Description of revision
Initial Draft for comments
Update of Policy
The Woden Valley Gymnastics Club Inc (WVGC) supports the Gymnastics Australia’s (GA) Member Protection Policy and adopts it wholly as the Club’s Member Protection Policy. For the purposes of this Member Protection Policy any references to GA should also be read as references to Woden Valley Gymnastics Club Inc.
The Committee of the WVGC is committed to providing a sport and work environment free of harassment. We believe that anyone who works for us or represents us, and everyone with whom we deal, has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. The Committee will not tolerate harassment in our organisation. We will take all complaints of harassment seriously, and will ensure they are dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially. Disciplinary action can be taken against a person who is found in breach of the Member Protection Policy.
This Policy applies equally to members involved in each of GA’s Gymsports, including Men’s Gymnastics, Women’s Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Gymnastics for All, Sport Aerobics, Trampoline Sports and Sports Acrobatics.
This policy applies to behaviour occurring both within and outside the course of the business, activities and events of WVGC, when the behavior involves individuals associated with WVGC and negatively affects relationships within the sport of gymnastics and the work environment.
This Policy applies to all members of WVGC, employees, officers, administrators, volunteers, coaches, judges, athletes and officials (Members). Harassment may occur, for example, from:
Harassment is unlawful under federal and state/territory anti-discrimination laws. People engaging in harassment can have legal action taken against them under these laws. In some cases, legal action can also be taken against the organisation for which they work or which they represent. For this reason, WVGC has a legal responsibility to ensure that harassment does not occur in the course of any of our activities.
All members of WVGC are responsible for taking all reasonable steps to prevent harassment in our organisation and for ensuring our policy is well known throughout the organisation. This means we will take whatever steps necessary to ensure that everyone in the organisation knows:
We are further responsible for ensuring that the policy and procedures are monitored and reviewed regularly.
It will be the responsibility of all employees, officials, coaches, volunteers, athletes and members to:
All members of WVGC are required to abide by the following codes and rules:
WVGC is committed to providing a sport and work environment free of discrimination and harassment (sexual or otherwise), where individuals are treated with respect and dignity. WVGC will not tolerate discriminatory or harassment behavior under any circumstances and will take disciplinary action against anyone who breaches this Policy.
WVGC is committed to ensuring that the safety, welfare and well-being of children are maintained at all times during their participation in activities run by GA and its member bodies. Accordingly, any person involved in the instruction, management or coaching of any member under the age of 18 years may be asked to undergo screening procedures including police and other probity checks.
WVGC requires all coaches working with people under the age of 16 years to complete a Member Protection Declaration Form (Document 75) enquiring into their background. This is compulsory.
Discrimination and all forms of harassment are unlawful under federal, state and territory law. People engaging in such conduct can have legal action taken against them under these laws. In some cases, legal action can also be taken against the organisation for which they work or represent. For this reason, WVGC has a legal responsibility to ensure that discrimination or harassment does not occur in the course of any of WVGC’s activities.
The law is always the minimum standard for behavior within WVGC and therefore any criminal offence will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
It is unlawful to treat anyone unfairly on the basis of various attributes or personal characteristics in key areas of public life.
Indirect discrimination is also unlawful. This means that a member cannot impose a requirement, condition or practice that is the same for everyone, but which has an unequal or disproportionate effect or result on particular groups. Unless this type of requirement is reasonable in all the circumstance it is likely to be indirect discrimination, even if there was never any intention to discriminate.
Harassment can take many forms but can generally be defined as unwelcome verbal or written comments, conduct, or gestures directed toward an individual or group of individuals that the harasser knows, or should reasonably be expected to know, is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, malicious, degrading or offensive.
Sexual harassment is behavior that has a sexual element, which is unwelcome and could reasonably be expected, in the circumstances, in which it occurs, to offend, humiliate or intimidate the person or people at whom it is directed.
A member must not engage in any form of harassment, including:
WVGC takes the view that intimate sexual relationships between coaches and athletes, while not necessarily constituting unlawful harassment, can have harmful effects on the individual athlete involved, on other athletes and coaches, and on the sport’s public image.
Because there is always a risk that the relative power of the coach has been a factor in the development of such relationships, WVGC takes the position that such relationships should be avoided by coaches working at all levels.
Should a sexual relationship develop between an athlete and a coach, WVGC will investigate whether any action against the coach is necessary. If WVGC determines that the sexual relationship is inappropriate, action may be taken to terminate the coaching relationship with the athlete. Action may include transfer of the coach or, if this is not feasible, a request for resignation or dismissal from employment or coaching duties.
In the event that an athlete attempts to initiate an intimate sexual relationship, the coach must take personal responsibility for discouraging such approaches, explaining the ethical basis for such action.
The law is always the minimum standard for behavior within WVGC and therefore sex with a minor, of either the same or the opposite sex, is a criminal offence and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
A member must not subject any person to victimisation.
Victimisation means subjecting a person, or threatening to subject a person, to any detriment or unfair treatment because that person has or intends to pursue his or her right to make a complaint or support another person in making a complaint against another person.
Members must not employ or engage a person (whether paid or unpaid) to coach, engage in regulated activities or services or otherwise supervise vulnerable people unless the person is registered with the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS), if required to do so by reason of the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011.
This section specifies the roles and responsibilities of all members. In some cases, particular classes of Members have the additional roles and responsibilities that are also specified below.
A member must:
Administrators must ensure that the organisation he or she is employed or engaged by:
Judges must comply with the Judges’ Code of Ethics (incorporated in the Technical Membership Handbook).
WVGC has developed a Grievance and Appeals Procedure to deal with any complaints about breaches of the Member Protection Policy and will do this promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially. WVGC recognises that natural justice is the minimum standard of fairness to be applied in the investigation and adjudication of a complaint.
Disciplinary action will be taken by WVGC against anyone who:
The disciplinary action will depend on the severity of the case and may involve any apology, counselling, suspension, dismissal or other form of action.
WVGC’s administration responsible for implementing this Policy will keep confidential the names and details relating to complaints, unless disclosure is:
WVGC undertakes to deal with any complaints of a breach of the Member Protection Policy promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially.
At any stage, it is the prerogative of the Complainant to proceed with, or dissolve, a complaint.
Should a complaint arise, WVGC encourages the Complainant to consider the following options:
o coach or manager;
o the club’s Member Protection Information Officer; or
o president or other official of the Club or State association.
If the Complainant decides to proceed, he or she must inform the person he or she reported the matter to, the Initial Contact Officer, who is to refer the matter to the Member Protection Information Officer or designated person in authority for investigation.
The Member Protection Information Officer determines whether or not to investigate the complaint.
If the Member Protection Information Officer determines to investigate, the Officer:
If no resolution is achieved, the Member Protection Information Officer gives all reports to the Disciplinary Committee, who determines the appropriate course of action.
If the complaint is not resolved, the Complainant may make a written complaint to an external organisation for mediation or arbitration. This can be done with the support of the Member Protection Information Officer.
If the complaint is upheld, a remedy will be prescribed by that external organisation.
The following documents are related to the implementation of the Club’s Member Protection Policy: