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 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.
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 encourages self-help by providing information and advice to whistleblowers and publishing a newsletter. The organisation encourages mutual help by holding meetings of whistleblowers and supporters - most notably the annual national conference - and by providing contacts with like-minded individuals and groups.
WBA supports initiatives and ongoing efforts to create a climate
where people can speak out without reprisal. Campaigns have included:
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 This legislation needs to be repealed.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.
Reform of defamation law. Australias defamation laws are mainly helpful to the rich and powerful and frequently operate to prevent exposure of corrupt behaviour. The laws need to be reformed to allow public interest disclosures and to eliminate high legal costs and payouts.
Whistleblower legislation. Whistleblowers can be protected by laws against reprisals. One problem with Australian whistleblower laws is that employers are almost never prosecuted for taking reprisals against whistleblowers.
WBA has a national committee and contacts in most states. See the latest issue of The Whistle for details. The national committee handles memberships, produces a newsletter and helps promote campaigns.
WBA 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. The organisation does not act as an advocate for individual whistleblowers. It has only minimal funds. All committee members act on a voluntary basis. Individuals should not expect WBA to provide a formal endorsement for their cases or to campaign on their behalf. What WBA can do is provide information, advice and contacts so that whistleblowers and their supporters can become more effective in achieving their own goals.
Suppression of dissent website
in the section on Contacts
in the subsection on Whistleblowers Australia