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Whistleblowers Australia

Whistleblower stories



Crunch Time
A hitchhiker’s guide to the state of the world based on case studies like that of whistleblower Jay Berger, who blew the whistle on abuse of corporate power in a large retail chain, and how we got into such a mess, why we should bother and what you and I can do about it without giving up all our worldly goods, joining a commune OR losing our sense of humour.
Authors: Mike Hanley, independent writer & journalist from Sydney, and Adrian Monck, London-based editor of ITN’s critically-acclaimed Five News.
Published 2004 by Allen & Unwin, Sydney
ISBN 1 74114 340 3
Refer to http://www.books.google.com.au/books?isbn=1741143403

HIH: The Inside Story of Australia’s Biggest Corporate Collapse
The inside story of whistleblower Jeff Simpson: This is about his attempts to bring the facts behind the now-notorious financial debacle of HIH to the attention of APRA and at least one major auditing body, right through to the findings later made by Royal Commissioner Owen, make this required reading for corporate whistleblowers everywhere.
Author: Mark Westfield
ISBN: 9781740310642
Published by John Wiley & Sons Australia (2003)
Search Google for the book SBS documentary ‘Law & Disorder’, series 2009 and more.

Raw Meaty Bones
This book lifts the lid on vested interests in the pet food industry that would keep you, the consumer and pet owner, ignorant of the damaging effects of a diet of processed pet food on your pet.
Author: Tom Lonsdale, veterinarian, whistleblower and activist.
Published 2001 by Rivetco, Sydney
ISBN 0 646 39624 2
Available through http://www.rawmeatybones.com.

Watching The Detectives
This is the story of a gutsy young woman, police officer and whistleblower, who got to know the ugly face of Aussie mateship and the meaning of loyalty to family, friends and to oneself.
Author: Deborah Locke, former NSW police officer, who was instrumental in bringing about the NSW Wood Royal Commission of Inquiry into police corruption in the early nineties.
Published 2003 by Griffin Press, Adelaide, Australia.
ISBN 0 7333 1242 X
Available through http://www.deborahlocke.com.au/.

This contains stories about real people with the courage to put the truth first, from BHP and Westpac to the Civil Aviation Authority, Foundation 41 and research fraud, and others.
Author: Quentin Dempster, journalist and presenter with ABC TV, Sydney, Australia. 
Published 1997 by ABC Books, Sydney.
Refer to http://www.catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1468921/.

Whistleblower cases of national significance

Five case studies were formally adopted by WBA as "whistleblower cases of national significance" as the basis for the argument for the establishment of a stand-alone whistleblower-protection authority or public-interest disclosure agency (PIDA). Each of the cases listed was the subject of formal investigations by the authorities.

Mick Skrijel: The illegal importation of heroin in South Australia using fishing by law enforcement authorities.

Bill Toomer: The deliberate & selective violation of quarantine regulations by government officials in Western Australia.

Kevin Lindeberg: The concealment & destruction by government authorities, including Cabinet, of public records required for imminent court proceedings in Queensland.  Known as the ‘Heiner Affair’ & ‘Shreddergate’, it is taught in university media and law courses.

Jim Leggate: The deliberate neglect of environmental protection regulations in the mining industry in Queensland.

Col Dillon: Col blew the whistle on corrupt Queensland police in the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

For more details: https://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/contacts/au_wba/wbns.html.

Other whistleblower cases

Dr Clara He, Dr Juchuan Chen & Hong Ha: This is the story of an immunologist, a veterinary surgeon and a medical researcher who exposed fraudulent research on kidney transplants at the UNSW. The story first came to public attention on the ABC Radio National's The Science Show, hosted by Dr Norman Swan.  It’s a story about inquiry upon inquiry, all eventually culminating in an independent external inquiry, headed up by the former High Court judge Gerard Brennan in August 2003, which found that Professor Bruce Hall had breached the university's code of conduct and had published material "with a deliberate intent to deceive or in reckless disregard for the truth". The story is well documented; see (e.g.) the following: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/stories/s1036825.htm or http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2003/transcripts/s960912.htm

Toni Hoffman: This is about a singular nurse, who for two years tried to raise her concerns with the Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland about the lethal activities of a surgeon called Jayant Patel, a man later sentenced in 2010 to seven years' gaol for manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. See, for example, the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Hoffman and http://www.newmatilda.com/2005/06/29/whistleblower-bundaberg-base-hospital or http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2005/s1400735.htm for Toni’s own story.

