Member Protection Policy

1. Glen Iris Gymnastics Club Commitment Statement

Glen Iris Gymnastics Club is committed to the safety, wellbeing, and empowerment of all children accessing our programs and services including indigenous children, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and children with disability. Glen Iris Gymnastics Members have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of child abuse. We support the rights of children and we will act immediately to ensure an environment is maintained where children and all participants feel safe, respected, valued, and always empowered.

Our commitment encompasses the rights and wellbeing of our Personnel, Members, contractors and volunteers and requires their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment for all participants.

We also acknowledge these groups and individuals provide a valuable contribution to the positive experiences of children involved in our sport. GA and all Association Members will continue to take measures to protect the safety and welfare of children by embedding child safety in our sport’s culture. It means creating a culture of safety that extends from participation and education through to ensuring all members feel safe and secure in reporting inappropriate behaviour.

It is essential that everyone involved in Glen Iris Gymnastics Club: coaches, judges, administrators, volunteers, parents, and participants, understand the important responsibilities they have in relation to children and members’ safety and we are committed to educating our community in this regard. Together we can provide an environment where children feel safe, respected, valued, and encouraged to reach their full potential.

 

Glen Iris Gymnastics Director

 

Tatiana Loukianenko

2. Purpose of Our Policy

The main objective of our Member Protection Policy (MPP) is to maintain responsible behaviour and the making of informed decisions by members and other participants in this club. It outlines our commitment to a person’s right to be treated with respect and dignity, and to be safe and protected from discrimination, harassment, and abuse. Our policy informs everyone involved in our club of his or her legal and ethical rights and responsibilities and the standards of behaviour that are expected of them. It also covers the care and protection of children participating in GIG Club’s activities.

3. Who Our Policy Applies To

This policy applies to everyone involved in the activities of GIG Club whether they are in a paid or unpaid/voluntary capacity and including:

 

  • GIG Club administrators and other officials;

  • coaches and assistant coaches and other personnel participating in events and activities, including camps and training sessions;

  • support personnel, including managers, physiotherapists, psychologists, masseurs, sport trainers and others;

  • judges and other officials;

  • athletes;

  • parents;

  • spectators

4. Extent of Our Policy

 

Our policy covers all matters directly and indirectly related to GIG Club and its activities. In particular, the policy governs unfair selection decisions and actions, breaches of our code of behaviour and behaviour that occurs at training sessions, at social events organised or sanctioned by the GIG Club (or our sport), and on away and overnight trips. It also covers private behaviour where that behaviour brings GIG Club or sport into disrepute or there is suspicion of harm towards a child or young person.

5. GIG Club Responsibilities

 

GIG Club is committed to:

  • adopt, implement and comply with this policy;

  • ensure that this policy is enforceable;

  • publish, distribute and promote this policy and the consequences of any breaches of this policy;

  • promote and model appropriate standards of behaviour at all times;

  • deal with any complaints made under this policy in an appropriate manner;

  • deal with any breaches of this policy in an appropriate manner;

  • recognise and enforce any penalty imposed under this policy;

  • ensure that a copy of this policy is available or accessible to all people and organisations to whom this policy applies;

  • review this policy every 12-18 months;

  • seek advice from and refer serious issues to Gymnastics Victoria or Gymnastics Australia.

 

Serious issues include unlawful behaviour that involves or could lead to significant harm and includes criminal behaviour (e.g. physical assault, sexual assault, child abuse) and any other issues that our state or national bodies request to be referred to them.

6. Individual Responsibilities

 

Everyone associated with GIG Club must:

  • make themselves aware of the contents of this policy;

  • comply with all relevant provisions of this policy, including the standards of behaviour outlined in this policy;

  • consent to the screening requirements set out in this policy, and any state or territory Working with Children checks if the person holds or applies for a role that involves regular unsupervised contact with a child or young person under the age of 18, or where otherwise required by law;

  • treat other people with respect;

  • always place the safety and welfare of children above other considerations;

  • be responsible and accountable for their behaviour;

  • follow the guidelines outlined in this policy if they wish to make a complaint or report a concern about possible child abuse, discrimination, harassment, bullying or other inappropriate behaviour;

  • comply with any decisions and/or disciplinary measures imposed under this policy.

7. Protection of Children

 

GIG Club is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who participate in GIG Clubs’ activities or use our services.  We support the rights of the child and will always act to ensure that a child safe environment is maintained.  We also support the rights and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure and safe environment for all participants.

