The Ballarat East Neighbourhood House Policies and Procedures are available in full as two downloadable PDF documents. On this page, two of the key Culture Policies are included in full - the Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct. This is so that all staff, volunteers, contractors and particpants have easy access to this information.

Relevant standard, legislation or controls

Refer to the Introduction of the Ballarat East Neighbourhood House Policies and Procedures for a full list of foundation principles and standards.

  • BENH Document Register
  • Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Act 1986
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  • Racial Hatred Act 1995
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

Code of Ethics


Policy Declaration

Ballarat East Neighbourhood House (BENH) Committee of Management (CoM) members are dedicated to an ethical framework
which governs the decisions, direction and policy of our organisation. BENH is committed
to protecting staff, partners, suppliers and the organisation from illegal or damaging
actions by individuals, either knowingly or unknowingly. This policy will guide business
behavior to ensure ethical conduct, will clearly identify the BENH ethical principles and
establish a culture of openness, trust and to emphasise the staff and consumers’
expectation to be treated with fair business practices.

Policy Description

This code applies to all BENH staff, CoM members, users and third parties involved in any
activity representing BENH, who are required to notify BENH when other interests and/or
commitments conflict with the best interests of BENH. BENH will not tolerate any
wrongdoing or impropriety at any time. BENH will take the appropriate measures to act
quickly in correcting the issue if the ethical code is broken, including termination of

BENH is a not-for-profit organisation founded on the ethical principles of practice from a
range of social theories. Our staff and CoM members have a right and responsibility to
understand and explore these theories in order to deliver best practice on behalf of our
organisation. Effective ethics is a team effort involving the participation and support of
everyone involved at BENH.

BENH will promote a trustworthy and honest atmosphere to reinforce the vision of ethics
within the organisation. Our ethical principles are based on:

  • a respect for basic human rights.
  • a respect for the individual and the right to self-determination.
  • a respect for different cultures and religions in society.
  • a commitment to empowerment and participatory democracy.
  • a commitment to collaborative working relationships and collective action.
  • an acknowledgement that all relationships and activities with young people are
  • based on their consent (whenever possible).

Unethical Behaviour is not tolerated. At BENH we will:

  • avoid the intent and appearance of unethical or compromising practice in
    relationships, actions and communications.
  • not tolerate harassment or discrimination.
  • not tolerate unauthorised use of BENH trade secrets and marketing, operational,
    personnel, financial and technical information integral to the success of BENH.
  • not permit impropriety at any time and we will act ethically and responsibly in accordance with laws.
  • not use BENH assets or business relationships for personal use or gain.

Related Policies and Procedures:

  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • All current and future policies, strategies and procedures.

Code of Ethics Procedures

BENH will incorporate use of our Code of Ethics in our organisational activities and display
and maintain information related to our Code of Ethics and other relevant policies, in key
locations within our facilities.

BENH requires staff and CoM members to read and sign the Code of Ethics as part of the
Induction Process. A copy of the signed document is provided to the individual and
maintained in their staff / committee file.

CoM and Manager Commitment to Ethics
CoM members and the Manager must set a prime example, disclosing any conflicts of
interest and acting in any business practice with honesty and integrity as a top priority. The
Manager must have an open-door policy and welcome suggestions and concerns from
staff to allow them to feel comfortable discussing any issues which will alert the Manager
to concerns within the workforce.

Staff Commitment to Ethics
Every staff member must:

  • understand the meaning of our ethical principles and how our ethical principles act
    as a guide to how we should treat clients and one another.
  • apply effort and intelligence in maintaining ethics value.
  • disclose any conflict of interests regarding their position within BENH.
  • treat everyone fairly, have mutual respect, promote a team environment and avoid the intent and appearance of unethical or compromising practices.
  • ensure people have access to the planning, decision-making, programs and services of BENH on a non-discriminatory basis.

Staff should consider the following questions when assessing their own behaviour:

  • Is the behaviour legal?
  • Does the behaviour comply with all appropriate policies?
  • Does the behaviour reflect values and culture?
  • Could the behaviour adversely affect BENH stakeholders?
  • Would you feel personally concerned if the behaviour appeared in a news headline?
  • Could the behaviour adversely affect BENH if all employees did it?

Maintaining Ethical Practices
BENH will reinforce the importance of the integrity message and the tone will start at the
top. Every CoM member and the Manager needs to consistently maintain an ethical stance
and support ethical behaviour. BENH staff should encourage open dialogue, get honest
feedback and treat everyone with fairness, honesty and objectivity.

BENH will conduct our business in a manner which reflects our commitment to an
individual’s basic human rights and social justice principles. We will:

  • work to promote equity, access, participation and the rights of people within the
  • recognise the barriers people face and work to reduce these barriers for individuals
    and our local communities.
  • foster inclusion and provide advocacy for those sectors of the community facing
    disadvantage, impeded access to education and under-representation.
  • be responsible for supporting the safety, participation, wellbeing and empowerment
    of children in our organisation.
  • encourage all to voice their ideas and opinions and participate in relevant activities -
    especially in activities and issues which are important to them.
  • establish an understanding of what disadvantage is, why people are disadvantaged
    and who is affected in the local community.
  • recognise and respond to specific issues of language, culture, age, gender, sexual
    identity, disability, financial disadvantage and social and/or geographic isolation.
  • plan and undertake special measures to ensure the inclusion of disadvantaged
    groups within their community.

