Maccabi Australia Member Protection Policy

What we did

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:

  • created a bespoke Maccabi member protection policies online training
  • formed a volunteer member protection policy (MPP) subcommittee that oversees the governance of the policies
  • engaged a wider group of volunteers who form part of a wider MPP Working Party and have taken on roles including Integrity Officers, Tribunal Chairs and Appeals Chair
  • developed a toolkit for use by integrity officers and club compliance officers to address grievances and escalation processes
  • created a Working With Children Check register which is linked to an automated verification process
  • rolled out member protection policies through our leaders, staff and volunteers
  • written an easy-to-read MPP document for children and all abilities participants
  • conducted face-to-face training for compliance officers and other officials

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.

Why we did it

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.

How we know it worked

We can see the impact of our policies and processes being implemented by looking at instances of complaints handling and issues management across the organisation. There are a number of cases which have been brought forward and handled in a clear manner, which may have been handled differently – had they even come to light – would the policies not have been in place.

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.