The Australian School of Meditation & Yoga (ASMY) has various Company Policies and a Complaints Resolution Officer to help facilitate an enjoyable and safe environment for all ASMY employees and attendees. The policies are:
- Mutual Respect Policy
- Child Protection Policy
- Whistleblower Policy
- Complaint Resolution Policy
By attending programs and events conducted by ASMY, participants agree to follow all reasonable requests and instructions of the authorised representatives of ASMY and to abide by such policies. ASMY class attendee forms note these policies and where they and the Complaints Resolution Officer can be found.
The ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer can be contacted directly at:
- 07 5551 0102
- firstname.lastname@example.org (acknowledgement of receipt within 24 hours)
Every individual attending ASMY’s programs, whether as a teacher or an attendee, should be treated with respect, dignity and fairness, and be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment. Harassment, abuse, and any other form of inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.
The Complaint Resolution Policy is available by request from the Complaints Resolution Officer.
ASMY also has a Whistleblower Policy.
Details of the Mutual Respect Policy, Child Protection Policy and Whisteblower Policy are contained below.
Mutual Respect Policy Guidelines
Our teachers and representatives seek to:
- Welcome and respect all students regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, personal beliefs, political affiliation, physical abilities, or sexual orientation.
- Teach within the boundaries of their training, competence, and experience.
- Develop their yoga knowledge and skills through ongoing education and study.
- Uphold the integrity of the yoga tradition by conducting themselves in a professional, and conscientious manner, and teaching by personal example.
- Respect the dignity and privacy of all students and attendees.
- Maintain appropriate teacher/student relationship boundaries.
- Create and maintain a safe, clean, and comfortable, environment for the practice of yoga and meditation.
What we ask of students and attendees:
- Treat ASMY representatives and fellow attendees at ASMY programs and events, with respect and dignity.
- Do not engage in behaviour or conduct that is inappropriate, disturbing, disruptive, or offensive to others.
What constitutes unacceptable behaviour and conduct:
Unacceptable behaviours include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct
- Actual or threatened physical or sexual assault
- Sexual or compromising propositions
- Racist, sexist, religious, or otherwise inappropriate jokes
- Offensive language, insults, or obscene gestures
- Intrusion by pestering or stalking
- Behaviour, either in person or through the use of phone, e-mail, text messages, online activity such as social media, forums, websites, blogs etc., that threatens, stalks, defames, defrauds, degrades, victimizes or intimidates an individual or group of individuals for any reason; or incites or encourages anyone else to do so
- Unacceptable behaviour may be focused upon:
- Race, ethnic origin, nationality, or skin colour
- Sexual orientation
- Disabilities or sensory impairments
- Age, health, or other physical characteristics
- Religious or political beliefs
By attending programs and events conducted by ASMY, participants agree to follow all reasonable requests and instructions of the authorised representatives of ASMY and to abide by its’ “Mutual Respect Policy”.
ASMY has a zero tolerance position and reserves the right to refuse an individual entry to and participation in its programs and events, if in its opinion an individual’s conduct, behaviour, or intentions, breach this policy.
Child Protection Policy
Name: Child Protection Policy
Responsible Officer: Complaints Resolution Officer
Approving Authority: Australian School of Meditation & Yoga
Date of Adoption:
Due for Review: March 2020
Last Amended: 13 March 2019
The purpose of this policy is to:
- Set out the commitment of ASMY to the safety and wellbeing of all children, and the protection of children from harm;
- Provide written processes about the appropriate conduct of Australian School of Meditation & Yoga (ASMY) employees, volunteers, students and attendees that accord with legislation and community expectations about the care and protection of children;
- Set out how ASMY will respond to harm and allegations of harm to students and attendees under 18 years of age.
This policy applies to all employees, volunteers, students and attendees as well as contractors and people undertaking work experience or vocational placement at the Australian School of Meditation & Yoga.
Child: Means an individual under 18 years of age.
