Australia: Claims of mismanagement, nepotism at big domestic violence service

Link here. Excerpt:

'One of Victoria’s major domestic violence services is under investigation amid claims its boss oversaw tens of thousands of dollars in victim support payments to help a friend pay for private school fees, an interstate holiday and legal costs.

The allegations are among several concerns raised by whistleblowers into the workplace culture of the Eastern Domestic Violence Service, a state-funded organisation assisting women and children in Melbourne’s east.

With more victims reporting family violence than ever before, demand for EDVOS’s services has grown significantly over the past few years under the Andrews Government’s multi-million-dollar reform of the sector.

But The Age can reveal the organisation is now the subject of a review commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services, and its executive director, Jenny Jackson, faces allegations of nepotism and conflict-of-interest claims over the allocation of family violence grants.

EDVOS has vehemently denied the allegations, and according to its chair, Lilia Szarski, an independent staff survey recently “showed the internal culture of the organisation to be engaged and outstanding.”

However, multiple former staff who have spoken to The Age have painted the picture of a “toxic” workplace, where senior managers had a tendency to play favourites, hire their own children and friends, and reward allies with perks such as flexible working arrangements and trips to interstate and overseas conferences.'

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