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.

Carenne Support claims "child protection issue" in court, despite previously claiming the contrary

The organisation at the centre of the Carenne Gate affair, Carenne Support Limited changed its view on whether the transportation of a student to Lithgow return as a reward was a child protection issue or not when it raised the matter in the Industrial Relations Commission.

In a recount of the day in court, NSW Department of Education and Training Legal Officer Patrick Quinn stated that he told the commissioner:

After providing C. Cambridge with our side of events including the safety of students and the child protection issues surrounding the unauthorised transportation of a student...

This contrasts with information provided to Mick Eccleston in a telephone discussion between former Carenne Special School principal and Carenne Support Director, Terry Mahony. In his record, Mr Eccleston writes:

Mr Mahoney (sic) stated there were no child protection issues it was a staff conduct matter.

In a discussion with Peter Harvey and Mick Eccleston, Mr Harvey reiterated this view as represented in this record from Mr Eccleston:

[Mr Harvey] agreed that there were no child protection issues and that it was a matter of staff conduct.

If this is the case, why did Mr Mahony, represented by Mr Quinn go to the Industrial Relations Commission and claim that it was in fact a child protection issue?

There is also a dispute as to whether or not the transportation of a student was "unauthorised", the Carenne Saviours claim that the arrangement was implemented under Terry Mahony and Ros Luther's guidance as a reward for the student. It only became an issue when Mr Mahony was allegedly blackmailed by a number of staff in order to have Mr Carter's employment terminated.

Indymedia user jrosenberg claims that everyone at the school knew about it, meaning if it was a child protection issue why was it not reported?

Are some staff at Carenne Special School supporting state sponsored terrorism?

on Sydney Indymedia
Dear Readers,

I feel it is totally wrong to be getting peoples private information from the NSW Police to harm or control people.I have very deep concerns about this type of situation based on historical facts that it can be devastating for the victims.

I ask any staff,former staff,parents,students that have heard anything about this terrible situation to come forward on this post and explain what they have heard about this incideous situation of finding out personal details about people through NSW Police.

If people come forward here a better picture can be developed prior to entering a complaint process in NSW.The complaint process will not share the information if there are multiple complaintants.History has shown me that certain NSW Oversight Authorities may have multiple complaints on the same person and they fail to act or advise other complainants of the existance of the other complainants.

Having the NSW Police providing information in the mannor outlined is certainly concerning.I have heard that there has been other more direct efforts of Police Resources and please come forward and explain those actions.

Teacher acts suspiciously on school premises at night

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

A investigator has provided me with a photograph clearly showing Michael Auld's vehicle parked at Carenne Special School at 8:42PM this evening (4 November 2009). The investigator noticed that Mr Auld was sitting in the front office of the school using the telephone with both the office and principal's office doors open.

It was observed that he was not at the school at 7:20PM.

It is highly suspicious as to why a teacher would leave the school and then return that evening to use the telephone and to open the principal's office door. Given allegations that Mr Auld destroyed evidence, it is even more suspicious.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity around schools outside of school hours should call School Security on 1300 880 021. Photographs are also welcome to be sent to myself at jules85 at

A positive development - principal sends staff for Autism training

jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

Amid all the drama at Carenne Special School which has been dubbed "Carenne Gate", a positive development has emerged. I have learned that relieving school principal Terry Neal had some of his staff attend Autism awareness training in Dubbo today.

This follows claims that autistic students are restrained, locked in a "pig pen", and/or have the police called on them.The Carenne Saviours claim this is a positive move towards better understanding students with the disorder and that Mr Neal should be congratulated.

Parents feel bullied by staff over computer funding

Posted November 20th, 2009 by jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

This afternoon I have been contacted by several angered parents relating to the short notice about a meeting to be held at 6:00PM on Monday relating to computer funding at Carenne Special School. Parents have received a letter from Michael Auld informing them of the meeting and asking them to approve the purchase of computer software instead of take-home laptops like other high schools.

The letter states:

The school's technology committee has had discussions with Carenne staff and therapists in regards to what technology would best suit Carenne students.

