Saturday, December 19, 2009

Carenne Support acts after information released on Sydney Indymedia

One of the non-profit organisations at the heart of the Carenne Gate affair has been forced to act following the release of information on Sydney Indymedia.

On 2 October 2009, I mentioned in this article that Carenne Support's paid CEO (who was un-named in the original posting but it is Christine Porter) remained on the board of directors despite being remunerated for her work (something frowned upon in a non-profit organisation). On 11 November 2009 I named the current directors of the company, referring to a report from Dun & Bradstreet.

Following the release of this information, Carenne Support removed Mrs Porter as a director, effective 24 November 2009. They also removed former Carenne Special School principal Jock Roxborough on the same day despite the Carenne Saviours claiming that he resigned the position some time ago.

It would appear that Carenne Support knew they had done the wrong thing and only acted after they were exposed on Sydney Indymedia.

It is interesting when directors of Carenne Support, Carenne Special School staff and senior DET officers claim Indymedia is full of lies that Carenne Support acts on the information.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Special Needs Transport Contractors Caught Out

During independent investigations being carried out in Bathurst today, it has been discovered that two contractors under the NSW Department of Education and Training's Special Needs Transport Service have been caught breaching the guidelines.

The first is Carenne Support, which today used a teacher as a driver on the run. I am told by Carenne Support staff that Roslyn Luther is not approved as an SNTS driver and as such her driving the bus breaks the guidelines set down by the department.

The second is Capebase Pty Ltd which made a claim for a full run to Lithgow which it didn't make today. Under the SNTS operators are only paid while there is a department approved passenger aboard, this can include students or a department paid escort. Today, one of Capebase's buses made the trip back to Lithgow empty and return in the afternoon after it dropped the alternating driver/escort at his home in Bathurst. The bus returned to the house in the afternoon to pick up the driver/escort.

Under the SNTS there are to be no unauthorised diversions whilst the operator is being paid. The photograph in this article indicates that the bus was parked at Steven Minshull's house in Bathurst this morning, where it left with only the driver aboard.

Carenne Special School staff claim that Simone Russell, who approves payments under the SNTS approved payment to Capebase knowing that it has been breaching the guidelines. It is alleged that this morning, Mrs Russell asked the driver if the escort would be staying in Bathurst for the day and the driver indicated that he was dropping him off.

DET fails to act on issues, school forced to close

The Western Advocate in Bathurst is today running an article about the forthcoming closure of Newbridge Public School. The school will be placed in "review" from 2010 to 2012, at which time the department may dispose of it if it is not re-opened.

In the article, Wayne Moore, a parent has accused the NSW Department of Education and Training as being "secretive" and claims that the department knew of problems at the school and has failed to act, which has led to parents transferring 13 of the school's 16 to other schools.

Mr Moore said “It seems that the NSW Government, and specifically the Department of Education, are up to their old tricks - tell people that everything is OK and then double cross them just before the festive season”.

Newbridge Public School is located within the Orange School District in the department's Western region.

Victimisation against staff who speak out emerges in other Western Region Schools

Allegations that staff who speak out against the Department of Education and Training in the Western Region of NSW are victimised having done so have emerged following incidents at Kelso Public School, West Bathurst Public School and Dubbo College. They claim that those close to regional director Carole McDiarmid are responsible for the victimisation.

Staff at West Bathurst Public School were told they face possible disciplinary action if they speak out about a number of serious issues at that school.

At Dubbo College, the NSW Teacher's Federation claimed that there was a better chance of being listened to rather than being dismissed as a group of people who were complaining for the sake of complaining when the minister became involved than when they were dealing with senior DET officials. As with the Carenne Special School, those who speak out against the department at Dubbo College must remain anonymous to avoid retribution from senior DET officials.

It appears there are very serious problems with the Western Region DET.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Staff Development Day Swap Unfair Say Carenne Staff

Staff of the Carenne Special School in Bathurst have questioned whether or not a number of staff should be allowed to take Thursday and Friday this week off after a deal was struck between former principal Lynette Duncan and staff that should they attend a staff development session on a Sunday they would receive the two department official days off at the end of term.

Staff claim this arrangement is unfair because even those staff who did not attend the Sunday development day are still receiving two days off. They believe that staff who did not attend should be required to attend school on Thursday and Friday this week.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Second Bathurst Protest Interrupted

On Friday, the Carenne Gate truck was joined in Bathurst by a van, which circulated the city with messages about the Carenne Gate affair in an attempt to raise awareness of this important political issue. The van circulated to the soundtrack of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall, which has become the theme song of the Carenne Gate affair.

After of photographs of the van were taken as it passed the Carenne Special School function in the William Street, the van was stopped by Police who told the driver not to break any road rules and there would be no issue after they received a call about the vehicle.

Shortly thereafter, the protest van was interrupted when it is alleged that there was an attempt to carjack the driver in William Street.

Staff Condemn Presentation Day Awards

A number of Carenne Special School staff have made further allegations about the school presentation day on Friday, calling it a "joke" and a "farce". Staff allege that the awards process for staff and volunteers was flawed and ignored the significant contribution of some while rewarding others. The allegations follow complaints regarding a speech by Carole McDiarmid and the husband of P&C Committee member Simone Russell winning second place in the P&C raffle.

Staff have complained that the daughter of Simone Russell was given a gift for assisting her mother in the preparation for presentation day, despite spending no more than one day at the school on it. Staff also complained about a trainee being given a volunteer award while others went un-noticed.

The Carenne Saviours claim that the awards were slanted towards supporters of what has become known as the Klan.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Carenne Gate truck unveiled in Bathurst

A truck bearing messages calling for an independent inquiry into the goings on at Carenne Special School was unveiled in Bathurst yesterday. The truck aims to increase awareness of the Carenne Gate affair and hold our political representatives for their actions.

Speaking at the launch, Julie Brown said "I appreciate the support we have received over this issue but there is much more to be done, there continues to be discrepancies and corruption at Carenne Special School and the wider Department of Education and Training".

"There are huge concerns about Carenne Special School involving a plethora of issues, yet our elected representatives and the education department continue to ignore them",

"People are tired of the cover-up".

The truck then circulated Bathurst, which it will continue to do until Monday when it heads for Orange. It will tour selected areas until mid-January.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Parents claim Carole McDiarmid "spun" at presentation day

Parents claim that the Carenne Special School was a DET star attraction today with Carole McDiarmid, Peter Harvey and Gerard Martin in attendance. Parents say that a speech by Carole McDiarmid attempting to rally support from Carenne parents and friends sounded like an attempted cover-up.

During her speech she spoke about the "infamous website" and claimed that "everything on it is just rot". She said that Carenne was a great school and needed everyone's support as it was going through a difficult time.

Parents also complained about the P&C raffle results, when Scott Russell won second place. Parents say that Simone Russell is on the P&C committee and her family should not have entered. They claim awards given to students were equally slanted towards family and close supporters.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Student dragged from bus by staff

I have received a number of reports about a nine year-old Carenne Special Student being physically dragged from a school bus yesterday. Staff allege that the student was roughly grabbed and dragged by two staff, one being teacher Nadine Dwyer and an aide (which there have been conflicting reports of just who it was). Staff claim that they were so rough that the student was screaming in pain.

The student was visibly distressed following the incident and was sent home it is believed. A number of other staff, parents and students witnessed this assault perpetrated by Carenne Special School staff and claim to have been upset by it.

I sent a email regarding this to Peter Harvey and the SMU yesterday in relation to this on behalf of the Carenne Saviours but received no reply.

Lee Churches and the racist "drunk aboriginal" comment

From comments on Sydney Indymedia

We have previously concluded from IP address comparison between emails sent from Lee Churches' private email address to Jake Rosenberg (a Carenne Special School staff member) and those sent from "Leanne Dreww" to Indymedia reporters that Lee Churches is carennetruth.

