Making a complaint

Motivation Australia is committed to handling complaints fairly and consistently, in an open, safe, confidential manner, and to resolving complaints as quickly as possible. We aim to make it easy for you to make a complaint and we will treat all people making a complaint equally.

Our commitments and behaviours

While every complaint is different, you can expect the following commitments and behaviours from us:


We will promptly let you know that we have received your complaint. We will respond to complaints according to how urgent or serious they are. If somebody’s safety or security is at risk, we will respond immediately and will escalate appropriately.

We are committed to managing your expectations, and will inform you, as soon as possible, of the following:

  • What will happen (the complaints process)
  • When it will happen (the expected timeframes for our actions)
  • How it is progressing (whether an investigation may take place, reasons for any delays and how you may be involved).

If we cannot deal with any part of your complaint, we will tell you (and if possible, we will advise you what you can do instead). If the complaint is about something that is not within the scope of our organisation, it will be referred to the relevant party.


  • We promote safe and dignified ways of making a complaint
  • We can be contacted in multiple ways and we will let you know how
  • It doesn’t cost any money to make a complaint
  • We work with our programme partners to develop ways to make complaints that are safe, easily accessible, while being mindful of local contexts, culture and language (including low literacy).

People-focused and survivor-centred

We put people first. We understand that making complaints can be difficult. We commit to a “do no harm” approach to our work. We prioritise the safety, rights, needs and wishes of all people while ensuring procedural fairness to all parties. We especially recognise the needs of those who are vulnerable or may be survivors of harm. We will provide you with information about how we handle complaints. We will:

  • Treat you with dignity and respect
  • Actively involve you in decision making
  • Provide you with comprehensive information
  • Protect privacy and confidentiality
  • Where required, assist you to access other support services including health or psychological services and address any immediate protection assistance and or rehabilitation priorities.


We understand that people may feel safer to report a complaint if they know it will be treated confidentially. Making a complaint confidentially means your identity (your name and other details) will not be shared, wherever possible and appropriate. It is also possible to make an anonymous complaint.

Sometimes we need to share some information with other people. Confidentiality means we share with the minimum number of people, and only with people who need to know (‘need-to-know’ basis).

Fairness and consistency

Each complaint will be handled consistently, with integrity and without bias. We follow procedural fairness which means that all parties, including the respondent, are heard without unreasonable delay and treated fairly. We will ensure that the person who is the subject of a complaint does not also handle the complaint.


We have zero tolerance of retaliation or punishment in response to making a complaint. We will take all reasonable steps to make sure that you are not negatively affected because you have made a complaint. In the case of someone making a complaint on your behalf (for example, a family member speaking up instead of you), we will do our best to ensure that you, and that person, are not affected.


We learn from complaints and concerns. We strive to prevent it happening again. By analysing complaints, we can identify where we can improve our programmes, policies or service delivery. Trends and problems that require action can also be highlighted.

Your questions answered

Who can make a complaint?

Complaints can be made by individuals or organisations in relation to any aspects of our work including international development work, advocacy work, community engagement activities, our administration and management and governance, as well as in our workplace and other settings where we work.

Complaints assist us to identify, address and report on any fraudulent, illegal or unethical conduct (including any sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment) in any of the work we support.

What kind of complaint can be made?

A wide variety of complaints can be made and are welcome. We understand that complaints can be general or sensitive.

A general complaint includes, but is not limited to, complaints about:

  • Funding and programme decisions
  • Programme implementation
  • Fundraising and membership
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Employment issues including complaints or concerns about:
    • Safety or security within the work environment
    • Unethical behaviour associated with organisation changes
    • Unfair or unjust employment conditions.

We support a culture of speaking up. For complaints related to employment, first consult your line manager. A grievance procedure aligned to the complaints handling policy ensures appropriate handling of complaints made by Motivation Australia personnel.

A sensitive complaint includes but is not limited to:

  • Corruption
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Misuse of funds
  • Exploitation
  • Abuse
  • Harassment
  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Misconduct
  • Negligence
  • Matters raised under our prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (PSEAH) of adults policy and child safeguarding policy
  • Any other abusive or inappropriate behaviour by our personnel, partners or those involved in our work in less resourced countries
  • Bullying, harassment or discrimination between personnel.

Are some complaints not addressed?

Motivation Australia may choose not to act in response to complaints that, after initial assessment, are determined to be:

  • Malicious, or harassing of Motivation Australian personnel in nature or manner
  • Offensive, discriminatory, abusive or inappropriate
  • Repeatedly lodged, without new information or evidence, and that have already been addressed
  • Incoherent or illegible, or that appear to have been sent in a bulk email to numerous organisations (unless directly relevant to Motivation Australia).

What about whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is defined on page 1 of the complaints handling policy. Management of whistleblowing is explained in our whistleblowing policy. Whistleblowers have extra protection under Australian law if they:

  • Are connected to Motivation Australia in a certain way (be an ‘eligible whistleblower’)
  • Tell the right person (an ‘eligible recipient’)
  • Make a certain type of complaint (a ‘disclosable matter’).

If you suspect something is wrong, even if it is not illegal, it is your responsibility to report it.

How do I make a complaint?

We make it easy for you to make a complaint. Complaints can be made by:

Phone: +61 (0)466833708
Letter: 191 Port Road, Aldinga SA, 5173, Australia
Website: You can submit a complaint by using the form at the bottom of this page.

Complaints can also be made directly to any Motivation Australia representative (personnel or member of the Board of Governors) by email, phone call or in writing.

Complaints can be made anonymously or otherwise.

When receiving a complaint:

  • Personnel can seek advice from their line manager about next steps
  • Governors can seek advice from the Chairperson about next steps.

Where can I find more information about making a complaint?

The information Motivation Australia provides here on our website is taken from our complaints handling policy. This information has been written in plain English to be suitable for a range of stakeholders.

The complaints handling policy is also:

  • Shared directly with stakeholders
  • Referenced in partnership agreements and memorandum of understanding with other organisations
  • Available in full on our website.

You can download and read our full complaints handling policy.

Submit a complaint

You can submit a complaint anonymously or otherwise through our website below. All submitted complaints are emailed to