1. RATIONALE AND PURPOSE
1.1 The West Australian Rowing Club is committed to:
- providing a healthy, safe, welcoming, inclusive, equitable and nurturing environment
- ensuring transparency and integrity in our governance and decision making
- operating with teamwork, cooperation, trust, effective communication and mutual respect
1.2 The West Australian Rowing Club is committed to providing a sport and club environment, free of discrimination and harassment of any type, where individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and where children are protected from abuse.
The West Australian Rowing Club will not tolerate behaviour which constitutes abuse, discrimination or harassment under any circumstances and will take disciplinary action against anyone who is in breach of the Member Protection Policy.
1.3 This Member Protection Policy aims to provide the best possible environment in which its members, coaches, committee and volunteers, can excel and discharge their responsibilities to ensure the peak performance of all crews, competitions and programs and enjoyment of all Club members.
1.4 This Member Protection Policy is complemented by the Rowing Australia Protection Policy V5 and the Rowing WA Code of Conduct with which the West Australian Rowing Club is required to abide as an affiliated club.
1.5 The main objective of our Member Protection Policy is to maintain responsible behaviour and the making of informed decisions by 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 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 required.
1.6 It also covers the care and protection of children participating in our club’s activities, in addition to the rowing-specific Junior Athlete Policy.
1.7 The Member Protection Policy is the broad framework upon which all rowing-specific policies sit
2. WHO OUR POLICY APPLIES TO
2.1 Our policy applies to everyone involved in the West Australian Rowing Club including members, committee members, administrators, coaches, staff, officials (umpires/referees/judges), athletes, parents and spectators.
3. EXTENT OF OUR POLICY
3.1 Our policy covers unfair decisions (e.g. crew/squad selection, competition disqualification) and actions, breaches of our code of behaviour and behaviour that occurs: at training, in the club house, at social events organised or sanctioned by the club (or our sport), and on away and overnight trips. It also covers private behaviour where that behaviour brings our club or sport into disrepute or there is suspicion of harm towards a person, particularly a child or young person.
4 CLUB RESPONSIBILITIES
4.1 We will:
- implement and comply with our policy;
- promote our policy to everyone involved in our club;
- promote and model appropriate standards of behaviour at all times;
- respond to breaches or complaints made under our policy promptly, fairly, and confidentially;
- review this policy every 12-18 months; and
- seek advice from and refer serious issues to Rowing WA
- 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 body request to be referred to them.
5.0 INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES
5.1 Everyone associated with our club must:
- comply with the standards of behaviour outlined in our policy;
- treat others with respect;
- always place the safety and welfare of members aged under 18 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 or other inappropriate behaviour.
6. PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
6.1 The WA Rowing Club is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people accessing the organisation. We support the rights of the child and will act without hesitation to ensure a child safe environment is maintained at all times. We also support the rights and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment for all participants.
6.1.1: Identify and Analyse Risk of Harm The Club has developed a Junior Athlete Policy, which includes a review of existing child protection practices, to determine how child-safe and child-friendly the organisation is and to determine what additional strategies are required to minimise and prevent risk of harm to children because of the action of an employee, volunteer or another person.
6.1.2: Develop Codes of Conduct for Adults and Children The West Australian Rowing Club will develop codes of conduct that specify standards of conduct and care when dealing and interacting with children, particularly those in the organisation’s care.
The code(s) of conduct will set out professional boundaries, ethical behaviour and unacceptable behaviour.
6.1.3: Choose Suitable Employees and Volunteers: The West Australian Rowing 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 (in prescribed positions).
This may be achieved using a range of screening measures. Such measures will aim to minimise the likelihood of engaging (or retaining) people who are unsuitable to work with children. The West Australian Rowing Club will ensure that working with children checks/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 their screening process, The West Australian Rowing Club will ensure that the criminal history information is dealt with in accordance with relevant state requirements.
6.1.4: Support, train, supervise and enhance performance: The West Australian Rowing Club will ensure that volunteers and employees who work with children or their records have ongoing supervision, support and training such that their performance is developed and enhanced to promote the establishment and maintenance of a child-safe environment.
6.1.5: Empower and promote the participation of children in decision-making and service development: The West Australian Rowing Club will promote the involvement and participation of children and young people in developing and maintaining child-safe environments.
6.1.6: Report and respond Appropriately to suspected abuse and neglect: The West Australian Rowing Club will ensure that volunteers and employees are able to identify and respond to children at risk of harm.
The West Australian Rowing Club will make all volunteers and employees aware of their responsibilities under respective state laws if they have suspicion on reasonable grounds that a child has been or is being abused or neglected.