Re: Carennestrewth
On October 18th, 2009 carennetruth2 says:
A quick question, I think I know who you are - are you aboriginal?
On October 18th, 2009 Mungindiman says:
How kind of you to ask. Nice to know you. Are you Aboriginal too?
Re: Lee
On October 18th, 2009 carennetruth2 says:
Were you dismissed from the department around 2004? If I
remember rightly you had an alcohol problem and used to turn
up to work drunk.
Of course, I could be wrong. I might have the wrong person.
Re: Lee
On October 18th, 2009 savecarenne says:
This is disgusting. You make allegations that someone you
claim is gay is a child molestor and now you make a claim
that someone who is aboriginal is an alcoholic. This is

Staff claim that some staff encourage student bullying

A number of Carenne Special School staff have alleged that bullying between some students is rife and a number of staff look the other way when it happens. They also allege that some staff in particular actively encourage bullying between students.

These claim is not new, on November 14th 2009, 'savecarenne' posted the following on Sydney Indymedia:
Carenne's tactics against some students have reached an all-time low. They are now using other students to bully and harass a particular autistic student because his teacher and aides believe he is too difficult and hopefully he can be expelled from Carenne.

On Friday, I saw a student bullying another while Shepherd (Michael Auld), a bus worker and an aide watched on. When I told Shepherd I did not believe it was behaviour he should be
encouraging and he said it was "between the two students".
A parent confirmed that she was told by her son that Mr Auld encouraged the fight so that the students would get it out of their systems.

This is precisely how Alex Wildman and Jai Morcom died and should not be allowed in any school.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Carenne Special School newsletter full of "spin" say parents

A number of parents have contacted me over this week's Carenne Special School newsletter which they claim was more of a public relations and "spin" exercise than anything else.

In the newsletter, relieving principal Terry Neal claims that Carenne Support has purchased for Carenne Special School a wheelchair bus. Parents believe this is to hide the misappropriation of two buses in 2004/5.

The newsletter was also full of claims about how great the new classrooms were (on most of the class pages), despite the same staff claiming to parents that the classrooms had major issues.

Terry Neal on the front page mentioned that the classrooms will be "ideal" after some more fine tuning in relation to light and IT equipment. Staff have complained about skylights which create excessive light and let in too much heat. Staff also claim that Michael Auld didn't consider the skylights when he had the projectors installed.

Staff have also told me that there are issues with IT equipment after it wasn't installed correctly or important equipment mysteriously went missing while in the care of Mr Auld.

Parents win laptop challenge

The few parents which attended the meeting held at Carenne Special School where Michael Auld tried to push software which would be owned by the school on to parents instead of laptop computers like all other Australian high schools have had a victory it seems with this week's newletter indicating that all Year 9 students in 2010 will receive a netbook computer.

Initially parents were told that those who didn't agree to Mr Auld's proposal would be able to opt out and receive a netbook but this will now not be the case it seems and all students will receive a netbook computer. At the meeting Mr Auld and Simone Russell said that the software proposal was best for students.

It demonstrates how the dedication of a few can deliver positive change.

Paul Knight claims Jake Rosenberg is Brian Carter, makes threats, calls him a "rock spider"

The chairman of Carenne Support's board of directors, Paul Knight has responded angrily to information from "Jake Rosenberg" in relation to leaks from within his organisation.

In his first response, Mr Knight tells Rosenberg "if you are a real man lets catch up and sort things out man to man."

Rosenberg alleges that she responded asking if Mr Knight was threatening a woman. It is common knowledge that the alias Jake Rosenberg is used by a female Carenne Saviour.

Mr Knight's response indicated that he believed Jake Rosenberg was Brian Carter and that he had put up with "12 months of heartache for one reason, A bus driver lets call him Jake did the wrong thing and was sacked. If this driver lets call him Jake or Brian wasnt doing the wrong thing we wouldnt have all this shit going on would we".

Mr Knight then goes on to say that Jake Rosenberg, who it is clear at this point he believes to be Mr Carter will get what is coming to him and that he should "hide under the rock you spider" indicating he is calling Rosenberg a rock spider.

This further demonstrates the types of thugs and bullies the Carenne Saviours are dealing with every day and the character of people that Gerard Martin, Member for Bathurst is protecting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Carennetruth" supplies evidence intended to implicate relieving principal

Serial bully, Carennetruth (known to be Lee Churches), an assistant principal has provided me with an affidavit sworn by Terry Neal in October 2008 in relation to the Carenne sex affair. She claimed that Mr Neal committed perjury by claiming the student involved in the affair remained a student at Carenne until the end of the year, despite leaving on 29 September 2003.

Miss Churches overlooked a point in the affidavit where Mr Neal claimed that the student remained a student until the end of Term 3. The affidavit does prove that Lee Churches hijacked the school executive early in 2003.

The affidavit claims that Mr Neal was the assistant principal responsible for the teacher accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student, Anna Blackburn yet early in 2003, a behaviour contract was drawn up by Lee Churches and the school principal Jock Roxborough. Mr Neal was only involved in the process when it was amended on 14 March 2003.

The affidavit indicates that Miss Churches was aware of incidents involving the student and Miss Blackburn throughout the year but never reported them as child protection matters.

Why the assistant principal responsible was excluded from the process initially is alarming and indicates that Lee Churches knew something that Mr Neal did not. It indicates the power Miss Churches had over Mr Roxborough, which has continued under successive principals.

Despite the Carenne Special School executive knowing about inappropriate contact between the student and Miss Blackburn from as early as March and continuing until at least August, the department's Child Protection Investigation Directorate did not commence investigations until October.

The CPID commenced investigations after receiving an anonymous complaint about Miss Blackburn and not due to reports by the school executive.

This is a matter of public importance when student welfare and child protection issues are covered up by the school executive.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carenne Special School continues to call the police on students

I have received reports that Carenne Special School are continuing to call the Police on students. Today, Simone Russell called the Police on a student who ran from the school to the park across the road because he would ignored directions from a teacher.

When the Police arrived, the student became more defiant and refused to follow their instructions.

It demonstrates that once again that terrorising special needs students with the Police doesn't work.

More evidence at Carenne Special School destroyed

It has been revealed that "communication books" containing admissions that Carenne Support had neglected to perform therapy on a student have gone missing. These communication books are sent to and from school every day conveying information between student's parents and teacher.

A member of staff at Carenne Special School says that she saw an entry into the book stating that no therapy had been done on this student this year and that the book was lost at school, despite them always being kept in the same place. She alleges that no other books went missing, only ones for this particular student.

The book refutes claims by Christine Porter to the body funding the student's therapy that therapy was being done by her Carenne Support therapy team.

Once more it appears Carenne Special School staff will destroy valuable evidence to hide the neglect and abuse at the school.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Carenne Special School staff accuse Peter Harvey and Peter Seligman of OHS breaches

The brave souls who are risking their careers by speaking out about the human rights abuses, corruption and bullying at Carenne Special School have made an allegation that Peter Harvey, Bathurst Schools Director and Peter Seligman, Human Resources have breached OHS principles by allowing the Klan to continue behaving the way it is.

They claim any complaints made to regional director Carole McDiarmid is simply referred back to Mr Harvey.

The saviours claim that both Mr Harvey and Mr Seligman have been well aware of serious bullying issues at the Carenne Special School and have done nothing but support those carrying out the bullying. The saviours have been made to feel as though they are worthless and that only the Klan are worth protecting in the school.

