For over 30 years Carolyn Pethick served with the Victorian Police with pride. It was a job she loved and she was a key part of every community she served. What most people didn’t know was that during these 30 years, she was continually bullied, discriminated against for being female and sexually harassed.
The leaders who were supposed to “have her back” clearly didn’t. Her resilience and willingness to challenge what she knew was wrong, sometimes at a horrendous cost, have been captured in her presentations and her book, “To Hell and Back – A Policewoman’s Story. Her presentations focus on encouraging women to speak up and report the discriminative treatment that women experience in the workplace on a daily basis as well as sharing the skills people need to be resilient in these situations. She also educates the offenders on the long-term effects that these behaviours can have on their victims.
Carolyn has made it her mission to be the voice of the victims who are unable to speak out for themselves. “I could have stayed in the Police Force and continued my career but when the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Review into discrimination within Victoria Police was released I knew I had to resign and become a champion of change.” Carolyn advocates for the promised compensation to be paid to the hundreds of police members who went through similar experiences that she endured.
In December 2015 the Chief Commissioner and the Premier publically apologised to these members and promised that no matter what the cost, these members would be compensated. Many years later and this promise has still not been addressed.
Bullying costs the Australian economy up to $36 billion each year, with the average case amounting to $17,000-24,000 for employers. Let’s stop this rot!