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Reporting Wrongdoing

Southern Cross University is committed to investigating allegations of wrongdoing and protecting people who raise genuine concerns about improper conduct. 

The Whistleblower Policy sets out the framework for making a report of wrongdoing and how such reports will be managed.  Only certain serious reports of wrongdoing will qualify as Whistleblower Reports and entitle the person making the report to protection against reprisal actions.

The types of reports that qualify for protection:

  1. Public Interest Disclosures
  2. Reports under the Corporations Act and the Taxation Administration Act

The Whistleblower Report Summary sets out the specific requirements for each type of report including: 

  • Who makes the report
  • What the report is about
  • Who the report is made to

You are encouraged to contact the Disclosures Coordinator if you have any questions about making a report of wrongdoing:

Disclosures Coordinator

Belinda Atkinson
Director, Governance Services
Email: Belinda.atkinson@scu.edu.au
Telephone: (02) 6620 3186

Staff grievances should be raised in accordance with the University’s Complaint Policy - Staff and Complaint Procedure - Staff.

Complaints by students which do not relate to wrongdoing, should be made in accordance with the University’s Complaints Policy – Students and Members of the Public

 

FAQS 

How can I make a report? 

You can submit a report verbally or by using this Report of Wrongdoing form.

You are encouraged to make the report to the Disclosures Coordinator, however the Whistleblower Report Summary provides details of other people who can received a Whistleblower Report including:

  • The Vice Chancellor and the Chair of Academic Board
  • External agencies such as the NSW Ombudsman

Can reports be made anonymously?  

A report can be made anonymously however, the University may not be able to investigate the report without your details.  In addition, the University will not be able to take action to provide support or protect you from reprisal action. 

What happens once I have made a report?  

  1. Within ten working days of your report being received, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt from the Disclosures Coordinator. If your report of wrongdoing is about the Director, Governance Services, the Vice Chancellor will appoint an alternative Disclosures Coordinator.
  2. The Disclosures Coordinator will determine whether the report qualifies for protection as a Whistleblower Report.  If the report does qualify for protection, the Disclosures Coordinator, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor, will determine whether an investigation should be undertaken and what that investigation will entail.  The Disclosures Coordinator will inform you of their determination.  This will usually occur within twenty working days of receipt of the report.  If your report of wrongdoing is about the Vice Chancellor, the Disclosures Coordinator will consult with the Chancellor instead.
  3. If an investigation is undertaken, you will be provided with information about the progress of that investigation.  At the end of the investigation, you will be provided with information to show that adequate and appropriate action has been taken in response to the Whistleblower Report.  Due to privacy restrictions, the University may not be able to provide you with all of the details about the outcome.

How can I be sure about confidentiality? 

If a report qualifies as a Whistleblower Report, the University is legally required to keep your identity confidentiality except in certain specific circumstances including:

  • Where you have given consent in writing for disclosure of the information
  • You have voluntarily identified yourself as the person who made the report
  • To meet the requirements of procedural fairness

If it becomes necessary to disclose your identity, the Disclosures Coordinator will contact you beforehand.

What protections will I receive?

If your report qualifies as a Whistleblower Report you will be entitled to protection against reprisal actions as set out in the Whistleblower Report Summary.

Any staff member who suspects reprisal action has occurred should notify their supervisor, the Disclosures Coordinator or the Vice Chancellor.  Disciplinary action will be taken if it is found that reprisal action has occurred.

Where can I find additional information? 

Additional information about Whistleblower Reports can be found in the Whistleblower Policy and in these external resources: 

NSW Ombudsman  

Fact sheet: Thinking about reporting serious wrong doing? 

Fact sheet: Am I dealing with a public interest disclosure?