1. Our commitment
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation (the Foundation) is committed to a culture of respect and ethical conduct in the way we work and relate to each other. We recognise the value of keeping the laws and standards that apply to us in our work and encourage everyone to report misconduct.
We will not tolerate corrupt, illegal or other undesirable conduct nor condone detrimental acts of anyone who intends to disclose or has disclosed misconduct.
2. Purpose of this policy & procedural document
The purpose of this policy and related procedures includes the following:
This policy and procedure document is a very important tool for helping the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to identify wrongdoing that may not be uncovered unless there is a safe and secure means for disclosing wrongdoing. Nothing in this policy and procedure document is intended to change or take away any other protections which may be available at law.
3. Relationship to other policies
This policy and procedure document:
4. Every person's responsibility
Every person to whom this policy and procedure document applies has a responsibility to:
"Act" means Corporations Act 2001(Commonwealth).
"Protection Officer" means the person appointed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to support and protect a whistleblower, if necessary, from detrimental action.
"Whistleblower" means a person who makes a disclosure under this Policy. They may also be referred to as a "Discloser" within this Policy.
6. Who does this policy apply to?
This policy and related procedures applies to anyone who has or is working for the Foundation or
doing something in connection with their work for the Foundation.
It includes past and current:
(collectively referred to as 'Disclosers').
7. Who may make a disclosure?
Any person defined as a Discloser in the paragraph above may make a disclosure under this policy
and related procedures.
8. What misconduct should be disclosed?
If you have seen or have reasonable grounds to suspect misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances, concerning our organisation - you should report (disclose) it. Options for disclosure are set out in section 10.
For the report to be a protected report, one of the requirements is that the person making the report has reasonable grounds to suspect misconduct is occurring or has occurred. It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of the activities which should be reported for the purpose of this policy and related procedures. Generally, misconduct includes any conduct which a Discloser has reasonable grounds to suspect:
a. is about misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances concerning the
b. indicates that the Foundation or any of its officers or employees has engaged in conduct
i. involves a breach of or is an offence against the Corporations Act, the ASIC Act, the Banking Act 1959 (Cth), the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001, the Insurance Act 1973, the Life Insurance Act 1995, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 1973, or the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, or regulations made under those laws
ii. is an offence against any other Commonwealth law that is punishable by imprisonment of 12 months or more
iii. indicates a significant risk to public safety or the stability of, or confidencein, the financial system, even if it does not involve breach of a particular law
iv. is indicative of systemic issues, dishonest or unethical behaviour or practices.
c. is about misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to the
tax affairs of the Foundation or an associated company which the Discloser considers may assist to
perform the functions or duties in relation to the tax affairs of the Foundation
d. involves the deliberate concealment of information tending to show any of the matters
These matters are referred to as "Misconduct" in this policy and procedure document. Misconduct
includes but is not limited to:
9. Personal work-related grievances
Personal work-related grievances are not types of misconduct which can be reported under this policy and related procedures and are not matters which provide specific whistleblower protections to the discloser under Australian law (although there may be protections under other laws). Personal work related grievances relate to current or former employment and have implications for the discloser personally but do have significant implications for the organisation or do not relate to misconduct disclosable under this policy and related procedures.
Examples of personal work-related grievances include:
Matters that relate solely to personal work-related grievances should be internally raised using the Foundation's Staff Consultation & Grievance Resolution - Policy & Procedures. However, sometimes, there are grievances which do qualify as protected disclosures, for example, if they are part of a problematic pattern or systemic issue within the organisation, will have a significant implication for the organisation, or if the grievance is bundled with illegal activity or another protected disclosure.
For any further clarification about what is a "personal work-related grievance" under this policy and related procedures, please speak to the People & Culture team.
10. How do I make a disclosure?
A disclosure may be made:
|Name and position||Location||Contact details|
Name and positionScott Gordon, Chief Operating Officer
LocationSouth Melbourne Office
Contact detailsemail: [email protected]
Name and positionSarah Davies, Chief Executive Officer
LocationSouth Melbourne Office
Contact detailsemail: [email protected]
Alternatively, you may make a report using our whistleblowing service, Your Call (see section 10b).
You can also make a disclosure to:
b. Making a disclosure to independent whistleblower service provider - Your Call If for any reason you do not feel safe or able to make a disclosure internally you may do so to independent whistleblower service provider, Your Call.
