Nola Fraser

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Nola Therese Fraser (née Chalhoub) is an Australian small business owner, former nurse and former Liberal candidate on two occasions for the seat of Macquarie Fields. Fraser became a whistleblower at two Sydney hospitals.


Fraser rose to prominence when she publicly criticised the administration of Camden and Campbelltown hospitals in south-western Sydney. Her claims were backed by fellow nurses Valerie Owen, Vanessa Brag, Sheree Martin and Yvonne Quinn. On 5 November 2002, Fraser took her concerns to the health minister, and her local member of parliament, Craig Knowles. Fraser claimed that upon cataloguing the dangers patients faced at the hospitals, the minister threatened her.

Knowles demanded evidence, which the nurses provided, but after three weeks there had been no word on any investigation. It was reported that New South Wales Department of Health officials had been destroying incriminating documents. Meanwhile, an internal review concluded that the nurses' claims merited investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission.

On 25 February 2003, the HCCC recommended that no action be taken, having made "no findings that support any loss of confidence by the community in the Macarthur Health Service." The findings came three weeks before 2003 state election, which Labor won.

Fraser and her colleagues brought public attention to this matter with the help of talkback radio host Alan Jones. As HCCC investigations continued, according to a 2003 Sydney Morning Herald report, "those staff who were considering reporting their concerns about the failures watched helplessly as the whistleblower nurses were sidelined and victimised, their jobs placed in limbo." The department ordered a second investigation, led by the head of the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care.

A copy of the HCCC's interim report was leaked to the Sun-Herald. The HCCC had concluded that of 47 complaints, at least 17 patients "had died after receiving unsafe, inadequate or questionable care" at Camden and Campbelltown. But the report did not lay blame with any individual.

In response, the opposition Liberal Party led by John Brogden took up the nurses' concerns, decrying what they described as a "cover-up".[1]

ICAC Inquiry

An Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into Knowles' behaviour cleared the minister in September 2005.[2]

Political campaigns

After Knowles resigned from Parliament in 2005, Fraser contested his seat of Macquarie Fields for the Liberal Party of Australia. Fraser achieved a swing of 12% for her party, not enough to defeat Labor's Steven Chaytor.[3]

Fraser was again endorsed by the Liberals for the March 2007 election. However, Fraser was unable to improve on her byelection result and was defeated by Labor's candidate, Dr Andrew McDonald.[4]

Fraser again stood for Macquarie Fields at the New South Wales state election, 2011 but this time as an independent.[5] She gained approximately 11% of the primary votes.[6]

The Liberal candidate Sam Eskaros won 37% of the primary vote but despite a heavy swing against him the sitting ALP member Andrew McDonald retained the seat with 51.5% of the two party preferred vote.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Exposing a tragic mess". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 December 2003.
  2. ^ "ICAC makes no findings of corrupt conduct in relation to the Hon. Craig Knowles MP" (Press release). Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). 13 April 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  3. ^ "2005 Macquarie Fields By-Election Results". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 22 September 2005. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  4. ^ "2007 State Election Results". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  5. ^ "NSW Election 2011: Macquarie Fields candidates". Macarthur Chronicle. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  6. ^
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