Second Investigation into Cancer Related Illnesses
among National Gallery of Australia Employees
STEERING COMMITTEE FOR THE SECOND INVESTIGATION INTO CANCER RELATED ILLNESSES AMONG NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS
Meeting No 1
Date: 15 August 2006
Tim Driscoll; Gary Foster; Darrel Lord; David Hermolin (CPSU); Phil Johnstone (CFMEU); Craig O’Sullivan; Melinda Carlisle; Alan Froud; Tony Rhynehart
1. Steering Committee Terms of Reference
The draft terms of reference were amended, and will be circulated to the Steering Committee for endorsement, and then circulated to all staff prior to the all-staff meetings being held on Wednesday 23 August 2006. Further revision of the terms of reference will be considered following the all-staff meetings.
The Steering Committee comprises: David Hermolin (CPSU), Darrel Lord, (Security) Phil Johnstone (CFMEU), Craig O’Sullivan, (Manager Security), Melinda Carlisle, (Manager OH&S), Alan Froud, (Deputy Director) and Tony Rhynehart (Head Human Resource Management and Business Support).
- TR to revise draft ToR
2. Steering Committee’s operation
The Steering Committee will meet as required, rather than at set intervals. Tele-conferencing facilities may be utilised.
In conjunction with the Investigation Team the Steering Committee will establish milestones and time-lines, and oversee progress against these indicators.
3. Conduct of the Investigation
The investigation will comprise 2 phases. They are:
- assessing past and current exposures to physical, chemical and biological hazards; and
- cross-matching names of current and former staff and volunteers with records in all Australian state and territory cancer registries, and then analysing the resultant data.
We should allow up to 12 months to finalise the cross-matching of data with the cancer registries, due to the strict requirements of the ethics committees of each of the registries to be satisfied with the proposed data analysis, particularly the need to maintain patient confidentiality.
All current staff and volunteers will be asked to indicate their concurrence to their identification details being submitted to the cancer registries. It will not be compulsory.
Assessing past and current exposures to hazards will involve assessment of Gallery records, as well as discussions with current and former staff and volunteers to obtain an understanding of work practices and the like.
It will be critical to the investigation that as much accurate information as possible can be obtained. Accordingly a range of options will be available for relevant persons to provide relevant information, including anonymously if they prefer. Details of these means will be made available at or prior to the all-staff meetings.
The investigation team will welcome all relevant approaches.
It was noted that the investigation team would be concerned with physical, chemical and biological hazards only.
It was expected that the first phase would be completed by December 2006.
This phase would also include addressing, to the extent possible, the questions / issues raised by staff in response to the Gallery’s invitations of March 2005, and any other relevant OH&S questions that arise during the project.
Access to site and information
The investigation team will spend a number of days doing site inspections, and meeting with current and former staff and volunteers.
The Gallery will provide access to all parts of the building, and to all relevant reports and documents.
- HRM to obtain identification details of all current and former staff (from October 1982). (HR Manager)
- HRM to coordinate compilation of identification details of current and former volunteers (from October 1982). (HR Manager).
- TD to advise the set of data identification details.
- MC to facilitate site visits and access to documentation.
4. All staff meetings
Two all-staff meetings have been arranged for Wednesday 23 August. The first at 8:30am, and the second at 10:30am.
The meetings are intended to provide the opportunity for staff and volunteers to be informed of the investigation, its timing and its proposed methodology. The investigation team will amend the proposed methodology, if necessary, following the all-staff meeting, to ensure that it addresses all the relevant concerns of relevant persons.
- MC to arrange meetings.
- MC to advise relevant areas of the Gallery to inform their volunteers of the meetings.
5. Communication processes
Effective 2-way communication will be essential to facilitating as comprehensive an investigation as possible. Accordingly it is expected that the Gallery will utilise the following:
- global emails;
- the staff bulletin;
- OH&S Committee;
- various regular meetings such as Senior Managers and Consultative Committee;
- a dedicated web-page to host Steering Committee minutes and reports.
Access to the investigation team will be facilitated via a number of options. Details to be made available.
6. Next meeting
The next meeting will take place following the 10:30 all-staff meeting of 23 August 2006, if necessary (depending on meeting outcome). Otherwise to be scheduled.
25 August 2006