Some are losing faith in the Victorian Workcover Authority

At a remembrance service in December 2014, the founder and outgoing deputy director of the Creative Ministries Network (CMN), John Bottomley, explained his refusal of funding from the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) for CMN’s work-related grief support services (now called GriefWork). VWA has a different take on his comments. In discussing the relevance of the …

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Truly acknowledging failure provides a strong base for improvement

When one fails in safety management, people can get hurt or die, yet safety professionals and business executives rarely acknowledge this failure, even though companies may plead guilty in court. Instead “mistakes” are made, “deficiencies” are identified and investigations uncover “areas for improvement” but these are rarely described as “failures”. October 13 was the International … Continue reading “Truly acknowledging failure provides a strong base for improvement”

Work-related suicide gains some fresh media recognition

On 4 November 2011, Victoria’s 7.30 program broadcast a heart-rending story about the suicide of a woman who, her mother believes, took this action after suffering chronic pain due a work-related incident and being given insufficient support from her employer and workers’ compensation bodies.  The story of Rebecca Wallis (spelling uncertain) apparently generated sufficient communication to the … Continue reading “Work-related suicide gains some fresh media recognition”

Suicide challenges the OHS profession

Safety and risk professionals often need to consider the “worst case scenario”.  But we hesitate to look at the worst case scenario of workplace mental health – suicide.  On 26 August 2011, Lifeline presented a seminar to Victorian public servants that was brilliant, confronting and worrying. Lifeline campaigns on suicide prevention and it seems to … Continue reading “Suicide challenges the OHS profession”

Workplace bullying and restorative justice – how to help the families left behind

A feature article on workplace bullying in The Age newspaper on 10 March 2010 has the additional or secondary benefit of again raising the relevance of “restorative justice” to the issue of occupational safety and health. The main element of the article is the McGregor family who had two children commit suicide over related issues.  The son, Stuart … Continue reading “Workplace bullying and restorative justice – how to help the families left behind”

New play about the impact of workplace death

In June 2009, a small theatre company in Australia will be performing a play call “Prophet and Loss”.  According to a colleague of mine, John Bottomley, it is a thought-provoking and powerful theatre performance telling true stories of some WGS clients bereaved by work-related death. As we at Creative Ministries Network seek to understand the … Continue reading “New play about the impact of workplace death”

Another Australian politician attempts suicide

Over the last few days Australian media has been covering the hospitalisation of Tasmanian MP, Paula Wriedt.  It has become apparent that Ms Wreidt attempted suicide as a result of a combination of work and family pressures. Being a politician is a difficult job and, as with any job, pressure can become excessive.  This was … Continue reading “Another Australian politician attempts suicide”