The saviours claim they and students are subjected to almost daily abuse from Lee Churches, Margaret Rowe and Michael Auld.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Carennetruth names "snitches" on her blog and then deletes it

Carennetruth, the Internet identity of Carenne Special School assistant principal Lee Churches, as proven through IP address records in emails she has sent has named people she considers "snitches" on her blog and has now retracted it.

These are similar tactics to those she used on Sydney Indymedia when posting under various names. Fortunately the Google Cache has them stored.

Gerard Martin knew of the $48,000 wasted on sealing the wrong road

Lithgow councillor Joe McGinnes made claims on the Ray Hadley Show this morning that Gerard Martin was aware of the waste of $48,000 by Lithgow City Council when it sealed a private road instead of the road it was meant to seal.

The issue came about because there are two roads within kilometres of each other with the same name.

Mr McGinnes claimed that the subsequent ICAC investigation couldn't find the second road and closed the investigation.

It is yet another example of Gerard Martin's knowledge of significant wastage and doing nothing about it, just like that happening at the Carenne Special School.

Gerard Martin paints grieving widow as a liar

Disgraced Bathurst MP, Gerard Martin has spun a story in the Lithgow Mercury today in an attempt to paint the woman he failed, Velma McFadden as a liar. In the article, Mr Martin said he and his office had done everything they could to help Mrs McFadden and would continue to do so.

In a statement provided to the Mercury, the Ambulance service denied that an ambulance which was dispatched when Mrs McFadden's husband was having a heart attack got lost. They claim that the second phone call they received from Mrs McFadden gave them further information on the location which assisted them in getting there. Mrs McFadden claims she was told during that call that the ambulance got lost.

This article follows claims by carennetruth, who was confirmed on Sydney Indymedia as being Carenne Special School assistant principal Lee Churches last night that Mrs McFadden was a liar.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The NSW Department of Education and Training NTBE list

Under relevant legislation, the NSW Department of Education and Training maintains a list of persons who are not to be employed in any capacity with the department. The legislation itself provides no details on the reasons that the department may use when placing a person's name on this list.

Brian Carter has supplied a document obtained as part of a Freedom of Information request giving the reasons a person can be placed on the list. These include child protection reasons (with or without proven charges), open allegations, criminal offences, inefficiency, medically unfit (determined by HealthQuest or resigning due to health problems) or being unsuited to teaching.

Any of these reasons can result in staff being placed on the Not To Be Employed (NTBE) list barring them from employment with the department.

Peter Harvey has a spy at Carenne Special School

Despite claiming that he supports staff at the Carenne Special School it has been revealed that schools director Peter Harvey has a spy in the school.

The woman who uses the alias "Jake Rosenberg" has provided me with evidence that she had been in almost daily communication with the local schools director after being asked to be his eyes and ears in the school. She claims that she was called to district office earlier in the year after making a series of complaints about child protection matters at the end of 2008.

During this meeting, Rosenberg claims to have been asked to report back to Mr Harvey on things which happened in the school. He was particularly interested in knowing about the activities of the group of staff we call the Klan.

It would appear that Mr Harvey doesn't support staff in the school as much as he claims

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carennestrewth is high on her own self importance

I received the following email today from the address Sydney Indymedia has already tied to Lee Churches:
I'm still standing‏
From: Leeanne Dreww (
Sent: Saturday, 28 November 2009 1:14:15 PM
Isn't it amazing that you people rant and rave about me having a livejournal and how bad it is but your great Sydney Indymedia is gone. The police have your servers so it is going to be down a very long time isn't it.

What a shame.
It shows that Miss Churches will do anything to intimidate people. Fortunately I am not one of the students in her care or one of the staff she bullies at work.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Incompetent Bathurst MP fails his constituents again

Gerard Martin, the ALP member for Bathurst has once again failed his constituents. It was exposed on Radio 2GB this morning that a widow had approached Mr Martin over a bungled Triple-zero call and an ambulance getting lost resulting in the death of her husband.

The widow received a PR styled response without any answers and Mr Martin did nothing further. The widow says that she was then left to her own devices to make inquiries.

It is yet another example of how Mr Martin only cares about a select few in his electorate. He has failed this woman whose husband died because of the incompetence of the NSW Ambulance Service yet he will do everything he can for his corrupt Labor party pal Michael Auld when asked.

I will personally be leading the call for Mr Martin to resign.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Carenne Support attempted take a transport contract away from another operator

On July 10 2009, an operator under the Special Needs Transport Service was told that he had been misdeclaring kilometres on his payment claims and was told by the Department of Education and Training. There was a rumor circulating at the time that this company may lose it's contact.

I am led to believe that a number of parents contacted the transport unit and complained about the appalling treatment of this company by the department. At the time, a few staff at Carenne leaked information to parents about other operators who had been overdeclaring kilometres which was then used in these complaints.

It has since been discovered that Lee Churches, a director of Carenne Support Limited, the company which received funds the Bathurst community was told was for the school for its buses and the company which there is documented evidence that they were defrauding the SNTS made a complaint that the operator had been overdeclaring kilometres as she believed it to be a profitable run and would give Carenne Support a reason to buy a larger bus.

Lee Churches is an unfit parent and an unfit teacher

From Inside Carenne

The woman made famous through her postings on Indymedia under the name carennetruth and hatho is someone who worries me about being in a position where she can influence children. You only have to look at how she has bought her own son up to see that she is unfit to be a teacher and is an unfit parent.

It is well known at Carenne just out of control her son is and has been for a long time. It is known that Lee has supplied her son with alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana since the age of 13. He also posts evidence of him committing crimes on the Internet and proudly flaunts his 'achievements'.

Have a look at these photos of her son, aged 15 at the time

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Corrupt teacher assists in selecting new Principal

The assistant principal at the centre of bullying, harassment and corruption claims has been allowed to be a part of the selection panel for the principal's position created by the departure of Lynette Duncan.

Complaints had been made to the Department of Education and Training about how Lee Churches would be biased towards/against candidates in order to cement her and the Carenne Klan's authority over the school. Miss Churches had indicated to a number of staff that current relieving principal, Terry Neal had no chance of getting the job if she was on the panel.

It is not the first time this assistant principal has used her influence on an interview panel to achieve a particular result, earlier this year she deliberately stacked a panel so that a particular candidate would get the job. She told one of the Carenne Saviours "I don't know why we are having interviews, ******* is going to get the job anyway."

It appears that the Department of Education and Training is more interested in protecting their Klan at Carenne Special School than dealing with major issues.

Grant Marley of the SMU refuses to supply information of investigating Police

Following claims by Bathurst MP Gerard Martin to one of my Public Trust Journalism colleagues that the Police were looking into matters surrounding Carenne Special School, it was further claimed at a meeting at Carenne Special School on Monday that the Police were planning action against Sydney Indymedia.

I have contacted Grant Marley of the Department of Education and Training's Serious Misconduct Unit, requesting the names of the officers allegedly involved in these inquiries. I indicated to Mr Marley that I was more than happy to speak with Police and to provide them with evidence that Michael Auld and Lee Churches are leaking confidential information from the school.

Mr Marley responded:
From: Marley, Grant (
Sent: Tuesday, 24 November 2009 11:04:18 AM
To: 'Julie Brown' (
Cc: Harvey, Peter (

Dear Ms Brown

I refer to your request for the names of the officers who may be conducting investigations into matters involving Carenne Special School. As your relationship with the school and any issues arising at the school is unknown, I am not prepared to provide any advice regarding this matter.

