Disabled service manager says he was not responsible for failures that led to abuse

One of the managers of a haunted disability service says it was human resources – not his own – that caused shocking cases of abuse of customers.

The Royal Commission on the Disabled learned on Thursday that Mount Druitt healthcare worker Daniel Nuumaalii was arrested and charged by police in May 2020 when explicit images and videos were found on his phone showing examples of patient abuse while he worked at Afford.

Disabled service manager says he was not responsible for failures that led to abuse

Nuumaalii pleaded guilty last year to 22 counts of intentionally recording an intimate image without permission, four counts of intentionally distributing a close image without permission, and one count of common assault. He was jailed for three and a half years.

His district manager at the time of the offense was Wayne Adamson, who has since been promoted to executive manager of Afford lifestyle centers.

At Thursday’s hearing, Mr. Adamson said he felt no responsibility for what happened to Mr. Nuumaalii’s victims.

“No, everything was arranged. I mean, I couldn’t predict that would happen,” Mr. Adamson said.

Mr. Adamson did say they and their families should be given an apology.

“What happened to those customers is horrific; it goes against everything we all stand for,” he said.

“You can’t change what happened, only acknowledge and offer that sincere apology. That should have happened at the time.”

Camera IconWayne Adamson, executive manager of Afford lifestyle centers and former district manager, is questioned by the Disability Royal Commission. Disability Royal Commission Credit: News Corp Australia

Regarding the abuse of Mr. Nuumaalii, the former district manager said the organization’s Human Resources department was responsible.

“The way it worked is everything was overseen by HR,” Mr. Adamson told the committee.

“I’m just trying to understand why Mr. Wise or anyone at Afford could have concluded that there was nothing we could have done to stop this,” the committee chairman said.

“It appears that the relevant questions or many of the relevant questions have not been asked.”

Camera icon The former district manager relegated many responsibilities related to the investigation of Mr. Nuumaalii to human resources. NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

“You’re right,” Mr. Adamson replied.

On Tuesday, the committee was told that Afford would take two years to notify the NDIS committee of a “reportable” incident that occurred in July 2019, when an Afford customer became unwell after allegedly consuming solid foods. Got.

“Afford was working on a very serious misconception of his responsibilities regarding reportable incidents, where the correct medication was not administered,” Ronald Sackville, chairman of the Royal Commission, said Tuesday.

Mr. Adamson said he received no training on reportable incidents when starting as a district manager at Afford.

He was asked about my parents’ allegations of Afford clients following news of Mr. Nuumaalii’s abuse and that Afford had made no efforts to assure them that their family members would be safe at the center in the future.

He said this response was guided by instructions from his line manager and the CEO.

Camera icon Mr. Adamson said he was not trained in notifiable incidents for which the NDIS committee reprimanded the disability care provider on multiple occasions. Credit provided: istock

After the abuse came to light, a policy proposed by Sally*, one of the mothers of the abuse victims, was passed to allow families to vet new employees who work with their children.

The policy was eventually dropped, and Mr. Adamson admitted that the NDIS committee was unaware that the policy was temporary.

Mr. Adamson said Afford had not managed the ongoing trauma of abuse victims.

He said he recalls that Afford did not assess the risks that enabled Mr. Nuumaalii to commit his offenses.

Since then, Afford has updated its abuse and neglect policies, provided staff with cell phones, and updated its recruiting policies to include team leaders and district managers.

“I would like to personally and on behalf of Afford express my deepest condolences to the people affected, and their families” for the failure and heartbreak caused,” said a statement released Thursday by Afford CEO Joanne Toohey.

“We understand that we must work to identify and mitigate risks, and we are and will continue to do so to ensure the safety of the people we support.”

*Sally is a pseudonym provided by the committee.

Lori J. Kile
I love to write and create. I love photography, design, travel and art. I am a full time freelance writer and photographer.I am very excited to be creating new content and opportunities for my readers.