An AFL staff member has been forced out of head office following a string of sexual harassment complaints.
Stephen Drill, Herald Sun
23 minutes ago
The male employee was accused of making inappropriate comments towards his female colleagues.
The Herald Sun can reveal that following one complaint from a female staff member, other women came forward to share similar incidents.
The staff member resigned last week when faced with the complaints, which were leaked to the Herald Sun by concerned whistleblowers.
The latest resignation caps off a horror year for AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, who lost key lieutenants Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss in July.
The senior managers resigned for having separate inappropriate sexual relationships with junior female AFL staff members.
And Ali Fahour, the league’s former diversity manager, quit the same month.
He resigned when he was suspended for 14 weeks for a coward punch during a Northern Football League match that resulted in criminal charges.
Tanya Hosch, AFL general manager of inclusion and social policy, told the Herald Sun in response to questions about the latest incident that the league “continues to strive for the highest standards at all times.”
“Our organisation’s responsibility is to provide an environment that is inclusive and free from any form of discrimination,” she said.
“We know that people reporting inappropriate behaviour with confidence that they will be taken seriously and responded to fairly and thoroughly is crucial to us meeting these standards.”
Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, was making a speech at the “Safer Workplaces strategies forum” for NSW Women in Film and TV on Tuesday.
Ms Jenkins, who is also a Carlton board member, said in the public speech that more needed to be done to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
“There needs to be an organisational culture within the workplace of zero tolerance for sexual harassment,” she said.
“This must be promoted at all levels of leadership.
“In my experience, it is rarely ‘one bad apple’ within a workplace causing these issues — it is a broader, systemic tolerance of sexual harassment.”
The AFL’s acceptance of Lethlean and Simkiss’ resignation set a precedent about standards of behaviour at the league.
Lethlean was football operations manager at the time of his resignation but has yet to find a new role in football, despite McLachlan saying football was a “forgiving” industry following his departure.
Lethlean had been linked to the chief executive role at Carlton, which went to Richmond’s Cain Liddle, and Collingwood’s top job, which was filled by Mark Anderson.
Simkiss, who said when he resigned that he hoped he would be remembered for his work at the AFL and not the scandal, has found a new job.
Long time friend Craig Hutchison has given him a role at the expanding Crocmedia empire, which has taken over sports radio station SEN.