Code of Conduct


Policy Declaration

BENH staff and committee members uphold our behavioural standards and the BENH
Strategic Values, acting in a professional manner when representing BENH in the

Policy Description

This code applies to all BENH policies and operations. It applies to all BENH staff and
CoM members involved in any activity on behalf of BENH.

BENH has a legal and moral responsibility to operate in the best interests of the
community it serves. All people representing our organisation through governance,
operations or participation are bound to demonstrate the values and to act in a
professional manner at all times.

BENH Code of Conduct incorporates our commitment to:

  • Professional Conduct.
  • Respect and dignity conduct.
  • Child safety conduct.

In our professional conduct, we:

1. Publicly and privately support the organisation and each other, acknowledging the
strengths and weaknesses of others and acting with courtesy and respect.
2. Act honestly and in good faith at all times in the interests of the organisational
objectives, ensuring that all stakeholders, particularly those who are recipients of
services, are treated fairly according to their rights.
3. Perform duties to the best of our abilities, considering skills, experience,
qualifications and position and act in a safe, responsible and effective manner.
4. Be punctual and reliable in attendance and duty.
5. Comply with the prescribed terms and conditions of our employment/engagement.
6. Notify the organisation of any inability to attend duty as early as possible so as not
to inconvenience others or delay the work of the organisation.
7. Carry out our duties in a lawful manner and ensure the organisation carries out its
business in accordance with the law and recognise both legal and moral duties of
our role.
8. Respect and safeguard the property of the organisation, the public and colleagues
while observing safe work practices to protect ourselves and others.
9. Maintain confidentiality regarding any information gained through our work and not
divulge personal information or contact details of staff, CoM, or service users. Staff
and CoM maybe requested to sign the Conflict of Interest Register Form DR2.4.1.
10.Ensure that all transactions, agreements and records that flow from relationships
with BENH’s stakeholders will be accurately and openly recorded in the
organisation's books and records and no entries will be made which obscure the
true nature of a transaction.
11.Ensure that personal and financial interests do not conflict with the duty to the
12.Undertake no personal or business activities for personal gain while at the
organisation or while conducting business of the organisation.
13.Work within the organisation’s policies and Code of Ethics.
14.Discuss issues where appropriate with other staff and CoM members to determine
whether a contemplated action is ethical.
15.Act in a manner which promotes and reflects an open and accountable culture
within our organisation.
16.Communicate our commitment to professional conduct in key locations in our
organisation, including media, online platforms and facilities.
17.Acknowledge the principles and values underlying our approach to professional
boundaries in relationships with BENH users. It is the responsibility of all staff
therefore to behave, both at work and outside, in ways which uphold their own
credibility, safety and BENH reputations.

In our respect and dignity conduct, we:

1. Treat everybody in our organisation with respect, reflecting on the way they want to
be treated to ensure they know they are welcome.
2. Value people for who they are, their interests, abilities and needs, finding a place for
every individual to flourish and grow in our organisation.
3. Honour diversity within our organisation, showing interest and open mindedness
towards people for their individual backgrounds and beliefs.
4. Avoid using language which might isolate or diminish individuals based on their age,
culture, socio-economic status, education, physical or mental health, gender, sexual
orientation or other personal factors.
5. Are open to and accepting that others have different experiences, skills, attributes
and views on life and work.
6. Recognise that the lived experience of others is different from our own and we
cannot assume to know the challenges they may face.
7. Communicate our commitment to dignity and respect in key locations in our
organisation, including media, online platforms and facilities.

In our child safety conduct we:

1. Take all reasonable steps to protect children and children’s right to safety, in our
organisation and in our community, avoiding:
1.1.Developing ‘special’ relationships with children constituting favouritism (i.e. by
giving specific children gifts).
1.2.Unnecessary physical contact (i.e. by massaging or touching).
1.3.Putting children at risk of abuse (i.e. by locking doors).
1.4.Doing personal things which the child could do for themselves, (i.e changing
1.5.Using inappropriate language or discussing topics of an adult nature.
1.6.Initiating contact with children or their families outside of BENH, including through
online platforms.
1.7.Ignoring or disregarding suspected or disclosed child abuse.

2. Listen and respond to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling
you that they or another child has been abused and/or are worried about their safety or
the safety of another.
3. Ensure as far as practicable that adults are not left alone with a child.
4. Report any child safety concerns or allegations of child abuse to the Manager, acting to
ensure children are removed from potential harm.
5. Communicate our commitment to children’s safety and inclusion in key locations in our
organisation, including media, online platforms and facilities.

Related Policies and Procedures:

  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Induction Policy
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Feedback and Grievance Policy
  • Child Safe Policy
  • Performance Management Policy
  • Safe Workplace Policy

2.2.1 Code of Conduct Procedures

To manifest the BENH Code of Conduct in real and meaningful actions, we:

1. Require staff and CoM members to read and sign the Code of Conduct as part of
the Induction Process. A copy of the signed document is provided to the individual
and a copy is maintained in their staff file.
2. Display and maintain information related to our Code of Conduct and other relevant
policies, in key locations within our facilities.
3. Incorporate use of our Code of Conduct in our Performance Management
Procedures and other organisational activities.