7.1 Choosing Suitable Employees and Volunteers

 

The GIG Club will ensure that the organisation takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children, especially those in positions that involve regular unsupervised contact with children. This may be achieved using a range of screening measures.  Such measures will aim to minimize the likelihood of engaging (or retaining) people who are unsuitable to work with children.

 

The GIG Club will ensure that Working with Children Checks and criminal history assessments are conducted for employees and volunteers working with children, where an assessment is required by law. If a criminal history report is obtained as part of the screening process, the GIG Club will ensure that the criminal history information is dealt with confidentially and in accordance with relevant legal requirements.

7.2 Support, Train, Supervise and Enhance Performance

 

The GIG Club will ensure that all our employees and volunteers who work with children have ongoing supervision, support and training. Our goal is to develop their skills and capacity and to enhance their performance so we can maintain a child-safe environment in GIG Club.

7.3 Positive Guidance (Discipline)

 

  • The GIG Club strive to ensure that children participating in gymnastics are aware of the acceptable limits of their behavior so that we can provide a positive experience for all participants.

 

  • Children are encouraged to feel safe and to be safe and to have positive relationships and friendships with their peers.

 

  • Wherever possible, children are encouraged to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organizational activities, especially on issues that are important to them.

 

  • Children are given information about their safe participation in organizational activities including access to information about child abuse prevention programs.

 

  • There are times when personnel may be required to use appropriate techniques and behavior management strategies to ensure an effective and positive environment and the safety and/or wellbeing of children or personnel participating in gymnastics.

7.4 Positive coaching techniques

 

All personnel must use strategies that are fair, respectful and appropriate to the developmental stage of the children involved. The child needs to be provided with clear directions and given an opportunity to redirect their misbehaviour in a positive manner.

Under no circumstances are our personnel to take disciplinary action involving physical punishment or any form of treatment that could reasonably be considered as degrading, cruel, frightening or humiliating.

7.5 Use of language and tone of voice

 

Language and tone of voice used in the presence of children should provide clear direction, boost their confidence, encourage, or affirm them not be harmful to children.

7.6 Giving Gifts

 

GA prohibits our personnel from giving gifts/presents to children to whom we provide a service other than the provision of awards.

7.7 Use of electronic communications and social media

 

GIG Club acknowledges the enormous value of technology and social media to communicate promote our sport and celebrate the achievements and success of the people involved in gymnastics. However, we also recognize the risks that social media can pose.

 

The main principles to abide by when communicating with a child electronically are:

 

  • interactions on social media should always be open and transparent and communicating privately with a child is inappropriate;

  • when communicating with children we always ensure a parent and/or other Personnel is copied into the correspondence

  • communicate through official channels if social media is the only possible way and use the club’s official FB page not your own personal account);

  • restrict communication to issues directly associated with delivering our gymnastics services, programs or events, such as advising that a scheduled event is cancelled;

  • we do not post photographs of children on personal social media accounts;

  • we do not communicate with children via electronic communication one on one. (e.g. direct message, internet chat rooms, social networking sites and E-mail communication);

  • we do not upload/post still/moving images or audio recordings of children without the prior authorisation of their parent or guardian;

  • we do not request children to keep the communication a secret from their parents or others;

  • we do not use inappropriate language when communicating with a child;

  • children are not allowed to use their communication devises during the training, unless it is necessary and allowed by the coach

7.8 Taking Images of Children

 

Images of children can be used inappropriately or illegally. We require that members, wherever possible, obtain permission from a child’s parent or guardian before taking an image of a child that is not their own. We will also make sure that the parent or guardian understands how the image will be used.

To respect people’s privacy, we do not allow camera phones, videos, and cameras to be used inside changing areas, showers, and toilets which we control or are used in connection with GIG Club.

When using a photo of a child, we will not name or identify the child or publish personal information, such as residential address, email address or telephone number, without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. We will not provide information about a child’s hobbies, interests, school, or the like, as this can be used by pedophiles or other persons to “groom” a child.

We will only use images of children that are relevant to GIG Club’s activities and we will ensure that they are suitably clothed in a manner that promotes GIG Club. We will seek permission from a child’s parent or guardian before using their images.

7.9 Supervision

 

Children under the age of 18 must be always supervised by a responsible adult. We endeavour to always provide an appropriate level of supervision. If a member finds a child under the age of 18 is unsupervised, they should assume responsibility for the child’s safety until the child’s parent/guardian or supervisor is located.

 

For reasons of courtesy and safety, parents must collect their children on time. If it appears a member will be left alone with just one child at the end of any GIG Club activity, they will ask another member to stay until the child is collected.

