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BULLYING, HARASSMENT & DISCRIMINATION

Policy

2015

Purpose

The Glen Waverley Rovers Junior Football Club (GWRJFC) recognises the right of all people to participate in local sport in an environment that is harmonious and free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimising (collectively known as Unacceptable Conduct).

 

GWRJFC is committed to:

  • Treating all people with dignity and respect. Our values are - Respect, Unity & Belief

  • Providing our players, members and visitors with an environment free from any form of unacceptable conduct

  • Taking appropriate action against any GWRJFC member who breaches this policy.

 

The purpose of this policy is to encourage an environment and culture based on the GWRJFC values and to prevent unacceptable conduct. This policy also sets out the processes and options available to members who experience or encounter such behaviour.

Scope

This policy applies to the conduct of everyone representing or visiting the GWRJFC, this policy applies equally to players, relatives and visitors.

Policy

GWRJFC members, including players, relatives and visitors, are provided with a safe and supportive environment, where differences are respected. Everyone has the right to participate in an environment free from harassment, bullying and discrimination. They also have a responsibility to ensure they themselves do not bully, discriminate against or harass others.

 

It is the GWRJFC’s policy that: 

  • Harassment and bullying will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

  • Harassment and bullying complaints will be treated seriously, sympathetically, quickly and privately.

  • Complaints will be investigated fairly and impartially.

  • GWRJFC will take all reasonable steps to ensure that harassment and bullying does not re-occur.

  • All reasonable care will be taken to ensure that complainants and witnesses will be protected at the GWRJFC when making a complaint.

  • Every effort will be made to ensure that complaints are resolved at the lowest level possible in the first instance.

  • A complainant’s wishes and preferences will be taken into account in committee responses to any complaints.

 

What is Harassment?

  • Unwanted physical contact such as patting, hugging, touching, or unnecessary familiarity.

  • Sexual jokes, suggestive behaviour, spoken comments or offensive telephone calls, texts, emails.

  • Demands for sexual favours or unwanted comments about a person’s sex life.

  • Leering, wolf whistling and obscene gestures.

  • Displays of offensive posters, pictures or pornographic material.

  • Unfair or excessive criticism.

  • Use of aggressive language.

  • Racially based jokes or comments.

 

What is Bullying?  

  • Bullying is behaviour that intimidates, degrades or humiliates another.

  • It may occur on an individual basis or in front of others.

  • This treatment is considered to be unreasonable and inappropriate.

  • Bullying can take place between players, members and visitors.

  • Bullying is not about occasional differences of opinion, conflicts and problems in club relationships. These differences are part of normal club life and every conflict certainly does not constitute bullying.

  • Bullying can be verbal, nonverbal, physical or use of electronic means.

 

What is Discrimination?  

  • Discrimination means unfair or unjust treatment of, or decisions affecting, an individual because of their: 

  • Sex

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Age

  • Marital status

  • Pregnancy

  • Sexuality or sexual preference

  • Carer’s responsibility

  • Disability

  • Ability

 

This list is not conclusive and there may be various other behaviours considered unacceptable by GWRJFC and subject to action.

Harassment, bullying and discrimination are against the law and may also be an offence under the Crimes Act.

Procedure

If you experience discrimination, harassment or bullying, you should keep notes of all incidents including date, time, location/place, witnesses and what was said or done. This will be valuable information if you decide to take further action.

Members are encouraged to try to resolve any concern informally unless they believe serious misconduct or a breach of the law has occurred. Informal resolution of concerns can be the most effective way of dealing with many issues.

Although the approach outlined below is informal, concerns raised in this matter will be taken seriously and appropriate action taken by the nominated club official(s) responsible for the procedures outlined.

 

Informal Complaint Procedure

  • If you can, try to sort it out directly with the person involved.

  • If possible tell the person(s) the problem, for example, where the matter relates to interpersonal issues, tell the person you find their behaviour unacceptable or offensive. Often people don’t mean to do things that offend or hurt others - this does not mean that their behaviour is acceptable. Telling them gives them the chance to stop or to change what they are doing.

  • Seek assistance

  • Ask for help if you feel that you cannot approach the person(s) yourself, or if the above approach does not work, you can seek assistance from the nominated club official or any member of the GWRJFC committee, or if this isn’t appropriate talk to the team manager in your child’s team. They can offer information on the process or approach the nominated club official or a GWRJFC committee member to identify and explore available options.

  • Facilitating a mutual understanding

  • If the concern is not resolved at this stage, those involved may agree to either proceed to the formal complaints procedure or to participate in mediation in order to facilitate a mutual understanding.

  • If mediation is not successful, the person who has raised the concern can request the use of the formal procedure. As a guide, every effort should be made to resolve the concern through the informal process within two weeks of it being initially raised.

Formal Complaint Procedure

  • Commencement of the formal procedure should only take place if the concern cannot be resolved using the informal procedure. The formal complaints procedure involves the following steps:

  • Lodge the formal complaint

  • The GWRJFC member should notify their Team manager in the first instance or the nominated club official for such matters in writing explaining the concern and the outcome that they are seeking. If the concern is about the member’s immediate child’s coaching or team management panel then the member should go directly to nominated club official. Where the concern relates to a named person or persons, for procedural fairness, it will be necessary to identify the person by name.

  • The immediate contact or person to whom the matter has been referred is to convene a meeting with the member concerned and, at their request, a support person. This meeting is to be held where practicable within five working days of the receipt of the formal complaint.

  • Investigation

  • Following the clarification of the complaint, the nominated club official will generally, with the agreement of the complainant and within 2 weeks, investigate the matter and make recommendations to those involved in the matter for its resolution.

 

The investigation will involve:

  1. Poviding a copy of the written complaint to the person(s) who is the subject of the complaint.

  2. Requesting the person(s) provide a formal written response to the complaint.

  3. Formally interviewing or obtaining statements from people who can help to ascertain the facts.

  4. Obtaining documentation that is necessary to support the recommended actions.

  5. Identifying options for the resolution of the matter and discussing these with those involved.

 

Making recommendations

The person investigating the concern will write to the parties involved to confirm the findings of the investigations and make recommendations for resolution. The preferred options for resolution may be discussed with all those involved, including support persons as appropriate.

The recommendations will reflect the seriousness of the complaint. Some of the possible outcomes of a complaint include:

  • Through the resolution process, the member making the complaint gains a better understanding of the situation so that his/her concerns are addressed.

  • One or more of the parties are directed to take certain action that the club views as appropriate to resolve the complaint.

  • The respondent is directed to apologise to the complainant and undertake not to act in the ways that are the subject of the complaint in future.

  • Referral to the Club Committee for disciplinary action.

 

Unless the matter is referred for disciplinary action, the recommendations for resolution shall be discussed with all involved and the people involved shall be afforded an opportunity to submit comments or objections to the findings and recommendations.

Objections will be lodged in writing within five days of the recommendations being initially discussed. Any comments and objections received by this date will be noted and taken into account by the person investigating the complaint in making a final decision on the matter. 

Final decision

After considering any written comments or objections lodged within the required period, the GWRJFC Committee will make a decision on the issue concerned, including any actions that shall be taken by those involved. The decision will be communicated in writing to those involved (including the right to seek an internal review).

A decision by the Club Committee constitutes a club direction. Failure to follow this direction may constitute misconduct.

Harassment, bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated at the Glen Waverley Rovers Junior Football Club.

 

Authorised by:  Adrian Goldsmith

Position:  President 

Date:  18 March 2015