This Code of Conduct is an agreement guiding all parties directly involved in the operation, delivery and participation in Homeward Bound – and applies to the Homeward Bound Board and its subcommittees, Homeward Bound staff, its Faculty and coaches and program participants.

The Code outlines the expectations of behaviour for participation in all Homeward Bound activities. The emphasis is on personal responsibility to contribute safely to morale, teamwork and participation and, ultimately, a successful program. As a transformational leadership experience, we promote collective, shared decision-making and individual responsibility for all. The Code can act as a guide for ethical decision-making and reflection, as well as a reference preventing discrimination or harassment.

Each person involved in the Homeward Bound program is required to sign a copy of this document, as confirmation of their agreement to apply these principles to their participation in Homeward Bound.

Homeward Bound promotes freedom of expression and open communication, with respect for the needs of all parties. We expect all Homeward Bound personnel to avoid serious disputes and disruptions to others, and to foster a respectful and collaborative environment.

Remember, this is a leadership initiative. All parties are expected to generally have the capacity to be constructive members of the community. The initiative relies on all to share in acting for the greater good.






we work together for a common cause

we take on leadership roles and accept responsibility

we actively seek input (ideas and expertise) to advance what we do

we are decisive when the process requires

  • we are collectively accountable for the outcomes



we include diverse voices

alumnae and our broader network can help shape Homeward Bound

  • we enter dialogue inclusively to generate ideas and solve problems

Legacy mindset


we always think long-term  ̶  10, 50, 100 years

we build a sustainable initiative

  • we have a concrete succession plan

Trusted with assets (money and people)


our word is our bond

we treat every part of Homeward Bound as if it were our own

we treat people as our loved family

  • we value money as the lubricant of possibility



Confidentiality of data and personal stories

  • All Homeward Bound participants and personnel will respect confidences entrusted to them.
  • Unless otherwise stated or shared on a public forum, all participants and personnel will seek permission to share personal stories, photos and content developed by others.

Transparency in operations

  • Homeward Bound has a commitment to transparent leadership. All participants have the option to ask for more information or insight into decision-making throughout the program.
  • Homeward Bound is made possible through the generous contribution of volunteers, strategic partners and donors. The Board of Directors is voluntary and many volunteers are Homeward Bound alumnae.
  • Homeward Bound is a not-for-profit organisation. The running costs, revenue and sponsorships that enable the operation of Homeward Bound are outlined in the project report for each cohort, available on the website:
  • The governance framework for Homeward Bound is also available on the website:

Creating a supportive program environment

  • All participants and personnel are needed to create a safe space of emotional trust, given the nature of the leadership work.
  • Behaviour with intent to harm or disturb – whether implied, verbal or physical – is not acceptable.
  • As the experience of behaviour can be subjective, any approach requesting certain behaviours to stop because of causing distress, should be met with openness and responsiveness, regardless of intent.
  • All participants and personnel are leaders and should use these skills to support an emotionally healthy environment.

Bullying, harassment (including sexual harassment) and victimisation

Homeward Bound’s definition of bullying, harassment (including sexual harassment and victimisation), as defined under Australian law, can be found here.

  • Homeward Bound does not tolerate any form of bullying, harassment (including sexual harassment) or victimisation
  • Sexual harassment should not occur in any environment. Every participant is responsible for the wellbeing of other participants, and there should be no unwelcome sexual attention.


It is expected that all participants are leaders and should be able to resolve minor interpersonal issues with kindness and compassion.


If a person wishes to give feedback about the program, then there are several mechanisms for providing feedback:

  1. In the first instance, we encourage you to contact the staff member (whether Faculty or a member of the Homeward Bound Administrative Team) that you have been dealing with. Contact details will be provided to you in your Welcome Pack.
  2. If you are uncomfortable with this, or consider the relevant staff member is unable to address your concerns, you can provide feedback in one of the following ways:

If we receive your feedback verbally and we consider it appropriate, we may ask you to put your feedback in writing.

A copy of Homeward Bound’s Complaints Policy and Procedure is available here.

update: May 2024



Bullying and harassment (including sexual harassment) are unlawful under the following Australian legislation:

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth).



Alumnae = Homeward Bound participants from all journeys, once completed.

Homeward Bound = Homeward Bound program / initiative / organisation.

Homeward Bound Faculty = Members of HB providing content and leadership.

Homeward Bound Personnel / Participants = Program participants, Faculty, Independent Clinician, Homeward Bound leaders, i.e. all those directly involved in the operation and delivery of, and participation in, the program.

Lead Facilitator = Homeward Bound Faculty member taking overall carriage for program delivery


Harassment is defined as any unwelcome behaviour towards another person that makes them feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated because of a protected attribute.

