Collective Shout do not list their team on the website, their paid or volunteer staff, or their board of directors. So all their public supporters can know are the group of christian women who represent Collective Shout as spokespeople on social media. This is not an organisation that believes in transparency or disclosure. How many of those who run Collective Shout are men from the Christian Right? How would it look for a group identifying as ‘feminist’ in public to have male staffers from the Christian Right?
Well there’s at least one – Daniel Pignatiello appeared in August 2016 at a presentation in Perth with Collective Shout leader Melinda Tankard Reist and ‘campaigns manager’ Caitlin Roper.
Daniel lists himself on Linkedin as having a role in “Communications and Customer Service” for Collective Shout since June 2015, ongoing.
Daniel was also Media & Communications Adviser for hard right Christian conservative Politician Andrew Hastie for the 6 months leading up to the last Australian Federal election in 2016. Hastie is from disgraced former PM Tony Abbott’s hard right faction, and was supported by Abbott in his campaign. His father is a prominent Creationist Presbyterian Pastor and his wife has published homophobic christian rants, while Hastie has said he is opposed to gay marriage but won’t comment on other religious beliefs.
Daniel Pignatiello also supports Kansas based ‘rescue’ mission Exodus Cry, who believe that conversion to Evangelical Christianity is the solution to sex trafficking.
On the face of it you may not expect a ‘feminist’ organisation to have a man from the Christian Right in communications & customer service who was also a political staffer for an extreme right wing Christian politician. Probably no other org in Australia calling itself feminist would do such a thing. But Collective Shout is lead by Melinda Tankard Reist who was also a political staffer for a Catholic Conservative Senator for 12 years, so there’s definitely a values fit. Daniel’s role with Collective Shout reinforces the impression that the organisation is first and foremost an Astroturfing lobby group for the Christian Right, using feminism as a cloaking device.
As for other prominent Christian men in Collective Shout, they’re not telling us but there are at least a couple more. The Collective Shout website in 2010 listed Evan Shelton as one of their founding members. Evan is the brother of Australian Christian Lobby leader Lyle Shelton and an Evangelical Preacher first at City Church Toowoomba then at Rangeville Community Church. Mr Shelton has impeccable Christian Right credentials of his own, and a fundamentalist belief in the “supreme authority” of the Bible. The ministry team at Evan Shelton’s church offer a wide range of “Deliverance from demonic oppression”, from Incubus and Succuba Demons, from Freemasonry, and from demonic markers on the land.
Another active Collective Shout member is Catholic anti abortion crusader Chris Da Silva. Back in 2010 he had his own page on the short-lived Collective Shout community page.
Chris was involved with NET Ministries, a Catholic youth organisation, and since then has become what the Catholic Leader describes as a “pro-life warrior”.