When Bill Shorten was in the witness stand on Wednesday (8/7/15) he was allowed to conceal from the public the name of a female staff member who helped with his 2007 election campaign. On Friday, after legal argument, she was identified as Fiona Ward. After researching her background it is obvious there are many reasons why Mrs Ward and Bill Shorten didn’t want her identity revealed.
Fiona Ward’s maiden name is Darwin and she is a former employee of the Health Services Union and worked for Jeff Jackson at the HSU Victoria Number 1 Branch. It’s reported she was a good friend of Kathy Jackson. (Click here to read more) She currently works for the Victorian Minister for Police Wade Noonan MP which could come in handy for a friend who has been accused of crimes in Victoria like Bill Shorten has.
Where it really gets interesting is the background of Fiona Ward and her two best friends Carla De Campo and Katie Hall. All three worked at the HSU and all three later worked for former federal MP, Health Minister and Attorney-General Nicola Roxon. Two, Ward and De Campo, have been named at the Trade Union Royal Commission and Katie Hall is likely to be named if the Royal Commission investigates Craig Thomson which they said they would if they have time.
The Trade Union Royal Commission is in its second year and finishes at the end of this year. Federal Labor Party leader Bill Shorten gave evidence on Wednesday and Thursday (8th and 9th July 2015) regarding allegations he acted corruptly when he was National Secretary and Victorian State Secretary of the Australian Workers Union.
On Wednesday Shorten said he had been asked not to name a female staff worker. On Thursday her name was revealed.
The Australian reported:
The “mystery woman” referred to by Bill Shorten during his trade union royal commission appearance has been revealed as veteran ALP staffer Fiona Ward, but mystery still surrounds her motivations for anonymity.
On Wednesday, the Opposition Leader asked the commission to keep Ms Ward’s name secret when reference was made to her as a part-time staffer who had worked on Mr Shorten’s campaign in 2007 and had her salary paid by the AWU’s national office.
He withdrew this request yesterday, instructing his counsel Allan Myers QC that Ms Ward no longer wanted her name concealed.
“She has asked me not to reveal her name in this royal commission, but I am happy to write it down for you,” Mr Shorten had told counsel assisting the commission Jeremy Stoljar SC on Wednesday.
“Sometimes being mentioned in the commission can embarrass people, even when they are perfectly innocent.” (Click here to read more)
By Thursday the media had contacted the office where Fiona Ward works and she was about to be exposed anyhow.
Fiona Ward (Nee Darwin)
Bill Shorten and Mrs Ward are clearly good friends as she worked on his election campaign in 2007 and he said when he was in the witness-box on Wednesday that he had spoken to her a few days earlier. Shorten said she had asked him not to disclose her name publicly at the Royal Commission which he obviously agreed.
Number one reason why Bill Shorten and Fiona Ward did not want her named at the Royal Commission
This causes a huge conflict of interest given allegations of rape, fraud and theft have been made against Bill Shorten and one of his friends works in the Police Ministers office. I know the rape allegation was meant to be reviewed by the Victoria Police (Click here to read more) and given what we know now it should have been transferred to another state police force of the Federal Police to investigate.
Also what about the allegations of fraud and theft by Bill Shorten. Will the Victoria Police investigate? Once again any decision regarding the fraud allegations against Bill Shorten needs to be made by other state police of the Federal Police.
Allegations of fraud and theft have also been made against Bill Shorten’s supporters. The Royal Commission has also recommended criminal charges against Shorten’s supporters such as Diana Asmar and Kimberly Kitching. These matters also need to be transferred to other police forces.
Number two reason
Fiona Ward has a long history in the union movement and Labor Party. Being named at the Royal Commission is going to make it hard for Bill Shorten to parachute her into a safe Labor Party seat.
She worked at the HSU in 2003 as a Lead Organiser. (Known as Fiona Darwin then) When she started at the HSU is unknown but she would have finished in 2006/2007.
At the 2004 ALP National Conference she represented Monash University Federation of Student Organisations. (Click here to read more)
Bill Shorten said at the Royal Commission that in 2007 she was employed by the AWU to work part-time on his election campaign. The Royal Commission should probably check that.
After the 2007 federal election The Australian reports Mrs Ward worked for federal MP Nicola Roxon from 2007 to 2013. This seems odd as an article in a local paper regarding a scandal her husband says this:
“Mr Ward is married to Fiona Darwin, the managing director for Pluto Communications, who is working on the proposed three-tower development on Foundry Rd in Sunshine”
Looks like Fiona Ward or Darwin (take your pick) was working two jobs.
In 2008 her husband Mark Ward was involved in a “Job for a mate” scandal at the Brimbank City Council in Melbourne. Mr Ward was campaign manager for the Mayor Natalie Suleyman and after the election Mr Ward was given the job as media and communications manager for the council. At the time Fiona was using her maiden name Darwin but not long after started using her married name Ward. (Click here to read more) Mark Ward’s “job for a mate” routine is worth noting because Fiona Ward does that as well with Wade Noonan.
