Ethical Guidelines

A Guideline for internal and external stakeholders for the purpose of jointly communicating and agreeing how Foodswell seeks to undertake activities and to work with others.



Foodswell Limited ACN 163 396 736 (Foodswell) is a social enterprise and a registered charity.

Our Mission is to create change towards food security and food sovereignty for all Australians.

Our Vision is to be an innovative social enterprise that creates change by building effective partnerships to deliver outcomes that improve people’s diets, health and wellbeing and that assist remote, rural and urban Australians to learn, work and walk together on enterprising initiatives to foster healthy people and healthy environments.

To these ends, Foodswell initiates, endorses and delivers creative projects, programs and enterprises that help build the capacity of individuals and communities to access healthy, reliable, sustainable food. Foodswell undertakes research, education and related activities to address challenges to the diversity and sustainability of our food systems and the cultural, economic and environmental integrity of the resources on which they rely.

In pursuing programs and activities to deliver our Mission and Vision, Foodswell aims in all endeavours to walk the talk between remote, rural and urban Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in professional, respectful, culturally competent ways. The Foodswell Constitution, Code of Conduct and Charter guide Foodswell internal procedures.

This Ethical Guideline sets out principles and obligations that Foodswell strives to adhere to in the public conduct of its programs and activities and that we request partners, communities, individuals and companies we work with to actively acknowledge and adhere to.


The guideline sets out principles and obligations in three sections:

1. Core Principles

2. Public Engagement

3. Organisation

The guideline concludes with a final statement of expectation about Compliance that we ask parties with whom we work and collaborate to sign and return.



1.1 Reciprocity

Principle: To ensure that program outcomes (projects, research, enterprise, communications, commissions, other) include equitable benefits of value to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or individuals and all Australians.


• The activity will be of benefit to communities and individuals

• The activity contributes to the advancement of participants or communities

• The activity responds to a need in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other communities

• The community, individual or stakeholders group involved is respectfully and effectively engaged and supports the activity

• Foodswell has in place procedures and criteria to provide evidence of value added by the activity.

1.2 Respect

Principle: Respectful relationships acknowledge and affirm the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and of all Australians and the right of all people to have different values, norms and aspirations.


• Essential to respectful relationships is the recognition of the contribution of others and of the consequences of Foodswell’s activities and the activities of others that Foodswell has endorsed.

1.3 Equality Principle:

Foodswell demonstrates in its activities a commitment to distributive fairness and justice.


• Participants are respectfully included and involved in Foodswell’s direct or endorsed activities

• Outcomes and findings are shared or distributed with individuals or the community (as and where this is appropriate to do so)

• Foodswell and those they work with have considered, and have in place, indicators or measures to record outcomes and findings, and due procedures to distribute information and/or benefits with individuals and communities associated with or affected by the activity.

1.4 Responsibility Principle:

Foodswell’s core responsibility to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to all people with whom we work and provide programs or services to is to do no harm, conduct activities transparently and be accountable for the actions of Foodswell as an organisation, its staff/members of its board, volunteers, mentors or contracted representatives.  


• Foodswell and those we work with have in place measures to ensure transparency in the purpose, project planning, conduct and marketing of programs and activities

• Foodswell and those we work with have in place plans and measures to receive accurate feedback from stakeholders involved in programs and activities we conduct or are associated with.

1.5 Survival And Protection:

Principle: Recognition of the importance of collective identity.


• To ensure that safeguards are in place so that Foodswell’s direct or endorsed activities do not discriminate against or deride Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals or cultures or those of any other group within the Australian community

• To undertake programs and activities that respect and wherever possible advance the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to steward their cultures, knowledge, lands and waters.

1.6 Spirit And Integrity:

Principle: Activities of Foodswell are based on shared values.


• To plan and conduct activities so that outcomes of Foodswell’s direct or endorsed activities are realistic and desirable to those people directly involved or affected by, or impacted upon by the activity

• To consider and incorporate due measures and actions to ensure that there is a clear relationship between the proposed activity and the community’s cultural, spiritual and social cohesion.

• To only undertake activities that have workable timeframes and are appropriately resourced.

