The safety of children and young people in our sport is paramount. All of us in the Australian swimming community have a role to play in ensuring that we keep our proud sport as safe and enjoyable as possible.
Over the past 18 months Swimming Australia have been working on improving the current Safe Sport Framework (SSF) to ensure it meets best practice standards in the protection of children and young people in our sport.
This work has involved consultation with our member organisations, legal firm Lander and Rogers and various experts in child safety.
The board of Swimming Australia has unanimously approved the new version of the SSF, and it will be implemented from 3 August 2020. Like the previous version, this document is binding on all of Swimming Australia’s Member Organisations and their members.
The major change to our previous SSF is that it now consists of two documents and has been consolidated to make it more user friendly:
- Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy (which deals with matters where the victim(s) of a complaint are children or young people) and
- Member Protection Policy (which covers discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimisation and abuse).
The documents have also been updated to include clearer and more defined definitions and an updated complaint procedure at the end of each document for ease of reference.
All the resources referred to in the document will now be included on our website and highlighted in the document to allow people to easily click through to the relevant resource.
New disciplinary sanctions have been included, as well as information on the procedure for an Independent Investigation, Hearing Tribunal and Appeal Tribunal, and the time to appeal a decision has been extended from two days to seven days.
Clauses have been included relating to the opportunity of the complainant to make further submissions on a sanction before it is imposed, as well the consolidation of the commitment statements into one document onto the website for ease of access.
Swimming Australia and its Member Organisations remain fully committed to the protection of children, young people and our members in our sport and encourages all clubs and members throughout Australia to familiarise themselves with the new documents, and to raise the issue of child safety to everyone involved in swimming clubs.