05 December 2009

Review sparks Centacare management change after Workplace Bullying Complaints

Centacare says it will overhaul management processes at its Fraser Coast offices after an independent review found the management style was inadequate for the growing organisation.

The two-month investigation was launched when staff at the Maryborough and Hervey Bay offices complained of workplace bullying, a management conflict of interest and religious discrimination directed towards a female worker wearing a cross.

The executive director of Centacare Brisbane, Peter Selwood, says the review found measures to manage workplace conflicts were poorly communicated and there was evidence of inappropriate workplace behaviour.

He says while there were different accounts of a woman being asked to remove her cross, she has accepted an apology from Centacare management.

He says he is unhappy that what has happened at the offices has tarnished the organisation's reputation as a Christian mission in the community.

The former deputy director-general of the Department of Families, Myolene Carrick, has been appointed to oversee the operations.


Carrick takes over Centacare

ONE OF the state’s most respected social administrators has been appointed as the acting director of Centacare Fraser Coast in a major management overhaul.
Centacare - Peter Selwood and Myolene Carrick.

ONE OF the state’s most respected social administrators and a former deputy director-general of the Department of Families has been appointed as the acting director of Centacare Fraser Coast in a major management overhaul.

Myolene Carrick’s appointment yesterday comes in the wake of a two-month inquiry by independent Brisbane-based investigator John Scoble, after current and former employees and clients complained to the Chronicle over management style and conflicts of interest within the organisation.

The inquiry, during which 57 people were interviewed, was commissioned by the Catholic archdiocese in Brisbane.

“Today was my first day. It was reflective. I’m very pleased to work with the local community and to continue to grow the presence of Centacare here,” Ms Carrick said in Hervey Bay yesterday.

Ms Carrick, who will also continue in her Brisbane-based role of Centacare’s childcare services director, replaces Jo Chorny as the head of Centacare here.

But Ms Chorny will remain in her role of service manager.

The investigation found that measures put in place to manage potential conflicts of interest were “poorly communicated”.

There was also evidence of inappropriate workplace behaviour and Jenny Bill, who was ordered to remove crosses from her neck while working at the centre as a counsellor, had been apologised to personally by Peter Selwood, Centacare executive director.

“The Centacare Council and I wish to place on record that we are most unhappy with what has occurred at Centacare Fraser Coast,” Mr Selwood said.

“The matters raised undermine public confidence in our service, negatively impact staff morale and tarnish our reputation.

“We have heard the messages of the past few months loud and clear and I am confident that through a new leadership style we will begin to move forward in a positive new direction.”

Maryborough parish’s Father Paul Kelly yesterday said the appointment of Ms Carrick to oversee the new management processes was “heartening and excellent news”.


  1. About time Jo anne chorny has always been a bully

    1. about time another bully from Victoria point was investigated too.

  2. the worst bullies are at Victoria point

  3. Peter Selwood needs to venture his way to the Sunnybank Hills office. Bullying, lying and inappropriate meetings have been all too familiar to its staff since new management has come on about a year and a half.
    Written complaints about the manager have just made staff more targetted, its a horrible working environment.

  4. The kingaroy office is full of bullying and isolation as well. The manager does a good job of ignoring it or justifying the persons behaviour.