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Safe Sport - Policies & Codes

This section provides a range of policies and codes so everyone in our sport understands their rights and responsibilities regarding safe sport, particularly for children and young people. See our following related policies and codes and information for related areas:

  • Our Member Protection Policy outlines the policies and processes that ensure a safe, positive environment for children and young people.

  • The MPP also outlines the complaints and reporting process.

  • Additionally, the Child Protection Code of Conduct highlights appropriate behaviours when dealing with children.

  • Social Media/Taking Images of Children

  • Hot Weather Policy

  • Concussion Policy

The policies also promote cultural safety of Aboriginal children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and safety of children with disability.

It is vital that clubs and members review their child safety policies and codes against the relevant national principles and legislated child safe standards in states/territories. Existing policies and codes should be strengthened to include relevant specific child safe provisions.

It is also important to develop strategies to ensure everyone knows and understands these child safe policies and codes. Try these following ways to get the information out there:

  • Club meetings – ensure the topic is discussed at the regular meetings with staff and volunteers.

  • Online resources – an intranet or internal web page can be used for staff to reference the new policies and procedures.

  • Posters, brochures and advertising material - simple, accessible information that children and parents can access.

  • Website and social media - use these online resources to communicate with everyone in the sport.

  • Communicate your policy at inductions, events and forums.

Golf Australia has a clear, transparent complaints process and measures in place to ensure that staff, partner organisations, clubs, members and volunteers understand their responsibility to report possible abuse or neglect of children and young people, and are aware of our complaint and reporting procedures. Our process for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse, outlined in our Member Protection Policy, includes:

  • A clear process for reporting and acting on disclosures or concerns about child safety.

  • A clear complaints procedure for use by children, parents, volunteers and staff.

  • Policies are provided to parents upon request.

  • Policies and procedures are readily available via our website.

All clubs should have a person responsible for safeguarding and complaints. It should be made clear who they are and how to contact them if you need to. Following are some resources to assist clubs enhance their child protection processes: Golf Australia Member Protection Policy (includes reporting child abuse section)

Working with Children Checks aim to create a child-safe environment and to protect children and young people involved in your club from physical and sexual abuse. They assess the suitability of people to work with children and young people and can involve:

  • criminal history checks

  • signed declarations

  • referee checks, and

  • other relevant background checks to assess a person’s suitability to work with children and young people.

Details on screening requirements and the WWCC process are highlighted in Golf Australia’s Member Protection Policy. Note that Working with Children Check requirements vary across Australia. It is important to remember that when travelling to other states or territories, your club and members must comply with their legislative requirements. Downloads

Like your club, child safe practice is constantly changing and it is important to review your policies and processes on a regular basis. These review processes should cover all parts of the suite of child safe sport policies with a focus on the Child Safe Sport Code of Conduct, screening and recruitment procedures and complaints and reporting processes. As your club changes, your staff and volunteers will also regularly change. Your Safe Sport Framework will need to be communicated when it is changed and new and existing staff will need to be familiar with each of these changes as relevant. You will also need to evaluate and report on what you have done to see if it is having an effect and making an impact. This will help you to refine your actions and activities as you progress. Downloads

The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed practical tools and resources to help organisations implement the National Principles, these include:

  • An introductory self-assessment tool for organisations: This educative tool helps organisations learn about the National Principles and identify priority areas for improvement. The tool provides examples of what each principle might look like when implemented in practice, and prompt organisations to commit to taking action to improve their child safe practices.

  • An online safety checklist for organisations: developed in partnership with the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner. The tool outlines why online safety is important, identifies some potential risks and provides simple steps an organisation can take to help children and young people be safe online.

Everyone who participates in and contributes to golf and/or a golf club has some responsibility for ensuring and maintaining safe environments for children and young people. Golf clubs employing staff must follow children and young people recruitment and screening guidelines. They should have a safe recruitment process for hiring staff and volunteers and they should be able to tell you what’s involved in this process. Where applicable, members must also have a valid and current Working with Children Check. Clubs need to ask themselves the following questions about their recruitment process:

  • Do job descriptions contain statements about treating all people with dignity, fairness and respect?

  • Does the recruitment process includes an interview, character/employment references and a background check in line with local legislation?

  • Have all staff, volunteers and other relevant people been trained on child protection, including how to report concerns?

  • Do you constantly review your organisation’s recruitment process?

The following recruitment and screening templates have been developed by Sport Australia to provide a fair, consistent and comprehensive recruitment process. The requirements help ensure your organisation recruits staff and volunteers who are suitably qualified and committed to providing professional, safe and enjoyable programs and services to children and young people. Downloads

Social media

Golf Australia recognises the benefits of social media for sharing stories and photos and for event and team organisation, however social networking channels have also greatly increased the potential for bullying, abuse or discrimination through inappropriate and unlawful comments. Golf Australia does not tolerate abusive, discriminatory, intimidatory or offensive statements being made online. The appropriate online behaviour and complaints and reporting processes for non-compliance or breaches are outlined in the Social Media section of our Member Protection Policy.

Taking images of children

A high level of care needs to be exercised by clubs and members when dealing with the issue of photo images/videos of children. There have been a number of instances where photos of children in sporting magazines and videos on sporting websites have been misused and/or altered for inappropriate purposes. Golf Australia encourages all clubs and members to be aware of such risks and to take steps, where possible, to minimise them. This includes making the club’s position on taking images clear to all and providing accessible consent forms when necessary. Downloads: • Play by the Rules Social Media Template Play by the Rules Taking Images of Children Policy Social Media (outlined in our MPP) Image use consent form

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