Harm: Means any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. It is immaterial how the harm is caused. Harm can be caused by single act, omission or circumstance or a series or combination of circumstances where there is:
- Physical, psychological or emotional abuse;
- Sexual abuse or exploitation (including involving the child as a participant or spectator in a sexual act, or exposing a child to pornography);
- Neglect or failure to provide the basic physical or psychological needs including medical care;
- Exposure to domestic violence :
Attendee: means any person regardless of age who attended an Australian School of Meditation & Yoga program anywhere in Australia.
Employee: includes both paid employees, volunteers, contractors and vocational trainees or work experience participants.
Student: Means a student of the Australian School of Meditation & Yoga
Child Protection Act 1999 (QLD);
Working with children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (QLD)
Working with children (Risk Management and Screening) Regulations 2011 (QLD)
Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW);
Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012 (NSW)
Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (VIC);
Working with Children Act 2005 (VIC
Children and Community Services Act 2004 (WA);
Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 (WA);
Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017(SA);
Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 (SA);
Care and Protection of Children Act 2008 (NT)
RELATED POLICIES AND DOCUMENTS
Code of Conduct for working with children
Complaints Management Policy and Procedure
UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES, GUIDELINES & EVIDENCE OF COMPLIANCE
- Children and young people have a right to be safe and to be protected from harm. All children should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
- Every person in the community shares responsibility for promoting the wellbeing and safety of children.
- ASMY recognizes that people who are subjected to abuse are harmed by it and that the welfare, safety and best interest of the child will always be a primary consideration in executing the ASMY policies and procedures.
- ASMY are committed to ensuring that children who attend at ASMY activities are safe from harm, and will regularly review their strategies to prevent, identify and mitigate risks to children.
- ASMY is committed to responding diligently to reports of suspected or actual harm and will act fairly and reasonably toward those subjected to allegations of inappropriate conduct.
- ASMY will take disciplinary action against employees, students and volunteers who harm others, and appropriate action against attendees who harm others.
- ASMY will not permit people to work in a position they believe, on the basis of all information available that, if the allegations against them were wholly or partly true, there would be an unacceptable risk that others might be harmed.
- ASMY will cooperate with state and federal authorities in resolving allegations of harm, and in criminal matters which may flow from allegations of harm.
- Employees, volunteers, students and attendees of ASMY must not under any circumstances engage in conduct that results in physical, emotional or psychological abuse or harm to children. Irrespective of whether the conduct is consensual or non-consensual employees, volunteers, students and attendees must not at any time engage in sexual contact or communication of any nature with a child irrespective of the child’s age in the course of their employment or during the period of their engagement with ASMY. ASMY employees, volunteers, students and attendees must not engage in any communication or conduct which could be considered grooming.
- Engaging in prohibited conduct may result in criminal proceedings and/or disciplinary action including dismissal.
- ASMY will act protectively as far as is reasonably necessary by implementing risk management strategies, practices and procedures which promote the wellbeing of children.
In outworking these principles through this policy ASMY will be guided by the following guidelines and indicators of compliance.
- Those making a decision will not be biased. Conflicts of interest will be avoided by decision makers.
- Nobody should be condemned unless they are given prior notice of the allegations against them and they have a fair opportunity to be heard fully in relation to all material evidence against them.
Confidentiality for those disclosing abuse
Certain members, employees or volunteers of ASMY may have a duty to disclose such information to relevant state authorities as prescribed by law, but outside that duty each person who has access to confidential information regarding suspected or disclosed harm is obliged to preserve the parties’ identities and information about the incident. Absolute confidentiality cannot be assured, but the notifier’s identity will not be disclosed except as permitted/required by law.
Where there are allegations of criminal misconduct, the allegations must be referred to the police. All allegations of pedophilia must be reported to the police, including those from the past, except where the alleged perpetrator is deceased.
To reduce the chance of abuse or harm occurring, ASMY will ensure that all employees are aware of, understand and fulfill their obligations under this policy.
All directors and office holders must hold a current working with children check in their state.
Any employee yoga/meditation contractor or volunteer who will or may provide classes, instruction or services to a child during the course of their role at ASMY must also hold a current working with children check.
