Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The following lists a number of research projects on whistleblowing in Australia  that would contribute to the objectives of this website 

1.      Determining  whistleblowing policies internal to organisations in Australia. This would be drawn from general whistleblower discussions, searching of websites , and a research paper  “A Content Analysis of Whistleblowing Policies of Leading European Companies” Harold Hassink, Meinderd de Vries  Laury Bollen Journal of Business Ethics (2007) 75:25–44

2.      An examination of potential for using employment law for whistleblower protection in the private sector

3.      Development of a teaching guide on whistleblowing protection  for colleges, TAFEs, universities

4.      An evaluation of ethics teaching practices in schools - .NSW , Victorian, etc.  (Australian? )

5.      Using workplace safety legislation to bring in whistleblower protection in union award negotiations

6.      To develop a proposed policy outline for a internal whistleblower investigation and protection system for all types of organisations, public and private (companies, government departments, hospitals, colleges, etc,), and give it as much publicity as possible. There would be several parts. A volunteer organisation cannot do it all, so would propose seeking funding to get research assistance to do parts.  Supporters of this website  could do some sections, so we would need less or even no money for the research,

7.      An examination of the effectiveness of the Whistleblower protection legislation across each of the states of Australia. Use the 13 criteria, start with one state, Documentation that staes and then compare it with  the legislation in other states, This research can be completed quick.ly  Examination of its effectiveness is a second stage

8.      It is suspected that the above will yield the result that not much has been done. WHY?? The study can search out answers or speculate why from the literature on whistleblowing, including the overseas literature.   Interviews with the various state ombudsman and ICAC offices (expensive travel) or just one state may be the only way to fully answer the question on what has been done and if the answer is very little, answering  why  .

9.      Training for unions – what and how? The role of the union movement in whistleblowing support.  Anecdotal evidence, supported by some observation, suggests that it is confused and inadequate.  .

10.  An examination of the Prof Bruce Hall case in the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW. The University claimed that it had to observe UNSW’s workplace agreements (which gave an unfair advantage to Hall, and was behind the University’s largely ignoring the Brennan inquiry). All the documentation is on the University’s website. Would include an examination of the whistleblowers’ treatment in the above case. The legislation now prevents retribution, so they were not fired or demoted. But there was retribution. Access to and cooperation from them is assured.

11.  Motivations of the actors in whistleblowing encounters. Often inexplicable. Probably best for psychology students, using various psychological testing instruments. Would be interview program, can be arranged.

12.  A comparison of the legislation in the Australian states with overseas legislation.   Most of the raw data can readily be made available. Public and private sector

13.  Speculation on why Australia is the only English speaking country with no national whistleblower protection. Can include our near-complete lack of private sector legislation. Why did no DIMIA employee, who knew that Vivian Solon had been deported, blow the whistle? (Possibly because there was no protection).  Lance Collins, Andrew Wilkie,  Cornelia Rau, AWB, are other stories to investigate

14.   Whistleblower stories from an interview program of say ten whistleblowers. Interviewees can be arranged. Looking for common links with elements of the above issues.  Could be book length.

15.   What do professional societies and industry organisations do to encourage whistleblowing and protect whistleblowers?