At a recent event in Melbourne to launch the Human Rights Law Centre’s Whistleblower Project, a new legal service for those who speak up about wrongdoing, an interesting divergence of views emerged. It revealed much about the troubled state of whistleblower protections in this country.
In his speech at the event, Professor AJ Brown AM—a name synonymous with whistleblower protections in this country—reflected on his early interactions with truthtellers three decades ago while working at the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Whistleblowers, Brown suggested, are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things, refusing to walk past the wrongdoing they witness at work. Any of us, he seemed to be hinting, could become a whistleblower—all the more reason to ensure they are protected, not punished.
Embrace Australia’s finest writers: subscribe to Meanjin
Subscriptions start at just $5 a month — which goes directly towards our writers’ fees.