Monday, 31 August 2020

'Rednecks on power trip': culture of bullying and conflict in wildlife rescue

 When Prue Bamford moved to a seaside town north of Sydney, one of the first things she did was join her local wildlife rescue group.

Bamford has been a wildlife carer for 25 years in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, with a lot of experience in caring for kangaroos. But problems with her local group that peaked during the bushfires last summer drove her to resign to protect her mental health, leaving her unlicensed and unable to care for wildlife.

"I'm just so exhausted and it's so emotionally hard," Bamford says. "It was so bad. They were the nastiest people – like rednecks on a power trip."

Most wildlife volunteers are hard-working and dedicated to animals, yet bullying and conflict is a longstanding problem in the wildlife rescue sector. The stress and trauma of the 2019-2020 bushfires and jealous rivalries over fundraising brought simmering tensions to boiling point for many groups.

There are 31 organisations licensed for wildlife rescue and care in NSW, from local volunteer groups to institutions such as Taronga Zoo and Sydney's SEA LIFE Aquarium. The biggest volunteer group is Sydney-headquartered WIRES, which has 28 branches across much of the state and raised more than $90 million during the bushfires.

All wildlife carers had their work cut out for them last summer, as the final report of the NSW Bushfire Inquiry handed to the state government at the end of July and published this week, makes clear.

The report says the 2019-2020 bushfires burned 5.5 million hectares in NSW, killing at least 800 million animals. The report points out that many of the surviving animals returned to burnt-out areas without food and shelter or were hunted by feral animals such as foxes and cats that tend to proliferate after fire.

The animal suffering was the backdrop for human drama.

For example, Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC) co-ordinator Derek Knox says he and his team received death threats and vile abuse from wildlife carers angry they were not getting funding. This masthead has copies of emails and voice mails sent to ARC staff, calling them "c--ts" and threatening to "bash their f--ken skulls in".

ARC is based in Sydney but played a key role during the bushfires distributing donations of money, animal feed and formula, equipment such as humidicribs and bandages and vast volumes of handcrafted pouches, wraps and mittens for injured wildlife. Knox says this put ARC in the firing line if it tried to do due diligence before handing over money and supplies or if it refused a request.

In another example, a man was expelled from his local group in northern NSW during the height of the summer fires and another member later successfully took out an apprehended personal violence order against him. He claims he ruffled feathers by trying to organise volunteers to comb the blackened forest for wildlife survivors, while the group says it was because of concerns over the welfare of animals in his care.

It brings out the absolute best in people and the absolute worst and nothing in the middle.

James Fitzgerald, Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust.

In Bamford's case the conflict came to a head in February when, she says, a committee member publicly accused her of stealing all the supplies donated to them during the bushfires, leaving the animals to starve. In fact, Bamford says she was acting as a hub for ARC to collect donations for groups in fire zones along the eastern seaboard – a fact Knox confirms. Bamford is still deeply hurt by the allegations and says people continued to ask about it, even after Knox tried to clear her name. A letter from Community Justice Centres dated June and obtained by this masthead confirms Bamford tried to organise mediation with an executive member who never responded.

While the bushfires brought the conflict to a head, the tension had been building over time. Another member, who requested her name be withheld in order not to invite the same treatment, says she attended the AGM last year and saw Bamford try to raise issues – while members of the executive spoke over her, tried to have her removed from the meeting and openly said they wouldn't take her calls because they didn't like her. The member says Bamford was not threatening or abusive and while she was persistent, she was not unreasonable. This masthead has also seen screenshots of chat messages describing Bamford as "paranoid" and talking "crap" for asking questions about a rumoured accident with a bolt gun.

Knox says it was one of the worst examples of bullying he has ever seen. Bamford's friend Jessika Behnecke, an art therapist who has been giving her weekly counselling over the phone, says it was classic bullying and gaslighting, where the victim is manipulated to doubt themselves.

A spokesperson for the charity says it has been "legally advised not to comment about internal issues" but agrees that bullying is a problem in wildlife care in general. However, the spokesperson says no group should be held accountable for things out of their control or when people refuse to follow policies or procedures.

Widespread problems

There have been problems with bullying and conflict in wildlife care for some time.

