For the past three years our concerted commitment to member protection training with a focus on child safety has led to over 1000 people participating in our training. This represents over 75% of the organisation’s officials, and around one-sixth of our 6000 members nationally.
As part of our commitment we have:
In developing these initiatives we have engaged the assistance of experts including legal advisers and child safety advocates.
We have also referred to existing literature, including that developed by Athletics Australia, Play by the Rules, Child Safe Standards resources, Child Wise, the Commission for Children and Young People, and Sport and Recreation Victoria.
We hold regular workshops of our large working party and ensure feedback from these workshops is integrated into the continual development of our documents and processes, along with engaging experts to regularly review our systems and documents.
The motivation to create and implement this program came from a number of sources. With the Royal Commission into Child Abuse underway, we had leaders in our organisation who saw the value in being at the forefront of the upcoming changes, rather than waiting to see what the outcomes would be.
As a national federated organisation, this initiative was lead centrally via the national office to ensure all affiliated states and clubs were well positioned to support its members, rather than each part of the organisation developing its own policies.
This has allowed each part of the organisation and the organisation as a whole to remain across any changes to current child safety standards, changing laws, and to constantly strive for best practice; aiming to not just meet the legal minimum, but provide a safe and welcoming environment to everyone.
We know from our regular working party workshops that there are situations across the organisation that have been handled in a fair and confidential manner as a result of having these policies, and the learnings are shared so that we can constantly improve our processes.