Levelling Reform at Branch Level

rwsqAn anonymous donor contacted reformWIRES during the last week and submits this constrasting tale. It shows what intervention comes along for those in the Branches who are not... well... connected.

Go to topGo straight to commentsAdd a commentOne branch elected an independent representative to the State Council who is a professional person but she stood down and became inactive because of concerns she had which included alleged interference by some members connected with a former Board member in management of the branch, and that some members of the Board had become involved and had appeared to be biased in giving support to those members.

She was also accused of breaching the Code of Conduct for raising concerns through the local press and had to defend herself by pointing out that she had not done anything wrong as she had not said she represented Wires when she had spoken to the press.

rollerThere were also allegations that a member of the Board had come to the Branch meeting and undermined and defamed a member and allegations of bullying, harassment, mismanagement of funds and equipment and failure to maintain proper records and make records available for scrutiny.

There were concerns that the Board had not arranged audits of accounts and equipment nor investigated allegations that some members did not comply with husbandry and other standards, which included allegations of animal deaths caused by domestic animal mauling whilst native wildlife was in the care of some members.

This former state council representative alleges that the Board failed to respond to her complaints of these problems for over three months nor gave her any written formal acknowledgement of her complaint for over 10 months nor ever tell her If anything had been done about them.

It is not known what action has been taken by the Board to these complaints but the support given to the member with friendships with some Board members was successful in getting rid of this independent person from the State Council.
 
It is understood that National Parks did take the complaints seriously and investigated

Then there is another branch which had been independently run without any internal interference from any “elders”. Unfortunately for that branch the Board allowed a member to transfer to it even though she lives in another branch area. This person had given assistance to the Board in forcing a reformist member to resign from wires. She is now the Chair and State Council representative of that branch and there are two long standing hard working members who are subject to a decision by the Board which prevents them from going onto the BMC without approval by the BMC.

One of the branches which voted out a long standing member of the Board as Council Representative at its 2010 AGM and elected “new blood” being a person with professional skills, new ideas and enthusiasm found that the new structure survived about 6 months before there was destabilisation within the branch.

There were allegations as to the behaviour of the previous council representative / member of the Board. There was also allegations on the treatment of eastern grey joeys and the allegation that there had been a direction by the previous council representative to euthanize them.

Members of the Board, most of whom had been fellow board members of the Chair of this branch attended a crisis meeting . This was followed by the Council representative, the Secretary and Grievance Officer and over 30 members of the branch leaving wires in disgust and calling for an independent investigation by a non-local NPWS investigator into the activities of the branch and the compliance with its licence conditions.

The former Board member then returned to his long standing position on the State Council.

In another branch, independent of Board influence but with outspoken members raising governance issues, a letter was distributed to some members outside the branch which made an accusation of a breach of the code of conduct against members of that branch . No one in the branch was ever advised by the Board of what the basis of the accusation was and no grievance was lodged by anyone. This branch is still waiting for an apology from the Board.