In addition to any legal obligation, if any person feels another person or organisation bound by this policy is acting inappropriately towards a child or is breaching the code’(s) of practice set out they may make an internal complaint.
6.2 Supervision, transportation and taking images of children: These are specifically addressed in the Junior Athlete Policy.
6.3 The West Australian Rowing Club acknowledges that our staff, members and volunteers provide a valuable contribution to the positive experiences of children involved in our sport. The West Australian Rowing Club aims to continue this and to take measures to protect the safety and welfare of children participating in our sport by:
7. ANTI-HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION AND BULLYING
7.1 Our club opposes all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying. This includes treating or proposing to treat someone less favourably because of a particular characteristic; imposing or intending to impose an unreasonable requirement, condition or practice which has an unequal or disproportionate effect on people with a particular characteristic; or any behaviour that is offensive, abusive, belittling, intimidating or threatening – whether this is face-to-face, indirectly or via communication technologies such as mobile phone and computers. Some forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying are against the law and are based on particular characteristics such as age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, political or religious beliefs, race, and marital status.
7.2 Our club takes all claims of harassment, discrimination, bullying and cyber bullying seriously. We encourage anyone who believes they have been harassed, discriminated against or bullied to raise the issue with the club (see Responding to Complaints).
7.3 Our club aims to be welcoming and we will seek to include members from all areas of our community.
8.1 Where possible we will include people with a disability in our teams and club.
8.2 We will support and respect people from diverse cultures and religions to participate in our club and where possible will accommodate requests for flexibility
8.3 All people, regardless of their sexuality, are welcome at our club. We strive to provide a safe environment for participation and will take action over any behaviour that does not reflect this commitment.
8.4 Pregnant women should be aware that their own health and wellbeing, and that of their unborn children, should be of utmost importance in their decision making about the way they participate in our sport. We recommend pregnant women to consult with their medical advisers, make themselves aware of the facts about pregnancy in sport, and ensure that they make informed decisions about participation.
8.5 WARC will support pregnant women in endeavours to continue appropriate participation
9.0 COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES
9.1 Our club takes all complaints about on and off-water behaviour seriously. Our club will handle complaints based on the principles of procedural fairness (natural justice), that is: all complaints will be taken seriously;
- both the person making the complaint (complainant) and the person the complaint is against (respondent) will be given full details of what is being said against them and have the opportunity to respond (give their side of the story);
- irrelevant matters will not be taken into account;
- decisions will be unbiased and fair; and
- any penalties imposed will be fair and reasonable.
More serious complaints may be escalated to Rowing WA.
If the complaint relates to suspected child abuse, sexual assault or other criminal activity, then our club will need to report the behaviour to the police and/or relevant government authority.
9.2 COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCESS
Complaints are handled as follows:
- For operational rowing matters, Vice Captains
- For boat allocation and serious rowing operational matters, the Captain
- For breach of policy, financial, whole-of-club matters and rowing operational matters that have not been resolved by the captaincy, the President
When a complaint is received by our club, the person receiving the complaint (eg Vice Captains, Captain or President) will:
- listen carefully and ask questions to understand the nature and extent of the problem;
- ask what the complainant would like to happen;
- explain the different options available to help resolve the problem;
- take notes; and
- maintain confidentiality but not necessarily anonymity.
Once the complainant decides on their preferred option for resolution, the 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 (eg from other people that may have seen the behaviour);
- seeking advice from our district, regional, state and/or national body or from an external agency (eg.State Department of Sport or anti-discrimination agency);
- referring the complaint to Rowing WA; 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 Rowing WA and an investigation is conducted, the club will: co-operate fully;
- ensure the complainant and respondent are not victimised;
- where applicable, ensure the complainant is not placed in an unsupervised situation with the respondent(s); and
- act on Rowing WA’s recommendations
At any stage of the process, a person can seek advice from or lodge a complaint with an anti-discrimination commission or other external agency.
9.3 DISCIPLINARY MEASURES
Our club will 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;
- Be determined by our Constitution, By Laws and the rules of the game.
Possible measures that may be taken include:
- verbal and/or written apology;
- counselling to address behaviour;
- withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by our 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; or
- any other form of discipline that our club considers reasonable and appropriate.
Both parties to a complaint have the right to appeal the decision and seek the recommendation of a panel if the matters of procedure, bias, or fairness are called into question. An appeals panel, made up of three members other than those who have already ruled on the dispute should handle formal appeals. They should be selected by a mediator. The appeal decision making process is to be managed by the Membership Officer or relevant delegate and outcome reported to the Committee at the first opportunity.