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Yooralla CEO Quits

24 November 2014 at 11:28 am
Lina Caneva
The CEO of one of Australia’s largest disability support organisations has resigned in the wake of allegations of mismanagement over sexual assault claims made by its clients.

Lina Caneva | 24 November 2014 at 11:28 am


Yooralla CEO Quits
24 November 2014 at 11:28 am

The CEO of one of Australia’s largest disability support organisations has resigned in the wake of allegations of mismanagement over sexual assault claims made by its clients.

The Board of Yooralla announced today that it had accepted the resignation of CEO Sanjib Roy effective from Sunday 23 November.

Roy had been CEO for more than six years but resigned after Yooralla resident Jules Anderson identified herself as a victim of sexual and mental abuse at the hands of employee Vinod Johnny Kumar, her carer at the organisation in 2011 and 2012.

Anderson, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, has now launched legal action against Yooralla in the Victorian Supreme Court for failing to properly assess Kumar's suitability to be a carer, failing to supervise him properly and allowing him to be rostered alone on night shift.

Yooralla has also been accused of continuing to employ abusive or corrupt staff despite warnings they were abusing disabled clients.

In May a Yooralla carer used a hidden camera in the office of a senior manager to confirm allegations of abuse and theft.

The footage led to police charges for incidents dating back to 2005.

“Sanjib Roy’s legacy to the organisation has been the implementation of cultural change and the complete overhaul of procedures and processes to strengthen client wellbeing and safety across Yooralla, in the aftermath of shocking revelations of assault against Yooralla clients, by a casual staff member, in late 2011,” a statement from Yooralla said.

“As part of Yooralla’s response to this incident and others, Yooralla has implemented procedures for staff recruitment, supervision and appraisal. These procedures have been strengthened and mandatory reporting and escalation protocols introduced to facilitate early identification of any concerns and external investigation of any allegation of abuse. Additional training, personnel changes and revised systems and processes have ensured that client wellbeing and safety are now the highest priority of the organisation.”

Chairman of Directors at Yooralla, Dr Wayne Ramsay, thanked Roy for his service.

“Mr Roy leaves the organisation in good shape and the board wishes him every success for the future”, Ramsey said.

“The board respects his decision to leave now that the organisational changes in response to the events of 2011 have been completed. Mr Roy has seen the organisation through its darkest days and we thank him for the leadership he has provided for the last six years.”

Dr Sherene Devanesen has been appointed Acting CEO pending an executive search process which will commence shortly.

“Transforming Yooralla to serve people with disability their families and carers in the context of the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will now be a challenge for new leadership within the organisation,” the statement said.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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