Take the problems of any volunteer organisation, add the emotionally charged environment of animals suffering and dying, and compound it by the monopoly held by wildlife groups over their local area.

Last year the NSW Office of the Environment and Heritage, in its review of the NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector, cited conflict and bullying within groups as one of the reasons why volunteer numbers fluctuate by as much as 25 per cent.

In 2018, charity WildTalk conducted an international survey that included Australia and found two out of five respondents identified bullying as a problem within wildlife organisations.

Meanwhile, a report from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission in 2017 noted that animal welfare organisations have more concerns reported to the charity regulator than any other charity type.

For every 100 animal welfare charities, there were 9.4 concerns raised, compared with an average of 2.1 for general charities, the report said. Some organisations had multiple complaints, including accusations of bullying and other bad behaviour, especially on social media.

The bigger groups may have a more professional approach to conflict resolution but are not immune to issues. This masthead has spoken to wildlife carers from as far afield as the Blue Mountains, Central West and South Coast who have left WIRES because of interpersonal conflict and alleged unfair treatment.

A spokesman for WIRES says the charity "takes any bullying issues very seriously" and all volunteers must agree to a code of conduct. The charity has policies to require and encourage respectful conduct in the workplace and prevent or address bullying, as well as a multi-step grievance management process implemented in all branches whereby members can raise concerns in a confidential manner.

"[It has] been a particularly difficult year for the wildlife sector and many volunteers are feeling quite fragile right now and still recovering from the impacts of the bushfires, which is entirely understandable," the WIRES spokesman says.

The ACNC report focused on organisations dealing with domesticated animals and pets and the regulator was unable to provide figures for wildlife care. However, Knox, who is also involved in a cat rescue charity, says the issues are very similar across all animal rescue groups.

"Volunteers come from all walks of life with minimal checks and balances," Knox says. "You get people who are affected by life and death in their hands and seeing all the stuff that is happening around them, and that causes emotions that then come out in other ways."

Knox says social media is a big forum for arguments, with many wildlife carers passionate about various ideologies from coronavirus conspiracy theories to vegetarianism.

James Fitzgerald from Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust with Paul the Koala, named after First Officer Paul Hudson, one of the American firefighters who died in a plane crash while protecting the property.

James Fitzgerald from Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust with Paul the Koala, named after First Officer Paul Hudson, one of the American firefighters who died in a plane crash while protecting the property.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

James Fitzgerald, a former senior public servant who now runs Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust about 100 kilometres from Canberra, says the amount of bullying in wildlife care is "horrific".

"It brings out the absolute best in people and the absolute worst and nothing in the middle," Fitzgerald says. "Because there's power there to get on the committee it actually attracts people who in their professional careers would never be given authority."

Frances Carleton, founder of WildTalk, which provides free counselling to wildlife carers, said bullying in wildlife care is often about a persistent need for control and micro-management.

Nowhere to go

A big problem for carers is that any conflicts are resolved internally and the executive team can manipulate the outcome. The charity regulator does not mediate internal disputes, while the National Parks and Wildlife Service only licenses groups on the basis of their skill with animals rather than their treatment of humans.

"You have nobody to go to to complain," Carleton says. "For most organisations, you'll have a HR department, you might have a union that you can go and talk to about your rights, but there isn't any of that in wildlife organisations. These organisations are run by volunteers and invariably they are run by people who have set them up and have surrounded themselves with like-minded people on a committee and nobody new wants to go into the committee because they know what it's going to be like."

Knox says the government should take greater interest in what's happening with wildlife care. "They basically just give it to the charities and the public to look after," he says.

Many, like Bamford, are calling for the establishment of a volunteer watchdog.

Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson notes similar issues came up in the recent parliamentary committee into the enforcement of animal cruelty laws. "There needs to be accountability to a body, whatever that might be," he says.

A spokesperson for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment says the government is developing training opportunities for leaders of groups to improve their communication, teamwork and conflict resolution skills.

The department also intends introducing a scheme of accreditation for the wildlife rehabilitation sector requiring organisations to meet standards of service delivery including criteria for conflict resolution, anti-bullying and harassment and the work health and safety of its members.

In any other volunteering endeavour, a person can avoid a toxic environment by simply joining a different organisation. But in wildlife care, that's not always possible.

