Barney Hanily, pictured here just prior to the opening of Moonya’s Opportunity Shop in Wonthaggi in September, has left the disability service provider. G094712

By Gav Ross

THE chief executive of Moonya Community Services, Barney Hanily, has officially resigned. Long-time member of Moonya’s board of management, Neville Goodwin, confirmed last Friday that Mr Hanily departed the organisation with “no pressure from the board” and to “take some heat off” issues that have arisen between staff and management at the disability service provider. “We reluctantly accepted his resignation,” Mr Goodwin said. “Barney and his wife had always planned to return to Queensland and given that he was being viewed as, in his words, the bad guy, he decided to leave sooner rather than later.” Mr Goodwin said Mr Hanily’s deputy, Jodie Baker, had taken over the role as acting CEO and was doing “a brilliant job” after less than a week in the position. Last week, the Sentinel-Times reported that staff members employed in the day services section of Moonya had complained of stress, bullying and unreasonable tactics by management. Although he emphasised that Mr Hanily always had “the full support” of the board, Mr Goodwin said he believed communication between staff and management at Moonya had improved since Mr Hanily departed and that “there’s some healing going on”. “And we’re looking for that healing to continue,” he said. Mr Goodwin said he remains disappointed by some of the “untruths” about Moonya spread by members of the public in recent weeks. “These things are spread by some people and then it becomes like a cancer in the community,” he said. “But this isn’t about the board or the staff; it’s the reason the Moonya is there – the clients.” Mr Goodwin reiterated that no decision had been made about the closure of Day Services. “The only decision made was that we are authorising management to talk to alternative service providers,” he said. Acting CEO Jodie Baker said she has sent email updates to staff and has kept an open door policy in place so employees can feel comfortable discussing issues with management. “Essentially, what I’m doing is to stop the wheels from spinning for a minute,” she said. “I’m trying to listen and hear everyone’s perspective.” Ms Baker confirmed that she would be attending Fair Work Australia hearing scheduled for yesterday (Monday) along with an industrial relations advisor to address issues raised by the Australian Education Union (AEU) on behalf of staff at Moonya.