NSW Education employee “no longer employed”

November 19, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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NSW Labor frontbencher Walt Secord, NSW Education has confirmed that the employee who posted antisemitic comments alongside a photo of Adolf Hitler “is no longer employed by the department” – bringing the long-running matter to an end.

The matter related to an unnamed Sydney person – a contractor with the NSW Education Department – who posted on the Australasian Union of Jewish Students’ Facebook page. The person wrote under a Hitler photograph: “It’s such a shame he didn’t finish his job”.

Mr Secord, who is Shadow Police Minister and Counter-Terrorism said: “This has been a long-running and frustrating saga, but I’m pleased that the NSW Government has confirmed that this person is no longer with NSW Education. Anyone making antisemitic remarks or posts should have been raced out of the department without delay. Unfortunately, it took the NSW Government months to act.”

Mr Secord also paid tribute to the Australasian Union of Jewish Students who raised the matter and took a principled stand against the offensive post.

On November 16, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Education Kevin Conolly MP – on behalf of NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell – wrote to Mr Secord saying: “The Department has finalised its investigation into this matter. The individual concerned is no longer employed by the Department.”  Mr Conolly also denied that the Education Department was “protecting” or “shielding” the employee.

“The comments as attributed to the Department of Education employee, are not representative of the NSW Government or the Department. The NSW Government and the Department do not tolerate discriminatory or racist conduct of any kind,” Mr Conolly wrote to Mr Secord.

On September 3, Mr Secord wrote to Education Minister Sarah Mitchell expressing his deep disappointment about the matter. This was after a freedom of information request through the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 blocked details of the matter being released to the community. There were two reviews into the matter.

Mr Secord had also raised the matter in State Parliament.

Walt Secord is deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel, patron of the NSW Labor Israel Action Committee and Shadow Minister for Police and Counter-Terrorism.

Darren Bark, CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, told J-Wire: “Following correspondence sent to the Minister for Education, The Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC in August this year by the JBD, and a subsequent investigation, the Department of Education no longer employs the individual concerned.”

“It was alarming that such comments were made by a representative of the NSW Government, particularly the Department of Education, which has a fundamental responsibility to the safety and protection of our children.”

“The Jewish Board of Deputies will fight antisemitism no matter where it resides, particularly online where people may try to hide their true identity.”



One Response to “NSW Education employee “no longer employed””
  1. Philip Moses says:

    Your article states “the person is no longer employed by the Department”. This raises the question “are they now employed by another department”. Such a person should not be employed by the government at all. It would be very disappointing if they have been moved to a different department simply to shut Walt Secord up.

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