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Whistleblowers

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Central to a functioning democracy is the notion of an informed public. What happens when we don’t know what the government is doing in our name? Coinciding with a report by Liberty Victoria's Young Liberty for Law Reform into government transparency and border protection policy, our panel will explore the legal and cultural barriers to whistleblowing.

In 2014, six Save the Children workers were removed from the Nauru Detention Centre under accusations – later dismissed by two independent reports – that they were coaching asylum seekers to self-harm. Meanwhile, 2015's Australia Border Force Act makes it a crime for anyone who does work for the Department of Immigration to disclose, or even make a record of, ‘protected information’. The penalty is two years in prison.

How do these events work to create a culture of secrecy? How much government secrecy is necessary for the protection of the public? And what are the limitations of our whistleblower protection laws as they stand today?

Join our panellists as they unpack issues of transparency, disclosure and the consequences that unfold when we don’t know what we don’t know.

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