Prior to being engaged as director or office holder, yoga/meditation contractor or employee or volunteer who may provide classes, instruction or services to a child, the individual must provide to ASMY their current working with children check or equivalent in the state of operation. ASMY must inform the relevant government agency in their state of the intention to employ that individual where required. ASMY will not engage an individual unless and until they hold a current working with children check or equivalent.
Whilst that individual remains as a director or office holder, or employee or volunteer, they must keep their working with children check or equivalent current and advise ASMY immediately upon their working with children check lapsing or being suspended. ASMY must retain a register of all directors, employees and volunteers who hold a working with children check, such register to include:
- Individual’s full name, address, date of birth and working with children check number;
- Date of expiry of working with children check;
- Name, work address, work telephone number, and work email address of the ASMY staff member who has provided to the relevant government agency the information about intention to employ;
- The name and contact details of the ASMY staff member who verified the individual’s contact details and identity, and current working with children check.
Where the contractor or volunteer is providing classes, instruction or services associated with ASMY and that contractor or volunteer is a citizen of or ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia:
- 1.they shall not be subject to the above requirements to hold a current working with children check or equivalent; and
- They shall be accompanied by an ASMY staff member or volunteer who does hold a current working with children check or equivalent; and
- They shall not have any contact with children at ASMY functions without a staff member being present.
The ASMY will ensure that appropriate and sufficient references are obtained for each new employee engaged since the commencement of this policy. ASMY also requires a police report from new employees.
ASMY will provide support to the victim through referrals to professional counseling if required whether or not the allegations are proved. ASMY will also provide support to the respondent to the complaint of abuse or harm through the provision of professional counseling if it is requested by the respondent and this will be available to the respondent until the matter is resolved.
ASMY will respond promptly to allegations of harm and abuse and will act without unreasonable delay to prevent further harm from occurring. ASMY will carry out steps under this policy promptly and keep both the victim and respondent informed of the progress.
Review, Publication & Awareness
ASMY will review this policy and its related procedures regularly at least annually.
ASMY will ensure that employees are advised of any policy changes and will ensure that the policy is easily accessible to all employees, guests, volunteers and students. New employees, volunteers and students will be made aware of the policy and its contents upon commencement of their position and or engagement with ASMY
ASMY will place a copy of this policy at all ASMY Centres, and will ensure that it is available on the ASMY website.
- The creation and promotion of a safe environment for children and young people who attend the ASMY.
- The promotion of and compliance with Australian Child Protection and Child Safety legislation.
- The establishment and continuance of effective reporting and recording channels in relation to information pertaining to the harm or abuse of children.
- The swift, unbiased and confidential handling of complaints or allegations of harm or abuse.
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING HARM
Scope: This section applies to harm of any employee, student, volunteer or attendee under 18 years of age and to the behavior of any employee, student, volunteer or attendee that an employee, student, volunteer or attendee considers inappropriate.
Test: Where the allegation involves harm of a person under 18 years, the test to determine whether or not to report the allegation is: where you have become aware or reasonably suspect that the child has been harmed or is likely to be harmed. You do not need proof to establish a reasonable suspicion. Suspicion does not require actual belief. Generally, a disclosure of the abuse, particularly by the victim, will be sufficient to form a suspicion. Always err on the side of reporting allegations to the appropriate authorities.
- It is not the role of the employee to investigate allegations of harm. Only ask enough questions to confirm the need to report the matter to the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer. The safety of the child or young person is paramount. Unnecessary questions or interviews could cause distress or confusion and interfere with any subsequent investigation authorities undertake.
- If you are concerned and want to talk through the matter to confirm whether you should report, and to whom you should report, please speak with the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer (or if the concern is about the behaviour of the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer, speak with a director).