Grant Marley
Senior Manager
Serious Misconduct Investigation Team
Department of Education and Training
Ph: 9244 5203
Fax: 9266 8791

It would appear as though Mr Marley is content with hampering an investigation or there is no such investigation to begin with. Given that Mr Marley's Serious Misconduct Unit is not interested in investigating complaints against Lee Churches' postings on Sydney Indymedia under various names and that the Police are allegedly involved according to an MP that he would be more than happy for me to speak with Police and provide evidence I may have.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Whistleblower's car attacked

Bathurst whistleblower Brian Carter had significant damage done to his vehicle last night when vandals threw two rocks at it damaging the rear door and the side of the vehicle. Photographs taken of the damage seem to indicate that the vandals bowled the rocks at the vehilce and were attempting to smash its windows but missed.

At the time of the attack, the vehicle was parked between two others and neither of these were targeted. It is believed that the way the attack was carried out that those involved knew the area was under video surveillance.

The attack follows claims by the Carenne Saviours that the group at Carenne Special School known as the Klan had threatened serious harm would come to Mr Carter.

Indymedia volunteers will door knock the area today asking for information about any suspicious activity in the area overnight and Police investigations are continuing. Anyone with information is urged to phone Bathurst Police on 02 6332 8699.

Carenne Support CEO admits leaks to Sydney Indymedia from inside Carenne Special School

In an email allegedly left laying around the school and photocopied and circulated by Michael Auld, Christine Porter, CEO of Carenne Support Limited admits that she believes someone from inside Carenne Special School is leaking information to Sydney Indymedia.

The claims by the CEO make a mockery of claims by departmental officials and the local MP that everything on Sydney Indymedia is lies.

The CEO goes on to say that nobody at Carenne can be trusted and advised the recipient to be cautious of who they speak to.

My request to Senator Xenophon

Sent: 18 November 2009
Dear Senator,
May I firstly congratulate you on your brave statements against the Church of Scientology in the Senate. The human rights abuses by that organisation are well documented and known.

I now turn to an issue of my own, which politicians in NSW are too afraid to discuss.

I have been reporting on issues at the Carenne Special School in Bathurst, NSW for some time. This arose from a misleading statement to the NSW parliament in relation to the legal representation of a government contractor. It was later discovered that Verity Firth had not only misled the parliament but also opposition education minister, Adrian Piccoli.

A group of concerned staff at the school met with myself in Bathurst to discuss issues at the school. During this meeting they told me in the past they had made a number of complaints about child protection issues but were told they were being stupid. This exact complaint is presently the subject of court action as a student claims he was involved in a sexual relationship with a teacher at the school. This meeting was publicised on Sydney Indymedia and staff were then threatened with police action and told Sydney Indymedia was an illegal website.

Evidence also surfaced that Gerard Martin, state member for Bathurst leaked a whistleblower's complaint to the school due to Michael Auld, a teacher at the school being a member of his Labor party branch.

Claims that Carenne Special School was ignoring child protection guidelines were strengthened when it revealed that a teacher by the name of Matt Casey had been employed at the school without screening checks being done. The School Education Director claimed that this was simply an "oversight".

Evidence then came out that the school-based charity come profitable business at the centre of the Carenne Gate affair had misled the Bathurst community during a fundraising appeal in 2004/5 for buses to be purchased for the school. It was then revealed that the school didn't own them but this "charity" directed by selected Carenne staff and parents. The negligence by this organisation and Carenne staff was revealed when it was discovered they hadn't been performing therapy on a student despite being paid for it.

Reports were then made about how the NSW Department of Education and Training had attributed an anonymous ICAC complaint to whistleblower Brian Carter. A false document created by former Carenne Special School principal Lynette Duncan was also revealed.

It was then alleged that the local schools director had ordered a cover-up into the restraining of Autistic students and locking them in an area known as the pig pen.

The DET then claimed that the dismissal of whistleblower Brian Carter was due to child protection issues, despite previous claims to the contrary. It was also revealed that former Carenne Special School principal and director of the charity had threatened both Mr Carter and Daniel Bowen that unless they went quietly they would face reprisals.

Claims by former principal Lynette Duncan in relation to $3.7m in federal funding were located in the local paper where she said part of the funding would be used for an external organisation - RDA.

There is also evidence that the school's charity which has a contract with the NSW DET was fraudulently claiming for bus services resulting in significant overpayments.

When a user of Indymedia contacted Bathurst MP Gerard Martin yesterday, he received the attached response. The response pretty much says that people outside Mr Martin's electorate are not able to comment on what happens at Carenne, despite us being tax payers and there being significant child protection and corruption issues.

There has also been evidence that the Bathurst Police have been used to harass whistleblowers and Indymedia journalists, that Lee Churches (an assistant principal and director of the charity) harassed whistleblowers and parents on the Sydney Indymedia website all of which have been ignored.

I ask you to at least mention Mr Martin's comments in the senate if possible. I would like the entire issues raised but this may not be possible.

Julie Brown
In response to your e-mail the 17th of the 11th regarding Carenne special school I make the following observations.
I have always been and will continue to be a strong supporter of the school.
The fact that something has been revealed on Indymedia does not make it true. I am aware of many libellous and untrue statements posted on that website. I am Also intrigued as to how and why people who do not live in the area have no knowledge or links to the school can add to the mischievous innuendo and rumour.
I am confident that the departmental and police investigations will reveal the true story. In the meantime the genuine and honest supporters of Carenne school will continue to support the school as it goes about its very important work

Protest comes to Lithgow: Gerard Martin targeted

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

On Thursday 12th November 2009, a group of around ten protesters took to the streets of Gerard Martin's stronghold Lithgow sharing their message about his handling of the Carenne Gate affair. The Indymedia protest vehicle cruised the streets of Lithgow playing "Uprising" with posters about how Mr Martin and his Labor comrades have handled the Carenne Gate affair plastered on it.

Protesters handed out a copy of the article about how Mr Martin protects whistleblowers by leaking information to those complained about and other material on the Rees government's handling of Carenne Gate, including Verity Firth misleading parliament. The protesters spoke to passers-by about Mr Martin and the need for a special school in Lithgow. A number of voters told the protesters that Carenne Gate would affect their vote at the next election.Protesters then protested outside Lithgow City Council where Mr Martin used to be mayor. They spoke with a number of staff, informing them that Mr Martin was up to his neck in the goings on at Carenne Special School. They also raised with council staff why they believe Lithgow needs its own special school and why the current situation for these students in Lithgow is ridiculous.Protesters then posted promotional material about Lithgow before having a well earned drink at the Tattersalls Hotel.

Another day, another successful protest!

Minister misleads NSW parliament over legal representation claim

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

I have learned that on 5 May, 2009 John Hatzistergos as minister representing Verity Firth, NSW Education Minister, mislead the NSW Legislative Council on questions relating the the representation of a government contractor before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. The concerns relate to Brian Carter, a former employee of Carenne Support Limited who dismissed him six days before christmas on 19 December, 2008. It claims to be a charity which supports people with a disability in Bathurst and has sought funding from the government on that basis. It is now defending itself by using a technical defence in the Industrial Relations Commission by claiming to be a "trading corporation" as it provides bus services under contract to the Department of Education and Training, earning some $15,000 per month. In late February, Mr Carter received a letter from the NSW Department of Education and Training's Legal Services Directorate claiming that they would be representing the contractor in the Industrial Relations Commission. The letter from Patrick Quinn at the Legal Services Directorate claimed that he had sent a copy of the Notice of Appearance and Employer's response with the letter, the Notice of Appearance was not enclosed. Mr Carter told me that he contacted the Industrial Relations Commission, which faxed him a copy of the Notice of Appearance which listed the Director-General of Education and Training as appearing on behalf of Carenne Support Limited. Shocked with this, Mr Carter sought answers from the education minister herself who ignored his correspondence. He then sought advice from the opposition education minister, who delayed his reply. He then contacted Dr John Kaye MLC for the Greens who placed the questions on the Legislative Council notice paper on 31 March 2009. On 5 May 2009 a response was entered by Mr Hatzistergos on behalf of Ms Firth. Mr Hatzistergos said:

"The Department is not providing legal representation to Carenne Support Ltd before the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW. However the Legal Services Directorate of the Department from time to time provides legal support to non-profit school based organisations that assist in the delivery of education programs,"

"It is understood that Carenne Support Ltd has sought advice from a private solicitor."

