Not just whinging- a new style of worker support groups

Not just whinging- a new style of worker support groups

January 16, 2017

Practicing occupational physician, Dr Peter Sharman writes about using the evidence base to guide clinical practice and improve health outcomes in compensation systems on his website.  Most of us have seen some of these sites, a considerable part of their content is doctor bashing. His latest article is about a new approach to injured workers’ support groups.  The full article can be read at

 Note the establishment of sensible groups in NSW, South Australia and Victoria.

 In the early days of this site I wrote an article about Injured Worker Support Websites where I asked for comments about the best approach to provide such support. There was a lot of negativity about the WorkCover Victim website at that time. Here is an excerpt from what I considered to be a balanced comment about my article:

“I don’t think websites run by injured workers who are entrenched in their own sick roles or victim roles themselves, will ever be healthy or empowering to other injured workers; its like leaving the lunatics to run the asylum and wondering why no one is getting any better. However, these seem to be the very people who tend to set up these websites and Facebook groups. Without an appropriately skilled person facilitating or moderating these support websites and focusing its members on positive mind-sets and positive skill building, they devolve into an orgy of victimhood, toxic behaviours and one big pity-party.”

The best known active professional support sites include the New South Wales based Injured Workers Support Network co-ordinated by Rowan Kernebone and in South Australia, Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson runs the Work Injured Resource Connection which provides, as well as information, more practical help through their ‘Bags of Love’ programme and has set up a Deceased Workers Memorial Forest in commemoration of lives lost due to the work place .

 More recently the Injured Workers Group of Victoria has set up a site operated by injured workers (I understand with Rowan’s assistance).


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