7.10 Transportation

 

Parents and or guardians are responsible for organising the transportation of their children to and from GIG Club activities (e.g. training and games).Where we make arrangements for the transportation of children (e.g. for away matches or overnight trips), we will conduct a risk assessment that includes ensuring vehicles are adequately insured, the driver has a current and appropriate licence for the vehicle being used and the appropriate safety measures are in place (e.g. fitted working seatbelts)].

7.11 Physical contact with children

 

Gymnastics is a sport that requires close physical contact at times to ensure the safety of an athlete. As such it is ‘high risk’ area and strong, rigorous guidelines around contact must be followed. Any physical contact with children must be appropriate to the delivery of gymnastics coaching such as spotting, fitting sporting equipment, and appropriately correcting technique and must also be based on the needs of the Child (such as to assist or comfort a distressed child) rather than on the needs of the coach.

8. Inclusive practices

 

GIG Club is welcoming, and we will seek to include members from all areas of our community.

The following are examples of some of our inclusive practices.

8.1 People with a disability

 

The GIG Club will not discriminate against any person because they have a disability. Where it is necessary, we will make reasonable adjustments (e.g. modifications to equipment and rules) to enable participation.

8.2 People from diverse cultures

 

We will support, respect and encourage people from diverse cultures and religions to participate in GIG Club and where possible we will accommodate requests for flexibility (e.g. modifications to uniforms).

8.3 Sexual & Gender Identity

 

All people, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, are welcome at GIG Club. We strive to provide a safe environment for participation and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment because of a person’s sexuality or gender identity. 

9. Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying

 

GIG Club is committed to providing an environment in which people are treated fairly and equitably and that is, as far as practicable, free from all forms of discrimination, harassment and bullying.

 

We recognise that people may not be able to enjoy themselves or perform at their best if they are treated unfairly, discriminated against, harassed, or bullied.

9.1 Discrimination  

 

Unlawful discrimination involves the less favourable treatment of a person on the basis of one or more of the personal characteristics protected by State or Federal anti-discrimination laws.

 

Discrimination includes both direct and indirect discrimination:

 

  • Direct discrimination occurs if a person treats, or proposes to treat, a person with a protected personal characteristic unfavourably because of that personal characteristic.

 

  • Indirect discrimination occurs if a person imposes, or proposes to impose, a requirement, condition or practice that will disadvantage a person with a protected personal characteristic and that requirement, condition or practice is not reasonable.

 

For the purpose of determining discrimination, the offender’s awareness and motive are irrelevant.

9.2 Harassment

 

Harassment is any unwelcome conduct, verbal or physical, that intimidates, offends or humiliates another person and which happens because a person has a certain personal characteristic protected by State or Federal anti-discrimination legislation.

 

The offensive behaviour does not have to take place several times, a single incident can constitute harassment.

 

Sexual harassment is one type of harassment. Sexual harassment involves unwelcome conduct, remarks or innuendo of a sexual nature. It covers a wide range of behaviours and can be verbal, written, visual or physical. Sexual harassment is not limited to members of the opposite sex.

 

Every person is covered by the anti-discrimination laws that apply in the State of Victoria as well as the Federal anti-discrimination laws.

 

The following is a list of all the personal characteristics that apply throughout Australia:

  • gender;

  • race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, nationality, ethno-religious origin, immigration;

  • national extraction or social origin;

  • marital status, relationship status, identity of spouse or domestic partner;

  • pregnancy, potential pregnancy, breastfeeding;

  • family or carer responsibilities, status as a parent or carer;

  • age;

  • religion, religious beliefs or activities;

  • political beliefs or activities;

  • lawful sexual activity;

  • sexual orientation and gender identity;

  • profession, trade, occupation or calling;

  • irrelevant criminal record, spent convictions;

  • irrelevant medical record;

  • member of association or organisation of employees or employers, industrial activity, trade union activity;

  • physical features;

  • disability, mental or physical impairment and

  • personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, any of these personal characteristics.

 

          Legislation also prohibits:

  • racial, religious, homosexual, transgender and HIV/AIDS vilification; and

  • victimization resulting from a complaint.

9.3 Bullying

 

The GIG Club is committed to providing an environment that is free from bullying. We understand that bullying has the potential to result in significant negative consequences for an individual’s health and wellbeing, and we regard bullying in all forms as unacceptable at GIG Club.

 

Bullying is characterised by repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed at a person, or group of persons, that creates a risk to health and safety.  Bullying behaviour is that which a reasonable person in the circumstances would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine, threaten, degrade, offend, or intimidate a person.  Bullying behaviour can include actions of an individual or group.