Comments  

 
magpie
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level magpie 2011-11-22 15:34
What’s happening in Wingecarribee Branch which is controlled by the Board. Word is that members are fed up and the branch has fallen in a heap. A great member with about 20 years standing and the wombat guru has left.
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battered
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level battered 2011-11-22 23:14
What’s happening in Mid North Coast Branch?
Why is this Branch as with other Branches apparently, losing some of their most experienced carers?
Not from choice or personal reasons, but reluctantly from finding the current system failing its responsibility to wildlife & carers
OEH ..... seriously .... with little if any competition, & a stranglehold of non-progressive management, WIRES throughout the State is smugly using unhealthy cronyism with disregard to wildlife, carers, & often your own Policies!
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guest
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level guest 2011-11-23 15:45
looks like if wires is going to be reformed it will have to happen from new arrangements, policies and attitudes from the board through to the branches. Don’t know who can bring in change as the board has no motivation to change and the members are too busy working with the animals.
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It’s time
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level It’s time 2011-11-19 09:37
Reform at branch level? That sounds like a good idea. But it was tried at the local branch and the “Positive Outcome Team” flew in - dismissed all the issues - stated their support for their mates - then flew out.
Requests for documentation from the meetings was refused. Some more members resigned in disgust. A Positive Outcome???
Only for the people on the POT team and their mates - who continue on.
Very significant reform is needed to repair the damage that has been done and to restore confidence in an organisation that has failed so badly over the past decade or so.
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geoaussie
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level geoaussie 2011-11-15 07:02
The comments above sound very much like our branch. About a year ago it was rife with accusations of corruption and it supposedly was investigated by the Board and the branch management was disbanded. Then the same management committee was reelected back into position (same people different positions. Before the elections I tried to make enquiries about the enquiry out comes and also into some reported dubious wildlife handling practices. I was told to XXXXXX off by the current branch secreatary and the Board president wrote to me and told me to back off or loose my licence. I also own a rural property which I use as a release site. I have offered this many times to other members and have been totally ignored.
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guest
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level guest 2011-11-19 00:20
Gee, why does this sound so familiar?
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Pelican
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level Pelican 2011-11-01 13:20
The comments above sound to have originated from our Branch, but the sad fact is, that similar (& worse) atrocities against wildlife (supposedly “in care”) & the arrogant ongoing bullying of members is rampant in the septic culture that has been created throughout the organisation; so it could, in fact, be one of many branches. The 2011 AGM of our Branch saw the Board-supported trouble makers nominate someone for Chairperson whom has had a number of serious allegations regarding animal care standards reported to & investigated by OEH. The same person they tried to get rid of previously for her erratic & aggressive behavior. They made this nomination in a deliberate (IMO) attempt to screw the Branch, as they stepped out of their positions through lack of membership support for themselves. They will continue to do their dirty work underming those that currently hold positions, as they have done repeatedly in the past.
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Wattlebird
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level Wattlebird 2011-10-28 16:02
Hi Vampiro - I am aware of your Chairperson and yes she has the backing of the Board - isn’t it absolutely disgraceful that this can go on. I know of a Chairperson of another Branch who rescued a bird and took it somewhere else and just let it out. This person is equally useless as a carer. I also know of a Possum Co-ordinator who had a small group of feathertail gliders in care - they were very young and had just learned to lap. While she was on the phone talking to another WIRES member she was feeding one of the small gliders who then drowned in its milk. Her comment was Oh it has just drowned and died - spoken to the member on the other end of the phone. And these are the people who are in control at the moment.
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vampiro
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level vampiro 2011-10-28 09:19
I highly commend the anonymous ex-state rep whose sorry tale is at the beginning of this article, for her bravery in telling it. Unless the same thing happened in a different branch, which would not be a surprise, I am yet another inactive member in the same branch, still in a parlous state, with what is effectively a puppet BMC backed by - you guessed it - the Board. After some years trying hard to get reform in our Branch, all I really achieved has been to give the BMC an excuse to use me as the scapegoat when they want to lay blame for their ongoing mismanagement. The current chairperson herself has recently been checked by NPWS due to animal care concerns (such as a report by a member of the public saw a cat walk across the top of a cage where the ’carer’ had placed a native bird). Native birds and other animals are visible from the suburban street where she lives, mixing in close proximity with children, dogs, cats, clutter and rubbish. Various members of our community have expressed shock to me at these conditions, and will not take animals there. And this is our Board backed chairperson.
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gonetosaveacritter
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level gonetosaveacritter 2011-11-11 10:16
How perfect your world must be ....with no suburban streets, children,cats,dogs clutter or rubbish in your life.
Inactive people who do nothing but point out the faults of others and criticize those that do all the care/rescue are not worth listening to in my opinion. So this will be the last time I visit this garbage site. All you whingers out there can have it.
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Wattlebird
# RE: Levelling Reform at Branch Level Wattlebird 2011-10-28 07:56
This comment has been slightly edited. S.
I am absolutely gobsmacked by the revelations of the above - there is no doubt in my mind that the WIRES Board is totally and utterly [EDIT] and now we need a parliamentary enquiry to look into the running of this organisation. From personal experience there are hundreds of wonderful WIRES members who should not have suffering thrust upon them from the inflated egos of the few miserable Board members who think their power is their God given right and who laud it over the many with [EDIT] and [EDIT]. I have personally witnessed this in my local Branch but then when one considers that the person in charge is on the Board - well I need say no more. Spartacus thank you for all your effort in providing us with a fantastic web site where we can freely speak our mind and air our concerns. We are all fighting for better care and conditions for our native animals.
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