Whistle blower policy

OVERVIEW 

At Community Spirit Foundation (“the Company”) we are guided by our company values. These values are the foundation of how  we conduct ourselves and interact with each other, our clients, members, suppliers, shareholders  and other stakeholders. The Company is committed to ensuring corporate compliance and  promoting ethical corporate culture by observing the highest standards of fair dealing, honesty  and integrity in our business activities. 

PURPOSE 

The policy has been put in place to ensure any concerns raised regarding any misconduct or  improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to the Company’s business are dealt with  effectively, securely, appropriately, and in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the  Act). 

The Company encourages the reporting of any instances of suspected unethical, illegal, corrupt,  fraudulent or undesirable conduct involving the Company’s business and provides protections and  measures to individuals who make a disclosure in relation to such conduct without fear of  victimisation or reprisal. 

The policy is accessible to all employees on Employment Hero and also available to persons  outside the organisation through the Company website. 

The Company may invite officers, senior management and employees to attend training sessions  to ensure ongoing education regarding the application of the policy. 

SCOPE 

This policy applies to any person who is, or has been, any of the following with respect to the  Company: 

• Employee; 

• Officer; 

• Director; 

• Contractor (including sub-contractors and employees of contractors); 

• Supplier (including employees of suppliers); 

• Consultant; 

• Auditor; 

• Associate; and 

• Relative, dependant, spouse, or dependant of a spouse of any of the above. 

This policy is intended to apply to the above persons in all countries in which the Company  operates a business.

REPORTABLE CONDUCT 

You may make a report or disclosure under this policy if you have reasonable grounds to believe  that a Company director, officer, employee, contractor, supplier, consultant or other person who  has business dealings with the Company has engaged in conduct (Reportable Conduct) which is: 

• Dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt; 

• Illegal (such as theft, dealing in or use of illicit drugs, violence or threatened violence and  criminal damage to property); 

• Unethical including any breach of the Company’s policies such as the Code of Conduct; • Oppressive or grossly negligent; 

• Potentially damaging to the Company, its employees or a third party; 

• Misconduct or an improper state of affairs; 

• A danger, or represents a danger to the public or financial system; 

• Harassment, discrimination, victimisation or bullying. 

 

Any disclosures that do not fall within the definition of Reportable Conduct, will not qualify for  protection under the Act. It will be at the Company’s discretion whether it considers there is a  reasonable suspicion that the Reportable Conduct is occurring and/or whether the conduct  constitutes “misconduct or improper state of affairs” under the Act. 

For the avoidance of doubt, Reportable Conduct does not include personal work-related  grievances. A personal work-related grievance is a grievance about any matter in relation to a staff  member’s current or former employment, having implications (or tending to have implications)  for that person personally and that do not have broader implications for the Company. Examples  of personal work-related grievances are as follows: 

• An interpersonal conflict between the staff member and another employee; • A decision relating to the engagement, transfer or promotion of the staff member; • A decision relating to the terms and conditions of engagement of the staff member; 

• A decision to suspend or terminate the engagement of the staff member, or otherwise to  discipline the staff member. 

Personal work-related grievances should be reported to your manager or as otherwise detailed in  the Company’s Grievance Policy. 

MAKING A DISCLOSURE 

The Company relies on its employees maintaining a culture of honest and ethical  behaviour. Accordingly, if you become aware of any Reportable Conduct, it is expected that you  will make a disclosure under this policy.  

There are several ways in which you may report or disclose any issue or behaviour which you  consider to be Reportable Conduct. 

Internal Reporting 

You may disclose any Reportable Conduct to the Whistleblower Protection Officers listed below:

 

Chief Executive Officer

Jade Colgan 

0447 376 817 

jade@communityspiritfoundation.org.au 

 

Treasurer 

Richard Thomas 

03 9602 3366 

rt@jeffreythomas.com.au 

 

Chair 

Larissa Behrendt 

0408 421 502 

LaraLavarch@gmail.com 

You can make a disclosure outside of business hours by contacting the above Whistleblower Protection Officers via email. 

You are also encouraged to contact the above Whistleblower Protection Officers to obtain any  additional information you may require before making a disclosure or for any clarification  regarding this policy. 

If you are unable to use any of the above reporting channels, a disclosure can be made to an  “eligible recipient” within the Company. Eligible recipients include: 

• Officers; 

• Directors; 

• Senior Managers; 

• Auditor or member of an audit team conducting an audit of the Company;

• Actuary. 