It is clear that Mr Hatzsitergos on behalf of Ms Firth clearly misled the parliament. It is clear that the NSW Department of Education and Training was in fact providing legal representation to Carenne Support Limited at the government's expense. This is clearly not appropriate use for government funds. It appears that because a state school benefits from Carenne Support Limited that the government will do favours for it to avoid legal costs. Nathan Rees, Verity Firth and John Hatzisergos all refused to make comment when contacted.

Grant Marley of the Misconduct Unit, this person is getting info direct from Carole McDiarmid for publication on Sydney Indy

on Sydney Indymedia

Only Regional Office would know that a suppression order was applied for and granted by a teacher who was targeted by Bathurst Regional Office and subjected to corrupt behaviour by them. The general public and even principals of schools would not have received that information. Proceedings of the ADT are not publicised in any newspaper.

This person 'defendthetruth' has received information within the last 24 hours from Carole McDiarmid herself, the only person who would have been contacted regarding the application for a suppression order since she was the Regional Director at the time and since she was a witness in the case. She would have been contacted by the court and asked if she wanted to have any input into the suppression application.

So Mr Marley, what are you going to do about THAT? Your Regional Director of Education is supplying information for publication on Sydney Indymedia.

I have been told a very serious complaint has been made relating to those court proceedings, a complaint accompanied by irrefutable documentation that perjury was committed during that court case and that lies were placed on this victim's employee file by Janice Anderson under instructions from Carole McDiarmid. Both McDiarmid and Anderson gave evidence during the case, as well as former principals Graeme Viles and George Peacock.

The government medical officer was sacked last year over his involvement relating to this matter, after the former Deputy Police Commissioner was brought in to examine some aspects of the case.

Grant Marley, if you really are an 'investigator' into serious misconduct and not just another lackey who is there to cover up for senior officials of the State Labor Government which is what is strongly suspected, I would suggest you save time by getting the report written by David Madden, the former Deputy Police Commissioner, because I am told that the whistleblower didn't just give information about Dr Peter Dodwell, the person also gave David Madden all the information about Carole McDiarmid and Janice Anderson of Bathurst Regional Office as well, because what Dodwell did in denying the person a job was directly related to the lies placed on the person's employment file all those years ago. Dodwell quoted from these lies when writing referrals. In a way, Dodwell was not entirely responsible for the mess he got himself into with this matter. I often wonder why he won't come forward and tell his story of how he was pressured by the DET in Bathurst to prevent the person from working. When the person was interviewed, everything was recorded, so you don't even have to interview this person, David Madden already has.

The victim of all this has told me he/she has protection from being dismissed via a letter from you, the Serious Misconduct Unit, stating that the person has made a protected disclosure.


Disclosure to a member of Parliament or journalist

19 Disclosure to a member of Parliament or journalist

(1) A disclosure by a public official to a member of Parliament, or to a journalist, is protected by this Act if the following subsections apply.

(2) The public official making the disclosure must have already made substantially the same disclosure to an investigating authority, public authority or officer of a public authority in accordance with another provision of this Part.

(3) The investigating authority, public authority or officer to whom the disclosure was made or, if the matter was referred, the investigating authority, public authority or officer to whom the matter was referred:

(a) must have decided not to investigate the matter, or

(b) must have decided to investigate the matter but not completed the investigation within 6 months of the original disclosure being made, or

(c) must have investigated the matter but not recommended the taking of any action in respect of the matter, or

(d) must have failed to notify the person making the disclosure, within 6 months of the disclosure being made, of whether or not the matter is to be investigated.

(4) The public official must have reasonable grounds for believing that the disclosure is substantially true.

(5) The disclosure must be substantially true.

Bathurst MP leaks whistleblowers complaint to agency involved

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

The state Labor MP who claimed that he supported whistleblowers has been caught out with the release of emails by staff of the NSW Department of Education and Training under Freedom of Information.

The e-mail dated 2 March 2009 between Carenne Special School Principal, Lynette Duncan and School Education Director, Peter Harvey claims that Gerard Martin, Member for Bathurst contacted Mrs Duncan after receiving a confidential email from Carenne whistleblower Brian Carter.

In the email Mrs Duncan states that the email sent by Mr Carter was sent marked confidential to Mr Martin and the Minister for Education and Training. It appears that Mr Martin advised Mrs Duncan of the content of the complaint and the complainant's name. Despite this, Mr Martin never replied to Mr Carter.

In June, I was contacted by an anonymous source claiming that former principal Terry Mahony knew Mr Carter had complained to Mr Martin and that Mr Martin wasn't going to act due to a connection with the school. That connection was discovered to be Labor party member and teacher at Carenne, Michael Auld.

It is a reasonable inference that Mr Martin leaked the information to Mrs Duncan due to his connection to Mr Auld.

When I received this information, I contacted Mr Martin who told me that his office doesn't leak. Evidence provided today indicates that it in fact does.

The breach of privacy indicates yet more harassment and victimisation Mr Carter has had to suffer at the hands of the NSW government, NSW Education and Training and staff of Carenne Special School.

Only on 5 August was Mr Martin on local radio in Bathurst spruiking his support for whisteblowers and how they need to be protected. Perhaps this protection only extends to those which are not speaking out about his comrades.

Protest Comes to Bathurst: Department of Education and Training Targeted

Posted November 10th, 2009 by ∆ on Sydney Indymedia

On Monday 10th November 2009 a well-attended and successful protest was held in Bathurst.

Following concerns raised by parents and staff of possible mistreatment of disabled children at Carenne school, misappropriation of and misuse of a donated bus, the unfair dismissal of a worker, bullying of staff and parents by a member of the executive staff at the school and general corruption and malfeasance issues at the Western Region headquarters of the Department of Education and Training in Bathurst which is headed by Carole McDiarmid, a group of concerned citizens met in Bathurst, some coming from as far away as Sydney and the North Coast.

Protests were held at several different sites throughout the town for maximum impact. In some cases interested citizens of Bathurst came and stood with the protesters in solidarity. Many people took the flyers which outlined our concerns and which promoted Sydney Indymedia as an alternative news outlet.

First port of call was the Bathurst War Memorial Park where protesters met to discuss plans and strategies. At this point Edward James was soon surrounded by a swarm of Federal Police who were relieved to learn he was not there to protest against Kevin Rudd. They advised that it would be fine for us to protest on the footpath as long as we kept away from the roped-off area where (alleged) dignitaries were to enter the Civic Chambers with a view to upward social mobility, no doubt.

It was decided to start opposite the park, outside the Court House which was next to the Bathurst Council Chambers where Kevin Rudd was a guest.

As luck would have it, it was a busy day in Bathurst, with many news crews on the footpath where we set up our signs either to cover a fraud case being heard, or the Kevin Rudd visit. All were keen to hear our story and Edward James, the spokesperson, spoke on camera about the purpose of our protest and about the lack of proper representation for the people of N.S.W.

While some protesters held up signs, others handed out flyers, which pointed out that the Western Region’s Director of Education was awarded the Public Service Medal while still under investigation by the Serious Misconduct Unit. The flyers also gave the URL for Sydney Indymedia, so it was great to be able to promote the site as well.

A 4WD, decorated with protest signs and streamers was parked outside the courthouse with the CD player belting out Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall. This vehicle toured the town throughout the day, stopping so that more flyers could be handed out and onlookers informed of the reason for our concern.

