Bus ranter to apologise on prime time TV


August 6, 2013 – 2:54PM

Nick Ralston

Crime Reporter

Woman unleashes racist rant
A woman has pleaded guilty to using offensive language after this video of 
her racist verbal attack towards passengers on a bus was uploaded on YouTube.

A Sydney woman has blamed her drunkenness for a profanity-laden racist rant aimed at four strangers, including a schoolboy, during an afternoon bus ride.

Susan Bernobich, 46 of Balmain, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to using offensive language in a public place after she abused passengers on board the M41 bus from Burwood to Campsie in May.

Bernobich said she had “so much remorse” over the incident that she would go on a prime time current affairs show to apologise to those she had offended.

Race rant: Susan Bernobich. Photo: Wolter Peeters

The unemployed mother was charged by police in June after footage of the incident was uploaded onto YouTube by another passenger.

During the unprovoked drunken tirade, Bernobich told a schoolboy of Asian descent to “go back on your f—ing boat” and to “get a passport bro”.

She then told two passengers of Asian descent: “No wonder yous get bashed. Yous are f—ing rude man. Rude as. Get some manners.”

As she exited the bus, Bernobich verbally attacked an elderly Asian woman, telling her she was a “freeloader” and she should “go back to where you came from”.

In her first court appearance at Burwood Local Court on Tuesday, Bernobich pleaded guilty to the one charge.

Documents before the court showed that Bernobich admitted to the entire conversation when questioned by police in June.

“The accused is regretful of her words and actions. She appeared quite distressed by the incident’s public interest,” police facts before the court read.

In a letter to the court, Bernobich said she was under a lot of pressure at the time of her verbal barrage, saying her son was being bullied at school and her ex-partner had been harassing her.

There were also financial pressures, she said, with a $5200 bill from Telstra unpaid while she was unemployed.

“I have so much remorse over this incident [that] I have agreed to apologise on A Current Affair,” her letter reads.

The mother of one said she had also received hate mail, telling her to “watch her back” after footage of her racist rant went public.

Bernobich was placed on a six-month good behaviour bond.


13 thoughts on “Bus ranter to apologise on prime time TV

  1. Although her offending behaviour was pretty disgusting, I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt and accept her remorse as genuine. Yes, it’s easy to say that the things people do and say under stress reflect their true natures but I think it’s good that she has owned up to what she did and is willing to apologise.

    • I am more concerned about the boy who was the main subject of the abuse. He was no more than 13 or 14 and was on his way home from school.

      He should have expected that on a bus he no doubt regularly travelled on during daylight hours that he would be safe. He was doing nothing wrong.

      No doubt he had been taught by his parents to respect adults and not to answer back when adults spoke to him. What was he to do? How did he feel?

  2. what exactly do people even get charged for in Australia for this kind of incident ?
    personal circumstances are all very nice ($5200 phone bill – wtf?!) but what’s the use of the ‘public shaming’ on a program that will recompense her generously for her appearance ? (oh, that’s right, phone bill) lesson learnt: being an arsehole in public is so much less comfortable with everyone zipping out their smartphones to film – but you might get your 15 min of fame and some cash. ok.

  3. What?
    You act like a dickhead and get paid for it?

    BTW, this dickhead does NOT represent the people of Balmain.
    She probably lives a bit further down Darling St in Rozelle, home of Nick “Fuck All Votes” Folkes. She certainly belongs with the likes of him, she’s just as erudite.

    • Poida,

      I did not realise that Rozelle was full of dickheads because it was further down Darling Street?

      This lady is the type of person you expect coming from a Labour (federal) and Greens (state) held electorates. I think the Jamie Parker and Tanya Plibersek are more the type people this lady belongs with! They are the dickheads.

  4. So the only charge was using profanity in public, why was there no charges laid under race hate or vilification statutes, it obviously fell into that category in that she attacked the boy and the elderly woman, not because they were boys or elderly but that they were Asian, she not only dodged a bullet in that respect but the court hands down an absolutely emasculated “sentence” and basically endorses the behaviour, pricks everywhere will see that and be reassured they will get a nanny like slap on the wrist if they ever get seen doing the same thing.
    Pathetic all round and the boy and older lady must be thinking “what about me”? why are they ignored and not consulted over their feelings at the time and now, seeing her walk out of court scot free and will appear on shit they call TV and most likely get paid to do so. This is total and utter bullshit from the prosecution and courts.

    • Dave, my understanding is that none of the victims came forward so civil laws covering racial discrimination were not invoked. The laws seem to be a joke anyway. The NSW legislation can only be invoked if the victim has been physically threatened. A breach of the federal legislation only requires the perpetrator meet with the victim for a ‘reconciliation’ meeting facilitated by the Human Rights Commission. I’ve had some exposure to the HRC (well, HREOC I think to be specific) and I have to say it’s pretty toothless. And who the hell would want to sit in the same room as this bogan saying ‘I called you a slope… but honestly, I’m not racist’?

      If anyone could confirm the legalities here (I’m not legally trained), it would be appreciated.

  5. I think the SMH may be mistaken – she apologised on ‘A Current Affair’ after being charged but before she was sentenced. The interview is here:


    The moral of the story is this:
    If you just lost money at the pokies, you’re totally off your dumb face, you have a $5200 bill from Telstra (probably data roaming charges while pissed in Bali), and have a bunch of other ‘why me?’ stories then you should racially abuse a bunch of Asians on a bus because then you’ll earn yourself some dosh on ‘A Current Affair’ and there’s no legal ramifications for your actions because our legal system is a joke.

  6. I understand the cynicism. From what I can infer from the above comments, they made her out to be someone to feel sorry for, and she was probably paid well for her story – which doesn’t sit right with me either.

    I don’t feel sorry for her. I don’t think there is an excuse for her actions.

    However, it is great that she apologised on a national forum like this. It is great that a message was sent out that these actions are not something to be proud of.

    I’ll mark this one as a small win.

  7. If there’s one thing that shits me up the wall about A Current Affair and other such shows, it’s their way of making arseholes look like innocent victims.

  8. If she is an unemployed mother of one with a $5200 phone bill then why is she blind drunk in the middle of the day!? No excuses for any of her actions.

  9. She is not being painted in a light where people are going to feel sorry for her – the only reason she is apologising is because she was caught and now everyone knows who she is. She is receiving threats – brilliant. She deserves them after threatening people as easily and often as she herself does.
    She has obviously been harried up to the point where she has been forced to apologise publicly. Australia doesn’t like behaviour like this and now that people have caught her, I expect she’ll think twice about going out in public again, let alone exhibiting any outwardly racist opinions.
    I do think she is ridiculous, worrying about threats when she threatened to kill the kid.

    And to the person who made some comment about her being a Labor/Greens person, you’re clearly an idiot. She swore about Julia Gillard because she’s quite obviously a Tony Abbott supporter – she has shared all the same opinions as he does.

    She is a bogan, pure and simple. No one will feel sorry for her, no one will think well of her again. She is what is wrong with this society, but she was charged for all that they were able to charge her for.

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