WHat outcomes do I want from this?
Many people have asked me what outcome I want from this fiasco. I have given this a lot of thought. Is it money I am seeking, or an apology, or revenge, or glory? No, not really. I want a fair hearing, and I want to be able to do my science again.
Sadly, these are the two things I am probably least likely to get, because I believe that Council is more likely to write a check with Ratepayers' money, than consent to (or cooperate with) an independent investigation. And I don't like my odds of resuscitating my career without it (or even with it, for that matter).
I sincerely believe that I deserve to be reinstated to my position as Curator of Natural Sciences. I didn't do anything wrong, and I should not have been punished for other people's intolerance of my Aspergian ways. As a person with Asperger's Syndrome, my work defines me, it is how I cope. Without it, as so eloquently stated by Dr Ian Sale (Council's psychiatrist), my long term prognosis is "bleak" and "worrying".
Any outcomes aimed at fairness or justice should seek restitution for Patrick Filmer-Sankey as well as for me. We have both been treated vindictively and unfairly by the Launceston City Council.
The most dispicable part of this whole sorry affair has been the lack of fairness in the way it has been carried out. I was stood down without warning, without pay for 16 weeks, on charges that were later proven false. The Sage Report, which apparently contains the complaints against me and the evidence for them, has been vigorously kept out of my reach, although I have already been sacked on the basis of its alleged contents. The arbiter of my case was the very person who developed the charges against me -- hardly a fair go. All I have asked for all along, and still do, is to be heard in a fair context.
I JUST WANT TO DO MY SCIENCE
I am not a bully. I was vilified for being a passionate scientist with Asperger's Syndrome. As an Aspie, my work is not just a job, it is my special interest, it is who I am, it is how I cope with life's ups and downs. My work defines me. I am haunted by the words of Dr Ian Sale, who summed it up perfectly: without my work, my long term prognosis is "bleak" and "worrying". My fear that the mud from this scandal will ruin my career, and thus ruin me, has catapulted me into paralytic depression. I sincerely believe that I deserve to be reinstated as Curator of Natural Sciences at the QVMAG: I didn't do anything wrong, I was singled out for harsh and unfair treatment, and I shouldn't have been persecuted in the ways that I have, resulting in the loss of my career and my health.
It seems like a simple ask, just to get a fair hearing and to be able to do my work. But sadly, as I have come to learn, the system doesn't work that way. It is possible, though with diminishing probability, that I may still get a fair hearing in the form of an independent investigation. But because Council will probably fight it vigorously, and state and federal bodies will instinctively gravitate toward "bigger" issues, I now sincerely believe that an independent investigaiton will only come about through great public pressure. But even if that comes to fruition, the outcomes will never be truly fair or just. I am not being a drama queen, I am being practical.
If I understand it correctly, our justice system can compensate for damages, but it cannot bring true justice. The system can punish wrong-doing, but it cannot prevent it from happening in the first place, or even for that matter, happening again. And the system cannot restore my career, or that of my Director, who was also sacked because of this.
Yes, I am seeking compensation. Some may think it's because I am American -- but it's not -- I am also Australian, and what Launceston City Council did to me was just plain wrong. I am asking for money because it is the only option left to me. I have been driven to indigence, I am now living in a homeless shelter and deeply in debt. My career has been blasted to smithereens, as has my health. I am a changed person -- I am scared and withdrawn, and I have lost my feeling of connectedness. Money cannot possibly compensate for my losses, but it is my only option. And possibly, it may make the Launceston City Council less likely to do this again to the next person.
Yes, I would like an apology. But it won't help me put food on the table, pay my lawyer's fees, or restore my job. If an apology is forthcoming, I believe that the Council also owes Patrick Filmer-Sankey a huge apology: they sacked him on the face-value basis of charges that were later proven false -- they shot first and asked questions later, to his detriment. He is also penniless, and his career has also been ruined. Shame on the Launceston City Council.
No, I don't feel vengence. I feel exhaustion, like I have been witness to the violent destruction of something once vibrant -- I feel a strange detachment from the fact that that destroyed something is me. It's probably the depression. Maybe when I recover, I will want revenge. Right now, I just want to do my science. So, why then, you may ask, do I present all the damaging evidence herein, if not for the sake of vengence? It's about the truth. It's about clearing my good name. It's about accountability for my staff's coordinated insubordination and Council's discriminatory actions. One of the key features of Asperger's Syndrome is a strong sense of social justice. I tried to fix the things that were wrong, and I failed. Perhaps they can still be fixed.
I can assure you, there is no glory in what has happened to me, and there is no glory in re-living it through this website. My life and my soul have been destroyed. Patrick's life has been destroyed. Writing this website has been somewhat akin to vomiting ... for a week straight... without a break.