What Can We Learn from Existing Whistleblowing Legislation and Research?
Edited by David B. Lewis
Peter Roberts and Professor A.J. Brown This chapter will look briefly at the history of public interest disclosure legislation in Australia, make some observations about its effectiveness and describe the recent developments taking place at the Commonwealth level. The chapter is in two parts; the first dealing with the Australian legislative landscape and the second using available research data to make an assessment of the effectiveness of the legislation. There is a colloquialism that virtually every Australian knows – ‘don’t dob on your mates’. Noting that the word ‘dob’ probably came into the Australian vernacular from England, that phrase is frequently cited as an indication that Australians are culturally hostile to the notion of reporting wrongdoing. Such a view is expressed by language theorists (Wierzbicka, 2001, p. 208): ‘But as long as words like dob in and whinge are widely used, they show that the “anti-dobbing” and “anti-whinging” scripts continue to play a role in the way many Australians think and live.’ However, approaching the Australian experience from the perspective of one colloquial phrase can be misleading. First, the notion of not dobbing on your mates arose at a time when social and workplace relationships were very different from the way that they are today. Particularly in the modern workplace, the wrongdoing that is occurring is very likely to be caused by the organization itself, individual managers or someone in the organization whom the reporter would not regard as a ‘mate’. Even if the stereotype of Australian reluctance to report wrongdoing...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.