There’s been an ironic twist in the case of a career nurse who triggered a legal storm after she dared speak up about training flaws impacting student nurses.
There’s been an ironic twist in the case of a career nurse who triggered a legal storm after she dared speak up about training flaws impacting student nurses.

New role for whistleblowing nurse

IRONIC TWIST

There's been an ironic twist in the landmark case of a whistleblowing career nurse in Brisbane who triggered a legal storm last year after she dared speak up about training flaws impacting student nurses.

Margaret Gilbert has assumed the role of acting president of her union, the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, which spearheaded the defence in her ongoing case.

Fittingly, she expects to drop the "acting'' bit and take on the presidency full-time in March, coinciding with the expected release of a ruling in her matter.

Gilbert, who has had an exemplary career spanning more than 40 years, was hit with a "show cause'' notice in early 2020 claiming she may have breached media guidelines after she highlighted falling standards in bachelor nursing degrees and a decline in practical skills.

Margaret Gilbert.
Margaret Gilbert.

That could have resulted in the Prince Charles Hospital duty manager being slapped with one or more penalties, including getting fired, demoted, reprimanded, redeployed or fined.

But the NPAQ rose to her defence and launched proceedings in the Industrial Relations Commission, arguing that state IR laws afforded protection to union delegates.

Additionally, her legal team maintained that the gag order violated her freedom of speech under the new Human Rights Act which came into effect in January last year.

Observers say it's the first test case since the Act became law and could pave the way for more public servants to speak out.

It didn't go unnoticed that her counsel included Labor-aligned barristers Troy Spence (hubby of MP Terri Butler) and former federal ALP minister Joe Ludwig.

CALL ME DOCTOR

So do we have to call him Dr St Baker now?

Brisbane energy kingpin Trevor St Baker got a shout out on Thursday night from UQ, which awarded the Rich Lister an honorary Doctorate of Engineering for his lifelong contributions to the power sector.

St Baker remains focused on the electric car revolution through big investments in vehicle charging firms Evie Networks and Tritium.

PULLING THE PLUG

Just a month before his shock death on the Gold Coast in July 2019, disgraced former lawyer Michael Yarwood joined forces with entrepreneur Troy Hamilton as a company director to launch a new restaurant.

Their now-defunct Madam Fu Modern Asian traded from a scenic waterfront spot on the Isle of Capri with views across to the Surfers Paradise skyline.

The pair had previously teamed up to operate Fu Manchu Dining on Chevron Island, which continues to operate under different management.

The late Michael Yarwood.
The late Michael Yarwood.

Perhaps it was just a formality but Hamilton moved this week to pull the plug on his now solely-controlled entity Fu Manchu & Madam Wu Pty Ltd. He tapped Worrells operative Adam Ward to wind up the business.


Hamilton could not be contacted on Thursday and Ward did not return a call seeking comment. But records show the company went down owing $78,852 to the tax man.

Yarwood, an ex-boss of the iconic Meter Maids business, pleaded guilty in 2011 to fraud charges related to nearly $234,000 in stamp duties paid by clients.

He ended up serving nine months of a 4½-year jail sentence and was struck off as a solicitor in 2015.

More trouble loomed in the months before his death, too. Following a bitter dispute, a court ordered Yarwood to pay nearly $2m to a former client who runs a car wrecking yard.

Originally published as New role for whistleblowing nurse



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