Article: "Outrage Over Psychiatric Findings"

The Sun-Herald 13 September 1998
By Sue Williams

Public servants certified mentally unfit for work by government-paid psychologists, after complaining about the way their schools, offices or departments were run, have won a battle to have the Independent Commission Against Corruption look into their claims.

The ICAC has written to each, pledging to review the way they were treated. The public servants, including teachers, college staff, a police rehabilitation officer, a fireman and a physicist, were backed by lobbyists Whistleblowers Australia in their campaign to have the system examined.

Each person, after bringing up a grievance about their workplace, was referred to HealthQuest, a unit of the Central Sydney Area Health Service, part of the Department of Health.

The examiner was briefed on their problems at work and they were given a report which certified them as having psychological or psychiatric problems, leading to dismissal or early retirement.

They allege collusion between employers and HealthQuest, saying it is a way to get rid of workers who rock the boat by criticising health and safety procedures, complaining about management, or blowing the whistle on misinformation. Some subsequently have won compensation payouts.

HealthQuest deputy director Helen Jagger denied the claims.

Sue Williams

This article was placed in TAFE's Personnel files on Val Kerrison
Attached to it was NSW Department of Education & Training fax
Transcript of excerpt from that fax:

14 September 1998

FROM: Peter Cribb, Senior Legal Officer
ATTENTION: Chris Lockwood, Employee Services Manager
RE: Kerrison

Extract from page 35 of Sun-Herald 13.9.98.
It appears that ICAC may be "reviewing" [Cribb's punctuation] Val Kerrison's complaint…'