WMC practice manager resigns, will there be more to follow?

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Carol Altmann – The Terrier

Remember that $1.3 million of public money paid by Lyndoch Living for the  “goodwill” of the Warrnambool Medical Clinic?

Well, the Practice Manager – the chief administrator – has resigned, giving just four weeks’ notice after what I understand is more than a decade in the job.

A big slice of that goodwill is going and is not easily replaced.

This latest resignation also follows two experienced GPs who resigned on the spot last April when Lyndoch laid out its plans as the new owners of the clinic and, I have a hunch, there will be more departures to come.

Nursing and administration staff have also left under circumstances which have been raising questions. (Does this sound familiar to you? If you are long-term readers of The Terrier, it should.)

The alarm bells have been ringing and now the house of Lyndoch is burning and I am not sure how much more the board can just keep explaining it all away.

Smoke? Smoke? That’s not smoke, it’s just a little sea mist rolling up from the mouth of the Hopkins River.

Until this latest bombshell, I had intended to tell you tonight about the official rejections of the latest people who applied to become members of Lyndoch, so I will squeeze this in too.

They include a recipient of the Order of Australia medal, Vicki Jellie, a former south-west MP Adam Kempton (who was once a Lyndoch board member), a former business journalist Steve Hynes (who has applied twice), and a bloke by the name of  Jim Burke, a familiar name on The Terrier Facebook page, who has a tidy little resume which I will repeat here:

“Jim served in the Royal Australian Navy for 24 years in communications and intelligence roles.

On retirement from the Navy, he was employed by Defence Signals Directorate (now Australian Signals Directorate) for 14 years before working for the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security as a Senior Investigation Officer until his retirement in 2009.

His final roles in ASD and IGIS were compliance and governance related.”


Yet Jim – and Vicki and Adam and Steve and Lynn and all the others – received a  “thanks but no thanks” letter from Lyndoch in the mail.

This is all the evidence we need, surely, to say the membership process has become corrupted by something or someone and is failing to uphold the spirit on which Lyndoch was founded.

Let’s make no bones about it, this is all about keeping power and control.

Because under the Lyndoch constitution, members have voting rights. They can call meetings. They can ask questions at the AGM about things like paying $1.3m for the Warrnambool Medical Clinic. They might even – gasp – try to become a board member.

And Lyndochland™ can’t have that.

But here’s the really shocking bit: the people who are choosing to exclude the community, are from our community, and that is what surprises and hurts locals the most.

The current board is prepared to go along with this charade. Why?

Because it is an absolute charade and it will come crashing down eventually, just as it has when this sort of exclusion and manipulation has been tried elsewhere.

In a small community, you can only get away with it for so long.

I hope the Lyndoch board remembers this: they are the ones who will be held accountable, they live here, they are part of us, and one day they will be asked to explain why those who worried for Lyndoch, who had no motive other than care and concern, were turned away.

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