CSB
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics

Apology and Compensation for Sacked Nauru Staff


Wednesday, 1st February 2017 at 11:32 am
Wendy Williams, Editor
Aid agency Save the Children Australia has welcomed the government’s apology and payment of compensation to staff who were sacked from Nauru amid false allegations they had encouraged asylum seekers to self-harm.


Wednesday, 1st February 2017
at 11:32 am
Wendy Williams, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Apology and Compensation for Sacked Nauru Staff
Wednesday, 1st February 2017 at 11:32 am

Aid agency Save the Children Australia has welcomed the government’s apology and payment of compensation to staff who were sacked from Nauru amid false allegations they had encouraged asylum seekers to self-harm.

The Department of Immigration has issued a statement expressing regret for “any hurt and embarrassment” caused and paid compensation to the nine Save the Children workers.

According to the statement the department acknowledged “that at the time of the removal direction and subsequently, it had no reason to cause doubt to be cast on the SCA employees’ reputation”.

Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds said they were pleased the “saga” was coming to an end.

“Save the Children welcomes the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s statement of regret issued on Tuesday morning, regarding the treatment of our former employees on Nauru,” Ronalds said.

“We are pleased that this traumatic and drawn out saga is now coming to an end for some of the most committed people who ever worked on our Nauru program.

“These nine people dedicated themselves to educating and protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable children in the toughest of circumstances, and the idea that they would ever fabricate cases of abuse or encourage children to hurt themselves is, and always was, absurd.”

It comes after the nine Save the Children employees were deported by the Nauruan government following a direction from the immigration department on 2 October 2014 to remove 10 of the aid agency’s employees from the provision of services.  

The removal was based on a Transfield Services intelligence report from 30 September 2014 that said it was “probable” that Save the Children staff were coaching asylum seekers on how to be resettled in Australia.

In the latest statement the department confirmed it “relied on allegations that the staff had orchestrated protest activity, coached and encouraged self-harm of detainees, engaged in a campaign to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the government’s regional processing arrangements and misused and improperly disclosed sensitive and confidential information”.

These allegations have since proved to be unfounded.

An independent review by lawyer and immigration expert Christopher Doogan found that there was “no evidence nor reliable information” to support the claim.

According to his report: “There was in fact no evidence nor reliable information on which to specifically name nine of the 10 SCA staff.”

Doogan found that contractor staff on Nauru were being pressured by the then Abbott government to provide evidence against the organisation, and the “information available at the time the removal clause was activated did not warrant issuing the removal letter”.

In line with recommendations from Doogan, the department reached a confidential financial settlement with the NGO in May 2016.

The amount of compensation that has now been paid to the employees is unknown but according to the statement is sufficient to “place the SCA employees in the position they would have been in, had the removal letter not been issued”.

The department also recognised the employees had “suffered detriment for which – to adopt the words of Professor Doogan – the payment of money cannot be adequate compensation”.

Ronalds said he hoped it would at least provide closure.

“While Save the Children welcomes the department’s statement, no words or payment of money can truly compensate these professionals for the detriment that they have suffered since October 2014, although we sincerely hope that this latest development will provide some degree of closure.”


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Aid Charities Dispute Claims Foreign Aid Spending is Unpopular

Luke Michael

Thursday, 19th April 2018 at 8:29 am

Charities Warn Aid Cuts Are Diminishing Australia’s Regional Influence

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 11th April 2018 at 1:55 pm

Government Urged to Reject ‘Utterly Shameful’ Aid Budget Cuts

Luke Michael

Thursday, 29th March 2018 at 5:45 pm

UK Aid Sector Urged to Take Action

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 6th March 2018 at 8:33 am

POPULAR

Animal Shelter Loses Charity Status

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 11th April 2018 at 5:20 pm

NFP Real Estate Agency to Drive Sydney’s Affordable Housing Supply

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 11th April 2018 at 5:34 pm

NDIS Urged to Implement Portable Training System for Workers

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 17th April 2018 at 8:31 am

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CSB
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!