According to the Carenne Saviours, the Carenne technology committee is made up largely of Carenne Klan members. This statement by Mr Auld indicates that once again Carenne Support has interfered in school business (as they employ therapists). It is doubtful that the Carenne P&C was consulted, despite Mr Auld being at the meeting earlier this week.

Parents are particularly concerned about this statement by Mr Auld, in light of the numerous allegations relating to financial management at the school:

The technology that the sthool will be applying for will be integrated within the school curriculum and will become part of the school's resources.

Mr Auld requests that if parents are happy to apply for alternative funding to sign the consent form. This is despite there being no mention in the letter of exactly what Carenne Special School intends to apply for. The consent form parents are asked to sign states that it is the principal's responsibility to discuss this alternative funding with parents. Parents sign the form to indicate that they discussed their child's needs with the principal.

Parents must not sign this form unless they have discussed this with the principal. Mr Auld is not the school principal.

Mr Auld has told parents that if they disagree with his proposal they must attend the meeting to voice their discontent. Parents claim that the time was deliberately chosen as it is around dinner time and few parents would attend to voice their opposition. They allege to have been told by teachers that if they didn't agree the school would miss out on the funding.

Parents have indicated that they feel as though they are being bullied and held to ransom by the school with this funding.

These new allegations follow previous claims on this site by a parent that Mr Auld had intended on changing what was to be purchased using these funds without parental consultation.

Carenne Support fails its constitutional argument before the IRC

Posted October 20th, 2009 by jules85 on Sydney Indymedia
The attempt to deny whistle blower Brian Carter relief from unfair dismissal from his employment at Carenne Special School's attached charity - Carenne Support has been rejected in a judgement handed down by Justice Haylen in the Industrial Relations Commission today. The application, filed by Carenne Support attempted to prove that it was a "trading corporation" as defined by the constitution and was therefore covered by Workchoices and the federal industrial relations regime.

If the application was accepted, Mr Carter would have had no recourse for his unfair dismissal. This tactic has however delayed Mr Carter's proceedings for unfair dismissal by some seven months, most likely at substantial expense to both parties.

In his judgement, Justice Haylen made mention of the NSW Department of Education and Training's Legal Services Unit representing Carenne Support, supplying further evidence that Verity Firth, Minister for Education and Training misled parliament when asked if they were representing a departmental contractor. The judgement also identifies Mr Stan Benson, the NSW DET's preferred barrister as counsel for Carenne Support. The minister should now explain whether or not the services of Mr Benson were paid for at government expense.

His honour also mentioned that the bulk of Carenne Support's funding came from its contract with the Department of Education and Training, with funding from the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care for its therapy services. In his judement, Justice Haylen said that Carenne Support had a contract to provide services to DADHC to people in the Bathurst community, despite providing all services except for one client to Carenne School.

A parent of a student at Carenne Special School has told me that she was told that therapy services were provided entirely at Carenne Support's expense. This comment makes this sound incorrect.

Note was also made of how financial statements prior to this matter referred to this income as "fundraising".

His honour also noted submissions by Mr Carter that the Australian Business Register entry in Geoffery Salmon's affidavit failed to demonstrate Carenne Support's favourable taxation status due to being a non-profit entity.

Despite initial attempts by Carenne Support to have mention of how its buses were obtained dismissed as trouble-making, Justice Haylen made mention of them in his judgement. Justice Haylen mentioned:

The two Ford transit minibuses were purchased following an appeal in 2004/2005 by the Carenne Public School, an appeal for buses to assist with transporting students to and from school-related activities. Mr Carter referred to press coverage of these fundraising events. In 2005 the Lions Club of Bathurst had donated more than $30,000 to the Carenne School bus appeal. One article carried a statement from Mr Terence Mahoney a director of Carenne and the Principal of Carenne Public School that the school would now be able to order a bus with wheelchair access. Mr Mahoney had said that the school really needed its own bus to guarantee viability of programmes for the students. Mr Mahoney had mentioned in one of the articles that the well-known charity, Variety, had come to their aid and had donated the remaining funds allowing the purchase of two buses for the school. Those statements made it clear that the purchase of the buses was for the purposes of the operation of the Carenne Public School and its students. Mr Carter asserted that there was no intention to use the vehicles for trade and that would be unusual considering that the funding for the purchase of the vehicles was supplied by donations and other charities such as Variety.

