You’ve got to hand it to YMCA operations manager, Ann Mary Nolan. She’s one cool cucumber. Most media reported that the chief commissioner, Peter McClellan (see previous posting) became “testy”, and showed “obvious exasperation” about her evasion of answering questions relating to a PowerPoint presentation she made to worried parents shortly after YMCA paedophile, Jonathan Lord, was charged by police with abusing 12 children in his care.
The issue at point was that her presentation was based on staff in general, but parents were led to believe it related to Lord in particular. The PowerPoint presentation assured parents that the YMCA had adhered to its policies for evaluating staff through contacting referees. However the evidence has been that the mandatory three reference checks were not made before Lord was employed, which would have revealed his questionable conduct with an eight-year-old boy in the U.S. She did not, also, mention that one of the referees was Lord’s own stepfather.
Despite all of the evidence against her, Ms. Nolan steadfastly adhered to her script. The conversation, after the chairman took over from Counsel Assisting, Gail “Snow White” Furness (see previous posting) went as follows:
Chairman: “Ms Nolan, the people at this meeting would have been very much concerned about what happened with Mr Lord, wouldn’t they?” he said.
Ms Nolan: “Yes.”
Chairman: “What is being put to you is that when you made that representation, it was not true.”
Ms Nolan: “Mr Lord had a working with children check, referees were checked. Was it done correctly? No.”
Chairman: “The policies weren’t followed, we know that.”
Ms Nolan: “It wasn’t done correctly, we established that. I said that yesterday.”
Chairman: “Well why didn’t you tell the parents that instead of this representation?”
Ms Nolan: “That was because it was an overall view, not just involving Lord.”
Chairman: “I’ll put it to you again. The vital concern of these parents was to know about Mr Lord, wasn’t it?”
Ms Nolan: “Yes it was.”
Chairman: “Weren’t you able to tell them honestly what had happened?”
Ms Nolan: “At that point, no … I don’t believe that we were sharing too much information about the situation.”
Chairman: “Well then why did you make a representation which in relation to Mr Lord just wasn’t true?”
Ms Nolan: “Because the presentation was based on all the staff, not just Lord.”
Chairman: “We understand that, shouldn’t have happened.”
Ms Nolan; “Shouldn’t have happened.”
Based on her performance at the Royal Commission, Ms. Nolan would have a great future in politics.
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TOMORROW: The organizational culture
That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)