Complaints Handling Procedures

Australian Mercy is committed to acting with integrity in the way we relate to our staff, volunteers, project participants and beneficiaries as well as the members of the general public. As such we have procedures in place to expedite any sense of complaint against Australian Mercy and its representatives.
Our Complaints Policy can be viewed here.

Procedure Overview

A complaint may be made verbally or in writing. For the complaints process to proceed it must be clear that it fits the definition of a complaint versus feedback or inquiry. The onus is on the person receiving the complaint to determine through questioning and further discussion if necessary whether the person intends to make a complaint or is providing comment or seeking information that does not require a complaints process.

Complaints arising in or about a local office or a local or international project:

  • In the first instance should be dealt with by a local staff member and referred to the manager if quick resolution is not found.
  • If the complaint is about the manager, the management of the project, or any other issue where the complainant feels the need to discuss the complaint with someone above the immediate manager, the complainant should seek to raise the complaint at the next level as appropriate to their situation:
    • For complaints arising in Australian Mercy Offices in Australia, the complaint should be raised with Australian Mercy National Office (see procedure below);
    • For complaints arising within or about a project, the complaint should be raised with the Project Management Group (PMG), using the contact information provided to all volunteers.
    • If the complaint cannot be resolved by the PMG, or the person is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, the complainant should contact the Australian Mercy National Office via
      • Email: c[email protected]
      • Post: PO Box 132, Port Kembla, NSW, 2505, Australia
      • Phone: +61 2 4274 1090
    • Australian Mercy will provide mediation for the unresolved complaint.
  • The person or persons with whom the complaint is raised must record the complaint in a central, confidential file. They must make a response not later than five working days from the date the matter is raised. This response may be an update on the progress of the complaint if it has not yet been resolved or requires being raised at a higher level.

Complaints about Australian Mercy including generally about our organisation, our Directors, our fundraising, our projects or activities, or other issues:

  • In the first instance should be raised with the Australian Mercy Head Office, via:
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Post: PO Box 132, Port Kembla, NSW, 2505, Australia
    • Phone: +61 2 4274 1090
  • The complaint must be recorded by Head office in a central, confidential file
  • A response will be provided within five working days. This response may contain the proposed resolution of the complaint, and/or detail the next steps to be taken in resolution of the complaint.
  • If the matter relates to a specific project, the complaint may be redirected following the procedure outlined above (“Complaints arising in or about a local office or an international project”). The complainant will be informed about this.
  • If the matter is beyond the capacity of Head Office to resolve and/or involves issues that relate to governance (for example, a serious complaint about a staff member), then the complaint must be referred by Head Office to the Australian Mercy Board.
  • All complaints considered by the Board will be responded to in writing as soon as practical after the complaint is considered.
  • Complaints that relate directly to Australian Mercy breaching the Code of Conduct of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) may be raised directly with the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee following the processes outlined at http://www.acfid.asn.au/code-of-conduct/complaints
  • If the proceeding guidelines have been exhausted any grievance with regards to Australian Mercy can be appealed to an agreed external third party.

Mediation of conflict by a third party

At the request of the parties involved in the grievance process, or at the discretion of an Australian Mercy board member, Australian Mercy will arrange a mediation of the complaint with the complainant or complainants by independent and neutral mediators. A complainant may appeal directly to a peak organisation such as ACFID or Missions Interlink, or to an agreed independent third party to have the matter reviewed.

All recommendations made by the parties that are reviewing the matter will be binding on all parties involved in the grievance process and will constitute a settlement of the matter.