Your Call operates under a Service Agreement with the Foundation and acts as the intermediary, providing the means for a whistleblower to retain anonymity. Disclosures received by Your Call are reported to the Foundation in accordance with this policy and related procedures. Your Call also enables the Foundation to obtain further information if required and enables the whistleblower to receive updates from the Foundation. This is done via the use of an on line anonymous Message Board which the whistleblower will have access to after making a disclosure.
The Message Board allows you to:
This option allows you to:
Your Call enables disclosures to be made anonymously and confidentially. Whilst we prefer whistleblowers to disclose their identity in order to facilitate an investigation, whistleblowers are not required to identify themselves and will not be named in any report to the Foundation unless they have consented to their identity being disclosed.
Your Call reporting options include:
In the event a disclosure received by Your Call relates to a Disclosure Officer, Your Call will exclude that Disclosure Officer from all communications when providing the disclosure to the Foundation. The Disclosure Officers who are not named in the disclosure will then receive and determine how the matter will be addressed or investigated as required. In the event that all Disclosure Officers are potentially involved in the matter, the disclosure will be referred to the Chair of the Foundation's Board.
Your Call remains an independent intermediary at all times and will only communicate with those authorised within our organisation.
National Relay Service
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact Your Call online or through the National Relay Service. Simply choose your contact method at www.relayservice.gov.au and request Your Call's hotline 1300 790 228. Reporting to regulators You may also make a disclosure to:
Concerning disclosures made to legal practitioner
If you make a disclosure to a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or legal representation in relation to the operation of Part 9.4 of the Act (which includes the whistleblower protections and confidentiality of a whistleblower's identity) the disclosure will be protected under the Act.
Concerning public interest disclosures
You may make a disclosure in the public interest to a member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, the Parliament of a State or the legislature of a Territory or a journalist if:
Concerning emergency disclosures
You may make also make an emergency disclosure to a member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, the Parliament of a State or the legislature of a Territory or a journalist if:
11. Where can I get information and advice?
If you need information and advice about making a disclosure or the support and protection available you may discuss the matter in confidence with your People Leader, your Organisation Leader, a member of the Executive Team or a member of the People & Culture team.
Note: In the event you do not formally make a disclosure we may nevertheless be compelled to act on the information provided during the discussion if the information reasonably suggests misconduct has or may occur.
12. Protections under the law
To qualify for protection as a whistleblower under the Act and to receive specific legal rights you must meet all three of the following requirements:
13. Do I have to disclose my identity?
There is no requirement for a whistleblower to identify themselves in order for a disclosure to qualify for protection under the Act. A discloser can:
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation encourages disclosers who wish to remain anonymous to maintain ongoing two-way communication so that the Alannah & Madeline Foundation can ask follow-up questions or provide feedback.
If you want to remain anonymous, we recommend that you use the Your Call external whistleblowing service to make your disclosure and maintain ongoing communication.
14. Will my identity be treated as confidential?
If you make a whistleblowing report, your disclosure will be treated as confidential in accordance with legal requirements. It is illegal for a person to disclose your identity or information that is likely to lead to identification of your identity, unless:
However, a person who is dealing with a whistleblowing report may disclose information that is reasonably necessary for the purposes of investigating the report. If this happens, reasonable steps will be taken to reduce the risk that you will be identified as a result of the report (for example by removing your personal information or other details that are likely to identify you).
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation has in place the following measures and mechanisms for protection the confidentiality of a discloser's identity.
Reducing the risk that the discloser will be identified from the information contained in a disclosure:
Secure record-keeping and information-sharing processes:
An unauthorised disclosure of the identity of a whistleblower, or information that is likely to lead to the identification of the whistleblower where the information was obtained because of the disclosure, will be regarded as a disciplinary matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation's disciplinary procedures. It is also an offence / contravention under the Act which carries serious penalties for individuals and companies. If you are a discloser of a reportable matter and your identity is revealed without your consent you may also be eligible to claim compensation and remedies under the Act.
As a discloser you should be aware that in practice, people may be able to guess your identity if:
You can lodge a complaint with us if you believe a breach of your confidentiality as a discloser has occurred by contacting our Disclosure Officers or by contacting Your Call. You can also lodge a complaint with a regulator including ASIC, APRA or the ATO if you believe a breach of your confidentiality as a discloser has occurred.
15. Protection against detrimental conduct
We will do everything reasonably possible to support and protect anyone who:
Examples of detrimental conduct, acts and omissions include but are not limited to:
Examples of actions that are not detrimental conduct and omissions include but are not limited to:
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation has in place the following measures and mechanisms to protect
disclosers from detriment:
If a discloser believes they are at risk of detriment, or have suffered some detriment, as a result of taking any action under this policy and related procedures, they may contact any one of the Disclosure Officers listed in paragraph 10 of this policy and procedure document, or to the Chair of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation's Board.
