The University is committed to a culture of integrity and good governance together with maintaining the highest standards of ethics and quality in its research, teaching and administration. University employees must comply with all relevant laws and obligations and must take all reasonable steps to prevent any non-compliance and possible instances of corrupt or improper conduct. The University supports the making of whistleblower disclosures and the protection afforded to persons making disclosures under both the Commonwealth and Victorian law. In addition to the University’s Whistleblower Protection Policy, this website contains important information for any person considering making a disclosure in connection with the University.

The term “whistleblower disclosure” is used by the University to include any eligible disclosure made in connection with the University which qualifies for protection under either the Commonwealth whistleblower protection or the Victorian public interest disclosure regimes.

To make a whistleblower disclosure, you must:

  1. be a person who is eligible to do so under either Commonwealth or Victorian legislation,
  2. have reasonable grounds on which to base your disclosure, and
  3. be making a disclosure about an eligible matter under the relevant legislation.

The tables below provide further guidance.

Who can disclose?

Any individual

What can the disclosure be about?

Improper conduct by the University, or the University’s officers, employees and/or agents, including but not limited to:

  • corrupt conduct, criminal acts
  • serious professional misconduct
  • dishonest performance of public functions
  • intentional or reckless breach of public trust or misuse of information
  • substantial mismanagement of public resources
  • substantial risk to the health and safety of one or more persons
  • substantial risk to the environment, etc

Or

Victimisation of a person who has disclosed improper conduct.

How to disclose and to whom?

Report directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) or the Victorian Ombudsman in relation to eligible disclosures about administrative action taken by the University.

https://www.ibac.vic.gov.au/reporting-corruption/report

IBAC may decide to dismiss the matter, refer the matter to another investigating agency or investigate the matter.

The Victorian Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic) is renamed to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic) effective 1 January 2020, when the term ‘protected disclosure’ has been replaced with ‘public interest disclosure’. The new legislation aims to improve access to those making public interest disclosures and flexibility for agencies investigating them. The legislation has also established a new parliamentary oversight committee in the Integrity and Oversight Committee and provides a lower threshold for making public interest disclosures to IBAC and a ‘no wrong door’ principle for handling such disclosures.

The University of Melbourne is a public body and subject to IBAC and employees and Council members of the University are public officers under the IBAC Act.

Any person contemplating making a disclosure of improper conduct relating to the University of Melbourne should first contact IBAC. The University’s Whistleblower Co-ordinator is not authorised under the legislation to receive or assess such a disclosure.

Who can disclose?

To be eligible for whistleblower protection under the Commonwealth regime, the disclosure must be made by:

  • University officers, employees or volunteers (includes part time, full time, fixed term and casuals)
  • contractors or suppliers of goods or services (including their employees)
  • associates (refer to section 7 of the University’s Whistleblower Protection Policy for definition), or  relatives, spouses or dependents of any of the above.

What can  the disclosure be about?

  • Misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to the University or a related body corporate including:
  • an offence under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or other Commonwealth law
  • a danger to the public or the financial system
  • retaliation for making a whistleblowing disclosure, or a work-related grievance of a systematic/significant nature.

What is NOT an eligible disclosure?

  • A disclosure is NOT a whistleblower disclosure if it is a personal work-related grievance of the discloser
  • e.g. an interpersonal conflict between the discloser and another employee; a decision relating to the engagement, transfer or promotion or terms and conditions of employment of the discloser; a decision to suspend or terminate the engagement of the discloser or to discipline the discloser.

Reports of personal work-related grievances should be made via the University’s Inappropriate Workplace Behaviours Line. Refer also to the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy

How to disclose and to whom?

Report directly to the University of Melbourne’s Whistleblower Disclosure Officer via one of the following methods:

Email: whistleblower-officer@unimelb.edu.au

Or

Mail:

Marked Private and Confidential to be opened by Addressee ONLY

Whistleblower Disclosure Officer (Legal and Risk)

Level 4, Alan Gilbert Building, 161 Barry Street,

The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia

The University will determine the appropriate course for these disclosures. Any investigations will be conducted impartially (by the University itself  or by engaging an external organisation).

Disclosures may also be made to an eligible recipient as defined under the Commonwealth law. Details are set out in the Whistleblower Protection Policy.

Disclosures made by email may be accessible by people other than those to whom they are addressed. By making your disclosure by email, you consent to your email potentially being accessed by others. For the avoidance of doubt, any University of Melbourne employee, officer or contractor who becomes aware of a disclosure must comply with all aspects of the Whistleblower Protection Policy, including the confidentiality requirements.

The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) provides a consolidated whistleblower protection regime for Australia’s corporate sector. Public companies and large proprietary companies are required to have a whistleblowers policy. The University considers that transparent whistleblower practices are essential to good risk management and corporate governance and help uncover misconduct that may not otherwise be detected and so has created its own Whistleblower Protection Policy. Any person who chooses to make a complaint directly to the University rather than IBAC or the Victorian Ombudsman will have their complaint dealt with under the University’s policies and procedures unless the University is otherwise instructed by IBAC or the Victorian Ombudsman.

The University will provide appropriate protection and support to whistleblowers including:

  • protecting the confidentiality of the whistleblower’s identity and information that may lead to disclosing their identity;
  • protecting the whistleblower from victimisation or detrimental/reprisal action; and
  • providing appropriate welfare support.

Whistleblower Protection Policy

Make a disclosure to the University