DTE Code of Conduct – Policy & Procedures

Participation within Down to Earth (Victoria) Co operative Society Ltd (DTE) is governed by the following policy and procedures to encourage mutual respect, inclusiveness and community development, while also providing a safe space for everyone to participate without intimidation or abuse.

When using mailing lists, online forums, social networks or participating in chaired teleconference meetings, or chaired face-to-face meetings, please follow these rules:

Code of Conduct

For email exchanges, online forums and social networks:-

1. Observe the rules of netiquette [1].

2. Do not use profanity or offensive language.

3. Do not send messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting to other users.

4. If your message is directed at just one or two members of a list or group, take the matter off the list or group, and post to them directly without copying to the list or group.

5. Do not trade insults with other users. If a posting offends you, take the matter up with the poster directly off list, or lodge a complaint with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for review and arbitration.

6. Do not send spam or automated "out-of-office" or "vacation" messages to the list.

7. Do not forward emails or make representations on behalf of currently suspended users.

8. Send all of your e-mails in English. Only use other languages on mailing lists where that is explicitly allowed.

9. Do not send subscription or unsubscription requests to the list address itself; email the list administrator instead.

10. Avoid sending large attachments.

11. When replying to messages on the mailing list, do not send a carbon copy (cc) to the original poster, unless they explicitly request to be copied.

12. Administrators of lists, forums and social network groups are also required to follow and enforce the Code of Conduct as well as follow the recommendations resulting from complaint review and arbitration.

13. Administrators of lists, forums and social network groups when in conflict with a user should not abuse their privileges and self-adjudicate, instead lodge a complaint with

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for review and arbitration.

For chaired teleconferences, or chaired face-to-face meetings:-

1. Respect the authority of the Chair at all times.

2. Do not use profanity or offensive language.

3. Do not act in a manner that is deliberately hostile and insulting to other participants.

4. Do not trade insults with other participants. If the behaviour of another participant offends you, take the matter up directly with that participant outside of the meeting, or bring it to the attention of the Chair.

5. Communicate in English. Only use other languages in meetings where that is explicitly allowed.

6. Do not monopolise the time of the meeting. Make your point and defer to other participants so they can contribute their opinions.

7. Once a consensus has been achieved and agreed, accept that consensus and allow the meeting to move on to other matters.

For onsite working bees, setup/pack down and community meetings:-

1. Respect where there is community ratified Coordinator roles.

2. Try to place yourself in another Coordinators shoes before initiating a disagreement discussion.

3. Try to speak directly to a Coordinator to resolve any conflicts or concerns you may have regarding a works schedule.

4. Do not hesitate to speak to the Coordinator (or another Volunteer) if you feel that a Coordinator is directing an unsafe works program.

5. Do not use profanity or offensive language.

6. Do not act in a manner that is deliberately hostile and insulting to other Volunteers.

7. Do not trade insults with other Volunteers. If the behaviour of another Volunteer offends you, take the matter up with that Volunteer privately either on a break or after work times ; or bring it to the attention of a Coordinator if you feel intimidated.

8. Communicate in English. Only use other languages in works programs where that is explicitly allowed.

9. Be aware that NOT talking directly to another Volunteer about your concerns disables their ability to resolve or clarify the scenario with you and may make the issue worse for all concerned.

General behaviour:-

1. Do not physically touch another person without first seeking consent.

2. Do not take DTE property you are not authorised to.

3. Do not visit DTE properties without proper authorisation.

 

Breach of Code of Conduct

If an individual violates the Code of Conduct anyone may lodge a complaint with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for review and arbitration.

The complaint will be assessed within 48 hours with reference to this Code of Conduct by three

independent reviewers who will form a majority decision and respond as follows:

For a confirmed breach relating to any of the code categories, reviewers may recommend any of the

following actions:

  1. Verbal or written warning regarding behaviour
  2. Temporary suspension of the individual’s rights to participate in the relevant list/forum/group, for a period of between one (1) week and twelve (12) months
  3. Permanent suspension of the individual’s rights to participate in the relevant list/forum/group

Reviewing panel will only respond to complaints lodged via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and assess the evidence presented within the complaint against this Code of Conduct. It is not their role to monitor any list/forum/group for transgressions, nor is it to mediate conflict between various parties.

As mature adults, it is expected that people in conflict will resolve it amicably directly with each other, or where parties request it, seek formal mediation through delegation from DTE Board of Directors.

In the event of a dispute or complaint involving a reviewer, that reviewer must abstain from the reviewing process and his or her alternate reviewer substituted.

Confirmed breaches of the Code of Conduct shall be reported to DTE Board of Directors including recommended action.

When the suspension period is up, the offender may resume participation with full privileges.

Appeals Process

In the event that the individual in breach wishes to appeal against the sanction decided upon by the reviewers such individual shall, within 7 working days, submit a written appeal (email is acceptable) containing the reasons for appeal to DTE Board of Directors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In the event of such appeal, the DTE Board of Directors shall reject or accept the appeal and confirm, amend, or lift any sanction previously imposed.

Reviewer Appointment

The DTE Board of Directors shall appoint three (3) reviewers as well as three (3) alternates. These appointments may change as and when the DTE Board of Directors deems appropriate.