On 8 October I was privileged to attend an on-site information session about workplace bullying at a city construction site, hosted by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and Damien and Rae Panlock. As members of the house would be aware, Damien and Rae Panlock lost their daughter, Brodie, in the most horrific and tragic circumstances when she took her own life in 2006 at the age of 19 after being subjected to horrendous bullying at her workplace, a local cafe. Her courageous parents, Damian and Rae, have taken the very brave decision to channel their grief into ensuring that other families do not have to suffer in the way theirs has.
Their tireless advocacy has seen the introduction of Brodie’s law, and they have been visiting workplaces all over Victoria to share their story and that of their cherished daughter.
The Panlocks have partnered with the CFMEU to ensure that the message is given to the thousands of construction workers and apprentices across various industries and that they in turn share that message with their children, their families and the broader community. At the information session we talked about the insidious and unacceptable nature of bullying and how we all have a responsibility to stamp it out when we see people being treated inappropriately. I pay tribute to the Panlock family.