Wildlife rescue groups are licensed for particular geographic boundaries. This gives them a monopoly over their area unless they have a memorandum of understanding with a neighbouring group, and therefore power over any carers in the catchment.

Tanya Odonoghue, who lives in the Central West, says she knows many cases where carers have animals taken off them because of interpersonal conflict rather than concerns over welfare.

"Our Achilles heel is the animal," Odonoghue says. "You just know you're going to get the animals taken off you if you don't do what you're told, and that's how they control the masses of members."

Odonoghue left her local WIRES group because of conflict and is now licensed through another group but is hoping to get her own organisation, Warrumbungle Wildlife Shelter, independently registered.

The department spokesperson confirms anyone can join any wildlife organisation if they are contributing on the administrative side but active carers can only join a group operating in the area where they live. In most parts of the state, there is just one group.

However, this could change.

"[The department] found conflict does arise occasionally and in its Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Strategy is proposing a range of measures to help groups improve the management of conflict including providing more flexibility for members to join other groups," the spokesperson says.

The proposal is widely welcomed, though Meredith Ryan, the long-serving president of FAWNA on the Mid-North Coast, says it could create management problems

"We currently have a defined boundary area, we'll have records based on that boundary area and phone operators are based on working within that boundary, and the public knows what the boundary is," Ryan says.

"And quite frankly, if I had someone wanting to join our group, because they were disaffected by another group, I would actually look at that person a little bit with more scrutiny because I don't know why they can't get on with their group."

Ryan says co-ordinating hundreds of volunteers and ensuring they follow the correct procedures when caring for animals and keeping records and so on is not easy. "If it requires being dictatorial to make that happen then so be it."

Mental health

Pearson supports the proposal to allow wildlife carers to join other groups and is also calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Environment Minister Matt Kean to fund mental health services for wildlife carers.

"It's the duty of the government to ensure that these people are properly looked after just like the people who were on the front line dealing with the other crises, like the bushfire fighters and those working in emergency wards," Pearson says.

The WIRES spokesman says the charity takes mental health and wellbeing of carers seriously and contacted every member over the summer bushfire period to check on their welfare and if they needed any assistance, as well as partnering with People Sense to provide free counselling and webinars.

There are charities dedicated to the mental health of wildlife carers, including Two Green Threads and WildTalk.

Carleton says wildlife carers witness "horrendous" trauma. “Sixty per cent of every rescue that they do, don't make it; they either die on the way to help or they have to be euthanised," she says.

Despite only advertising her services on Facebook, Carleton says she has taken 250 calls from 81 people since setting up WildTalk at the start of the year, with 60 per cent of calls coming from WIRES volunteers.

Rae Harvey says wildlife care is rewarding but can be traumatic.

Rae Harvey says wildlife care is rewarding but can be traumatic.CREDIT:PETER SHARP

Rae Harvey, who lives on the South Coast, has used the service and would like to see funding for mental health specifically for wildlife carers. She also sees a psychologist for other concerns but would rather talk to Carleton about the wildlife trauma. "She's the only person I can talk to that understands," she says. "The kangaroos are like my family."

Harvey is dealing with the aftermath of the recent bushfires, which destroyed her property and many animals, and a dispute over money her kangaroo sanctuary raised through crowdfunding. She is also traumatised from an incident a few years ago where she witnessed a kangaroo bludgeoned to death because killing the animal was the kindest thing in the circumstances and they couldn't use a gun.

Harvey says the rampant bullying in wildlife care is also linked to mental health issues and she even knows of suicides where this was a factor.

Fitzgerald has not yet had time to seek out mental health support, though he knows it would be a good idea.

The plane that crashed killing the US firefighters in January did so when it was trying to protect his property. He lost everything in the fires and he has been living in a caravan ever since, unable to abandon the animals.

"Part of what people don't understand is the pressure," he says. "We were rescuing animals out of the ground up until April and it's really hard – every animal you find you just think 'how many others are out there that need help?'. You can't stop."

Sourced from: The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Rednecks on power trip': culture of bullying and conflict in wildlife rescue,  by Caitlin Fitzsimmons 

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/rednecks-on-power-trip-culture-of-bullying-and-conflict-in-wildlife-rescue-20200814-p55luh.html   


    


Advocates demand an end to solitary confinement for at-risk prisoners

When the Queensland Government issued "home confinement orders" under its coronavirus lockdown in March, Tiffany Jager felt a jolt of dread.