The media, gathered for the arrival of Kevin Rudd as well as the court hearing, took photos.

Next the protesters moved camp to the Regional Office of the Department of Education and Training. With Pink Floyd playing somewhat loudly and signs held up, we protested against those who should be looking into the problems at Carenne School and putting a stop to the bullying of staff, parents and students that is alleged to be occurring.

Flyers were again handed out to passers-by and to drivers of cars which stopped, who inquired why we were protesting.

It is believed Carole McDiarmid gave the order for police to be called, even though we have a right to protest under the law of N.S.W. The DET wanted us moved on. All up, seven police cars arrived in the next half hour, more to have a look than to cause any problems for us. There was a 4WD as well as marked and unmarked cars. Some stopped and some cruised past for a look. Edward James spoke at length to police on the footpath, explaining the reason for concern about the Bathurst Regional Office of the D.E.T.

Some protesters wore disguises at this venue, fearing reprisals if they were identified. Photos were taken of the protesters from inside the building.

Police suggested the music be toned down a little but not turned off. They then went inside DET headquarters to report that we were not breaking the law and would be permitted to remain where we were.

This was a considerable victory after a member of Carenne executive staff threatened to use police to harass us and move us on, stating in a comment on Sydney Indymedia “I will have the police waiting for you.” The same Carenne staff member has today told people that there were ‘arrests’ at the protest. There were no arrests. It has been said that in the past, police in the Bathurst-Lithgow region have been used by the Department of Education to harass people they have unjustly dismissed or other whistleblowers. Protesters on this occasion found the police to be polite and non-threatening.

Edward James adds: "A Police inspector was informed in passing that it was believed
a serving police officer related to a employee of Carenne, had
accessed the police computer to "check out" people posting news items
under their own names on Indymedia. That information was believed
to have been passed on illegally to Department of Education employees.
Reports that arrests were made on Monday should be accorded the
same level of credibility that Carennestrewth enjoys. There were no arrests.
Public Trust Journalists posting on Sydney IndyMedia believe that all police
we had dealings with on Monday 9 of November were professional and the
way they conducted themslves indicates to us visiting Bathurst with our
political concerns that there is an opening for informed change."

Next stop was the office of the Bathurst rag, the Western Advocate, which seems to think it has a monopoly on reporting of events in Bathurst. No more, guys - you have a rival in Sydney Indy. Protesters stood on the footpath while the protest vehicle cruised the street playing "Another Brick in the Wall", stopping outside the Western Advocate Building at times. Some protesters went inside the building to speak to reporters regarding their 'warm fuzzy stories' about Carenne school, failing to address the very serious issues there, as well as happy pictures of Western Regional Director Carole McDiarmid, who should be working towards fixing the problems at Carenne rather than socializing with the known workplace bully.

Lastly we went to the N.S.W. government offices where Edward James delivered a flyer and a message to Gerard Martin regarding his inaction on the problems at Carenne School and within the DET in Bathurst which have been ongoing for a number of years under the leadership of Carole McDiarmid. The colourful, sign-bedecked protest vehicle cruised the main street tooting its horn, the occupants handing out more flyers.

Exhausted, sunburnt, hot and tired, everyone adjourned to the Edinburgh Castle Hotel on George Street for a well-earned drink and to go over the events of the day, when a chapter of history was made in Bathurst.

School principal defies the advice of her education minister over re-employment

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

The principal of the Carenne Special School - Mrs Lynette Duncan has dealt another blow to Brian Carter, a former employee of both the school and its attached charity. The blow comes in direct defiance of advice of the Minister of Education and Training.

Mr Carter was allegedly unfairly dismissed from bus driving for Carenne Support Ltd, a charity attached to the Carenne Special School in December, 2008 in a cover-up over a behaviour management plan for a student implemented and supported by former principal Terrence Mahony.

Under the plan, Mr Carter would take an 18 year old male student to Lithgow and back on the bus once per week in return for the student behaving himself. As it was a special student transport bus, an escort was on duty on the vehicle. The plan, implemented under the guidance of Mr Mahony and the student's teacher was later used by two teacher's aides with a vendetta against Mr Carter. It is believed that the plan was against policy and the two aides threatened to blow the whistle on the principal unless Mr Carter was dismissed.

When advised of his dismissal from bus driving duties, Mr Carter informed Mr Mahony (who is also the Managing Director of Carenne Support) that he would take action against Carenne Support in the Industrial Relations Commission. Mr Mahony told Mr Carter that such action would ban him from being on the grounds of Carenne Public School - terminating Mr Carter's employment at the school.

After months of the Department of Education and Training dodging the question of Mr Carter's employment status, Dr John Kaye, Greens MLC took the cause to the floor of the Legislative Council and placed a number of questions on notice to the education minister.

The minister answered Dr John Kaye's questions - stating that Mr Carter remained on the list of people who may be employed at Carenne Public School.

Mr Carter met with Mrs Duncan in June where she advised she would need to check on his status. When Mr Carter asked Mrs Duncan to return to work at Carenne Public School on Friday, Mrs Duncan refused. The reasons given were Mr Carter's pending court case (against Carenne Support Ltd) and the school being at capacity in terms of staff.

Mrs Duncan's refusal is in complete defiance of the education minister and is unlawful. Mrs Duncan's actions are an example of victimisation for taking action against Carenne Support.

Carenne Support is operated similarily to a parents and citizens association and funds its school support services through a $15,000 per month contract with the department for special student transport services. Despite Carenne Support being an external contractor it weilds a great amount of power within Carenne Special School and the Department of Education and Training. A member of the school executive and Mr Mahony are directors of the company. Mr Mahony was a director whilst also principal and often authorised payment to the company.

Mrs Duncan's actions are clearly influenced by this power.

The education minister must now act against Mrs Duncan and terminate her employment immediately for defying her authority and allowing herself to be influenced by Carenne Support's generosity to Carenne Special School.

Mrs Duncan failed to respond to my requests for an interview.

School-based organisations given special treatment under the Special Needs Transport Service

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

School-based organisations such as TRAILS Incorporated at Holroyd School in Merrylands and Carenne Support Limited at Carenne School in Bathurst are being given special treatment under the Special Needs Transport Service administered by the Department of Education and Training.

Under the service, students with special needs are transported to and from school at the department's expense. According to their 2008 annual report, the department provided 10,772 students with transport utilising 588 contractors. Contracts are meant to be awarded on a tender basis, but a Sydney-based contractor says that many contractors weren't informed about upcoming contracts and they were instead awarded to TRAILS.

"I used to have a few runs into Holroyd but it soom became obvious that they wanted to oust me for the school's own buses, they are never tendered and now I only have my runs elsewhere" said the contractor who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

School-based organisations have a strategic advantage over ordinary contractors as they have access to the department's Special Transport Management System which gives them an overview of transport runs into a particular school. Gail Vasic who manages the SNTS told us that schools have had access since 2007 so as to "improve processes at the school level". This may allow principals (who often serve on the board of directors of these school-based organisations) to make suggestions on how to improve the "efficiency" of transport services into and out of their own school. Often these suggestions include consolidating runs into a larger bus purchased specifically for this purpose by the school-based organisation.

This issue raises an important issue - if tenders aren't being put out how can the best contractor at the best price be chosen? Why are these school-based organisations given precedence? and why has this been allowed to continue?

Protest Rally in Bathurst against Corruption Within Department of Education and Training happening soon - details now available

Posted October 21st, 2009 by ∆ on Sydney Indymedia

Thank you to all who responded to the call to action, both past and current victims of the Department of Education & Training in the Western Region, and in particular, those who are concerned about the malfeasance, cover-ups and other issues at Carenne School.

