Code of ethics

Code of Ethics for Members of the Australian Retailers Association

Approved by the ARA Council and effective: February 2021


This code of ethics is established to promote and maintain the highest professional conduct among the membership of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). Members are expected to adhere to these fundamental principles through responsible self-regulation to ensure the reputation of the ARA as a leading industry body.

The ARA is committed to leading and supporting the Australian Retail community to grow and thrive.

This code aims to:

  • encourage members to help raise social, ethical and business standards of our industry,
  • strengthen the competitive edge of Members of the Association by assuring customers and suppliers that they have the right to always expect the highest standards from Association members,
  • encourage our members in the pursuit of excellence and promote the Association’s reputation.


Adherence to this code is required by all ARA members, whether individuals or corporate entities of the ARA. Members are expected to apply this code based on responsibility, character and professionalism.

The Code

The ARA does hereby adopt and proclaim six fundamental ARA member principles of ethics:

INTEGRITY – Exemplify industry leadership by acting straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships.

PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR – Comply with the relevant laws and regulation by avoiding any conduct that may discredit the ARA.

FAIRNESS– Act reasonably in public business by striving to be fair and respect the legitimate commercial prosperity of other members.

CARING – Demonstrate genuine care and respect for human dignity by treating all people with equal respect and dignity regardless of sex, race or national origin.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE – Protect industry, business standards by supporting positive ethical models that favour consumer confidence.

HONESTY – Always consider the consequences of actions by accomplishing business objectives in a manner that causes the least harm and the greatest positive good.

Conditions of Membership

On joining the ARA, the Member accepts and agrees to be bound by the Code and must adhere to the ARA rule book (“the ARA Rules”) and policies.

Following the ARA Rule 10.3, payment of membership fee will be entitling the Member to membership of the ARA from the joining date.

The member must renew their membership annually to gain the benefits of membership.

For more information on changes to members, please refer to the full ARA Membership Terms and Conditions.

Membership, or specific rights or privileges, may be suspended or terminated by the ARA for violation of any rules of the organisation or conduct deemed by the ARA Council to be detrimental to the welfare, good order, safety or character of the ARA or its members in-line with the ARA Rules or laws.

For more information about conditions of membership, please refer to the full ARA Membership Terms and Conditions.

For the ARA Rules, please follow this link:

Complying with this Code

Following the ARA Rules 14.4 membership may be terminated if a member shall:

a. infringe any of the rules of the Association;

b. be guilty of any act, neglect, default, proceeding or practice which the ARA Council in its discretion, may consider to be dishonourable, to be inconsistent with membership of the Association or such as may bring discredit on the

Association; or

c. in the opinion of the ARA Council, the interests of the Association require that any member shall cease to be a member.

The ARA Council may, if it thinks fit, by notice in writing request the member to resign within a time to be specified in such notice and in default of the receipt of such resignation the ARA Council shall submit the question of his/her expulsion to a special meeting of the ARA Council to be called for that purpose.

The member whose expulsion is under consideration may attend such meeting and may show cause why he/she should not be expelled from the Association.

If after giving fair consideration to the member two-thirds of the members of the ARA Council present and voting at such meeting shall vote for the expulsion of such member he/she shall thereupon cease to be a member.

The voting at any such special meeting of the ARA Council shall be by ballot if not less than five members present so demand.

The ballot shall be conducted in such a manner as the Chair shall decide. A declaration by the Chair that a resolution has been duly passed or that it has been lost shall be conclusive.

The Law

A registered organisation generally cannot prevent anyone from joining the organisation if the person is eligible under the organisation’s eligibility rules. Section166 (1) of the FW (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 places two conditions of becoming or remaining a member.

Firstly, the ability to refuse if the person is of ‘general bad character’ and secondly, subject to the payment of membership dues. ‘General bad character’ and whether a person may be denied membership may be considered by the Courts