Member Conduct & Protection Policy
North Turramurra Football Club (the Club) expects members to behave in a respectful, responsible and ethical manner. The Club is committed to a person’s right to be treated with respect and dignity, and to be safe and protected from abuse.
Scope of policy
This policy applies to ALL club members, including players, non-playing members (i.e. parents or guardians of playing members), coaches, managers, officials and administrators whether in a voluntary or remunerated position.
This policy outlines the legal and ethical rights and responsibilities of our members, and the standards of responsible behaviour expected by the Club at training and games, on club premises or at events organised or sanctioned by the Club. This policy also covers any private behaviour by members that may bring the Club into disrepute or involves a suspicion or allegation of harm towards a child or young person.
The safety and well-being of club members is paramount. The Club seeks to facilitate a socially inclusive community through football, by providing a safe and friendly family-oriented environment and promoting the values of friendship, team spirit, health and self-discipline. The Club encourages its members to actively build and maintain a safe environment for all participants.
The Club is committed to upholding the rights and responsibilities of its members, in accordance with the following principles:
1. Compliance with this policy
As a condition of Club Membership, ALL players and non-playing members are required to comply with this policy. Parents/guardians of players under the age of 18 are required to discuss this policy with the player/s in their care.
2. Protection of children and young people
The Club has a duty of care to all members and is committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people registered with our service. We support the rights of the child and will act without hesitation to ensure a child-safe environment is maintained at all times. It is a requirement of this policy that the Club must enquire into the background of those who undertake any work, coaching or regular unsupervised contact with its members under the age of 18 years, and take active measures to protect the safety and welfare of children and young people participating, including implementing strategies relating to screening checks, supervision, transportation and the taking of images (such as photographs or video footage).
(a) The Club supports the rights and well-being of officials and volunteers, and acknowledges their valuable contribution to the positive experiences of children involved in our sport. The Club is committed to undertaking all reasonable screening measures in accordance with relevant child protection legislation to ensure it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children and young people, and with personal records relating to children and young people. These screening measures may include Working with Children Checks , criminal history checks, signed declarations, referee checks, and any other relevant background checks.
(b) The Club will ensure that officials and members working with children and with personal records relating to children and young people are provided with ongoing supervision, support and training such that promotes and maintains a child-safe environment.
(c) Members under the age of 18 must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The Club will provide an adequate level of supervision, relative to the members’ age, maturity, capabilities, level of experience, nature of activity and nature of venue.
(d) If any member of the Club finds an unsupervised member under the age of 18, they should assume responsibility for that member’s safety until the relevant parent/guardian can be located.
(e) Parents/guardians must be present or on time to collect their child after Club activities (e.g. training, matches or events) for reasons of courtesy and safety. In the situation where a child is not collected on time, members should ensure where possible that at least two members stay until the child is collected.
(f) Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting their children to and from club activities. Where the Club makes arrangements for the transportation of children or young people (for example, for ‘away’ games or overnight team trips), the Club will seek to mitigate all identified risks. This may include strategies such as ensuring vehicles are adequately insured, the driver has a current and appropriate licence for the vehicle being used, and that appropriate and functional safety restraints are available in the vehicle.
(g) To protect children and young people from having their images used inappropriately or illegally, the Club requires members, where at all possible, to obtain permission from the parent/guardian of a child or young person prior to taking an image of that child or young person, and to ensure that the parent/guardian knows the way the image will be used. To ensure the privacy of others is respected, the Club does not permit use of cameras, smartphones or video cameras inside changing areas, showers and toilets.
(h) Where the Club uses an image of a child or young person (e.g. to recognise or promote the participation or achievement of an individual or team) it will ensure the image is appropriate and avoid naming (with both first name and surname) or otherwise identifying the child or young person. The Club will not display personal information such as residential address, email address or telephone numbers of children or young people without gaining consent from the parent/guardian, and will not at all display arbitrary information about such as a child or young person’s hobbies, likes/dislikes or which school they attend.
(i) The Club actively promotes the involvement of children and young people in developing and maintaining child-safe environments.
3. Standards of behaviour expected of members
Members must treat others respectfully, behave in a responsible and ethical manner and be accountable for their behaviour. Playing members are expected to comply with fair and safe play practices, respecting other members of the Club as well as opponents and game officials.
(a) The Club opposes all bullying, harassment, discrimination and abuse and members have an obligation to not partake in any incident of such. This includes:
i. treating or proposing to treat someone less favourably because of a particular characteristic
ii. 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
iii. 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.
(b) The Club takes all claims of harassment, discrimination, bullying and abuse seriously and encourages any member who believes they have been subject to such treatment to report it to the Club. Some forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying are against the law, including those based on particular characteristics such as age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, political or religious beliefs, race, and marital status.
(c) Members performing the role of an official for the Club (such as team manager, coach, referee) are expected to promote and facilitate fair and safe play, and have an obligation to report any perceived or actual threat to the welfare of any member of the Club, especially a child or young person playing for the Club. Members are expected to place the safety and welfare of children above any other consideration at all times.
4. Integration with Club’s risk management framework
A breach of this policy is identified in the Club’s risk register as presenting a significant inherent strategic reputational and operational risk. The Club actively implements strategies to mitigate this risk and monitors their effectiveness as part of the risk register review program.
5. Reporting of complaints or breaches of this policy
(a) Any person may make a complaint or report a breach of this policy in writing to the Club’s Member Protection Officer or to any other member of the North Turramurra Football Club Executive Committee (the Club Committee). The details of the complaint or reported breach will be recorded in accordance with the record-keeping provisions of this policy.
(b) All written complaints or reports of perceived or actual breaches of this policy will be taken seriously by the Club Committee and addressed promptly, fairly and confidentially in accordance with the Club’s constitution. Both the person making the complaint/report (the complainant) and the person the complaint/report is against (the respondent) will be given full details of the issue and have the opportunity to give their side of the story. Irrelevant matters will not be taken into account. The Club Committee’s decisions will be unbiased and any disciplinary action or penalties imposed will be fair and reasonable. At any stage of the process, a person can seek advice from, or lodge a complaint with, an external agency such as an anti-discrimination commission.
(c) Serious breaches of this policy involving unreasonable behaviour leading to actual or potential significant harm, will also be referred to the Northern Suburbs Football Association (NSFA). Breaches involving unlawful behaviour, such as child abuse, sexual assault or other criminal activity, will be referred to NSFA, NSW Police and/or other appropriate government authority. In these situations the Club will cooperate fully and act on the relevant outcomes of any resulting investigation undertaken by these external agencies. During the investigation process the Club will seek to ensure neither the complainant nor the respondent are victimised, and that the complainant is not placed in an unsupervised situation with the respondent.
6. Disciplinary action and penalties
The Club will take disciplinary action against any member found to have breached this policy, or any member found to have made knowingly false or malicious allegations. Any disciplinary action or penalty imposed will be applied consistent with any contractual and employment rules and requirements, be commensurate with the severity of the breach, and be fair, reasonable and based on the evidence presented.
Possible disciplinary action the Club Committee may impose on a member/s for breaches of this policy include:
(a) requiring a verbal or written apology
(b) counselling to address behaviour
(c) withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by the Club
(d) suspension or termination of Club membership, or participation or engagement in a role or activity
(e) de-registration of accreditation for a period of time or permanently
(f) a fine, or
(g) any other form of discipline or penalty that the Club Committee considers reasonable and appropriate.
7. Right of appeal
(a) There is provision for appeals both within the Club’s constitution and to NSFA. Appeals may relate to decisions by the Club Committee imposing disciplinary action, or to other matters.
(b) Appeals must be based on legitimate grounds, such as denial of natural justice, the imposition of unjust or unreasonable disciplinary measure/s, or that the Club Committee’s decision was not sufficiently supported by the information/evidence presented.
8. Keeping records of complaints and policy breaches
(a) The Club Committee will keep records of complaints/reports of breaches of this policy, as well as investigations and outcomes. The template attached to this policy provides guidance as to the nature of information required to be collected and recorded in the event of a complaint or report of a breach of this policy.
(b) The Club Committee will review complaints/reports of breaches at least annually, and analyse trends to inform future management strategies.
North Turramurra Football Club Constitution
North Turramurra Football Club Risk Management Policy
North Turramurra Football Club Risk Management Plan
North Turramurra Football Club Risk Register
Review date: March 2019