"It freaked me at first, I was like, 'I can't go back to that'," she said.

Her experience of confinement had been five months alone in a concrete cell.

That was the result after Ms Jager self-harmed in 2018 while serving time in Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre for a string of minor crimes, including wilful damage, trespass, public nuisance and lighting an unauthorised fire.

She was locked up for 22 hours a day and her fragile mental health went into freefall.

"I started banging my head at one point on the wall," she said.

One of her few lucid moments during a three-day memory blackout was realising she was bleeding from the head. 

Ms Jager gave up exercise, her creative writing and her allotted time in the sun.

"I got to a mindset where I would not leave my bed [for a] solid 23 hours," she said.

Now on the outside, the 24-year-old said her depression and anxiety had deepened, and she suffered new panic attacks triggered by loud noises and crowds.

"Mentally, it's taken its toll," she said.

Ms Jager had endured what the United Nations considers a form of torture: confinement with little or no interaction with other prisoners for more than 15 days, 22 hours a day.

But in Australia, prisoners are legally held alone in cells for years.

When Queensland prisons were placed in stage 4 lockdown because of COVID-19, thousands of prisoners were confined to their cells.

Those restrictions were eased in many facilities by Queensland Corrective Services yesterday, but the lockdown remains in place at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, Borallon Training and Correctional Centre, Escort and Security Branch Escorts at Wacol, Wolston Correctional Centre and Woodford Correctional Centre.

The dark secret of the justice system

Lawyers often don't know when their clients are in solitary, which is shrouded in official euphemisms such as "segregation", "detention units" or "non-association".

A team of researchers led by University of Queensland law professor Tamara Walsh and the Prisoners Legal Service have called for the elimination of prolonged confinement.

They said solitary confinement was permanently damaging vulnerable prisoners with minor criminal histories and exposing the Queensland Government to future litigation under a new Human Rights Act.

So far, their calls for reform have fallen on deaf ears in government, but have also earned some unlikely allies.

Frontline corrections officers said they had witnessed the violent and psychotic decline of many inmates in solitary, which put them and the community at risk.

The ABC has been told that staff at Borallon Correctional Centre last week reported concerns about a prisoner who was going through a mental health crisis and appeared to be reacting to hallucinations.

A detention unit with yellow doors
A detention unit where people are segregated(Supplied: Daniel Soekov For Human Rights Watch)

A day later, he seriously assaulted three officers. He was placed in solitary confinement in a detention unit.

"None of this is going to make society any safer when he gets out of prison," one officer said.

"It's infuriating that we can see something's mentally off with a prisoner but haven't got the tools to manage him."

'People are literally going mad'

Ms Walsh, a former social worker, said her research on solitary confinement with the Queensland Prisoners Legal Service was the "most harrowing" she had ever done.

"I was astounded by the level of suffering [and] shocked by how little investigation is occurring into these issues," she said.

"There's no doubt in my mind that if people knew the conditions … they would be shocked."

Ms Walsh said documents showed 28 of 30 prisoners in the study suffered a "substantial deterioration" in their mental health conditions because of solitary.

"What that looked like in many situations was that an individual who wasn't experiencing psychotic delusions before was now experiencing delusions, was engaging in obsessive behaviours that they'd never engaged in, was smearing faeces — and that was a very common report," she said.

"People are literally going mad in Queensland's solitary confinement cells."

Prisoners hide mental health issues to avoid solitary

Thai Babarovich suffered in solitary like his father before him.

He has heard stories from the notorious "black hole" at Brisbane's Boggo Road jail, an underground punishment unit that was shut down on human rights grounds in the 1980s.

"My father and another mate said they would play a game where they'd take a button off their shirt, flick it around their [pitch black] cell and then they'd have to walk around on their hands and knees and try to find it," Mr Babarovich said.

A generation on, he said he had been in solitary five times while serving time for arson, assault and breaching domestic violence orders.

"It's a mind-altering head f***," he said.

"There's nothing in there, mate. You got your toilet, you got a water basin, you got a mattress on a bed that is mounted to the wall.

"It scares the f*** out of me going into those f***ing cells — even though there's no-one there to hurt me. I do harm to myself — within my own mind."