1.7 Environmental Impact of Operations:

Principle: Foodswell and those it works with will strive to ensure that programs and operations for which they are responsible are undertaken in an environmentally sustainable way.


• Foodswell and those it partners or works with will aim to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and/or (as appropriate) of the joint activity on which they work together.



2.1 Transparency Principle:

Foodswell and those we work with are committed to accurate and transparent reporting and communications with their stakeholders.


• Foodswell and those we work with and for agree to put in place and pursue appropriate consultation and liaison processes with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to ensure culturally competent, respectful communications processes

• Foodswell and those we work with will proactively make available information to stakeholders that is accurate, accessible and timely

• Foodswell and those we work with and for, will agree and be clear about what information they will and will not provide to stakeholders and other audiences.

2.2 Portrayal of local people:

Principle: Foodswell and those we work with and for will ensure that the use of images and messages portraying women and men, boys and girls in their communications respects the dignity, values and culture of the people portrayed.


• Images and messages of women and men, boys and girls – of different cultures, and from different places – will present them in a dignified and respectful manner

• Images of men and women, boys and girls will only be used as and where appropriate permissions have been received and other protocols have been put in place and observed

• Origins of any images used will be known and any necessary permissions, including copyright releases, be held

• Foodswell and parties with whom it jointly undertakes or undertakes to promote activities, will not undertake or issue random communications, promotions or fundraising activities without due and appropriate consultation and agreement between the involved parties.

2.3 Truthfulness and fundraising:

Principle: Foodswell will be clear and transparent about the purpose and use of any funds raised, and as and where it collaborates with others to this purpose will put in place and agree clear and transparent fundraising and reporting processes and procedures.


• Foodswell and any party that it undertakes to work with, or jointly undertake, fundraising activities with will have in place all due requirements to meet legislative requirements

• All parties will act honestly and faithfully in accordance with the terms of any joint or collaborative fundraising activity

• All parties will respect and honour funding and other agreements entered into with any funding or donor individual, group or agency and duly respect the rights, agreements and privacy of funders and donors or potential funders and donors

• Funds raised will only be used for the purpose for which they were raised by Foodswell and any other party with whom it works to raise or utilise funds so raised.



3.1 Financial Management: 

Principle: Foodswell and those organisations and individuals it works with to conduct programs and activities will act honestly and transparently to ensure the effective use of financial and other resources to maximise the impact of funds expended for maximum community benefit.


• To ensure that clear budgets and transparent reporting processes and procedures are in place at the commencement of any and all Foodswell and/or joint projects, programs, enterprises or other collective initiative and that they are duly executed

• To be diligent in the conduct, review and reporting of all project or program expenditures

• To be timely in the payment of monies, sponsorships, fees and other financial obligations as per agreed agreements, timelines and procedures.

3.2 Human rights, anti-discrimination and accessibility:

Principle: Foodswell and parties it works and /or collaborates with will observe and honour human rights and anti-discrimination policies and procedures and strive for best practice accessibility procedures.


• Foodswell and organisations and individuals it works with will make their commitment to human rights and anti-discrimination clear in their project plans, agreements and operational conduct.

• Foodswell and organisations and individuals it work with will observe and abide by gender and disability guidelines and practices.

• Foodswell and organisations and individuals it works with will strive to ensure that projects and activities are undertaken with due consideration, and care, to ensure accessibility to all stakeholders irrespective of their gender, status or background.

3.3 Staff, Volunteers and Mentors:

Principle: Foodswell is committed to building and sharing social capital to pursue its aims and objectives and recognises the value of having diverse relationships and working arrangements with people with whom it works and collaborates to undertake its activities.


• To enter into and abide by clear and transparent agreements with all staff, volunteers and mentors who contribute to Foodswell programs in a paid, pro-bono or voluntary capacity

• To ensure that appropriate insurances and other legal requirements are in place for the health and safety of staff, volunteers and mentors

• Foodswell to provide, and all staff, volunteers and mentors to abide by, clear policies, agreements and other undertakings to ensure a safe, positive and professional working environment.  

3.4 Complaints and related matters

Principle: To resolve potential disputes or other matters associated with Foodswell activities via constructive and open processes.


• To have in place clear dispute resolution processes and channels, that stakeholders may freely and comfortably access.