TRACY TULLY was stood down as principal of Charleville state high school in April 2011. After writing a book about her experiences, she is touring western Qld this week with the Teachers’ Professional Association of Queensland. Here she details the campaign to oust her from her job.
‘IT WAS a regular school day in term one 2011 when I received a call from a Toowoomba regional education officer, who spoke about the alarming nature of copy calls he was receiving. I remember one of the calls vividly.
It came from a woman in Brisbane, who wanted to make a complaint about the Charleville high school principal. I informed her I was the principal and if she was sure she wanted to make her complaint to me. She confirmed, Yes, that’s right, the school principal. I noted her message was clear and precise and she was determined to speak to the high school principal.
I asked about the nature of the complaint and was immediately alarmed by the answer, “I don’t know, I was just told to ring and make a complaint about the Charleville high school principal, as no one likes her out there,” the woman replied. I asked the caller if she’d ever met the principal, the reply was “No, never.”
I asked, “Are you from Charleville, have you been to this school or had any kids or relative’s kids enrolled in this school?” The caller answered, “No, I don’t know her, I was just told to ring and make a complaint. I don’t have a complaint, I was just told to call and make a complaint about her.”
When asked if there were others who’d been asked to make complaints against me, the caller replied “Yes, there’s lots of us.” And when asked if she’d been paid to make the call she replied “Yes, me and others.”
Looking back on that call, I believe the caller was trying to warn me. Last year I was approached with the name of a person who’d been paid to cause me trouble and get me kicked out of the school. The person named was a huge agitator, didn’t have kids in my school or anything to do with me. All of a sudden, they were a lead campaigner. I was told where to find the information to prove it and who paid them.
Few people know that under the Bligh administration the Qld Public Service Act was changed, allowing people to make complaints about government employees without a signed statutory declaration or any evidence. It’s a dangerous culture that’s out of control.
In January this year, Qld director-generals signed the Anti-Discrimination Act yet the penny hasn’t dropped and they continue to fail their employees by turning a blind eye to their toxic and dangerous worksites. It’s a tragedy that occurs every single day and is well documented in the comprehensive research conducted by Australian Catholic University and Deakin University’s 2020 ‘Australian Principals’ Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey data that has been collected since 2011.
It’s been 10 years since I was body barged in the school’s admin building and stood down from my position in April 2011. I reported it to the director general who failed to respond and resigned. I advised the Qld Teachers’ Union but got no response. I submitted a complaint and witness letter to the CCC they never replied despite CCC policy and requirements. Who oversees the CCC, no one? I wrote to the premier and was referred to Rob Setter, Public Service Commissioner.
My sister Caroline Allardyce and I met Rob Setter. We demonstrated how the assault occurred. He just shrugged his shoulders. When my sister insisted on knowing if he condoned this behaviour, Rob Setter shrugged his shoulders again. The Qld government contributes to women being bullied and assaulted in worksites, it starts at the top, this is why we have toxic cultures in our government departments.’
Now an education advocate and speaker, Tracy Tully will speak about her book Fearless at Corones hotel in Charleville this Wednesday 26 March, from 1pm.