What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 23 – 29 August

Stamping Out Sexual Harassment in Elite Private Boys’ Schools

A study by Monash University has found that female teachers in elite private boys’ schools are vulnerable to sexual harassment due to the school’s status and unique constructs. The study was conducted by researchers in the Faculty of Education. They interviewed 32 female teachers from three elite private boys’ schools in Australia to examine the ways in which sexual harassment was taking place in those settings. The study analysed accounts of female teachers in the schools and collated the interviews to discover patterns of practices, repetitions and circulations of discourses and modes of interaction. Some teachers who had admonished students for derogatory sexual jokes or behaviour were subsequently called to a meeting with a supervisor. The study also found sexual harassment was often experienced in virtual settings, such as Facebook and other online forums. The paper concluded that sexual harassment is the “hidden product of the heteronormative ‘machinery’ that organises relational life within private boys’ schools.”

WA Chief Justice Acknowledges His Cowardice in Not Calling Out Sexual Harassment

WA’s top judge has publicly berated himself for being “wilfully blind” and failing to call out countless examples of sexual harassment or discrimination against women.
In an extraordinary frank speech the Chief Justice, laid bare his own past short comings, saying he had witnessed or heard about numerous incidences of harassment or discrimination during his decades in the legal profession.
Bu the had said he had been too ignorant, wilfully blind or simply afraid to stick my head above the parapet to call out what as a lawyer I should have been ethically bound to name and defend. Justice Quinlan was addressing a joint event hosted by the Law Society and College of Law, where EEO Specialists and The Experience Lab performed an interactive theatre experience, “What’s Your Story?” a play about workplace sexual harassment.

WA Nursing Union Investigated After State Secretary Allegedly Made Inappropriate Comments To Worker

The Australian Nursing Federation is being investigated after a former employee alleged State Secretary Mark Olson made inappropriate comments towards her and told her “if you don’t like it here you can f… off sooner rather than later.” The worker alleges Mr Olsen went on a series of rants at her, leading to her resignation after just two weeks in the role. Comments she alleges Mr Olsen made include “I’m sure you’re used to getting your own way because of your good looks but it won’t work here” and “if you need a sick day don’t come into my office and bat your eyelids. I don’t care if you need a mental health day.” The worker made a complaint to WorkSafe, the Government’s workplace safety body, which is now investigating the ANF for inappropriate workplace behaviours. Mr Olsen and the union were previously taken to the Magistrate’s Court in 2007 for workplace bullying charges, in which the prosecution alleged Mr Olsen’s “inappropriate behaviour” had driven five staff to resign or take stress leave. However, the charges could not be proved. Mr Olsen has denied the recent allegations as “vexatious” however he said the ANF would cooperate fully with the investigation.