1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific works to stop the destruction of the environment using peaceful direct action and creative communication. We are in contest with opponents, including sometimes targets of our campaigns and others whose activities do not align with our vision and mission. We should therefore expect some Complaints as a product of our effectiveness.
  2. Complaints can also tell us that we could be doing something better, or that we have had an unintended negative impact.
  3. This policy is intended to ensure that we handle complaints fairly, efficiently and effectively. It provides guidance to our Employees about handling Complaints, and to Members of the Public about making them.
  4. This policy deals only with Complaints by Members of the Public. Other policies and procedures deal with complaints by Employees and others.


  1. The following words have the following meaning when used in this policy:
    1. Complaint means an expression of dissatisfaction made by a Member of the Public about our operations including the handling of a Complaint, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required. A Complaint can be made directly to Greenpeace Australia Pacific, or can be made about us, for example on social media.
    2. Complainant means a person who makes a Complaint.
    3. Contractor means a person or business that Greenpeace Australia Pacific contracts with for the provision of goods or services to Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
    4. Employee/Employees means salaried employees of Greenpeace Australia Pacific (or of another entity within the Greenpeace network seconded to work in Australia or the Pacific) whether full time, part time, permanent, contracted or casual, but does not include third party contractors or Volunteers.
    5. Feedback means opinions, comments and expressions of interest or concern, provided by a Member of the Public directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly, about our operations including the handling of a Complaint where a response is not explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required. Feedback does not include abusive or incoherent content.
    6. Members of the Public means persons who are not Employees, Volunteers, members of the Board or members of the Greenpeace Australia Pacific General Assembly.
    7. Volunteer means a person who gives their time to Greenpeace Australia Pacific willingly in support of its Objectives without expectation of pay or the creation of an employment relationship.


  1. This policy applies to the management of all Complaints by all Employees, Volunteers and members of the Board.
  2. This policy also applies to the management by Contractors of all Complaints:
    1. Made to the Contractor or us;
    2. About any aspect of the Contractor’s operations on behalf of Greenpeace Australia Pacific including their handling of a Complaint;
    3. To the extent that Complaints management is not otherwise addressed in the contract with the Contractor
      (refer further paragraph 28).
  3. Complaints, grievances, disputes and disclosures by or between Employees, Volunteers, members of the Board or members of the General Assembly may be made in accordance with Greenpeace Australia’s Pacific Limited’s other policies and procedures, including:
    1. GPAP Enterprise Agreement (Part K – Dispute Resolution, Complaints and Grievance Procedures)
    2. GPAP Protocol for Handling Suspected Level 1 Violations
    3. GPAP General Assembly Code of Conduct and Protocol
    4. GPAP Whistleblower Policy 


  1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific will:
    1. Publish this policy on our website; and
    2. Provide a copy of or link to this policy to all Contractors engaged in public facing work on behalf of Greenpeace Australia Pacific; but will not share active hyperlinks to confidential Greenpeace Australia Pacific policies or documents. 


Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Expectations 

  1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific expects Employees at all levels to be committed to fair, effective and efficient complaint handling.

Making Complaints

  1. Complainants are encouraged to make any Complaint:
    1. as soon as possible after the circumstances giving rise to the complaint have occurred;
    2. directly to any Employee with whom the Complainant has already been dealing with unless the Complainant considers that inappropriate;
    3. by contacting us on the details below if they are unsure of who within Greenpeace Australia Pacific to speak with: Free call 1800 815 151 [email protected]

Facilitating Complaints

  1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific will:
    1. take all reasonable steps to ensure that Complainants are not victimised because they have made a Complaint;
    2. accept anonymous Complaints if there is a compelling reason to do so (however anonymous Complaints may be more difficult to resolve or to take action upon, given for example procedural fairness considerations if the Complaint is regarding an Employee, and anonymous Complainants will be advised of this);
    3. ensure that Complaints are managed as simply and efficiently as possible;
    4. if a person prefers or needs another person or organisation to assist or represent them in the making and/or resolution of their Complaint, communicate with them through their representative. Anyone may represent a person wishing to make a Complaint with the Complainant’s consent (e.g. advocate, family member, legal or community representative, member of Parliament, another organisation).
  2. There are no fees or charges associated with making a Complaint. 

Responding to Complaints and Feedback

  1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific will:
    1. promptly acknowledge receipt of Complaints;
    2. wherever possible, resolve Complaints immediately upon first contact (save that complaints made to Volunteers will be escalated to an Employee for management);
    3. assess and prioritise our response to Complaints in accordance with their urgency or seriousness;
    4. respond immediately to any Complaint that concerns an immediate risk to safety or security;
    5. communicate with Complainants in a way that is timely and clear, and so that the Complainant understands what is going to happen and when;
    6. empower Employees to resolve Complaints promptly and with as little formality as possible;
    7. protect the identity of Complainants where practical and appropriate;
    8. comply with our Privacy Policy in the handling of Complaints and any relevant confidentiality obligations; and i. recognise and reward exemplary Complaint handling by Employees.
  1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific will address Complaints with integrity and in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner. We will: 
    1. ensure that the person handling a Complaint is not the subject of or involved in the Complaint; 
    2. manage any actual or perceived conflicts of interest responsibly and in accordance with our Preventing the Misuse of Power: Avoiding conflicts of Interest Policy; 
    3. ensure internal reviews of Complaint management are conducted by someone other than the original decision maker.
  2. Where Feedback is provided to Greenpeace Australia Pacific will:
    1. Acknowledge that Feedback;
    2. Include the Feedback in the reporting of Complaints referred to below.