The judge found that: the similarities between the operations of Carenne and the operations considered in Hillman, The Red Cross and the Etheridge Council cases leads to the conclusion that Carenne is not a trading corporation and that finding, in turn, results in the Commission having jurisdiction to hear Mr Carter's application for unfair dismissal.

The unfair dismissal hearing will take place on a date to be fixed.

Read the complete judgement

Claims by Carenne Special School staff that Lynette Duncan was attempting to circumvent FOI proven

Claims made by Carenne Special School staff two weeks ago that their principal Lynette Duncan had instructed them to use psuedonymns when referring to whisteblower Brian Carter in order to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act have been proven with the release of documents under Freedom of Information by the Department of Education and Training.

In a number of emails between department officials, Mrs Duncan has referred to Mr Carter simply as "special friend" and "BC" in an obvious attempt to avoid these being able to be provided to Mr Carter.

In one email, she says that she told Mr Carter that a non-classroom based teacher's aide special was a General Assistant, despite nobody ever hearing of this classification. It appears that Mrs Duncan is making stories up as she goes along.

What this does prove however is that Mrs Duncan has attempted to circumvent legislation which is intended to provide for transparency in public institutions. If Mrs Duncan is willing to do this to hide what she is saying, what else is she willing to hide?

If the department is to have any credibility in this matter it must stand down Mrs Duncan pending a full investigation.

RDA Bathurst must come clean on its share of the $3.7m Trade Training Centre Funding

Carenne Special School was granted part of a $3.7 million grant awarded to the Denison Trade Traning Centre under the Rudd government's Trade Training Centres in Schools program. The overall grant was awarded to the two campuses of Denison College and Carenne Special School.

Carenne Special School's funding was allocated for stock handling enclosures and an aquaculture tank to be built at the school.

An article by the local Bathurst newspaper on 6 March 2009 spoke of local schools windfall and quoted former Carenne Special School principal Lynette Duncan. It also said:

Funding for Carenne School will go towards primary industries, agriculture
and Riding for the Disabled programs.

The question is how much of this funding, given by the federal government to a state government ran school has found its way to the Bathurst branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association? Did the federal government know this was going to happen and does it fall under the criteria for the Trade Training Centre program?

How much of this will be built on land which the NSW Department of Education and Training has leased to RDA? We already know that Michael Auld was pivotal in having the land leased to RDA, without concern for how the school would expand in the future. Given that the only available space around Carenne is now leased to RDA, will the whole thing be built on that land?

How much of the $3.7 million will be apportioned to RDA?

The Carenne Saviours advise that the reason RDA was to receive funding was due to Michael Auld and Lynette Duncan being the only members of the school's TTC committee and Mr Auld being on the board of RDA. This in itself raises some very serious conflict of interest issues.

Dissenters threatened with criminal action

Posted September 23rd, 2009 by jules85 on Sydney Indymedia

The four brave souls calling themselves the Carenne Saviours report that they have been threatened with police intervention should they continue speaking with the media or posting comments on this website.

The group claims that assistant principals Lee Churches and Michael Auld are claiming that the Police are trying to discover the identities of those commenting on Indymedia Sydney and are intending on laying charges. It is not the first time members of the group have been threatened, with one member claiming she received an email from the department's Employee Performance And Conduct (EPAC) Unit in May, claiming that her anonymity could amount to misconduct for failing to assist the department.

It would appear as though the threats - made by members of the Carenne Special School executive are simply tools used to suppress dissent. It is the advice of counsel that the police would not become involved in postings on a website unless the postings were threatening. Simply commenting on matters of public importance is no more a criminal offence than a peaceful protest.

The barrister did however advise that those aggrieved may lodge proceedings for defamation, but these would also be unlikely to succeed as long as the comments made were true and in the public interest.

The group claims that since the initial story about them was published on Indymedia, attempts have been made to identify those who dared to speak out. They claim that one staff member at the school had been suspected of being involved and has been the subject of random complaints by other staff and accused of neglecting the needs of a student in order to make life difficult for her.