At the 2013 election Fiona Ward was on the campaign committee for federal MP Tim Watts who thanked her in his maiden speech. (Click here to read)
In 2014 Mrs Ward was one of the campaign managers for Victorian politician and now Minister for Police Wade Noonan. Fiona Ward now works in Mr Noonan’s office. Mr Noonan thanked her in his maiden speech. (Click her to read more)
Now that Fiona Ward has been named at the Royal Commission we almost have the hat trick as her close friend Carla De Campo has already been named in documents tendered at the Royal Commission.
Carla De Campo
Ms De Campo currently works as a media manager at the ACTU and previously worked at the HSU Victoria Number 1 Branch until 2008 and with federal MP Nicola Roxon. Exactly what period she worked with Roxon is unknown but she shows up as the media contact person in 2012. (Click here to read more) She also worked for federal MP Jenny Macklin. (Click here)
De Campo is married to Liam O’Brien who is the AWU Victorian Branch Assistant Secretary and AWU National Vice-President. Mr O’Brien sounds like a junior Bill Shorten given their similar careers.
Carla De Campo was named at the Royal Commission in documents as per the email below:
From: Frances Lindsay
Sent: Monday, 27 October 2008 10:50 AM
To: ‘Jane Holt’
Subject: carla De campo
Kathy asked if you could please deposit $500.00 into Carla’s bank account, being in lieu of a gift voucher
For her farewell gift ….. thank you Frances.
Health Services Union – Health Professionals (Click here to read more)
There are no allegations made against Carla De Campo at the Royal Commission but I am sure she would know plenty about the corruption at the HSU and to my knowledge has said nothing. The relevance of the above email in the evidence I do not know but it obviously is in there for some reason. Maybe Ms De Campo can explain.
Talk about a conflict of interest: Ms Carla De Campo in her role as media manager at the ACTU has been putting out press releases saying what a waste of money etc. the Royal Commission is while concealing the fact that she has been named at the Royal Commission.
Katie Hall (Sometimes Kathryn)
Ms Hall also had her snout in the HSU trough. She is named in the Fair Work Australia (now Fair Work Commission) report into Craig Thomson’s fraud at the HSU. (Click here to read)
At one point the report says that “Katie Hall was the nominee from the HSU for a Victorian seat” in 2006. Which seat that was I cannot find.
Ms Hall was employed at the HSU in 2006 up to the 2007 election. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) had a campaign against the Howard governments WorkChoices and every union had to pay for someone to work in a certain electorate. The HSU were given La Trobe in Melbourne and Katie Hall was employed to do the work. Her boss was Craig Thomson.
Katie Hall worked for federal MP Nicola Roxon (Ward and De Campo also did) and was her preferred candidate to take over her seat of Gellibrand in Melbourne when she retired at the 2013 election. Unfortunately someone put out a dirt sheet on Hall and her chances were gone. It was suspected that Kimberley Kitching and her husband Andrew Landeryou who I have written about regularly (Click here to read) wrote the dirt sheet as Ms Kitching was also a candidate.
In a 2013 interview with the ABC’s 7.30 Report Katie Hall claimef she was falsely smeared when trying to win pre-selection for Labor in Gellibrand in 2013. She denied that she worked at the HSU under Craig Thomson. The FWA report says different so maybe Hall wasn’t smeared that much at all. (Click here to read more)
Katie Hall now works for spin doctors The Civic Group. (Click here to read more)
If the Royal Commission does investigate Craig Thomson then the Fair Work Australia report is bound to be tendered as evidence. Then we will have the hat trick of Fiona Ward, Carla De Campo and Katie Hall all being named at the Royal Commission. It is amazing how all three pop up at the same places like the HSU, Nicola Roxon’s office and now the Royal Commission.
Fiona Ward and her friends all seem to lead back to Bill Shorten and his supporters. There are some very serious questions that Bill Shorten, Wade Noonan and Fiona Ward need to answer regarding the criminal allegations against Shorten and his supporters have faced that I raised above.
Either Fiona Ward has to be sacked or moved to another job or all allegations against Shorten and his supporters have to be dealt with by an interstate police force.
Bill Shortens time in the witness stand this week did a lot of damage to his position as Labor leader and things are just going to keep getting worse in the next few months.
The Royal Commission is exposing and doing a lot of damage to Bill Shorten’s corrupt power base and dodgy supporters. Others like Diana Asmar from the HSU Victoria Number 1 Branch are due back in the witness stand at the Royal Commission in a month or two and that will highlight Shorten’s failures regarding the HSU further. And it is likely Bill Shorten will be back in the witness stand about the same time.
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Categories: Bill Shorten