An aged care worker has been dismissed after she was captured in footage breathing on a reporter during an anti-lockdown protest in Victoria.
Footage of the woman deliberately breathing at reporters and cameramen on Saturday at a protest in Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens provoked outrage when it was uploaded to social media.
The woman – later identified as an employee of the residential and community care provider Baptcare – can be seen approaching a TV reporter and audibly breathing in his face before running off.
Onlookers can be heard saying it was “pretty disgusting” before the woman is approached by a masked police officer.
The woman denied any wrongdoing and told police not to hurt her or her camera as she was surrounded by multiple officers.
A spokeswoman for Baptcare said the employee had left the organisation after a review was conducted into her behaviour.
“Baptcare does not condone the actions of this employee, which were unacceptable, and out of step with our expectations as an employer, and the expectations of the community more broadly,” the spokeswoman said.
“The employee’s behaviour does not align with our core values, centred on respect and wellbeing for others.
“The employee also failed to practice social distancing, and did not wear a face mask, mandated at this time so as to minimise the spread of infections, such as COVID-19.
“The behaviour of this employee doesn’t reflect who we are as an organisation, our values, or our unwavering commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents, customers and clients.”
Saturday’s protests – in response to lockdown measures imposed in the wake of a growing coronavirus cluster in Melbourne – drew about 150 people.
They were quickly outnumbered by waiting police, who arrested 14 protesters and issued fines to another 55.Do you have an idea for a story?
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