Appropriate Authorities: Police and Child Safety Agency (In the applicable State or Territory)
How to Report Harm
|Employees & Contractors||In the course of your position, you become aware or reasonably suspect that a child has been harmed||ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer ANDPolice & Child Safety Agency in applicable State or Territory|
|Volunteers||In the course of your volunteering at ASMY you are aware or reasonably suspect that a child has been harmed||ASMY Complaints Resolution OfficerAND
Police & Child Safety Agency in applicable State or Territory.
|Attendees & Students||In the course of your attendance at ASMY you are aware or reasonably suspect that a child has been harmed||ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer|
|ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer||You are aware or reasonably suspect that a child has been harmed||Police & Child Safety Agency (in the applicable State or Territory)|
DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF HARM
Where allegations or reports of harm against a child are brought to the attention of ASMY the following actions should be taken in relation to the suspected or alleged harm;
Record: The details of the report or allegation must be recorded with accuracy immediately and care should be taken to avoid tainting the evidence supplied with personal views or perspectives. The record should reflect actual words used and observations made. The record must be kept safe and confidential. Confidential information collected for the purposes of recording an allegation must only be disclosed as necessary in furtherance of this policy. Any reports of harm or abuse against a child must be reported to the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer without delay.
The report must include:
- the name of the informant or persons providing the report;
- the name of the child and their sex;
- details of how the informant became aware of the harm or formed the suspicion that a child had been harmed;
- Details of the harm or suspected harm alleged to have occurred;
- If known: The child’s age, the identity of the person alleged to have harmed the child, the identity of any other person who may have information about the harm or suspected harm.
Decide: Directors, Employees, Contractors and Volunteers must immediately inform the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer, and shall make the appropriate notification to the Police or Child Safety Agency in their state. Where there is some concern or doubt about whether the information meets the required threshold to report to Police or Child Safety Agency, the individual will liaise with the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer about whether the information must be reported to the appropriate authority of the Commonwealth or relevant Australian State or Territory. If the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer determines that a report is required they must report the incident promptly.
Provide: Where it is alleged that a person associated with ASMY has caused the harm (whether as an employee, contractor, volunteer, student or attendee) the ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer will also provide details of the allegations to the respondent and provide them with the opportunity to seek advice and respond to all material facts and evidence. If there is an allegation of criminal behaviour and a report has been made to the police, advice should be taken from Police prior to providing details of the allegations to the respondentto avoid prejudicing their investigation. In the event that the respondent is a director, employee, volunteer student or attendee and they would have access to children, the respondent should be directed to stand down from their position pending investigation or, in extreme cases, summarily dismissed.
Offer: Both the victim and the respondent should be offered support and the opportunity to attend and participate in professional counselling. This service should be made available to both the victim and the respondent throughout the entirety of the investigation process.
Inform: The ASMY board of directors should be informed of the allegations, reports and steps already taken in the process. The insurers of ASMY will also need to be kept informed of the matter and its progress.
Investigate: Once all necessary parties have been informed of the allegations and reports it will be necessary to investigate the incident and form conclusions. In the event that the allegations have been reported to the police, ASMY should not commence independent investigations until the prosecution is complete and you have been informed whether they have decided to charge the respondent.
Attend: Both during and following investigation attend to public relations as required. During this process, confidential information collected during reporting or investigation must remain so and must not be disclosed to parties external to the investigation or child protection procedure.
Discipline: Following the completion of the formal investigation and dispute resolution process, disciplinary action should be taken if the circumstances require it. Both the victim and respondent should be kept informed of the progress and outcomes at all relevant times, subject to any privacy restrictions.
AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF MEDITATION & YOGA ACN 002 506 461
For the purpose of this policy:
“Whistleblowing” is the voluntary disclosure of Misconduct by a person who has witnessed instances of, or holds suspicions regarding Misconduct within Australian School of Meditation & Yoga.
“Whistleblower” is an officer, employee, contractor or volunteer of Australian School of Meditation & Yoga, or the relative, spouse or dependant of any such person, who reports Misconduct in accordance with this policy.