We will thoroughly investigate reports of detrimental acts. If proven, those who have victimised another will be subject to management action including disciplinary action up to dismissal It is also an offence/ contravention under the Act which carries serious penalties for individuals and companies. If you are a discloser of a reportable matter and you suffer detrimental acts or detrimental treatment you may also be eligible to claim compensation and remedies under the Act. Nothing in this policy and related procedures is intended to change or take away any other protections which may be available at law.
16. Assessing and controlling the risk of detriment
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation has established processes for assessing and controlling the risk of detriment and keeps records of its risk assessments and risk control plans.
Steps involved in identifying, analysing, evaluating, controlling and monitoring the risk at the Foundation are detailed in the Foundation's Risk Management Framework.
17. Support and protection
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation has a Protection Officer to arrange or coordinate support and protection for anyone who has or is in the process of making a disclosure: this Officer is the People & Culture Coordinator.
The discloser can contact the Head of People & Culture or the People & Culture Coordinator to discuss how the Protection Officer may be able to provide support and protection.
The Protection Officer is appointed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to:
18. What will the Alannah & Madeline Foundation do with the disclosure?
The Disclosure Officer has been appointed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to receive the disclosure directly from you (if you make an internal disclosure to our organisation) or from Your Call (if you make an external disclosure to Your Call).
The Disclosure Officer will:
19. Investigation of the disclosure
The Disclosure Officer will carefully assess and use the information provided in the disclosure to decide the best action to take, including whether an investigation is required and, if so, determine the appropriate investigation process, including:
20. How will the investigation be conducted?
The investigation will be conducted in a constructive, impartial and lawful way according to the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness and all efforts will made to meet investigation best practices.
The investigator will:
21. Investigator's report
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will provide a written report to one of the Disclosure Officers referred to in paragraph 10.1including:
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation will use the report to determine the action (if any) to be taken including disciplinary action. The findings will be communicated to the relevant parties involved to the extent that it is legally permissible and appropriate to do so.
22. Will the whistleblower be kept informed?
Subject to privacy and confidentiality requirements the whistleblower will be kept informed of:
to the extent that it is legally permissible and appropriate to do so.
23. What happens if the misconduct is proven?
If the misconduct is proven the Alannah & Madeline Foundation will decide what action to take including disciplinary action up to dismissal. The disciplinary action will depend on the severity, nature and circumstance of the misconduct.
24. Avenues for review
A discloser may request a review of the investigation findings if the discloser is not satisfied with the outcome. The review will be conducted by an officer who is not involved in handling and investigating disclosures and the review findings will be shared with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation's Board or Audit, Finance & Business Risk Committee.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is not obliged to reopen an investigation if it finds that the investigation was conducted properly, or new information is either not available or would not change the findings of the investigation.
25. What immunities are available to the whistleblower?
We want you to speak up against misconduct. Anyone who makes a disclosure:
will be provided with immunity from disciplinary action.
If you make a disclosure that qualifies for protection under the Act:
Note: Except as provided for by the Act it does not prevent a whistleblower being subject to any civil, criminal or administrative liability for conduct of the whistleblower that is revealed by the disclosure.
26. What are the consequences of making a false disclosure?
Anyone who makes a disclosure knowing it to be false or misleading may be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal. The disciplinary action will depend on the severity, nature and circumstance of the false disclosure.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation however does not wish to deter staff from making disclosures. In cases where disclosers have some information leading to a suspicion, but not all the details, staff are encouraged to speak up and report the misconduct and will not face disciplinary action in those circumstances.
27. How will this policy and related procedures be made available to employees and officers of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation?
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation makes the policy and related procedures available to employees
and officers by:
28. Training & education
The People & Culture team will be responsible for conducting upfront and ongoing education and training on the Whistleblower - Policy & Procedures to all staff.
29. Alannah & Madeline Foundation Board oversight
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation's Board (either directly or through its Audit, Finance & Business Risk Committee) will monitor the whistleblower management system to ensure that the broader trends, themes and/or emerging risks highlighted by the disclosures made under its policy and procedures are addressed and mitigated as part of its risk management and corporate governance.
30. Review of this policy & related procedures
The Chief Operating Officer will monitor and review this policy and associated processes and procedures to ensure it meets its objectives.
Any amendments to this policy and related procedures shall be made known to employees and officers of our organisation by posting an updated version of the policy on the Alannah & Madeline Foundation's intranet and website and providing training when necessary.