Mr Babarovich said prisoners, especially Indigenous inmates like him, learned to hide mental health problems to avoid being put in isolation on suicide watch.

"Well, you get punished for it."

Mr Babarovich is now treated for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety but remains "fearful to talk to anyone about my mental health status".

His longest time in solitary confinement began as a week in a detention unit over a jail fight.

He said that became three weeks after he was denied permission to go to his uncle's funeral.

"Arrangements were made, I had the escort, but I had no officers and so I couldn't go, and I broke down and cried," he said.

"And they automatically thought, suicide (risk)."

Mr Babarovich said three weeks became nine when on the cusp of release, he attacked a corrections officer he claims racially insulted him.

"I punched him in the mouth and turned around and walked back and lay back down on the bed."

Prison staff attacked, frustrated

Queensland corrections officer 'Thomas', who asked not to be identified, said solitary confinement was a vicious cycle — the more violent or disturbed prisoners became, the longer they stayed.

Some prisoners became "almost catatonic", he said.

Others could lash out or "engage in quite disturbing behaviours such as assaulting staff with bodily fluids or covering themselves and their cells in faeces", he said.

Thomas said prison overcrowding meant vulnerable prisoners were routinely placed in detention units instead of "a more therapeutic environment".

He recalled one prisoner was "quite determined to self-harm" but, when repeatedly thwarted by staff looking after him, "began attacking staff instead".

This earned the prisoner six months of solitary confinement in maximum security.

Another vulnerable prisoner earlier this year wound up in hospital after being goaded into self-harming by a violent prisoner who was within earshot of him in a detention unit, Thomas said.

He said prison staff were frustrated that vulnerable prisoners "end up in solitary confinement conditions simply because we have nowhere else to put them".

The ABC requested permission to visit solitary confinement units but the Department of Correctional Services refused.

'Safety guides decision making'

Queensland's Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said in prisons, "Safety guides all decision making, including around the use of prisoner isolation."

"While the Government acknowledges isolation is not always ideal, sometimes it is necessary and justified," he said.

Mr Ryan said the Government was doing "important work to enhance rehabilitation supports", including by investing in prisoner health services.

He said the Government had also committed to building the new $650 million Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct Stage 2, which is "influenced by a therapeutic operating model" and slated to open by 2023.

A Department of Corrective Services spokesman said it would include a "built environment allowing more options for managing prisoners with complex mental health issues".

The Corrective Services spokesman said the reality of operating prisons included having to deal with "the built environment and the extent of the prison population".

This meant "we need to balance the rights of the most challenging and dangerous individuals with our obligation to ensure safety for everyone in the prison environment".

"It is a fact that a small number of Queensland's prison population pose real and significant risk to themselves or those around them," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said decisions to curtail prisoners' rights by isolating them were "not made lightly [and are] regularly reviewed by decision makers".

He said Queensland Corrective Services was "tasked by the community with the humane containment and supervision of prisoners and offenders".

There had been a "recent focus" on human rights legislation, including the state Human Rights Act and UN protocols "which guide the way that we operate".

"These are worthy and important principles, and every day our officers make thousands of decisions, large and small, that take into consideration the rights of the individual to the greatest possible extent."

'We're doing nothing but warehousing criminals'

Human Rights Watch campaigner Kriti Sharma, who visited Queensland prisons for a 2018 report, said there was "no excuse for Australia to be using solitary confinement against prisoners with disabilities in 2020".

"The major issue in Queensland is that it's legal," she said.

But she conceded reform was an uphill battle when "prisons are not a very popular issue [and] not a lot of government spending goes into prisons".

Queensland's prison population has ballooned by 62 per cent in the past eight years to more than 9,000.

But Queensland prison capacity is less than 7,700.

Thomas said new laws banning solitary would "change nothing" when jail overcrowding meant there were no facilities to properly deal with violent and vulnerable prisoners.

"The Government's not only failed present staff in failing to expand facilities… ultimately they're failing the community.

"They'll get out of prison generally worse than how they came into prison, and so ultimately our society is the one that will pay that bill."

Inside a padded prison cell for solitary confinement
A padded prison cell at Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre has held prisoners for up to a month.(Supplied: Daniel Soekov For Human Rights Watch)

Professor Walsh said when prolonged confinement was banned, as occurred in Canada, "suddenly alternatives become available" and segregation did not have to mean sensory deprivation.