“Misconduct” includes conduct that:
- Constitutes an offence against, or a contravention of, a provision of any of the following:
- The Corporations Act 2001;
- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001;
- The Banking Act 1959;
- The Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001;
- The Insurance Act 1973;
- The Life Insurance Act 1995;
- The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009;
- The Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993;
- Constitutes an offence against any other law of the Commonwealth that is punishable by imprisonment for a period of 12 months or more; or
- Represents a danger to the public or the financial system; or
- Is prescribed by regulations for the purposes of paragraph 1317AA(5) of the Corporations Act 2001.
All officers, employees, contractors or volunteers of Australian School of Meditation & Yoga will be made aware of this policy and the avenues available to report instances of (or suspicions of) Misconduct.
This current version of this policy will be available to all officers and employees through the Australian School of Meditation & Yoga website (www.asmy.org.au). A copy will also be given to any employee, contractor or volunteer upon request to their centre manager.
Nominated Whistleblower Protection Officers
Australian School of Meditation & Yoga has nominated both Internal and External Whistleblower Protection Officers, to receive reports of Misconduct and protect the interests of the Whistleblower in terms of this policy. Australian School of Meditation & Yoga will seek to ensure that all officers, employees, contractors and volunteers are aware of the current nominated Whistleblower Protection Officers and mechanisms to contact them.
Where reporting within the Whistleblower’s normal reporting channels (ie. to their immediate manager) is not desirable or appropriate, the Whistleblower may report instances of, or suspicions of, Misconduct to the Internal Whistleblower Protection Officer.
- Internal Whistleblower Protection Officer – Andrew Galvin, General Manager of Australian School of Meditation & Yoga.
- Contact: Goldemail@example.com / 0405 428 768
In circumstances where it is not possible or appropriate to report instances of Misconduct to the Internal Whistleblower Protection Officer, reports may be raised directly with the nominated External Whistleblower Protection Officer. This reporting avenue may be used where the Whistleblower reasonably believes that any internal reporting avenues available are unlikely to provide an independent assessment and/or investigation of the allegations of Misconduct, and will generally only be appropriate where the Misconduct alleged involves senior Australian School of Meditation & Yoga personnel.
- External Whistleblower Protection Officer – Narelle Head, Director of Australian School of Meditation & Yoga
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / (02) 6674 2556
In addition to making a report through normal reporting channels or to the Whistleblower Protection Officer, a Whistleblower may wish to make a report of Misconduct within Australian School of Meditation & Yoga to an external body. Disclosures made to an external body will not be investigated by Australian School of Meditation & Yoga pursuant to this policy, but whistleblowers will be afforded the protections set out in this policy to the extent that Australian School of Meditation & Yoga is made aware of the identity of the Whistleblower by the external body.
All reports of Misconduct made under this policy will be assessed and investigated.
Upon receipt of a report from a Whistleblower, the Whistleblower Protection Officer is responsible for informing either the Chief Executive Officer or Australian School of Meditation & Yoga Board Chair that a report of Misconduct has been received, and determining whether the disclosure is a matter of Misconduct to which this policy applies, within 72 hours of receiving the report.
Where the Whistleblower Protection Officer determines that a report is trivial, vexatious or baseless, the Whistleblower Protection Officer will inform the Whistleblower of this assessment and no further action will be taken in relation to the report.
If it is determined that the report is a matter to which this policy applies, the following investigation processes will apply:
- The Whistleblower Protection Officer will be responsible for appointing an investigator within 7 days of receiving the report. The investigation must not be conducted by a person who may be the subject of the investigation or have connections (actual or perceived) to the persons or issues under investigation. In making this appointment, the Whistleblower Protection Officer must consider whether the appointment of an external investigator is appropriate, having regard to the nature of the Misconduct alleged and the persons implicated in the allegations.
- Investigations must be conducted in a fair and transparent manner, affording principles of natural justice to any persons implicated in a report of Misconduct and preserving the confidentiality (to the greatest extent possible) of the person.
- Investigations regarding reports made pursuant to this policy should be completed within 21 days of the appointment of an investigator. If for any reason an investigation cannot be completed within 21 days, the Whistleblower must be informed of the delay by the Whistleblower Protection Officer.
- The investigator will provide a report confirming the outcome of the investigation to the Whistleblower Protection Officer within 7 days of completing the investigation.