 

The Whistleblower Protection Officer or eligible recipient will safeguard your interests and will  ensure the integrity of the reporting mechanism. 

Anonymity 

When making a disclosure, you may do so anonymously. It may be difficult for the Company to  properly investigate the matters disclosed if a report is submitted anonymously and therefore the  Company encourages you to share your identity when making a disclosure, however you are not  required to do so. 

Where a disclosure has been made externally and you provide your contact details, those contact  details will only be provided to a Whistleblower Protection Officer with your consent.  

Reporting to Regulators 

You may also make a disclosure to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)  or the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in relation to a Reportable Conduct. You  will be covered by the protections outlined in this policy if you have reported your concerns to  ASIC or APRA. 

Reporting to a Legal Practitioner 

You may choose to discuss your concerns with a legal practitioner for the purposes of obtaining  legal advice or representation. You will be covered by the protections outlined in this policy if you  have reported your concerns to a legal practitioner.

Public Interest and Emergency Disclosure 

In certain situations, the conduct or wrongdoing may be of such gravity and urgency that  disclosure to the media or a parliamentarian is necessary. 

A public interest and emergency disclosure can only be made to: 

• A journalist, defined to mean a person who is working in a professional capacity as a  journalist for a newspaper, magazine, or radio or television broadcasting service; or 

• A Member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory parliament. 

You may only make a public interest and emergency disclosure if: 

• You have previously disclosed the information to ASIC or APRA; 

• You have previously disclosed the information to ASIC or APRA; 

• At least 90 days has passed since the previous disclosure was made; 

• You have reasonable grounds to believe that action is not being taken to address the  matters which you have disclosed; 

• You have reasonable grounds to believe that making a further disclosure to a journalist or  member of parliament would be in the public interest; 

• You have given written notification, including sufficient information to identify the  previous disclosure to the authority to which the previous disclosure was made that you  intend on making a public interest disclosure; and 

• You have given written notification, including sufficient information to identify the  previous disclosure to the authority to which the previous disclosure was made that you  intend on making a public interest disclosure; and 

• The extent of information disclosed is no greater than is necessary to inform the recipient  of the misconduct or improper state of affairs. 

You will be qualified for protection where you have made a public interest disclosure if: • You have previously disclosed the information to ASIC or APRA; 

• You have reasonable grounds to believe that the information concerns a substantial and  imminent danger to the health or safety of one or more persons, or to the natural  environment; and 

• You have given written notification, including sufficient information to identify the  previous disclosure to the authority to which the previous disclosure was made that you  intend on making a public interest disclosure; and 

• No more information is disclosed than is reasonably necessary to inform the recipient of  the substantial and imminent danger. 

INVESTIGATION 

The Company will investigate all matters reported under this policy as soon as practicable after  the matter has been reported. The Whistleblower Protection Officer will investigate the matter  and where necessary, appoint an external investigator to assist in conducting the investigation. All  investigations will be conducted in a fair, independent and timely manner and all reasonable  efforts will be made to preserve confidentiality during the investigation.

If the report is not anonymous, the Whistleblower Protection Officer or external investigator will  contact you, by your preferred method of communication to discuss the investigation process and  any other matters that are relevant to the investigation. 

Where you have chosen to remain anonymous, your identity will not be disclosed to the  investigator or to any other person and the Company will conduct the investigation based on the  information provided to it. 

Where possible, the Whistleblower Protection Officer will provide you with feedback on the  progress and expected timeframes of the investigation. The person against whom any allegations  have been made will also be informed of the concerns and will be provided with an opportunity to  respond (unless there are any restrictions or other reasonable bases for not doing so). 

To the extent permitted by law, the Whistleblower Protection Officer may inform you and/or a  person against whom allegations have been made of the findings. The Company will document the  findings in a report however any report will remain the property of the Company and will only be  shared with you or any person against whom the allegations have been made if the Company  deems it appropriate. 

PROTECTION OF WHISTLEBLOWERS 

The Company is committed to ensuring that any person who makes a disclosure is treated fairly  and does not suffer detriment and that confidentiality is preserved in respect of all matters raised  under this policy. 

Protection from Legal Action 

You will not be subject to any civil, criminal or administrative legal action (including disciplinary  action) for making a disclosure under this policy or participating in any investigation. 

Any information you provide will not be admissible in any criminal or civil proceedings other than  for proceedings in respect of the falsity of the information. 

