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Whistleblowers Australia


About WBA
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About Us
What For?

    
Whistleblowers Australia Inc. is an association for those who have exposed corruption or any form of malpractice, especially if they were then hindered or abused, and for those who are thinking of exposing it or who wish to support those who are doing so.

Whistleblowers

    A person is a whistleblower by her/his actions and does not need to be registered or identified with any organisation.

    The goal of Whistleblowers Australia (WBA) is to help promote a society in which it is possible to speak out without reprisal about corruption, dangers to the public and environment, and other vital social issues, and to help those who speak out in this way to help themselves.
    WBA uses two main approaches to achieve this goal. The first is to encourage self-help and mutual help among whistleblowers, and the second is to support campaigns on specific issues.

Self-help and mutual help

    The best ways for whistleblowers to succeed in their own efforts is for them to develop their own skills and understanding and to exchange insights with others in similar situations. WBA facilitates self-help by providing articles and leaflets to whistleblowers and by publishing a newsletter. The organisation facilitates mutual help by holding meetings of  whistleblowers and supporters, and by providing contacts with like-minded individuals and groups.

Campaigns

    WBA supports initiatives and ongoing efforts to create a culture where people can speak out without reprisal. Some campaigns are the following:
  • Whistleblower legislation. Whistleblowers can be protected by laws against reprisals. In 1996 there were five whistleblower acts in Australia, with no conformity between them. All have severe flaws and have been criticised by whistleblower organisations. One problem is that they provide no protection against attacks in the first place.
  • Free speech for employees. Repressive legislation and bureaucracies inhibit many workers from making disclosures. This legislation needs to be repealed. The right of private sector employees to speak out on issues of social importance also needs to be promoted.
The Organisation
    
    WBA began as Whistleblowers Anonymous in 1991, and was incorporated is its present form in 1993. (See our History page for more information.) Membership is open to anyone who supports the goals of the organisation. Members include charity workers, church employees, corporate employees, doctors, police, public servants, researchers, teachers and concerned citizens in general.
     WBA has a committee or contact in each state, plus a national committee. Some of the state committees organise regular meetings for whistleblower self-help and mutual help. The national committee maintains links between state groups, handles memberships, produces a newsletter and helps promote campaigns.
    In the few years since it was set up, WBA has accomplished a great deal. It has promoted whistleblower legislation, called for royal commissions into corruption and generally given whistleblowing a much higher profile. Just as important is its quiet work in supporting individual whistleblowers. It provides enormous benefits from shared expertise, moral support, access to research, and links to relevant networks.
     Nevertheless, there are limits to what WBA can do. It does not normally act as an advocate for individual whistleblowers. It has only minimal funds obtained from memberships. All committee members act on a voluntary basis. Unfortunately, WBA does not have the resources to campaign on any individual's behalf. What WBA can do is provide information and contacts so that whistleblowers and their supporters can become more effective in achieving their own goals.

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Copyright Whistleblowers Australia 2007-2010. (Last update: 12 November 2010.)