Harassment can occur in many forms and may include inappropriate actions, behaviour, physical contact, or comments made verbally or in writing (including by electronic means) that make a person feel uncomfortable. It is important to note that intention is irrelevant for harassment – if a person feels uncomfortable, the behaviour was harassment, even if it was not intended to make the person feel that way.

Harassment may include conduct that occurs both online and in person and can be a one-off event. Examples of harassment may include:

  • offensive jokes or demeaning comments relating to a person’s beliefs, race, ethnicity or physical appearance;
  • insults of any nature;
  • racial hatred;
  • derogatory comments or taunts about a person’s customs or traditions;
  • asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life;
  • excluding a person from activities or information because of a protected attribute or association with someone with a protected attribute;
  • swearing or shouting at someone;
  • threatening or implying physical harm (this can include body language or gestures);
  • displaying or sharing offensive material (by any means); or
  • pushing, shoving, punching or any inappropriate touching.

Sexual Harassment  

Sexual harassment is a specific form of unlawful harassment that is defined as any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour (including by electronic means) where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated or it has the effect of offending, humiliating or intimidating another person. Sexual harassment may be a one-off incident and may be unintentional.

Those who sexually harass others can be held personally liable for damages by a Court or Tribunal.

Sexual harassment may take many forms, including:

  • deliberate physical contact – patting, brushing, hugging, touching or unnecessary familiarity such as brushing up against a person;
  • invading someone’s personal space;
  • offensive comments, suggestive jokes, comments, questions or remarks about someone’s sex life, gender, sexual preference or physical appearance;
  • persistent, unwelcome demands or even subtle pressures for sexual favours or outings and dates;
  • requests for sex, unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or sexual advances;
  • staring or leering at a person or at parts of their body;
  • restricting a person’s freedom (standing over a person/ blocking a person’s only way to get away);
  • sexually explicit pictures, words and/or images in any form (including on mobile devices);
  • sending explicit or sexually suggestive images or messages via text message, media platforms or other types of communication;
  • sexually explicit or inappropriate telephone calls, letters, text messages, emails, images, social media posts;
  • humour such as smutty or suggestive jokes or comments; or
  • innuendo, including sexually provocative remarks or tales of sexual performance.

Some types of sexual harassment can also be offences under the criminal law, such as:

  • indecent exposure
  • sexual assault
  • physical molestation or assault
  • stalking

Inappropriate Conduct

Is defined as conduct or behaviour (including via electronic means) that a reasonable person would find inappropriate. Examples can include:

  • swearing at another person or making a person feel uncomfortable even if that person is of the same age, gender, and background as you; or
  • using a name or term to address a person that the person does not consent to, or does not feel comfortable with, such as calling someone by a name or nickname that is not their preferred name or intentionally referring to someone as the gender they do not identify as.


Bullying Is defined as repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards others that creates a risk to health and safety.

‘Repeated’ refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can refer to a range of behaviours over time.

‘Unreasonable’ means behaviour that a reasonable person would consider inappropriate, including behaviour that would be perceived as victimising, humiliating, intimidating, undermining or threatening the other person.

‘Behaviour’ includes actions or omissions of individuals or a group and may involve using a system of work (e.g. procedures, processes or requirements) as a means of victimising, humiliating, undermining, punishing, isolating or threatening a person or group.

‘Risk to health and safety’ includes risk to mental or physical health of a person.

Bullying can be direct or indirect and can occur in a variety of ways, including physical, verbal or written communication via email, text message or other social media channels.

The following examples of behaviour, where repeated or occurring as a part of a pattern of behaviour could be considered bullying (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • physical or verbal abuse including insulting or offensive language or comments;
  • intimidation;
  • unjustified criticism or complaints;
  • offensive body language or gestures;
  • setting impossible or unreasonable tasks or deadlines;
  • denying access to information or resources that are essential for the person to perform their role;
  • teasing or making jokes/pranks at someone else’s expense;
  • gossiping or spreading misinformation or malicious rumours;
  • deliberately excluding, ignoring or isolating someone;
  • psychological harassment (including vexatious comments or gaslighting behaviours) or emotional abuse;
  • excessive scrutiny while working; or
  • acting maliciously to inconvenience another person or setting them up to fail.

Bullying is not acceptable and has a significant impact as it can cause harm to a person’s health and wellbeing, both physical and psychological.

It does not matter whether a person intended to bully another person or group of people.


Victimisation occurs when a person treats another person or threatens to treat another person adversely because that person or someone associated with that person has made an allegation or complaint or participated in a complaints process or investigation.


Gossip is defined as when Homeward Bound staff, volunteers or contractors talk with other staff members, clients, or suppliers about any complaint of discrimination or harassment.

Breaching the confidentiality of a formal complaint investigation or inappropriately disclosing personal information obtained in a professional role is a serious breach of this policy and may lead to formal discipline.