- The Whistleblower Protection Officer will immediately make the report available to the Chief Executive Officer or Australian School of Meditation & Yoga Board Chair, who will determine the appropriate action to take as a result of the investigation outcomes.
The Whistleblower Protection Officer will keep the Whistleblower informed generally regarding the progress of the investigation and the outcome of the investigation, subject to privacy considerations for any persons implicated in the report of Misconduct.
Persons implicated in whistleblower report
Any persons implicated in allegations of Misconduct by a Whistleblower pursuant to this policy are entitled to be afforded natural justice and procedural fairness during the course of Australian School of Meditation & Yoga’s investigation of the alleged conduct. This shall include:
- Being informed of the substance of the allegations;
- Having the opportunity to be heard by the investigator about the substance of the allegations; and
- Being informed of the outcome of the investigation.
Where allegations of Misconduct are not substantiated by an investigator’s report, any persons implicated in the allegations must be formally informed of the outcome of the investigation.
Where it is determined by a Whistleblower Protection Officer that a report is trivial, vexatious or baseless and no formal investigation is required, the Whistleblower Protection Officer may determine whether or not (in their sole discretion) to inform the person against whom any allegations of Misconduct are made that a report has been received and dismissed.
Personal work-related grievances
This policy is concerned with the disclosure of instances of (or suspicions of) Misconduct only (as provided in section 1317AA of the Corporations Act 2001) and is not intended to replace existing policy documents regarding dispute resolution, grievances, discrimination, harassment or bullying (except in circumstances where such behavior may constitute Misconduct as defined in this policy).
Reports regarding personal work-related grievances will not be afforded protections under this policy, and will be referred to existing appropriate policy documents for alternative resolution mechanisms. To be clear, a personal work-related grievance will generally concern a grievance about any matter relating to the discloser’s employment having implications for the discloser personally, which does not constitute Misconduct.
Where a Whistleblower makes a report of actual or suspected Misconduct to a Whistlebower Protection Officer pursuant to this policy, the Whistleblower Protection Officer must take all reasonable steps to keep the identity of the Whistleblower confidential unless disclosure of the Whistleblower’s identity is required by law.
The Whistleblower’s right to confidentiality regarding their identity (unless disclosure is required by law) may only be waived with the express consent of the Whistleblower.
Australian School of Meditation & Yoga acknowledges that in some instances, a Whistleblower may wish to make a report of Misconduct anonymously. However, it also acknowledges that proper investigation may not be possible upon receipt of an anonymous complaint, as the inability to make inquiries and seek further information from the disclosure may limit the scope of any potential investigation. For this reason, Whistleblowers are encouraged to make any reports of Misconduct without the condition of anonymity and rely on the assurances provided in this policy regarding confidentiality of their identity.
Protection of whistleblowers
Australian School of Meditation & Yoga is committed to protecting the rights of a Whistleblower who reports Misconduct in accordance with the procedures set out in this policy.
A Whistleblower must not be subject to any detriment, or the threat of detriment, for making a disclosure of Misconduct. Detriment may include, but is not limited to:
- Dismissal of the Whistleblower as an employee, or alteration of the employee’s duties or position;
- Discrimination against the Whistleblower as an employee as compared to other employees;
- Harassment or intimidation of the Whistleblower;
- Harm or injury to the Whistleblower (including psychological harm);
- Damage to the Whistleblower’s property, reputation or business or financial interests;
- Threats of any of the above.
Where a Whistleblower believes that they have been subjected to detriment for making a disclosure of Misconduct, the Whistleblower should raise these concerns with a Whistleblower Protection Officer as soon as practically possible.
Where a whistleblower is implicated in reports of Misconduct which are investigated and found to be substantiated, the protections under this policy will not apply to any disciplinary action taken by Australian School of Meditation & Yoga in relation to the Misconduct itself.
The ASMY Complaints Resolution Officer can be contacted directly at:
- 07 5554 5440
- email@example.com (acknowledgement of receipt within 24 hours)