ICAC public inquiry into corruption allegations concerning former Immigrant Women’s Health Service CEO

Thursday 20 April 2017

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry commencing on Monday 1 May 2017 as part of an investigation it is conducting into corruption allegations concerning Eman Sharobeem, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service (IWHS) and the Non-English Speaking Housing Women’s Scheme Inc (NESH).

The IWHS was a not-for-profit non-government organisation (NGO) women’s health service, primarily funded by NSW Health via South West Sydney Local Health District, while the NESH  was a not-for-profit NGO contracted and funded by the Department of Family and Community Services to provide affordable housing to women and children. In her capacity as CEO, Ms Sharobeem was a public official for the purposes of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.

The Commission’s Operation Tarlo is investigating allegations that Ms Sharobeem dishonestly exercised her official functions as IWHS CEO by: between 1 July 2009 and 17 February 2016, submitting invoices for reimbursement for goods and services to which she was not entitled and using an IWHS credit card to pay for personal expenses; between 2014 and 2015 submitting, and authorising payment by IWHS of, false invoices for facilitation fees and other services to herself and other persons to which they were not entitled; between 2011 and 2015, submitting, and authorising payment of, invoices by the IWHS for the renovation of her property in Fairfield; and between 2012 and 2014, falsifying IWHS statistics to NSW Health.

Ms Sharobeem is also alleged to have dishonestly exercised her official functions between 2006 and 2016 by claiming to be a psychologist holding two PhD degrees and a masters degree, and further using those qualifications to treat IWHS clients and gain promotion to the position of CEO of the IWHS and the NESH. As NESH CEO, Ms Sharobeem is alleged to have dishonestly exercised her official functions between 17 December 2013 and 23 November 2015 by authorising payments from NESH to be made to her own account, to which she was not entitled.

Between March 2011 and November 2016, Ms Sharobeem is also alleged to have fraudulently obtained and retained appointment as a Board member of the Community Relations Commission (now Multicultural NSW) and the Anti-Discrimination Board (now part of the Department of Justice) by using false academic qualifications.

The public inquiry will start at 10:00 am and will be held in the Commission's hearing room on Level 7, 255 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. The Hon Reginald Blanch AM QC, Acting Commissioner, will preside at the public inquiry, and Counsel Assisting the Commission will be Mr Ramesh Rajalingam. The inquiry is set down for approximately two weeks. A witness list will be published on the Commission’s website prior to the commencement of the public inquiry.

Media contact: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801