Law & Disorder: This is a three-part series on SBS TV from Nov-Dec 2009 on the following:
Andrew Wilkie (18 November 2009): Account of how he blew the whistle on the Howard Government's failure to tell us that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s).
Allan Kessing (25 November 2009): Account of how he has fought for years to clear his name after, as he says, he was wrongly convicted of leaking customs reports to the news media about major security flaws at Sydney airport. He claims he was the victim of a revenge campaign by the former Government and bureaucracy. Kessing has sent himself broke fighting to restore his name. Now a convicted criminal, he is an example of how the system is determined to discourage whistleblowing no matter what the cost.
Simon Illingworth, Jeff Simpson & Karen Smith (2 December 2009): About how three ordinary Australians, the cop, the accountant and the nurse reacted when exposed to events that demanded they blow the whistle. They are Simon Illingworth, the cop who fought corruption for 17 years, but went public when crooked cops and organised crime colluded to kill him, Jeff Simpson, the mild-mannered but determined accountant who tried to warn of the biggest corporate collapse in Australian history and Karen Smith, the nursing aide, who tried to speak up for patients being abused in nursing homes, and who was sacked when she went to the news media.
Plus: 5 online promos on Debbie Locke, former detective in the NSW police, Phil Vardy, medical researcher and scientist in the McBride affair, Alan Parkinson, about the Maralinga cleanup fiasco, and Jill Jolliffe, about the Balibo Five, who were murdered in Timor L'Este.
This series is available on DVD from JB Hifi and online at http://www.sbs.com.au/schedule/SBSONE/2009-11-25/SBS%20Sydney/

Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) whistleblower - The whistleblower took her concerns to her employer, government funded ADE in the 90s about the intellectually disabled workers who were being abused and underpaid. She thought they would want to fix it. They didn’t. She persisted.  They gave her a very hard time. She was pushed out. She asked lawyers Maurice Blackburn to take it on. They did - and won. The lawyers then filed a class action for the ten thousand disabled workers who worked for ADE across the country.  They won in excess of $100 million just before Christmas 2016 and twenty years on the federal government was still squabbling about how to calculate a disabled worker’s wage. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-16/class-action-settlement-intellectual-disability-workersapproved/8126860?pfmredir=sm

Michaela Banerjie – refugee policy whistleblower – refer High Court decision in Comcare v Banerji c12/2018 HCA - Hearing 10 am Wednesday 20 March and Thursday 21 March 2019 | Court No1 |

Karen Burgess – disability whistleblower - 7.30 Report on 31 August 2016 https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/school-accused-of-leaving-teen-with-autism-outside/7803478

Michael Cole - Westmead Hospital whistleblower https://www.westmeadhospitalwhistleblowers.com/

Lotte Fog: This is the account of how she blew the whistle on the underdosing of cancer patients at the radiotherapy department at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, in South Australia. Her story first appeared under the pseudonym of Geraldine Macdonald in The Whistle in April 2009: https://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/contacts/au_wba/whistle200904.pdf  Lotte later revealed on Netherlands Radio her identityand how her working life became intolerable in 2009. Refer to http://www.rnw.nl/english/radioshow/ 
The Hospital confirmed a significant number of patients were under-dosed. See http://www.publications.health.sa.gov.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?filename.

Brian Hood – NPA and Reserve Bank of Australia whistleblower - https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/how-a-meeting-in-a-cafe-with-a-journalist-prompted-australia-s-biggest-foreign-bribery-case-20181127-p50inv.html

John Millard, ABC TV reporter and presenter: This is the story of how he blew the whistle on ABC TV, to "Keep Aunty Honest". Refer to the June 2005 issue of The Whistle at https://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/contacts/au_wba/whistle200506.pdf

Jeff Morris – Commonwealth Bank whistleblower – instrumental in bringing about the Royal Commission in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry 2018 https://www.jeffmorris.com.au/

Lesley Pinson –State Rail Authority (SRA) whistleblower
In NSW in the early 1990s Lesley Pinson, auditor took her claims of serious, systemic and top down fraud in the SRA to senior management. They gave her a hard time, chose not to investigate, covered it up and pushed her out. The ICAC didn’t want to know, so she went to the media, Brian Langton MP and auditor–general Tony Harris, who decided to investigate. The auditor-general’s report was the catalyst for the break-up of the SRA into four separate entities. Barry O’Keefe OC, the ICAC commissioner famously told ABC radio he’d always known the SRA was corrupt – pity he’d decided not to investigate on the SRA’s say so!

Dave Reid- ANSTO whistleblower – ABC 7.30 Report https://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-02-09/report-scathing-of-nuclear-reactor-safety/1935436 and local paper

Lynn Simpson – live exports whistleblower https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-22/live-export-vet-removed-after-revealing-conditions-on-ships/7501428
Articles by Dr Simpson refer Splash247-Global Maritime and Shipping News - https://splash247.com/  (eg) https://splash247.com/live-export-is-in-deep-shit/

Toondah whistleblower 2018 – RAMSAR listed wetland Toondah Harbour QLD under threat – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-09/the-developer-the-whistleblower-and-the-minister-toondah-harbour/10487806

Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery – Timor L’Este whistleblower – http://theconversation.com/as-witness-k-trial-opens-questions-over-how-much-of-timor-leste-spying-case-to-keep-secret-from-public-103164

HOME: http://www.whistleblowers.org.au

Updated 23 March 2019