Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Stopline whistleblower service?
Stopline is an independent and confidential whistleblower service. Caritas Australia selected Stopline to provide this service, so that people could feel safe to make a complaint, or express a concern, related to Caritas Australia.
What can be reported?
Any whistleblower complaint or concern can be reported, including:
- Bullying and harassment
- Workplace safety
- Sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment
- Child protection issues
- Illegal behaviour
- Unethical behaviour
- Breaches of our Code of Conduct or other policies
- Any complaint you feel uncomfortable reporting to the Complaints Focal Point
How do I make a complaint?
You can make a complaint or express a concern via phone, email, website, or other options. See contact details here: contact
Do I have to give my name?
No. You can stay anonymous if you wish.
When you contact Stopline, you have the option to share your name or other contact information.
If you choose to remain anonymous, Stopline will give you a confidential reference number and password in case you want to get updates on how your complaint is being handled.
When can I contact Stopline?
You can phone Stopline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An employee from Stopline will answer your call during business hours (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm AEST).
If you call outside business hours, you can leave a message with Stopline’s overnight team. Stopline will contact you within one working day.
You can call Stopline on 1300 30 45 50 (in Australia) or +61 3 9882 4480 (outside Australia).
You can also send your complaint or concern via the internet (this website), email or other options. See here: contact
Who is Stopline?
Stopline is an Australian company which specialises in providing whistleblower services. It has been operating for over a decade and assists organisations in the not-for-profit, government and private sectors.
Stopline employees have experience in handling sensitive information.
Further details are available at www.stopline.com.au
Apart from Stopline, where else can I make a complaint?
Who can make a complaint to Stopline?
Stopline is available for current or former employees, volunteers, contractors, suppliers, partners or program participants, or the spouse or relative of one of these.
How does Stopline work?
Stopline enables people to make a complaint or express a concern via phone, email, website or other means. These complaints will be received by a trained employee of Stopline who is experienced in handling sensitive information.
Stopline will pass on information about the complaint to the Complaints Focal Point at Caritas Australia. The Complaints Focal Point will then follow the complaint handling procedure and arrange an investigation, where necessary.
Does Stopline conduct investigations?
No. Stopline receives complaints but does not conduct the investigation.
Stopline sends the complaint to Caritas Australia.
If necessary, the Complaints Focal Point from Caritas Australia will organise the investigation in line with procedures.
Why is Caritas Australia using this service?
Caritas Australia wants people to feel safe and trust that their complaint or concern will be addressed.
Caritas Australia continues to strive to be an ethical organisation and implements good practice in complaints handling to enable safe, accessible and appropriate reporting.
If I make a complaint, will I be kept informed about the result?
Yes. You will be informed about the status of your complaint, the decisions made regarding how the matter is to be handled, timeframes that apply and the result of any investigation and action taken. If you choose to remain anonymous, you will be issued with a confidential reference and password and must initiate contact through one of the methods above to receive information.
Who is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person connected to Caritas Australia who makes a complaint about wrongdoing such as fraud, corruption, abuse, risk to health and safety, etc.
Whistleblowers have extra protection under Australian law if they:
- Are connected to Caritas Australia (directly or indirectly)
- Tell the right person (such as Stopline whistleblower service)
- Make a certain type of complaint (about fraud, corruption, abuse, etc)
If you suspect something is wrong, even if it is not illegal, it is your responsibility to report it.
If I make a complaint, how will I be protected?
Caritas Australia will offer protection to you, as long as your complaint is made in good faith.
The protections include:
- Your identity being kept confidential
- No ‘payback’, punishment or retaliation
- No legal action being taken against you for breach of contract, etc
- Potential compensation and remedies
As an employee, how do I know that somebody won't just make some false claim to settle a personal grudge?
The strength of Stopline is that all allegations will be professionally managed by trained Stopline staff. In our experience, vexatious calls occur very infrequently.
Stopline focuses on the message, not the messenger.
The Complaints Focal Point may decline to investigate the matter if they feel the complaint is trivial, frivolous or vexatious.
If I make a complaint, will I be liable anyway?
If a person who makes a complaint is implicated in the misconduct, Caritas Australia will use all reasonable efforts to protect the individual from being negatively affected. However, the act of reporting improper conduct may not shield the person from the reasonable consequences flowing from any involvement in serious misconduct.