Play by the Rules was first developed by the South Australian Department for Sport and Recreation in 2001 as an interactive education and information website ( on discrimination, harassment and child protection in sport. Over the years, as more agencies have seen the need to promote Play by the Rules, they have joined as partners and helped by contributing funds, content and in-kind support.

Play by the Rules is now a unique collaboration between the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission, all state and territory departments of sport and recreation, all state and territory anti-discrimination and human rights agencies, the Office of the Children's Guardian (NSW), the Australian New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA) and the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW. These partners promote Play by the Rules through their networks, along with their own child safety, anti-discrimination and inclusion programs.

Play by the Rules provides information, resources, tools and free online training to increase the capacity and capability of administrators, coaches, officials, players, parents and spectators to assist them in preventing and dealing with discrimination, harassment, child safety, inclusion and integrity issues in sport.

National campaigns featuring radio and television community service announcement ads, utilising national sporting icons, are also extending positive sporting messages more broadly to the general community.

Play by the Rules is governed by a national Management Committee, made up of partners from the sport and recreation and human rights agencies. Meet the current Management Committee below: 

Kate Jenkins (Co-Chair)
Kate Jenkins became Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in early 2016, after 3 years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. In that role she held an Independent Review into Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, including Predatory Behaviour, in Victoria Police. She was also the Co-Chair of the Victorian Commission’s Disability Reference Group and a member of the Aboriginal Justice Forum.

Kate Jenkins

Jenny Priest (Co-Chair)
Jenny Priest is the Director of Active Canberra, ACT Government, with responsibility for sport and recreation services in the ACT since 2011.  Prior to that Jenny has held various senior roles over a long career in Government, formerly specialising in administration of the ACT planning and leasehold system. She has a graduate certificate in public sector management and has received public service awards for leadership, innovation, governance improvement and regulatory reform.  Jenny believes strongly in the power partnerships and collaboration in achieving sustainable change, and in the importance ensuring the experience of every child playing sport is a positive one.   

 Jenny Priest

Janet Schorer
Janet is currently the Children's Guardian at the Office of the Children's Guardian in NSW. She was Executive Director of the NDIS Reform Group for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet from November 2014, and led the Commonwealth negotiations and transition to the NDIS across NSW Government. Ms Schorer was also responsible for developing the whole-of-government strategic framework for the response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

 Janet Schorer

Merrilee Barnes
Merrilee has worked in sport for more than 25 years and has considerable experience in the areas of strategy, business operations, facility management, commercialisation and major events. In her current role at the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), Merrilee provides specialist support to sports and the sector to bring about improvement, organisational change and sustainability. Merrilee is also a member of the Commonwealth & State Sport Recreational Officials’ Women in Sport Working Group.

 Merrilee Barnes

Phil Leslie
Phillip is the Executive Director of Sport and Recreation in the Northern Territory.  With involvement in sport as a player, coach, Physical Education teacher and administrator over many years Phillip brings a deep connection to the role that quality participation in sport can play in individual and community well being.

 Philip Leslie

Dr Tim Soutphommasane
Dr Tim Soutphommasane is Race Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, a position he has held since August 2013. Prior to this role, Tim was a political philosopher and media commentator and held posts at the University of Sydney and Monash University. He is the author of four books and his thinking on multiculturalism, national identity and patriotism has been influential in shaping debates in Australia and Britain.

 Dr Tim Soutphomasane 

Dr Niki Vincent
Dr Niki Vincent is the South Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity. Prior to this appointment, Niki held the position of CEO of the Leaders Institute of SA which, amongst other programs and initiatives, delivers the renowned Governor’s Leadership Foundation (for the development of wiser, more ethical and adaptive leadership for the common good). She has authored numerous academic publications. A mother of four adult children and grandmother to 8, Niki also is a respite foster carer to a 14-year old girl from Liberia. She spends her sparse free time hiking, reading, gardening and bush camping. 

Dr Niki Vincent 


Peter Downs
Peter is the National Manager of Play by the Rules. Prior to starting in the role in November 2013 Peter was Assistant Director of the Australian Sports Commission's Integrity in Sport Unit for 2 years following a 17 year stint as Manager of the ASC's Disability Sport Unit. Peter has a Masters Degree in Adaptive Physical Activity and in 2014 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study models of best practice in inclusive sport in Finland, the UK and US.  
Peter Downs