Information about how to deal with breaches of the Code Of Conduct within your choir, and how Creativity Australia can support and assist you.
Last updated: 23 August 2023
Examples of support could include
- Supporting any decisions you make by sending emails to your members.
- Calling the members involved to explain any official decisions.
- Mediating conversations where suitable outcomes can’t be reached.
- General support and council.
- Ensuring the privacy and anonymity of individuals throughout the process where possible.
What we cannot do is make undocumented accusations against your members. We are not there in person, so we can only respond to complaints made officially.
If you suspect a breach of the Code Of Conduct has occurred, we suggest you follow this as a guide:
1) Ensure everyone is safe
First and foremost, ensure that the situation does not escalate. If people are in harm’s way, please move them to safety. If you are feeling threatened, immediately seek support from other volunteers, your conductor, or other choir members. Any confrontation should be engaged away from sight and earshot of the rehearsal, and with sufficient support to ensure your safety.
2) Inform Relevant parties privately
With One Voice choirs attract a wide variety of people from all walks of life, and we cannot assume we all follow the same standards of social engagement. Privately and safely, we need to inform the individual(s) of their unacceptable behaviours in a calm, factual, non-threatening way. It is also a good time to show them the Code Of Conduct (a laminated copy was sent to you in January) and identify the areas where they may have breached.
If you are worried about the safety of other members, you are within your rights to ask the individual(s) to leave until such time as the issue can be resolved.
3) Collect information from all involved parties
Regardless of how the issue progresses, it is important we document the experiences of all involved members at this point. They can remain anonymous to the alleged offender, but for CA (or other authorities) to be involved, we need to be sure that a clear account of events has been recorded.
You should use the Incident Report Form (in the side bar) for all official complaints so we get all the information we need.
4) Draft an official complaint
If things have not reached a resolution at this point, you should draft an offical complaint to be emailed to the offending member(s), detailing clearly the series of events that have led to a breach of the Code Of Conduct. The official complaint should include the desired resolutions and an invitation for the individual to tell their side of the story.
5) Seek external advice
Before sending the complaint, please talk it through with at least a couple of people (including CA if you’d like). It’s often hard to be objective when you are emotionally involved in a situation, so getting someone else to look over the complaint can be very helpful.
6) Send official complaint
Once you’re happy that the complaint is objective, succinct, and factual, send it on to the offending person(s). Ideally the complaint includes a request for the member(s) to acknowledge they have received the complaint.
7) Seek resolution
At this point, all offending and aggrieved parties should have expectations laid out for them. If a desired resolution cannot be attained, Creativity Australia can assist with a formal investigation.