The Board of The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA Board) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of conduct and ethical behaviour in all of its activities, and to promoting and supporting a culture of respect and ethical behaviour, corporate compliance and good governance. The FYA Board encourages all employees to raise any concerns and report instances of unethical, illegal or fraudulent conduct, where there are reasonable grounds to suspect such conduct, without fear of intimidation or disadvantage.
This policy applies to anyone who has worked or is working for FYA, and includes past and current:
A whistleblower is any person to whom this policy applies that makes a report of misconduct that they have seen or on reasonable grounds suspects has occurred or is occurring at FYA (Whistleblower).
For the purposes of this policy and in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001, misconduct means:
This policy does not apply to personal work related grievances. Grievances of this nature should be discussed with FYA’s People and Culture team.
Examples of personal work related grievances include:
FYA has engaged an independent whistleblower service provider Your Call to allow Whistleblowers to make a report of misconduct (Whistleblower Report) anonymously and confidentially and to ensure that FYA becomes aware of the Whistleblower Report and can address the concerns raised by this report promptly.
It is preferred that all Whistleblower Reports are made directly to Your Call either via its website https://www.yourcall.com.au/report (identifier code: FYA) available 24/7 or by telephone phone hotline 1 300 790 228 (available between 9am and 12am on recognised Australian national business days (AEST)). Persons who are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact Your Call through the National Relay Service (www.relayservice.gov.au) and request Your Call’s telephone hotline.
Whistleblowers are not required to identify themselves when making a Whistleblower Report, but may choose to do so. Your Call allows Whistleblowers to:
Other persons who can receive Whistleblowing Reports
A Whistleblower Report can, under the Corporations Act 2001, be made directly to a number of specified individuals as an alternative to Your Call including:
If a Whistleblower Report relates to a matter of public interest or an emergency a Whistleblower may also be able to make a Whistleblower Report to a member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, the Parliament of a State or the legislature of a Territory or to a journalist, provided that certain conditions are met.
Information about these conditions is available at https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/asic-investigations-and-enforcement/whistleblowing/Whistleblower-rights-and-protections/. It is important that a Whistleblower understands these conditions before making a Whistleblower Report about a public interest or emergency situation. A Whistleblower should also contact an independent legal advisor before making a Whistleblower Report about a public interest or emergency situation.
All Whistleblower Reports can be made anonymously and confidentially regardless of whether they are made to Your Call or to the other persons listed above.
A Whistleblower Report should include as much information and evidence as possible, including where possible:
When a Whistleblower Report is made to Your Call, Your Call will:
FYA’s WPOs the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee or in the alternative the FYA CEO or the Chair of the Board of Directors.
The role of the WPOs is:
The Your Call Message Board allows the Whistleblower to have ongoing anonymous communication with Your Call and FYA’s WPO. The Message Board can be used by the Whistleblower to receive updates, share further information/evidence and request support or report retaliation. Your Call remains the intermediary at all times, receiving and forwarding communication between all parties.
If a Whistleblower cannot access the Your Call Message Board, they can contact Your Call on 1 300 790 228 for verbal updates.
Conduct of the investigation
Once the WPO has considered the nature and scope of the investigation, and determined who will be appointed to undertake the investigation, it will be the role of the appointed investigator to conduct the investigation in a constructive, impartial and lawful way according to the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness. This will include undertaking the following actions.
The Investigator’s report will contain:
The Investigator’s Report will be provided to one of the WPOs. The WPO receiving the Investigator’s Report cannot be the WPO who was responsible for the appointment of the investigator. Where required to do so by law, the WPO who received the Investigator’s Report will then refer the information contained in the Investigator’s Report to the relevant external authorities.
FYA (its officers and employees) have a legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of a Whistleblower’s identity. Any unauthorised disclosure of the identity of a Whistleblower or information that is likely to lead to the identification of the Whistleblower is an offence under the Corporations Act 2001 that carries serious penalties.
Any FYA staff member who makes an unauthorised disclosure of the identity of a Whistleblower or discloses information that is likely to lead to the identification of the Whistleblower will be considered to have engaged in serious misconduct and will have disciplinary action taken against them, which may include dismissal.
The following protections are only available to Whistleblowers (i.e. persons who have made a report of misconduct to Your Call or to another person who can receive a Whistleblower Report) as specified in this policy to) and not to persons who have made a report of a personal work related grievance.
These protections are available to Whistleblowers regardless of whether their report of misconduct turns out to be incorrect or whether they chose to remain anonymous when they made their Whistleblower Report and through investigation process.
The Corporations Act 2001 protects a Whistleblower against certain legal actions related to making the Whistleblower Report including:
This protection does not grant a Whistleblower immunity to for any misconduct that they were involved in that is revealed in the Whistleblowing Report.
FYA is committed to protecting and respecting the rights of Whistleblowers and will not tolerate any retaliatory action or threats of retaliatory action against any person who has made or who is believed to have made a Whistleblower Report. Such behaviour will be treated as serious misconduct and will result in disciplinary action, which may include dismissal.
It is also illegal (under the Corporations Act 2001) to cause or threaten to cause detriment to a Whistleblower on the basis that they have or it is suspected that they have made a report of misconduct . Detriment includes, amongst other things, dismissal from employment, harrasment, discrimination, injury, damage to property or reputation (but does not inlcude administrative action that is reasonable for the purpose of protecting a Whistleblower from detriment).
Compensation and Remedies for Whistleblowers
A Whistleblower can seek compensation and other remedies through the courts if:
FYA will provide support to Whistleblowers, including
FYA will also provide support and guidance to any FYA staff member thinking about making a Whistleblower Report. This support is available by contacting the Head of Legal or Chief Financial Officer.
FYA recognises that individuals against whom a Whistleblowing Report is made must also be supported during the handling and investigation of the Whistleblowing Report. FYA will take reasonable steps to treat the person who is the subject of a Whistleblowing Report fairly, particularly during the assessment and investigation process.
An FYA employee who makes a Whistleblowing Report 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 circumstances of the false report.
The WPO will report to the FYA Board on the number and type of Whistleblower incident reports annually. These reports will be made on a ‘no names’ basis, maintaining the confidentiality of the persons and matters raised under this policy.
This policy is available to employees and officeholders of FYA and to the general public via FYA’s website (www.fya.org.au).
FYA reserves the right to amend and vary this policy in line with best practice, operating efficiency and changes to legislation.
This policy will be formally reviewed every two years, or earlier if required, ensuring compliance with legislation and FYA operating procedures.
|Authorised By||Date Authorised||Date of Effect||Review Date|
|Board of Directors|