Whistleblower Notice

Links to Wellbeing, under the Neami Group has a Whistleblower Policy to create a framework for making, receiving, investigating, and addressing whistleblower disclosures.

This Whistleblower Notice is drawn from the Neami Group’s Whistleblower Policy. For a copy of the Whistleblower policy, please email protecteddisclosures@neaminational.org.au or phone 03 8691 5300.

The policy rationale is to promote open communication throughout the Neami Group, provide protection to whistleblowers, facilitate the development of practices that reduce the risk of conduct amounting to whistleblower disclosures, and safeguard the reputation, values, and ethics of the Neami Group

What constitutes a whistleblower disclosure?

A whistleblower disclosure refers to conduct that is:

  • Dishonest;
  • Fraudulent;
  • Corrupt;
  • Illegal;
  • Unethical;
  • In breach of internal policy (including the Code of Conduct);
  • Misconduct or an improper state of affairs; or
  • A danger to the public.

Who can be a Whistleblower?

A Whistleblower can be:

  • Current and former Directors, officers, associates, and employees (including permanent, fixed, or temporary) of the Neami Group;
  • Contractors and consultants (including employees of contractors) who supply goods and services (whether paid or unpaid) to the Neami Group;
  • Students of the Neami Group; and
  • Relatives and/or dependents of any of the persons listed above.

Who can receive a whistleblower disclosure?

Eligible Recipients are authorised to receive whistleblower disclosures. Eligible Recipients are:

  • Whistleblower Protection Officer;
  • Board of Directors;
  • CEO Neami National;
  • CEO Me Well;
  • Chief Operating Officer;
  • Chief Financial Officer; and
  • General Counsel.

Who is the Whistleblower Protection Officer?

The Whistleblower Protection Officer ensures the protection and fair treatment of the whistleblower. The WPO is responsible for receiving whistleblower disclosures via the email address. The WPO can also receive whistleblower disclosures directly, verbally or in writing. The WPO is also an Eligible Recipient. The WPO is:

  • Senior Manager, People, Capability & Culture; or
  • Senior Manager, Quality, Compliance & Risk; or
  • General Counsel; or
  • Any equivalent positions created for this purpose.

Making a whistleblower disclosure

A whistleblower disclosure can be made in the following ways:

Disclosure via email address

A whistleblower disclosure can be made in writing and email it to protecteddisclosures@neaminational.org.au. The Whistleblower Protection Officer will receive the emails, and will review the content of the disclosure and determine whether to:

  • Launch a formal investigation; or
  • Refer the matter to be dealt with under a different Neami Group policy; or
  • Take no further formal steps.

Disclosure to Whistleblower Protection Officer

A whistleblower disclosure can be made verbally or in writing to the Whistleblower Protection Officer. The Whistleblower Protection Officer will review the content of the disclosure and determine whether to:

  • Launch a formal investigation; or
  • Refer the matter to be dealt with under a different Neami Group policy; or
  • Take no further formal steps.

Disclosure to Eligible Recipients

A whistleblower disclosure can be made verbally or in writing to an Eligible Recipient. Eligible Recipients must refer the matter to the Whistleblower Protection Officer.

Disclosure to other personnel

Any whistleblower disclosures made to other personnel at the Neami Group, such as a Supervisor or Manager, will be referred to the Whistleblower Protection Officer.

Disclosure to auditors

A whistleblower disclosure can be made to the Neami Group’s external auditors. However, any disclosures made to the external auditors will be referred to the Whistleblower Protection Officer.

Direct disclosure to regulatory bodies

Whistleblowers are entitled to make direct disclosures to ASIC or APRA.

General Counsel

Where disclosures are made to General Counsel and General Counsel considers there to be an actual or perceived conflict of interest, the CEO will be made aware of the disclosure and external legal advice will be sought. Where General Counsel receives a disclosure as a Whistleblower Protection Officer or Eligible Recipient, and an investigation is launched, another individual from the list of Whistleblower Investigation Officers will conduct the investigation.

Investigating a whistleblower disclosure

If the WPO determines a formal investigation is necessary, the WPO will refer the matter to the Whistleblower Investigation Officer or an external investigator (where appropriate) for investigation.

Whistleblower protection and support

A Whistleblower who makes a report in accordance with the Whistleblower Policy will not be discriminated against or disadvantaged in their employment or engagement with the Neami Group, even if the report is subsequently determined to be incorrect or not substantiated.

The Neami Group strictly prohibits all forms of retaliation against a Whistleblower as a direct result of making a Protected Disclosure. All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that the Whistleblower will not be subject to any victimisation, discrimination, harassment, demotion, dismissal, threats, prejudice, or any other unfavourable treatment because they made a Protected Disclosure. However, this procedure will not protect the Whistleblower if they are found to have engaged in serious misconduct or illegal conduct in relation to the Reportable Conduct.

Anonymous reporting

A Protected Disclosure can be made anonymously (e.g. through creation of an anonymous email account), and the identity of a Whistleblower cannot be disclosed to a Court or Tribunal without a court order. However, it may be difficult for the Neami Group to properly investigate anonymous reports. If authorities take legal action in relation to the Reportable Conduct, or a disclosure is referred to an external authority (e.g. police, ASIC, or ACNC) early on for formal investigation, it may become necessary for a Whistleblower to identify themselves. If a Whistleblower is required or encouraged to disclose their identity, the Neami Group will continue to ensure that the Whistleblower is protected from retaliation.

Confidentiality

The Neami Group will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the identity of a Whistleblower remains confidential throughout the investigation process. The Neami Group will not disclose a Whistleblower’s identity unless:

  • The Whistleblower consents to the disclosure of their identity;
  • Disclosure of the Whistleblower’s identity is compelled by law;
  • Disclosure is necessary to prevent a serious threat to any person’s health or safety; or
  • It is necessary to protect or enforce the Neami Group’s legal rights or interests or to defend any claims.

Nature of reporting

A report may have serious consequences, including potential damage to the career prospects and reputation of people who are the subject of the Reportable Conduct. Therefore, it is important that those who make a report under this procedure do so honestly and with genuine or reasonable grounds for believing that the information is correct or likely to be correct. Although the motivation of a Whistleblower when making a report will not be considered relevant, if a report is found to be malicious, deliberately misleading or frivolous, the person making the report may be subject to disciplinary action.

Support

The Whistleblower Protection Officer can initiate or coordinate support for employees who have or are in the process of making a report. As a first step, employees can also contact the Neami Group’s employee assistance program, Caraniche, available on 1800 099 444. Further information on Caraniche can be found at www.caraniche.com.au.

Fair treatment

A Whistleblower within the Neami Group who is, or considers themselves at risk of being, subjected to detrimental treatment, as a result of making a report on objectively reasonable grounds, should inform an appropriate WPO immediately.  The WPO will work with them to take appropriate action, where possible, which may include making recommendations to the Misconduct Governance Committee (e.g. that the concerns be investigated).

The WPO may be unable to assist if the Whistleblower wishes to remain anonymous. Where requests cannot be met, the Whistleblower will be told why.

The Neami Group is committed to ensuring that any person who reports Reportable Conduct, acts as a witness or participates in any way with respect to a report of Reportable Conduct, does not suffer detriment or is not victimised or unfavourably treated. Any reports of such conduct will be thoroughly investigated and, if proven, those who have engaged in such conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

Access to whistleblowing documentation

The Neami Group whistleblowing documentation will be made available through:

  • Neami Group’s website and intranet;
  • Induction packs for all new employees;
  • Electronic link to all current employees and contractors;
  • Trainings; and
  • Requests from staff.

Locations across Southern and Central Adelaide

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