Harriet Stacey's Blog (54)

Her Word Against His – Detecting Lies in Interviews

One of the most challenging aspects for employers attempting to deal with workplace bullying or misconduct is getting to the truth of allegations, especially in circumstances where the apparent victim's version of events contradicts that of the alleged bully.

Most of the time, this disparity can be put down to differences of opinion or misinterpretation of…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on May 17, 2017 at 21:00 — No Comments

Child Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking Conference Insights

A wrap-up of the Children, Justice and Communication Conference at Portsmouth University, May 2017.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Children, Justice and Communication Conference at Portsmouth in the UK. 

The conference is hosted by some of the world’s leading academics and practitioners working in the areas of child sexual exploitation,…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on May 10, 2017 at 20:30 — No Comments

So You've Been Accused of Bullying - What Now?

The issue of workplace bullying is much more openly discussed these days, and most employees are aware that they can make a formal complaint to their employers and have the matter investigated – with appropriate resolution to follow.

But what happens if you are not the victim, but instead have been accused of being the bully?

How to deal with an overwhelming…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on May 3, 2017 at 1:00 — 1 Comment

Witness Statements Protected in Australia Post FOI Bid

A recent decision of the Australian Information Commissioner has confirmed that certain categories of internal documents cannot generally be forced to be the subject of a disclosure process.

The decision, which was handed down by Commissioner Tim Pilgrim on April 5, 2017, arose from a refusal by Australia Post to produce documents to a former employee, identified for the purpose of…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on April 26, 2017 at 13:00 — No Comments

A Perplexing Problem: Protecting Children Overseas

Every year billions of Australian dollars are provided to fund aid projects overseas. The money is targeted to assist developing countries with education, housing, health and community projects. Naturally children are a prime target group for these aid programs.  The majority of these organisations are funded by the Australian public via donations and government funding provided…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on April 20, 2017 at 11:30 — No Comments

Building Rapport in Investigative Interviews

All workplaces are at risk of allegations of bullying, harassment, discrimination or other claims of misconduct or inappropriate dealings. As such, all employers must be prepared to conduct investigative interviews to determine the veracity and accuracy of any allegations made against or by one or more of their employees.

Apart from properly eliciting the facts, perhaps the most…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on April 12, 2017 at 19:00 — No Comments

Bullying: What's the Role of Leadership?

Workplace bullying is somewhat of a scourge in modern society. Broadly categorised by Reach Out Australia as any behaviour which is physically, mentally or socially threatening and takes place in the employment context, it can have an enormous impact on staff effectiveness, employee retention, the number and type of worker's…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on April 5, 2017 at 8:30 — No Comments

Unexplained Injuries in Care – 3 Tips for Investigators

It goes without saying that injuries occur in all workplaces, not just the community sector. Yet there are certain unexplained injuries within care environments that should receive particular attention. 

We set out our top three 3 tips for investigators when confronted with an unexplained injury allegation in aged or disability care…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on March 27, 2017 at 13:00 — No Comments

The Key Warning Signs of Grooming and Sexual Manipulation

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has painfully revealed, our most trusted institutions have at times mishandled some of the worst cases of child abuse imaginable.

It is becoming clear to us as a nation that the trust given by children and other vulnerable people to individuals in positions of power is boundless. And…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on March 21, 2017 at 12:30 — No Comments

Criminal Conduct and the Likelihood of Conviction in Care

It is a great tragedy that the most vulnerable people in society – children, the elderly and the disabled – often fall victim to the most heinous types of abuse in care settings.   



In some cases, the abuse can be obvious, such as when…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on March 15, 2017 at 8:30 — No Comments

Does the NDIS Complaints System Have Enough Reach?

For those vulnerable people across Australia living with disability, the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been heralded as a much-needed security net. And for those caring for disabled individuals, the NDIS provides a framework for sustainable care arrangements.  

In many ways, the introduction of the NDIS is the ultimate…
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Added by Harriet Stacey on March 8, 2017 at 12:00 — No Comments

Abuse by Carers - Defining a Sad Reality

It is quite clear that employers in aged, disability and other care environments do their best to keep staff and clients safe, yet one dark phenomenon that can raise its ugly head in care contexts is abuse by carers. For many complex reasons, vulnerable people such as the aged, children, and disability clients, can be abused by the very people who are entrusted with…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on March 1, 2017 at 9:00 — No Comments

Investigating Complaints of Abuse by Carers

When vulnerable individuals in our society are subjected to abuse by their carers, our response as a community is understandably one of outrage. It seems beyond belief that this could happen.But the sad reality is that some individuals within aged care facilities, disability care contexts, at home or in childcare centres can face abuse from the very people with whom they…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on February 22, 2017 at 16:00 — No Comments

What Does Child Protection Look Like in 2017?

There is no doubt that the sobering outcomes of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse have caused Australian organisations to take stock of their child protection strategies. Investigating and preventing abuse in care has become a non-negotiable priority issue for many citizens and institutions across the nation. So what is the current state…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on February 15, 2017 at 19:29 — No Comments

Unpacking the Concept of Reasonableness

Across all Australian workplaces the phenomenon of bullying is without doubt a front-and-centre topic. And as a result, overt instances of bullying in the workplace now tend to be more readily identified than ever before.

One challenging idea for all concerned however is this; is it…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on February 8, 2017 at 13:38 — 1 Comment

Inference or Evidence? Professionals Know the Difference



In the conduct of any workplace investigation, it can sometimes be tempting to hurry past those alleged facts that appear “perfectly clear”. Such perceptions arise when we draw together two or more related elements from an investigation, add our own assumptions on the matter, and infer from this a particular conclusion.

Unfortunately, such inferences almost certainly arise off the back…
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Added by Harriet Stacey on February 2, 2017 at 1:00 — No Comments

Key Take-Home Messages from the Employment Law Cases of 2016: Part 2

Some of the important decisions handed down in the employment law world during 2016 would have left more than one employer very glad that they were not the ones facing the Fair Work Commission!

In part 1 of our year-end review of the cases of 2016, we covered the…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on January 11, 2017 at 8:00 — No Comments

Nepotism and Bias in Volunteer Organisations: A Thorny Issue

Managers within volunteer organisations are renowned for their ability to run operations with incredibly limited resources. Working with both paid staff and volunteers, there is a sense of needing ‘all hands on deck’ within busy community and charity groups.

We explore today some of the hidden dangers of unconscious bias and nepotism that can arise in volunteer…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on January 11, 2017 at 1:00 — No Comments

Key Take-Home Messages from the Fair Work and Employment Law related Cases of 2016: Part 1

As another year gets underway, it’s timely to look back at some of the most significant fair work and employment law-related decisions handed down during 2016, and the lessons employers can take away from these cases.

In this two-part series, we first look athow general legal…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on January 4, 2017 at 8:00 — No Comments

Is Child Protection a Priority in Your Volunteer Organisation?

by Vince Scopelliti

Volunteer organisations have a special place in the heart of every community. The vital work that they carry out most often involves providing assistance to those who are in need. Issues of poverty, homelessness, abuse, infirmity and mental illness are just some of the challenging aspects within the day-to-day operations of many volunteer…

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Added by Harriet Stacey on January 4, 2017 at 1:00 — No Comments

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