• Floating Foundation

Allegations of bullying against Floating Foundation founder

Statement from the Board:

While we commend Craig on the vision, risk and effort he has invested into building the Floating Foundation from the ground up, the purpose of the Charity is to provide medical support and research facilities in South Pacific communities who are in clear need of our work. Craig's conduct during previous voyages has not reflected this purpose.

Craig's conduct in managing the ship, and taking care of our people, the volunteers and crew who are the life of the Floating Foundation, has been unacceptable. It is the responsibility of the Floating Foundation to provide a safe and productive environment for them, which was not upheld during 2016 and 2017 voyages. We are saddened to learn that the behaviour of their leader made some members of the crew feel bullied and the threatened, and saddened that our management structure failed to provide a quick response to warning signs and complaints so that the situation could be mediated.

The Floating Foundation has acquired, at the personal expense of Craig Koning, a larger and more suitable vessel for future voyages, and is putting in place strong codes of conduct and staff training to ensure appropriate crew selection, management, and behaviour while on expeditions.

We deeply regret any breaches of high standards of behaviour, unacceptable conduct, bullying, and the failure of the Floating Foundation management to effectively respond to crew complaints.

As a result, the following actions have been put in place:

1.) An operational structure change, so that Craig will undertake supporting roles only during future expeditions, with additional crew to fill roles of captain, expedition leader, medical team leader and research team leader.

2.) The development of a crew training program, including a song code of conduct, ethical standards, workplace conflict management and inter-crew relationship management.

3.) A framework of open feedback between crew, management, external experts and governance, to ensure the highest alignment with our vision and mission, of ethical work, done safely with maximum effect.

4.) A very strict stance of community culture, and a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying.

It is the Charity's intent to monitor this situation closely, to support our people and to run effective programs that continue very positive outcomes of our ambitions, and ensure strong operating standards that benefit all stakeholders.

We wish the crews of future expeditions success, enjoyment, and the opportunity to do their best work, and we invite the crews of past voyages to reconnect with us as we evolve into a dependable, scalable operation where we welcome their skills and enthusiasm for the mission, and offer a well managed platform for important work in the Pacific.

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