 

 

Whilst generally characterised by repeated behaviours, one off instance can amount to bullying.

 

The following types of behaviour, where repeated or occurring as part of a pattern of behaviour, would be considered bullying:

  • verbal abuse including shouting, swearing, teasing, making belittling remarks or persistent unjustified criticism;

  • excluding or isolating a group or person;

  • spreading malicious rumours; or

  • psychological harassment such as intimidation.

 

Bullying includes cyber-bulling which occurs using technology. New technologies and communication tools, such as smart phones and social networking websites, have greatly increased the potential for people to be bullied though unwanted and inappropriate comments. We will not tolerate abusive, discriminatory, intimidating, or offensive statements being made online.

 

If any person believes they are being, or have been, bullied by another person or organisation bound by this policy, he or she may make a complaint.

10 Report and Respond Appropriately to Suspected Abuse and Neglect

 

The GIG Club will ensure that employees and volunteers are able to identify and respond appropriately to children at risk of harm and that they are aware of their responsibilities under state laws to make a report if they suspect on reasonable ground that a child has be, or is being, abused or neglected

 

In addition to any legal obligations, if any person believes that another person or organization bound by this policy is acting inappropriately towards a child or is in breach of this policy they may make an internal complaint.

10.1 Responding to Complaints

 

GIG Club takes all complaints about on and off-field behaviour seriously. GIG Club will handle complaints based on the principles of procedural fairness, and ensure:

  • all complaints will be taken seriously;

  • the person making the complaint (complainant) will be given full details of what is being alleged against them and have the opportunity to respond to those allegations;

  • irrelevant matters will not be taken into account;

  • decisions will be unbiased; and

  • any penalties imposed will be reasonable.

 

More serious complaints may be escalated to our state or national body.

 

If the complaint relates to suspected child abuse, sexual assault or other criminal activity, then GIG Club may need to report the behaviour to the police and/or relevant government authority.

10.2 Complaint Handling Process

 

When a complaint is received by GIG Club, the person receiving the complaint, Member Protection Information Officer will:

  • listen carefully and ask questions to understand the nature and extent of the concern;

  • ask what the complainant how they would like their concern to be resolved and if they need any support;

  • explain the different options available to help resolve the complainant’s concern;

  • inform the relevant government authorities and/or police, if required by law to do so; and

  • where possible and appropriate, maintain confidentiality but not necessarily anonymity.

 

Once the complainant decides on their preferred option for resolution, the GIG Club will assist, where appropriate and necessary, with the resolution process. This may involve:

  • supporting the person complaining to talk to the person being complained about;

  • bringing all the people involved in the complaint together to talk objectively through the problem (this could include external mediation);

  • gathering more information (e.g. from other people that may have seen the behaviour);

  • seeking advice from our state and/or national body or from an external agency (e.g. State Department of Sport or anti-discrimination agency);

  • referring the complaint to our state or national association; and/or

  • referring the complainant to an external agency such as a community mediation centre, police or anti-discrimination agency.

 

In situations where a complaint is referred to our state or national association and an investigation is conducted, the GIG Club will:

  • co-operate fully with the investigation;

  • where applicable, ensure the complainant is not placed in an unsupervised situation with the respondent(s); and

  • act on our state or national association’s recommendations.

 

At any stage of the process, a person can seek advice from an anti-discrimination commission or other external agency and, if the matter is within their jurisdiction, may lodge a complaint with the anti-discrimination commission or other external agency.

10.3 Disciplinary Sanctions

 

GIG Club may take disciplinary action against anyone found to have breached our policy or made false and malicious allegations. Any disciplinary measure imposed under our policy must:

  • be applied consistent with any contractual and employment rules and requirements;

  • be fair and reasonable;

  • be based on the evidence and information presented and the seriousness of the breach; and

  • be determined by our constituent documents, by Laws and the rules of the game.

  • Possible sanctions that may be taken include:

  • a direction that the individual makes verbal and/or written apology;

  • counselling of the individual to address behaviour;

  • withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by GIG Club;

  • suspension or termination of membership, participation or engagement in a role or activity;

  • de-registration of accreditation for a period of time or permanently;

  • a fine;

  • any other form of discipline that GIG Club considers reasonable and appropriate.

10.4 Appeals

 

The complainant or respondent may be entitled to lodge an appeal against a decision made in relation to a complaint (including a decision where disciplinary sanctions are imposed by GIG Club) to GV.  Appeals must be based on any right of appeal provided for in the relevant constituent documents, rules, regulations or by laws.