Carenne Special School staff speak out

Originally published on Sydney Indymedia - 25 August 2009

I was fortunate to be invited to a meeting at the weekend where a group of four passionate educators met to discuss how to "save their school" following a mass of issues which the school executive, district office and the Employee Performance and Conduct Unit has refused to act upon. The group claims that the department is more interested in protecting a select few than fixing major problems.

The group contacted me asking if I would be interested in reporting on aspects of the meeting after discovering articles on Indymedia about their school. The only condition attached - complete anonymity.

After a three hour trip West of the Blue Mountains, I arrived in Bathurst and made my way to the restaurant where the group told me to meet them. I waited outside for a short time, wondering if my new found friends were going to show up or if I had been stood up.

After a while, a nervous looking woman came out and inquired "Are you Miss Brown?"

I responded "Yes" and followed the woman into the restaurant where the group was sitting. All four of those in attendance appeared jittery and nervous and every time the front door closed they were looking, making sure it wasn't someone they knew. One of the group told me "We are taking a huge risk by meeting here tonight, our careers will be over if anyone finds out."

Another said "you must realise that the only real opportunity for special education teachers and aides in Bathurst is Carenne."

It was immediately apparent the fear and apprehension that these people were feeling. They had taken a big step simply meeting in public, let alone with a journalist. At any time, Bathurst being the small town it is, someone they knew could walk in and see what was happening.

The group told me that they had been making complaints about Carenne for years, particularly about those close to the school executive who engage in misconduct. The group alleges that some of its members reported the relationship between a teacher and student only to be told they were "being stupid" and fobbed off by former school principal Jock Roxborough. Following the report, they claim they were harassed by an assistant principal and her close associates for being trouble-makers.

The group alleges that despite them reporting it well before the department investigation, they have never been asked to make a statement for the unfair dismissal or civil cases. They claim the department has only asked those who will collude and lie to provide statements supporting its defence into the relationship.

In October 2008, the group became concerned about an incident involving a bus escort and a student. They reported it to then principal Terry Mahony and were then subject to a number of attacks by the escort. When the escort began harassing parents at home after hours, the group decided it would begin writing complaints to sections of the department using an alias.

During our meeting, the group expressed astonishment at what they called the "gullibility" of the education department. With court cases surrounding the student sex affair and the unfair dismissal of Brian Carter involving the same people, the group can not believe the department continues to protect those involved. Because of this protection, those who are involved are able to target anyone they wish.

The group told me that there was a major crisis at the school, with staff being plotted against, harassed and setup. They said they no longer had anywhere to turn with Peter Harvey the local School Education Director doing nothing and the Employee Performance and Conduct Unit interested in finding out who is complaining rather than investigating the matters.

One of the group said "Peter Harvey showed his true colours on Wednesday, he has no interest in solving problems. He just wants the problems to go away,"

"He knows who sent letters and what-not and he was there denying that they came from the school."

Some of the matters complained about by the group are :-

* Breaches of the department's duty of care to students. They allege that in June a student got access to medication which was left unlocked in a teacher's desk and overdosed requiring a visit to the hospital which the school executive attempted to cover-up until it was exposed to the School Education Director.
* Threats of violence and defamatory remarks. Staff speak about how they would like to cause serious harm to whistleblower Brian Carter and student sex victim David Withyman for causing trouble for the school. Members of the school executive often join in or laugh at the comments.
* Nepotism in staffing. The principal's husband is given office work and a teachers aide's husband has been given the groundsman's position.
* Setups. An assistant principal has bragged about planting evidence and spooked staff about one of his theories in order to have another member of staff dismissed and items have been stolen from a teacher so that other's enemies are implicated in the theft.
* Access to information held by NSW Police. Due to a relationship between a Police officer and a school staff member, information held by Police has been leaked to the school.
* Letters sent by staff to set others up. The group has identified to the department who is sending anonymous letters complaining about school staff, which often are sent by those who the letter complains about in order to set someone else up.
* Circumventing legislation. They claim they were told by the principal not to refer to certain people in documents and instead use pseudonyms so they can't access them under Freedom of Information legislation.

The group says because of this they must regrettably take their cause public and expose what is happening at the school.