In order to show just how the new State Government is using the same process as the old Government I have set out below a copy of a letter that was sent to The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, Minister for Education and attach a copy of the response.
The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, Minister for Education
For over 7 years my family have waited for the Liberal party to come into power at State level so that they had the power to deal with matters brought to their attention in relation to State issues.
Since early 2003 our family have been making formal and serious allegations against members of the NSW Department of Education (DET). These allegations involve serious breaches in Policy and Procedure and include allegations of systematic bias, bullying, victimisation, manipulation and tampering of State Records, breaches in Codes of Conduct and a conspiracy to cover up commencing in the Year 2000 and spanning many years and involving all of our four children and family.
In August 2003 the then Minister for Education, Mr Refshauge, ordered an investigation into our families allegations – see letter attached 4 August 2003 . We received in 2006/07 under an FOI application copies of DET internal documents that showed written confirmation that stated that the Minister for Education promised an investigation but that no investigation has taken place – see attached 24.6.2004, 5.7.2004, 9.8.2004 , 13.8.2004. To date our formal and serious allegations have not been investigated as per policy and procedure require.
Allegations of further bullying and victimisation aimed at our children made over subsequent years and requests to protect our children were also not investigated .
In 2006/07 we received under FOI copies of internal documents/submissions that presented that the Minister for Education had deemed me ‘vexatious’ and had ordered that all correspondence from me be filed away without response. At no time were we advised of this directly by the Minister or by the DET.
Documents produced under FOI show that the ‘advice’ that I had been deemed vexatious was presented by the person against whom the allegations were made and that this ‘advice’ was not true and this is evidenced in the attached documents wherein internal emails confirm that I have been presented as being deemed vexatious by the Minister 13 Aug 07 and where in a letter from the DET dated 25 March 2008 addressed to me on page 2, in response to an FOI request seeking evidence of the process used to deem me vexatious, it states that the Department does not have a Policy on “vexatious correspondents’ and that neither the Minister nor the Department of Education has deemed me vexatious -25 March 2008
Documents produced under FOI show my name on the attached undated and unsigned list that is headed “List of regular correspondents to which acknowledgments/responses should not be sent” DET List undated. It is stated on this list that no response be sent in relation to ‘Selective Schooling for her children”. Under this umbrella serious and formal allegations of breaches in Policy and Procedure and the Code of Conduct were ignored and covered up. To date my name remains on that list and requests to have my name removed and my name cleared are ignored.
All attempts by our family to remove this person whom we alleged was targeting and victimising our children and family from having anything to do with our complaints or anything to do with our children were ignored and instead the person was promoted within her Department to a position of even more power and given full responsibility for dealing with all matters to do with our family and children without supervision, question or challenge. This put children at risk of harm.
The manner that this matter has been handled and dealt with has had a significant impact on our family’s health and wellbeing.
We have clear evidence to support all of our family’s allegations and clear evidence that shows that the DET and Labor Government Departments have conspired to cover this matter up.
There are people in positions of power in the Department of Education who are abusing their power and/or who are covering up for those who abuse their power and they need to be made to answer and held to account. Our children deserve at least that.
I have over the years sought the assistance of Mr O’Farrell and other Liberal members in relation to these issues but as the Liberal party was in opposition I was told that their hands were tied and that they did not have the power or resources to deal with individual complaints. I have in my hand a contract provided by Mr O’Farrell that states that the Liberal Party will restore accountability and that asks that we ‘please keep this contract and by all means hold the Liberal Party to account”. I sent the following letter.
We respectfully ask that given that the Liberal Party now has the power that you please question the DET in relation to our allegations and request from the DET the full report into the formal investigation as ordered by the Minister for Education Mr Refshauge and as is required to be conducted in accordance with the Departments Responding to Suggestions, Complaints and Allegations Policy so that this matter can be independently and properly and fairly addressed and dealt with and this injustice rectified and my family’s name cleared. For over 7 years our family have been denied procedural fairness and natural justice. We seek to have this matter properly and fairly resolved.
I look forward to hearing from you in this regard.
Below is the letter we received in response (dated 6 June 2011 will attach copy shortly):
Dear Mr & Mrs Challita
I write in response to your letter of 7 April 2011, to the MInister for Education, regarding issues concerning your past dealings with the Department of Education and Communities. The Minister has asked me to respond on his behalf.
Your letter and attachments have been carefully considered. All the matters you raised have been considered and responded to in the past.
As there are no new issues, there is nothing further that can be added and your letter and attachments will be kept on file. We would be pleased to assist you with any new matters or concerns that you might want to raise.
Pam Christie A/Director-General of Education and Communities A/Managing Director of Tafe NSW
No acknowledgment or response was received the Minister, for sure if ever questioned the Minister will say he didn't know, no consideration was given to what we have presented and provided. The same process of just accepting the original advice (that came from the person accused and was a lie and that breached Policy and procedure as Policy and Procedure requires that allegations of this nature are FORMALLY INVESTIGATED not just responded to) and deeming the matter closed has been used. Procedural fairness and natural justice does not exist.