Current employees should disguise their identity. I envisage loudspeakers and placards protesting the various acts of malfeasance by Bathurst DET employees, past and present. Please indicate if you can bring loudspeakers and also a CD of Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd and portable CD player.

This will be a chance for many to express their displeasure with the DET and with the corrupt conduct of those to whom we have taken our concerns of misconduct such as ICAC, SMU, etc, who have failed to properly investigate (somewhat deliberately) or to act on the complaints of whistleblowers.

Please email Julie with your intention to attend:

If you have had problems with unethical behaviour or malfeasance within Bathurst DET not related to this matter, you are also invited to attend.


Teacher status not checked prior to employment

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

Claims that Child Protection protocols at Carenne Special School in Bathurst are not complied with have been strengthened with the employment of a teacher librarian whose teaching authority lapsed before the working with children check scheme was introduced.

The librarian, employed by former school principal Lynette Duncan was employed before inquiries were made into his status with the Department of Education and Training. After several weeks it was revealed that the teacher's authority had lapsed and he was stood down.

I made inquiries with Peter Harvey, Bathurst Schools Director who confirmed that the teacher had been employed while his authority had lapsed. The teacher involved is in the process of applying for a new authority to teach in NSW schools. The Schools Director advises that the error at the school has since been resolved.

While it seems as though the Department of Education and Training is treating this as a minor error of process, it must be viewed in light of the circumstances. All people employed in child-related employment are to be subjected to background screening to ensure they do not have criminal convictions or employment notifications which would deem them unsuitable for the position. These checks are done to ensure the safety of children.

When a school such as Carenne Special School which is already facing allegations of not following child protection guidelines and is engulfed in a student sex affair employs a person without their teaching approval being current they are demonstrating that the protection of students is a secondary concern. To employ a teacher who's authority is not current is nothing short of negligent and each person involved in the process must have their employment terminated as the department claims that the "protection of children is paramount consideration" in employment.

Proof Education Minister knowingly misled parliament as well as the shadow minister

Conclusive evidence that Verity Firth, NSW Minister for Education and Training misled parliament on 5 May 2009 in relation to a question about whistleblower Brian Carter has been obtained under Freedom of Information. The same document also indicates further misleading statements to shadow education minister Adrian Piccoli.

The document, drafted by NSW Department of Education and Training Industrial Officer Patrick Quinn on 6 March 2009 stated that the department was providing pro bono legal support to its contractor Carenne Support. Mr Quinn appeared for Carenne Support before the Industrial Relations Commission on 3 March 2009.

Concerns were raised about the department representing its contractor which earns some $15,000 per month running two Special Needs Transport Service runs into Carenne Special School. The contractor's managing director prior to 2009 was Terrence Mahony, then principal of Carenne Special School. In that role, Mr Mahony approved payment to a company of which he is a director.

Due to the company being directed by a past principal, current assistant principal and other school community members, Mr Carter, a former casual employee of the department has received no further work at Carenne Special School.

When Mr Carter inquired with shadow education minister Adrian Piccoli on this point, the minister responded that Mr Carter remained on the list of persons who may be employed by Carenne Special School. The minister reiterated this view when asked the question in parliament. Despite this claim, a brief prepared by Mr Quinn for the Minister on 6 March 2009 stated that Mr Carter's employment with the department was effectively on hold pending resolution of the case against its contractor.

Not only did the education minister knowingly mislead parliament about legal representation for Carenne Support but she also misled parliament and the shadow minister about Mr Carter's employment status with the department.

Mr Carter first became aware that he could not work at Carenne Special School on 3 July 2009, when principal Lynette Duncan refused employment citing his case against Carenne Support as the primary reason. This is currently subject to proceedings before the NSW Industrial Court.

This, along with the leaking of confidential correspondence between Mr Carter and his local Labor MP indicate that the NSW Labor Party is involved in the Carenne Gate scandal up to its neck.

I would have thought the actions of Ms Firth and Mr Martin in relation to the Carenne Gate affair would be more serious than a minister having an affair with a younger woman which resulted in John Della-Bosca's ministerial resignation but Premier Nathan Rees, aware of the actions of Ms Firth and Mr Martin refuses to take action. Both should resign from parliament immediately as their lies and deception shows they are unfit to hold any public office.

Negligence and blame shifting cause a student to be hospitalised

Another sad tale of neglect and the attempted cover-up has emerged from Carenne Special School.

The Carenne Saviours report that a young student at the school will spend at least part of his school holidays in Westmead Children's Hospital having surgery after staff at the school neglected to place the student in a Hart Walker (a walking trainer) every day as required.

The student now has to have surgery on his knees due to this neglect. The cover-up, something we hear all too commonly about Carenne Special School begun immediately afterwards with therapists and the student's teacher laying blame squarly upon the teacher's aide in the class. What the teacher failed to realise was that he is responsible for ensuring that the aide carries out her duties correctly.

Claims have also emerged that a few weeks ago the same student was in the school playground when the battery on his electric wheelchair went flat. The aide refused to place the chair into manual mode and push it, so she loaded the student into a doll's stroller and wheeled him back to class. Several staff, including an assistant principal saw this happen and did nothing about it.

The stroller, not designed to carry this amount of weight could have broken and injured the student. Who would of accepted the blame for that if it happened?

Carenne Support continues the deception

The organisation at the centre of the Carenne Gate affair has continued its deception with a radio interview with its Chief Executive Officer and Lead Therapist on Radio 2BS in Bathurst this morning.

The CEO of Carenne Support Ltd, Christine Porter told 2BS that she was the therapy co-ordinator for Carenne Special School. This statement is a clear lie when Mrs Porter works for Carenne Support. One of the Carenne Saviours tells me that in the past, the Carenne Support Board of Directors has included the school principal, an assistant principal, parents and community members. This changed this year with the arrival of Lynette Duncan who did not formally become a director of the company.

This tight integration between Carenne Special School and Carenne Support has allowed it to present Carenne Support as being one and the same as the school.

Over 2004 and 2005, the Bathurst community were told that Carenne Special School needed two buses to convey students to and from activities within the community. The Bathurst community banded together and raised a large amount of money for Carenne Special School to purchase the buses. The funding shortfall was filled by the Variety Club of Australia, which local media reported as purchasing the buses for Carenne Special School. Principal and Carenne Support Director, Terry Mahony told the Western Advocate on a number of occassions that the vehicles were for the use of Carenne Special School.

Despite the vehicles being purchased by community organisations for Carenne Special School and having Carenne School written on the side of them, they are owned by Carenne Support and one of them used to generate profit to pay one of its directors and CEO.

Information received from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission reveals that Mrs Porter is a director of the company, despite receiving regular remuneration. Under part of the conditions for Deductible Gift Recipient status from the Australian Taxation Office, directors can not be paid. Carenne Support hides these payments by paying Mrs Porter through her husband's business.

One of the Carenne Saviours says that since Carenne Support began using the wheelchair bus donated to the school, wheelchair-bound students have not been able to go on major excursions because the generation of income is more important than the purpose the buses were provided to Carenne Support by the community.

Concerns also exist about the services provided to the department being approved for payment on behalf of the department by Mr Mahony, a director of the company while he was principal. How could a director of a company approve its own payment under a contract?

In 2005, Director Geoff Salmon told ABC News that Carenne Support was planning to establish a permanent therapy team to service the wider Bathurst area. To date, only selected Carenne Special School students have received therapy.

At the end of 2008, when therapy funding stopped being paid to Carenne Support via the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Mrs Porter began telling parents who had therapy performed on their children by DADHC that they should boycott the DADHC service as it was poor compared to Carenne Support's and that allowing money to be siphoned from Carenne Support would jeopardise funding at the school.

