The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) of Queensland confirmed that it is investigating complaints against the Integrity Commissioner relating to an office laptop. The CCC has received 10 complaints about the Integrity Commissioner, Nikola Stepanov, and her office since October 2020. One complaint related to credit card misuse, which the CCC has since dismissed. The second allegation was about bullying over a two-year period.
Caitlyn Rintoul has received a Walkley Award in honour of her reports uncovering a culture of sexual assault and harassment in the mining sector. Her reports led to the discovery of an alleged rape at the BHP mine site. Ms Rintoul won the award in the business journalism category. Her first report was in June of 2021, uncovering many more stories of sexual harassment and assault on Western Australian mine sites. Her journalism led to an apology from executives and a string of commitments to tackle the toxic workplace culture. The award was said to recognise her courage and tenacity.
The chief executive of Good to Great Schools Australia (GGSA), an Indigenous education organisation, has stepped down temporarily in light of bullying allegations. 45 former and current employees claim that the chief executive, Bernardine Denigan, regularly bullied staff in the workplace. Her conduct led to high turnover levels. The board made a statement on 24 February stating the company will take the allegations seriously. An external expert has been engaged to conduct the inquiry.
Sunshine Coast Hospital has come under the spotlight for claims that high officials covered up a culture of bullying and intimidation. The Liberal National Party MP, Brent Mickelberg, spoke about the incident, stating that two people were suspended after coming forward about the workplace culture. Mickelberg tabled an anonymous letter that was addressed to the Queensland Health director. The letter alleged bullying by former chief executive of the hospital, Naomi Dwyer and chief operating officer, Karlyn Chettleburgh.
In response to claims made last week by Kaushaliya Vaghela, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has pushed back, denying that his office inappropriately dealt with bullying claims. WorkSafe has confirmed it is investigating Ms Vaghela’s claims against the Premier’s office. She alleges she was bullied by a former advisor to the Premier. She first made a complaint in April 2019. The government said it took immediate action in response to a complaint made in writing in 2020. The government denies that a complaint was lodged in 2019.
A 26-year-old teacher has been accused of indecent assault against a pupil. The female teacher sent a sexually explicit text to a male student. The boy who received the text was 15 years old. She has been given a strict warning from the court to not contact the student in any way. She is precluded from going near the three Canberra schools involved in the matter. She is banned from being within 100 meters of six people as part of her bail conditions. Her next court appearance is on March 21.
A new law has been passed in Victoria with a guide on how HR staff can protect LGBTQI+ rights in the workplace. The law was passed on 24 February. It banned any conduct that “seeks to change or suppress” a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights (VEOHR) commissioner has supported the law, calling it “momentous”. The conduct banned under the law includes three elements: (1) directed at an individual; (2) because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; and (3) undertaken with the intention to change or induce that person to change or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity.