the less chance we have of a future under the guidance of these corrupt fools.

    As it is, nothing is being done that gives us a future, just more profit growth for a small number and future calamity for the rest of the population.

    It seems party driven politics is still the people’s mantra, which is a death wish being fulfilled.

  16. Alison Bleaney

    September 21, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Are you kidding me? Is this fair dinkum?
    Taxpayers $ spent on what purpose again?
    Tas is disappearing down it’s own plughole faster than ever….

  17. James

    September 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    … forgot to also add that neither Sawford or Angus ever identified as Aboriginal.

  18. James

    September 21, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Raef Sawford and Richard Angus both attended Taroona High School in the same year group (finishing in 1987) and Angus is also a former teacher/employee of the Tasmanian Education Department.

  19. O'Brien

    September 21, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    “The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.” (H.L. Mencken 1880 – 1956)

  20. Helen

    September 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    It’s about time that all government dropped this commercial in confidence nonsense. The Tasmanian Government is not a business and it uses public money to buy goods and services. All contracts, and the rationale for the successful tenderer, should be clearly available to any who want to examine them. Then we don’t get apparent situations …

  21. Chris

    September 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Lets sell all our timber at 1/4 of its value and transfer this loss as profit to STT!, no Ministerial incompetence there of course, CABINET have signed on, we will see their deliberations in 25 years wot!

    Engage a firm of advertisers to digitally produce an image of scissors and ribbon being cut as illustration of a MINISTER fully controlled planning scheme.

    Hands up those who have seen their tax dollars being wasted, or propoganderised on TV screens -Election Looming and the Seal Counter/Deferrer positions himself for leadership !

    (anonymous comment edited)

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