At NPA we expect everyone in our community—including members, officeholders, volunteers, employees, contractors and visitors—to treat each other with appropriate courtesy and respect, and to conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner.
We have adopted several policies to help reinforce these expectations.
- Dispute resolution
- Inappropriate behaviour
- Conflicts of interest
- Related party transactions
- Improper conduct (‘whistleblowers’).
Should a dispute arise between one or more members (or between any party and the Association), they should first try to resolve it between themselves. If unsuccessful, NPA’s Dispute Resolution Policy sets out a procedure for resolving the dispute with the assistance of an independent mediator. The policy seeks to resolve disputes promptly and amicably.
‘Inappropriate Behaviour’ includes unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, offensive behaviour, violence, bullying and victimisation. Such behaviour is at the very least disrespectful, and can be a serious criminal offence.
NPA’s Inappropriate Behaviour Policy recognises that such behaviour is unacceptable in any forum or setting, including meetings, events, bushwalks, workplaces, conferences, email or social media.
You can make a complaint about inappropriate behaviour to the NPA Vice President.
Persons engaging in inappropriate behaviour face consequences appropriate to the particular circumstances. This might include a simple warning, making an apology, being banned from NPA activities, or being expelled from NPA. If appropriate, the matter will be referred to the Police or other authorities.
Conflicts of interest
A ‘conflict of interest’ occurs when a personal interest conflicts with a legal duty or ethical responsibility to act in the best interests of NPA. Examples include an interest in a business or a role held with another organisation. The interest can be held personally or by family or friends.
Conflicts of interest that arise at meetings are required to be disclosed and managed in accordance with our Conflicts of Interest Policy. They typically arise for quite innocent reasons, such as being on the committee of another organisation. However, concealing a significant material interest is potentially a matter of serious misconduct.
Disclosures made at Executive or State Council meetings, on an Executive nomination form, or otherwise made to the Secretary, will be recorded on the Register of Interests and Related Party Transactions. The Register can be inspected by NPA members and the Auditor.
Related party transactions
A ‘related party’ is a person who holds a position of authority or responsibility for NPA or a subsidiary body (such as Executive members, State Council members, directors of Natural Areas Pty Ltd, or senior NPA staff), and includes their close family members or associates.
Transactions made with a related party present the risk that they are entered into for an improper benefit. Our policies on Conflicts of Interests and Related Party Transactions aim to avoid and minimise that risk.
Improper conduct (‘whistleblowers’)
‘Improper conduct’ includes breaches of the law, corrupt conduct, fraud, theft, or systemic practices that seriously endanger the health or safety of members, staff or the general public.
Our internal controls, small size and decentralised structure make such failures and their concealment extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, a Whistleblowers Policy has been adopted to ensure there is a clear mechanism for dealing with improper conduct. Under the Policy, no detrimental action may be taken against a whistleblower as a result of their having reported improper conduct. All reports must be investigated.
If you have any reason to suspect improper conduct, please report it in strictest confidence to the NPA Vice President (or to another officeholder who can receive a complaint). Reports may be verbal or written. Anonymous reports can be accepted.