Managing and Resolving Complaints

  1. Where a Complaint involves another Greenpeace office, we will work with the other Greenpeace office(s) where possible, to ensure that communication with the person making a complaint and/or their representative is clear and coordinated.
  2. Subject to privacy and confidentiality considerations, communication and information sharing between the parties will also be organised to facilitate a timely response to the complaint.
  3. Where a complaint involves multiple areas within our organisation, responsibility for communicating with the person making the complaint and/or their representative will also be coordinated.
  4. Complaints will be managed and resolved by Employees, not Volunteers.
  5. All Employees managing Complaints are empowered to apply this policy to the extent relevant to their role and responsibilities.
  6. Employees are encouraged to provide feedback on the effectiveness and efficiency of all aspects of this Policy and related practices and procedures.

Managing Unreasonable Conduct by Complainants

  1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s success depends on:
    1. our ability to do our work and perform our functions in the most effective and efficient way possible;
    2. the health, safety and security of our staff; and
    3. our ability to allocate our resources having regard to a range of factors including for example availability of Employees. If Complainants behave unreasonably in their dealings with us, their conduct can significantly affect the progress and efficiency of our work. As a result, we will take proactive and decisive action to manage any conduct that negatively and unreasonably affects us and will support our Employees to do the same. 

Complaint Management Procedure

  1. We aim to resolve Complaints immediately upon first contact in accordance with such internal complaints procedures and guidelines as are in place from time to time. Wherever possible Employees and Volunteers will be equipped to respond to Complaints, including being given appropriate authority, training and supervision.
  2. Where a Complaint is not able to be immediately resolved:
    1. Greenpeace Australia Pacific will appoint another, more senior Employee to assess and as necessary investigate the Complaint and any action already taken;
    2. where that Employee considers the Complaint is reasonable and has not been satisfactorily resolved, that Employee will facilitate resolution by attempting to reach an outcome acceptable to the Complainant.
  3. Where a Complaint remains unresolved, the Complainant may request that the Complaint be escalated to a member of the Senior Leadership Team (the CEO, the COO, the Director – Program or Director – Fundraising and Technology) for consideration and determination. The determination of the member of the Senior Leadership Team will be final on behalf of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
  4. Nothing in this Policy affects a Complainant’s entitlement to complain to an external agency or organisation, such as the Fundraising Institute of Australia or the Australian Charities and Not-for- Profits Commission. 


  1. Contractors may have their own policies in respect of Complaint management, which may relate for example to the participation of their own employees. Greenpeace Australia Pacific understands the need to respect those policies, whilst also having an interest in how Complaints which relate to or impact upon us are managed. Contracts with Contractors should:
    1. Identify which policy or policies (this policy, or identified policies of the Contractor) will apply to management of Complaints relating to the subject of the Contract;
    2. To the extent possible having regard to Contractors’ policies, ensure that whatever policy applies is consistent with the principles of this policy, including that:
      • The making of Complaints is to be supported and facilitated;
      • Complaints will be resolved as simply, efficiently and promptly as possible;
      • Privacy and confidentiality will be observed as required and where possible;
      • Complaints will be managed with integrity and in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner;
      • Clear escalation pathways will be provided; and
      • Continuous learning will be embraced.

Accountability and Learning

  1. The Engagement Team Leader will:
    1. ensure that Complaints and Feedback are entered into the Complaints Register;
    2. periodically prepare reports on:
      • the number of Complaints received;
      • the outcome of Complaints, including matters resolved at the time of complaint;
      • issues arising from Complaints;
      • Issues arising from Feedback;
      • systemic issues identified; and
      • the number of requests we receive for internal and/or external review of our Complaint handling;
    3. periodically analyse Complaints and Feedback reports to monitor trends, measure the quality of our customer service, ensure the effectiveness of our Complaint management, identify and correct deficiencies and make improvements;
    4. Ensure that reports and analysis on Complaints and Feedback are provided to the CEO, Senior Leadership Team and Board at least annually.

Other Relevant Resources

  1. Charity Sector Model Complaints-Handling Policy and Procedures
  2. GPAP Complaints Procedure
  3. GPAP Complaints Register
  4. GPAP Enterprise Agreement
  5. GPAP General Assembly Code of Conduct and Protocol
  6. GPAP Privacy Policy – Our Supporters
  7. GPAP Preventing the Misuse of Power: Avoiding conflicts of Interest Policy
  8. GPAP Protocol for Handling Suspected Level 1 Conduct
  9. GPAP Refund Policy
  10. GPAP Whistleblower Policy