Rick Alan Austin

Posted: October 15, 2012 by Serendipity in Queensland
Tags: ,

 

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/more-failed-checks-on-bureaucrats/story-e6freuzr-1226227232641

Pedophile in top Queensland Health job as more failed checks on public servants revealed

  • Pedophile heads up Consumer, Carer and Family team
  • Queensland Health defends man’s employment
  • “He has no direct contact with children whatsoever”

 QUEENSLAND Health says it has no problem with a convicted pedophile heading up a unit that helps Queensland’s most vulnerable children.

The Courier-Mail has uncovered more inadequate background checks on senior Health employees.

The convicted pedophile is Rick Alan Austin, Health’s Consumer, Carer and Family team manager.

Rick Alan Austin was convicted in the Brisbane District Court in 1994 and sentenced to 18 months jail, of which he served six, for indecently dealing with a child under 16.

He is now the Consumer, Carer and Family team manager in QH’s mental health section, whose staff give information and assistance to the mentally ill and their families.

A whistleblower, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she warned the Government of his criminal history about a year ago, but was advised disclosure of the conviction wasn’t required and measures would be made to ensure he didn’t have access to children.

However, a job ad for an administration officer for the team, listed last year, in which Mr Austin was the contact, had Queensland Health specifying that roles providing for “health, counselling and support services mainly to children” required a blue card.

“Pre-employment screening, including criminal history and discipline history checks, may be undertaken,” the job application said.

“The recommended applicant will be required to disclose any serious disciplinary action taken against them in the public sector employment.”

Health Minister Geoff Wilson was unavailable for comment. QH director-general Tony O’Connell also would not comment on whether Mr Austin had a blue card.

Mr O’Connell said Mr Austin had been employed by QH since 2000.

“This person’s role is not clinical and he has no direct contact with children whatsoever as a consequence of his role … this person is closely supervised, and the person has worked in the public sector for 11 years without incident,” he said in a statement.

“It is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of their prior criminal history unless the crime is relevant to their duties. The CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission) was also briefed on his situation in 2003, and raised no concerns with his ongoing employment.”

A Google search on Mr Austin found his photo and conviction on a public website listing Australian pedophiles.

He presented at an international mental health conference in Ireland last year, which was partly sponsored by the nation’s Health and Children Department. He has received accolades from QH for helping develop policy and describes himself as a “mental health carer for a family member”.

Commissioner for Children and Young People Elizabeth Fraser said a child-sex conviction would automatically disqualify a blue card applicant.

 

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/more-failed-checks-on-bureaucrats/story-e6freoof-1226227148715

Pedophile in top Queensland Health job as more failed checks on public servants revealed

  • by: Alison Sandy and Josh Robertson
  • From: The Courier-Mail
  • December 21, 2011 12:00AM

THE prince, the pedophile and the pirate – three reasons Queensland Health’s bureaucracy is considered a farce by so many voters.

The Courier-Mail has uncovered more inadequate background checks on senior Health employees.

The “prince” is Joel Morehu-Barlow – a finance officer charged over the alleged embezzlement of $11 million from the department. No criminal checks were done on the man who falsely claimed to be a Tahitian prince.

The convicted pedophile is Rick Alan Austin, Health’s Consumer, Carer and Family team manager. He served time in jail for indecently dealing with a child under 16.

The pirate, senior IT manager Brent Roger McArdle, was hit with Australia’s highest damages order for software piracy in 2001.

Queensland Health says it has no problem with the convicted pedophile heading up a unit that helps Queensland’s most vulnerable children.

Rick Alan Austin was convicted in the Brisbane District Court in 1994 and sentenced to 18 months jail, of which he served six, for indecently dealing with a child under 16.

He is now the Consumer, Carer and Family team manager in QH’s mental health section, whose staff give information and assistance to the mentally ill and their families.

A whistleblower, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she warned the Government of his criminal history about a year ago, but was advised disclosure of the conviction wasn’t required and measures would be made to ensure he didn’t have access to children.

However, a job ad for an administration officer for the team, listed last year, in which Mr Austin was the contact, had Queensland Health specifying that roles providing for “health, counselling and support services mainly to children” required a blue card.

“Pre-employment screening, including criminal history and discipline history checks, may be undertaken,” the job application said. “The recommended applicant will be required to disclose any serious disciplinary action taken against them in the public sector employment.”

Health Minister Geoff Wilson was unavailable for comment. QH director-general Tony O’Connell also would not comment on whether Mr Austin had a blue card.

Mr O’Connell said Mr Austin had been employed by QH since 2000. “This person’s role is not clinical and he has no direct contact with children whatsoever as a consequence of his role … this person is closely supervised, and the person has worked in the public sector for 11 years without incident,” he said in a statement.

“It is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of their prior criminal history unless the crime is relevant to their duties. The CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission) was also briefed on his situation in 2003, and raised no concerns with his ongoing employment.”

A Google search on Mr Austin found his photo and conviction on a public website listing Australian pedophiles. He presented at an international mental health conference in Ireland last year, which was partly sponsored by the nation’s Health and Children Department. He has received accolades from QH for helping develop policy and describes himself as a “mental health carer for a family member”.

Commissioner for Children and Young People Elizabeth Fraser said a child-sex conviction would automatically disqualify a blue card applicant.

 

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