What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 15 January 2024 – 21 January 2024

Former ABC Presenter Antoinette Lattouf Says She Will “Fight for as Long as it Takes” in Unlawful Termination Case

Antoinette Lattouf, a former ABC presenter and journalist, says that she will “fight as long as it takes” in her unlawful termination case against the broadcaster. Ms Lattouf lodged an unlawful dismissal case against the ABC after her five-day assignment presenting at ABC Radio Sydney was terminated two days early. According to her Fair Work Commission claim, Ms Lattouf submitted that the ABC informed her she had breached the organisation’s social media policy for posting content from Human Rights Watch in relation to the war in Gaza on her personal Instagram account. The unfair dismissal claim has alleged that Ms Lattouf, who is of Lebanese heritage, was dismissed based on her race. After the Fair Work Commission hearing on Friday this week, Ms Lattouf said that “the matter didn’t resolve today but the fight continues and I’m willing and prepared to fight for as long as it takes.” Further, she said that “this is such an important case because it is not just about me. It’s about free speech, it’s about racism… and crucially it’s also about a fair independent and robust ABC.” The ABC’s submissions claim that Ms Lattouf’s case is “fundamentally and entirely misconceived” and that her casual employment was terminated “because she failed or refused to comply with directions that she not post on social media about matters on controversy”.

Investigation into Royal Perth Golf Club Bullying and Harassment Claims Closed

An investigation conducted by WorkSafe into claims of bullying and harassment at the Royal Perth Golf Club has now been finalised. WorkSafe launched an investigation in October last year into allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviour at the prestigious club. A female staff member had previously reported that she was bullied and subjected to sexual harassment by a club member last year. The spokeswoman for WorkSafe stated that “there was concern about workplace behaviour at the Royal Perth Golf Club last year” and that “by the time WorkSafe was informed, the club had already begun managing the situation.” The spokeswoman said that our inspector ensured that all measures for managing the situation were in place, then closed the investigation.” Craig Ridge, general manager of the club, said that “providing a safe environment at the Royal Perth Golf Club for all staff, members and visitors remains our highest priority.” He said that “the club has complete confidence in its policies and procedures to protect staff in the workplace.”

Queensland Government Announces Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Complaints Management Review

The Queensland government announced this week that an independent review into the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ (QFES) complaints management system is scheduled to commence soon. The review will assist in informing future changes to systems and policies as work continues to establish the Queensland Fire Department (QFD). According to Minister Nikki Boyd, “QFES has a thorough and well-supported complaints process, but continual review and improvement is important.” She said that “Queensland’s emergency services staff and volunteers absolutely deserve to feel safe in their workplace, and this review will examine any possible improvements that can be made to ensure this is the case.” Acting Commissioner Stephen Smith stated that “we want to ensure best practice is being applied and that all staff and volunteers are confident in our internal systems and raising any complaints through it.” He said that “we expect the highest standard of conduct from our staff and volunteers. On the rare occasion their conduct does not meet our standards we want to ensure matters are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”