It’s been some eight years now since VOID first came to be and this website was uploaded for the first time. A lot has transpired over the course of those years. There have been more than a few battle lines drawn, and many more lessons that came from those battles.
Those lessons have not always left me brimming with confidence. It became increasingly clear to me that making noise wasn’t going to be enough to effect real progress in seeking a kinder system for families affected by a workplace death. The simple truth is that as long as the bureaucracy drive this machine as it has been, it will continue to be governed by the whim of policy or at the demand of which ever lobby group the particular Government at the time happens to be driven by (or dare I say, financed by…).
Once I managed to come to terms with how all this worked from the inside, the realisation as to what needed to happen became clearer.
It simply should not take an event where a worker has been buried alive, broken from a fall, crushed to death or blown to pieces before we start talking about how to tackle this problem. The media in South Australia has been hugely supportive in helping to increase the profile of workplace safety but the real issues are buried much deeper than what is seen on the surface.
It took a Coroner’s Inquest and several high profile prosecution matters to uncover the biggest problems here. The facts remain as much today as was the case almost 10 years ago when my own 18 year old son was torn to pieces by a machine. Families are being denied the basic right to heal. They are denied access to specific information that might explain how their precious loved one came to lose their life. I am not talking about the immediate cause, I am referring to the information that pertains to general safety and the operational failures. The reasoning here borders on bureaucratic nonsensical garble that needs to be seen to be believed. The investigations have at times been of very poor calibre. The communication with families at times downright missing. Add to this WorkCover and the compensation procedure and it is insanely evident that a dead worker’s family is not compensated at all, they are placed on a system of welfare.
The lessons here have been steep - and painful - but they have also forged a new path. No more wishing there was integrity where it does not exist. No more fighting fire with fire - we’re going for the water to put that sucker out once and for all!
In late 2011 and at the ripe old age of 47 I made the decision to study law. Why? Because this ‘journey’ and all its lumps and bumps are mashed in and amongst a tonne of legal issues that cannot simply be bitched about in order to make it better. It is vital to understand how and why those processes and laws and ideas came to be before one can even begin to figure out how best to tackle them.
This law degree is a hard, long slog… but compared to losing my Danny, it’s not that hard … and it’s something I am 100% committed to. Unfortunately, at least for the time being, this website’s update progress will need to take a backward step while I tend to the books and exams.
The rewards will come by way of a much more knowledgeable legal advocate that won’t be frustrated by the unknowns of the legal system.
Until then, please feel free to email me by clicking on this link or call 0417 819 745 if you would like to contact me urgently.
Many, many thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this.