This continued deception can not be allowed to continue. Carenne Support and Carenne Special School need to come clean about the exact nature of the relationship between them and return its buses to their rightful owners. It also needs to stop running the school as a business and put student needs first.

Police called on students with Autism

It was observed during a visit on Tuesday to Browning Street, Bathurst by a well-respected contributor to this site that the Police were at Carenne Special School. It has been reported that the Police attended the school after a student with Autism allegedly assaulted a teacher.

The student was unfamiliar with the new classroom environment and the change in routine and acted out. Those working in special education with such students should know that such things can happen to students with this disorder and should know how to diffuse the situation. Instead, the Police were called which scared and agitated the student further. Such intimidation tactics are clearly unacceptable and both the Police and School leadership team need to seriously evaluate the strategy.

Apparently, this is not the first time such an incident has happened. Another student with Autism had lashed out at his teacher in similar circumstances earlier in the year and was threatened by the Police. He was then suspended from school for a long period of time. When the student returned to school, he was quite agitated and confused and was only allowed to attend for several hours per week until he "settled back in." Staff observed that the arrangements were quite distressing to the student.

It has been alleged that some staff overstate incidences of violence by students in order to take leave. In these cases however, the student is still needlessly punished for an incident which was not as serious as claimed.

I am told that until the arrival of Lynette Duncan as principal at the beginning of this year, it was rare for students to be suspended. More students have been suspended in 2009 than had been over the period 2004-2008. In the past, it is claimed that the former principal, Terrence Mahony used to follow a time-out procedure where students could sit with him in his office and discuss their problems until they had settled down. Staff believe this to be a more effective strategy than suspension and using the police to threaten and intimidate students.

One staff member has said that she was told the next time a particular student "acted up" he would be charged by Police.

It would appear that the users of this website and whistleblowers are not the only ones threatened with the Police, students are too.

Terry Mahony threatened Brian Carter if he took action in the IRC

When whistle blower Brian Carter was dismissed from Carenne Support as a bus driver, he indicated to Carenne Special School Principal and Director of Carenne Support Ltd that he would make a claim in the Industrial Relations Commission for unfair dismissal. At that time, Mr Carter was told that to do so would bar him from being on the grounds of Carenne Special School. This claim by Mr Carter is supported by Mr Mahony's claim to EPAC Investigator Mick Eccleston.

This threat ended Mr Carter's association with Carenne Special School as a regular volunteer and casual employee.

When Mr Carter raised the question of how Mr Mahony could effectively ban him from being on the premises of Carenne Special School for no reason other than suing Carenne Support with Peter Harvey, he was reported to the Department of Education and Training's Employee Performance and Conduct Unit for staff misconduct.

Instead of investigating why Mr Mahony had made the threat without consulting the DET Legal Branch, the department began vilifying Mr Carter.

In his discussion with EPAC, Mr Mahony made a false claim about a speeding fine Mr Carter had received. In his record, Mr Eccleston wrote:

Towards the end of 2008 Mr Carter was fined for speeding when he was driving students.

The Carenne Saviours claim to have been told by another Carenne Support Director, Lee Churches that Mr Carter received a speeding fine and did not tell Mr Mahony and Carenne Support only became aware of it after a check was ran on Mr Carter's driving record.

An entry into Mr Mahony's diary dated 18 February 2008 tells a different story.

Why did Mr Mahony tell EPAC the fine was received at the end of 2008? Is it because as one of the reasons for Mr Carter's dismissal it had happened ten months prior?

False and modified document supplied by Lynette Duncan to FOI

A document, which appears to be false and incomplete was provided to the NSW Department of Education and Training's Freedom of Information branch as part of a request by Carenne Special School whistleblower Brian Carter.

The document, a casual list for Student Learning Support Officer (Teacher's Aide) staff clearly shows the inclusion of Mr Carter on the list. Other names have been removed prior to the supply of the document to the department's FOI branch. It is my understanding that documents should be provided in full and any modifications are to be done by FOI staff.

An allegation has been made by one of the Carenne Saviours that someone was directed by Lynette Duncan to create the document to satisfy the FOI request and that it is not an accurate version of the list. The reason the 10th of June was chosen as the updated date was because this is the same date an unauthorised check was done of Mr Carter's records.

If Mr Carter's name is on the casual list at Carenne Special School, why was he told he could not return to work at the school by Lynette Duncan? Why did she write an email citing that she had refused him work because of "the pending court case"?

NSW DET Serious Misconduct unit does not respect confidentiality

I have two emails from Brian Carter's FOI request, clearly showing that the NSW Department of Education and Training's Employee Performance and Conduct Unit (also known as the Serious Misconduct Unit) care nothing for the confidentiality of complainants.

In January, Mr Carter made a formal statement to EPAC, requesting that his complaint be dealt with as a protected disclosure. This was refused as he was "no longer an employee of the department." This document was then circulated to a number of people inside the department, including people to whom it related.

In a draft letter written by Peter Harvey and checked by Patrick Quinn, Mr Harvey admitted to advising the department's contractor Carenne Support that a lengthy complaint document had been received. Carenne Support is independent of NSW DET and should not have been advised of departmental issues.

In an email from Grant Marley of the Serious Misconduct Unit, he advised Patrick Quinn that an anonymous complaint had been made to the ICAC claiming it may be of interest in Mr Quinn's dealings with Mr Carter's matters.

It goes to show, the NSW DET cares nothing for confidentiality and protected disclosures.

Peter Harvey orders cover-up prior to investigation

It has been revealed by a Carenne Saviour that the NSW Department of Education and Training's Child Protection Unit is making inquiries into matters at the Carenne Special School. The saviour alleges that the school has been forewarned by Bathurst Schools Director Peter Harvey who has ordered the destruction of evidence.

The saviour alleges that restraints used on students were removed from classrooms today at Peter Harvey's order due to the pending investigation. Staff have also been told not to use a fenced area, described as the "pig pen" where an autistic student was often left unsupervised when he was distressed.

It is beleived that one staff member commented on how they believed it was difficult to control students without the restraints and how she feared for her safety. These students are not criminals and must be treated in a humane and compassionate manner.

Questions must now be put to Carole McDiarmid, the Western Region Education Director. Did she know of Mr Harvey's order or did she issue it?

It is yet another example of the systemic cover-up and corruption at Carenne Special School and the Western Region at large.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NSW DET spin machine at it again

The local newspaper for the Bathurst region, the Western Advocate ran an article yesterday about how Western NSW Education Director had visited Carenne Special School on Monday to inspect the new buildings which classes moved into at the beginning of this term.

In the article, Mrs McDiarmid said the new classrooms were "state-of-the art and the latest design for special education classes." and made claims that students and staff were thrilled with their new buildings.

The Carenne Saviours claim this is not so and is just another product of NSW Department of Education and Training spin. One saviour said "If the former principal had not been pushed by a staff member to have the rooms put down as severe classrooms thinking we would get more they would hae been more suitable, as always, this person interferes and botches everything up." The saviour told us that benches had to be modified and there were power points which dangle into the middle of the room which children like to try and swing off.

Complaints were also made about where the whiteboards were located and how there were skylights in the classroom which interfered with the operation of the school's data projectors.

Another saviour said "These are meant to be state-of-the art? They are no different to the other classrooms! You would think in this day and age we would have gotten things like Interactive Whiteboards built in but we had to move them from the other rooms and things went missing as they do."

The third Carenne saviour was less critical "At least they won't leak like the old demountables did, although when there is water running down the steps of the main wing, it pools at the door of the first classroom. Still, at least we don't need a bucket inside to catch the drips."

It sounds as though instead of taking the opportunity to listen to staff concerns, Mrs McDiarmid has used the visit to promote herself and the department.