Grafton woman who hit child during a fight granted blue card
A QUEENSLAND court has granted a former Grafton woman who backhanded a 14-year-old girl during a fight with her partner permission to work with children.
The woman, whose identity is kept anonymous to protect the child, took her children on a camping trip to Woody Head with her boyfriend and his kids in 2010.
The weekend went badly, and the couple were engaged in heated argument by the time they returned to the boyfriend's unit in Grafton.
Sensing the woman was going to leave, her partner tried to remove the battery from her car and drove his vehicle to block her car from exiting the driveway.
As the two tussled, the man's 14-year-old daughter became involved.
The woman told Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Justice David Thomas she felt a hit to the back of her neck, swung around and backhanded whoever was there.
"I backhanded her in the mouth and as I've turned around I saw it was (the girl)," she said.
She said she approached the girl to apologise but her former partner forced both her arms behind her back and slammed her into the concrete.
Her own children watched from the unit's balcony.
The man was not charged with committing violence against her, and she was acquitted of any violence charge against him.
"This may fairly be described as an isolated incident," Justice Thomas said.
"There has been no other incident comparable with it throughout her life."
The woman worked as a nurse but has been unable to work with children or in hospitals because of her negative blue card.
Justice Thomas said her life had "settled down considerably" since moving to Queensland.
She has completed university training to become a registered nurse and is keen to complete her midwifery course, but has been denied because of her blue card problems.
Justice Thomas said her ban on working with children should be overturned, and that it was impossible to see how granting her a blue card would threaten any child's welfare.
"Whichever version of the incident is accepted, this is not a case where there are any sinister, sexual or inappropriate attitudes to children, or which generates any fear of child-oriented instability or danger," Justice Thomas said.
"This woman has reared her own family, is in contact with grandchildren and no abnormality of attitude is suggested."