Terms of Reference announced for Dhulwa Inquiry


The ACT Government has today announced the Terms of Reference and Independent Chair of the Inquiry into the Legislative, Workplace Governance and Clinical Frameworks of Dhulwa.

The Terms of Reference outline how the inquiry will review the facility’s governance and operating environment, their effectiveness, and any gaps. It will also deliver recommendations to improve safety and best practice service for both consumers and the workforce. Former Commissioner of the Fair Work Commission Barbara Deegan has been appointed as the Independent Chair due to her strong legal and governance expertise.

Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson said the inquiry’s Terms of Reference has been a collaborative effort between the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT (ANMF) and Canberra Health Services to ensure nurses have their say on how to improve clinical practice and worker safety at Dhulwa.

“The Dhulwa Inquiry Terms of Reference outlines how the independent review will assess the facility’s operations over these past few years and what else can be done to improve outcomes for people receiving care, and workplace safety for staff, at the mental health unit,” Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson said.

“Nurses were clear that any review must be done quickly. Under the Terms of Reference we have agreed with the ANMF and Canberra Health Services, a preliminary report will be provided 12 weeks after the inquiry commences.”

Quotes attributable to ANMF ACT Branch Secretary Matthew

“The ANMF ACT branch welcomes the announcement of the Terms of Reference and the appointment of the Independent Chair. The ANMF will actively support members to contribute to the critical work of the inquiry”.

Quotes attributable to Canberra Health Services CEO, Dave Peffer

“CHS welcomes the appointment of former Commissioner of the Fair Work Commission Barbara Deegan, and we look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to improve the working environment for our Dhulwa team members.

“Keeping our team members safe is our priority.  We know that when our team members feel safe, they do their best work – delivering exceptional care for patients at Dhulwa.  CHS looks forward to rapidly introducing improvements as opportunities are identified throughout the inquiry.”

On 2 May 2022 the ACT Government announced an Independent Inquiry into the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit following concerns around occupational safety from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.

The full Terms of Reference can be found online at www.canberrahealthservices.act.gov.au/about-us/dhulwa-inquiry