Protection against Detrimental Conduct 

The Company (or any person engaged by the Company) will not engage in ‘Detrimental Conduct’  against you if you have made a disclosure under this policy. 

Detrimental Conduct includes actual or threatened conduct such as the following (without  limitation): 

• Termination of employment; 

• Injury to employment including demotion, disciplinary action; 

• Alternation of position or duties; 

• Discrimination; 

• Harassment, bullying or intimidation; 

• Victimisation; 

• Harm or injury including psychological harm; 

• Damage to a person’s property; 

• Damage to a person’s reputation; 

• Damage to a person’s business or financial position; or 

• Any other damage to a person.

The Company also strictly prohibits all forms of Detrimental Conduct against any person who is  involved in an investigation of a matter disclosed under the policy in response to their  involvement in that investigation. 

The Company will take all reasonable steps to protect you from Detrimental Conduct and will take  necessary action where such conduct is identified. If appropriate, the Company may allow you to  perform your duties from another location or reassign you to another role (at the same level) or  make other modifications to your workplace or your duties to protect you from the risk of  detriment. 

If you are subjected to Detrimental Conduct as a result of making a disclosure under this policy or  participating in an investigation, you should inform a Whistleblower Protection Officer or eligible  recipient in accordance with the reporting guidelines outlined above. 

You may also seek remedies including compensation, civil penalties or reinstatement if: • You suffer loss, damage or injury because of a disclosure; and 

• The Company failed to take reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to prevent  any Detrimental Conduct. 

Protection of Confidentiality 

All information received from you will be treated confidentially and sensitively. 

You will not be required to provide your name when making a disclosure. To make a disclosure on  an anonymous basis, it is recommended that you use a pseudonym and contact the  Whistleblowing Protection Officers in the manner outlined above. 

If you report on an anonymous basis, you will still qualify for the protections in this policy. 

If you make a disclosure under this policy, your identity (or any information which would likely to  identify you) will only be shared if: 

• You give your consent to share that information; or 

• The disclosure is allowed or required by law (for example where the concern is raised  with a lawyer for the purposes of obtaining legal advice); or 

• The concern is reported to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC),  the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the Australian Taxation Office  (ATO) or the Australian Federal Police (AFP); 

Where it is necessary to disclose information for the effective investigation of the matter, and this  is likely to lead to your identification, all reasonable steps will be taken to reduce the risk that you  will be identified. For example, all personal information or reference to you witnessing an event  will be redacted from any report, you will be referred to in a gender-neutral context, where  possible you will be contacted to help identify certain aspects of your disclosure that could  inadvertently identify you. Any disclosure under this policy will also be handled and investigated  by qualified staff. 

The Company will also take the following measures for protecting your identity: 

• All paper and electronic documents and other materials relating to disclosures will be  stored securely; 

• Access to all information relating to a disclosure will be limited to those directly involved  in managing and investigating the disclosure;

• Only a restricted number of people who are directly involved in handling and investigating  a disclosure will be made aware of your identity (subject to your consent) or information  that is likely to lead to your identification; 

• Communications and documents relating to the investigation of a disclosure will not be  sent to an email address or to a printer that can be accessed by other staff; and 

• Each person who is involved in handling and investigating a disclosure will be reminded  about the confidentiality requirements, including that an unauthorised disclosure of your  identity may be a criminal offence. 

If you are concerned that your identity has been disclosed in relation to a disclosure, and without  your consent, you should inform a Whistleblower Protections Officer or eligible recipient  immediately. 

SUPPORT AVAILABLE 

Any employee who makes a disclosure under this policy or is implicated as a result of a disclosure  that is made may access the Company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which is a free and  confidential counselling service on 

Contact Details 

Where appropriate, the Company may also appoint an independent support person from the  Human Resources team to deal with any ongoing concerns you may have. 

You may also access third party support providers such as Lifeline (13 11 14) and Beyond Blue  (1300 22 4636) for support. 

OTHER MATTERS 

Any breach of this policy will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action, up to and  including termination of employment. 

In so far as this policy imposes any obligations on the Company, those obligations are not  contractual and do not give rise to any contractual rights. To the extent that this policy describes  benefits and entitlements for employees, they are discretionary in nature and are also not  intended to be contractual. The terms and conditions of employment that are intended to be  contractual are set out in an employee’s written employment contract.  

The Company may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this policy at any time. 

Employees are encouraged to read this policy in conjunction with other relevant Company  policies, including: 

• Code of Conduct. 

• Grievance Policy