She said authorities could provide de-escalation rooms that calmed distressed prisoners by displaying "nature imagery" or playing music or audiobooks.

The UQ report also called for new oversight by judges and independent psychiatrists when prisoners were placed in segregation for more than two days.

Ms Jager said in the age of COVID-19 lockdowns, the public might have more empathy for the plight of prisoners in solitary confinement.

"In their confinement, [the public] get more than what we do. They get TV, they get a private shower and a private toilet where you're not being monitored and watched.

"But I hope they can realise and get a sense of what that's like just being trapped in a room because it's horrible.

"In prison, you're being kept away from family, friends, your life outside; that's punishment enough."

Sourced from: The ABC, Advocates demand an end to solitary confinement for at-risk prisoners,Exclusive by Josh Robertson (31 August 2020)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-31/solitary-confinement-queensland-human-rights/12598334


Childcare key to getting women back to work after pandemic: sex discrimination commissioner

 Australia's sex discrimination commissioner has nominated a redesigned childcare system as her top priority, saying the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted its importance and the massive barrier to work posed by a lack of accessibility.

Kate Jenkins wants to see a system that offers better support for women and men to start work or do more, has a strong focus on early childhood education, and provides better support to its predominantly female workforce.

"I know it's not an easy change but if that could be done during this disruptive time or out of this, it would be a great step forward for women and work," she said.

Ms Jenkins also called on the nation's bosses to retain flexible working arrangements once the pandemic was over to keep more women in workplaces.

An Australian Institute of Family Studies report on how households coped with coronavirus lockdowns found two-fifths of parents working from home were actively caring for children at the same time, and the proportion of families who didn't use any kind of external care more than doubled to 64 per cent.

"Even if you weren't in the [closed] sectors or weren't in those secondary roles, it is women who ... have voluntarily reduced their hours because of the stress of the additional responsibilities and then within families have made a decision, you earn more, OK you can go and lock yourself in the room [to work].""In the absence of child care and the absence of workplace accommodation, then it just leaves women out of work altogether which has big impacts," Ms Jenkins said.

The government made childcare free for three months in April in a bid to keep centres afloat as parents withdrew children because they could no longer afford fees or due to health concerns.

Ms Jenkins said fee-free childcare had recognised that if essential workers had caring responsibilities, they couldn't work when the community needed them.

Unions and parents' advocacy groups have called for free childcare to be retained, at least for the most disadvantaged families. A report this week from Australian National University researchers said keeping free care would have short-term stimulus benefits and prove economically good in the longer term, while Grattan Institute modelling has shown increasing subsidies could boost the economy by $11 billion a year.

While it is too early for many employers to think much beyond the immediate logistics of helping as many staff as possible keep working, Ms Jenkins said the conversation about how to support those with caring responsibilities was evolving.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Parkville, Victoria opened on-site childcare in mid-2018 – director Doug Hilton describes it as "a Qantas club for kids" – in a bid to attract and keep more female researchers. It also offers help with fees and lab technicians for researchers taking maternity leave.

In recent years, half the institute's new lab heads have been women and Professor Hilton said making it easier for female researchers to imagine stepping up and taking responsibility had been vital.

Walter and Eliza Institute laboratory head Dr Tracy Putoczki has two young sons in the on-site childcare centre and says it goes a long way to easing the pressure points of being a woman in science.

Walter and Eliza Institute laboratory head Dr Tracy Putoczki has two young sons in the on-site childcare centre and says it goes a long way to easing the pressure points of being a woman in science.

Laboratory head Dr Tracy Putoczki has two young sons in the childcare centre and says it goes a long way to easing the pressure points of being a woman in science.

"Obviously the logistics every day of driving into work, parking the car, dropping the boys off and walking straight into work means that I can focus on work and not stress about all the other things that come with having children and working," she said.

Sourced from: The Sydney Morning Herald, Childcare key to getting women back to work after pandemic: sex discrimination commissioner, by Katina Curtis (August 30 2020)

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/childcare-key-to-getting-women-back-to-work-after-pandemic-sex-discrimination-commissioner-20200827-p55q14.html



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