Guidelines for Grievance Resolution

Adopted July 2019.

The Friends of the Heysen Trail (FOHT) is a membership and volunteer based organisation that aims to build a culture of mutual respect and a collaborative approach in pursuit of the goals of the organization. It has managed relationships between members and volunteers successfully over many years.  It recognises that as the organisation grows it is undertaking more walks and maintenance activities engaging greater numbers of people and as such we need to ensure there is a transparent process to deal with issues that may arise.

Members and volunteers are expected to act in a respectful manner toward each other as well as to customers, landholders and trail users.  Additionally, we have a responsibility to value and respect the natural environment that we walk through.

Members participating in an activity [walking, maintenance, office or other volunteer work] have a responsibility to identify any health issues, injury, training or other factors that may impact upon their participation in or ability to undertake the activity to the respective Volunteer Leader at the time.

There may be occasions where an issue arises or a member is dissatisfied with the conduct of an activity and submits a grievance or report that requires further consideration.

The FOHT has adopted the following process to deal with issues that are raised by members.

The FOHT and its members will adhere to natural justice principles and confidentiality in pursuing issues or concerns raised by members.

  1. In the first instance, it is preferable that member/s raise issues direct with the respective Walk Leader, Maintenance Activity Leader or Volunteer responsible. In most cases this should enable a matter to be aired, discussed and resolved.
  2. If a member and/or leader is not satisfied or unable to resolve an issue then a request should be made to the relevant Committee Chair for follow up.
    • A written report should be provided to the relevant Committee Chair within one week.
    • Committee Chair may appoint a specific committee member to follow up with each and any member/volunteer necessary to find a mutually agreeable resolution.
    • The designated committee should aim to identify facts and complete a report and recommendations within 2 weeks.
    • Affected member/s and leader/s should be provided with a summary of outcomes and recommendations within 4 weeks.
  3. In the event a Committee Chair/nominee is unable to resolve the matter, it should be referred to a Grievance Committee comprising the President, Secretary and nominee of Walk Committee/ TDC/Office as applicable.  That Committee will aim to establish key facts and issues including:
    • Request a written summary from the Committee and the affected member/s;
    • Speak with relevant members/s within 2 weeks; and
    • Make recommendations or proposals for resolution within 4 weeks.
  4. At any stage during the process a Committee Member or Nominee directly affected by an issue must remove themselves from decision-making.
  5. Members should adhere to confidentiality provisions during any grievance process. Confidentiality means that member(s)/volunteer(s) raising a grievance and members of any investigating committee should not disclose details to other members/volunteers except as is necessary to investigate and manage any issues that are the subject of a grievance.
  6. Where an issue has a potential impact across the Friends recommendations for policy or guideline changes should be referred to the Council for decision.
  7. The Secretary will be responsible for keeping records of reports and recommendations in a secure and confidential location.

Guideline adopted by the FOHT Council 17 July 2019.
Council to review by December 2020.