World Relief Australia is committed to being accountable for its actions and takes complaints seriously. If any person notices wrongdoing in the work of World Relief Australia, they can report this confidentially and safely to the organisation. This ensures that stakeholders are able to hold World Relief Australia to account for its actions or decisions through a complaints process where these can be queried and a response obtained.
Scope of policy
This policy is intended to apply to any complaint, regardless of who makes it. This could be a member of the general public, a beneficiary, a representative of World Relief Australia, staff & volunteers or anyone else who is in contact with our work.
World Relief Australia regards a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our organisation, our staff, our volunteers, our board, or anyone else acting on our behalf.
World Relief Australia acknowledges that in some situations, people do not feel that they can speak about the complaint because they fear the repercussions of reporting a complaint. World Relief Australia notes that no person reporting a wrongdoing should be personally disadvantaged. World Relief Australia is committed to ensuring that legitimate complaints can be made without negative repercussions. To this end: all complaints are confidential; complaints can be made anonymously; any negative repercussions will be treated seriously; and there are safe procedures (below) for whistleblowing that will minimise fears of making complaints.
Any person can make a complaint orally, in written form, or through a friend. All complaints can be made anonymously if requested.
Handling and analysis of complaints
When World Relief Australia receives a complaint, it registers this on the confidential Complaints Register to be maintained by the Chairman. This Register includes date of receipt, summary, type of complaint, who received the complaint, process to deal with complaint, and complainant. The matter is first discussed on a personal basis with the complainant and the CEO or Chairman of the Board to determine the magnitude of the complaint. If the complaint involves the CEO or Chairman of the Board, then the matter is raised with a senior Board official (e.g. Secretary or Treasurer).
If the issue cannot be resolved through discussion, the complaint is presented in written form and is then addressed at a meeting of the Board where a decision can be made. The person making the complaint is then advised by the CEO and/or the Chairman of the Board, both verbally and in writing.
World Relief Australia reserves the right to intervene without notice should a situation arise which requires immediate investigation. In the event of a complaint requiring investigation, whether that complaint be in relation to a child protection, financial, or other matter, the World Relief Australia Board will appoint a suitably qualified person to undertake the investigation on its behalf. A report of the investigation is to be provided to the World Relief Australia executive, which will be responsible for determining any action to be taken and for providing a report to the Board. Where an investigation reveals criminal wrongdoing, the matter is reported to the relevant authority.
For complaints that are not resolved within 5 days, World Relief Australia acknowledges the complaint either by telephone or in writing. If the complaint has not been resolved within 30 days, World Relief Australia contacts the complainant to update them on the progress of the complaint.
Full confidentiality is assured in the complaints process, enabling staff, members of the Board, office holders or members of the public to report misconduct under conditions of confidentiality. World Relief Australia will not reveal the complainant’s name or personal details to anyone outside the organisation without the complainant’s permission.