Being “fair” is a strong value in Australian society, but like other important values, there can be a gap between the idea and the reality.

 

Being “fair’ doesn’t come about through hope and intent. People have to do things to ensure it works in practice.

 

Clubs are no exception. They don’t always get it right when it comes to being fair to everyone.

We hear, all the time, stories of clubs where there is unequal access:

 

When a club aspires to build and maintain a culture of respect, it works on the basis that all people matter:

 

The more a club reflects the diversity and richness of its community and gives everyone a fair go, the better the club will be in developing and maintaining a positive and successful culture – on and off the field.

Some simple and powerful ways to ensure equal access in your club:

  • 1.

    Check your that your club is aware of, and practices, equal access procedures as laid down in legislation and policy guidelines.

    Here’s a quick guide to Australian discrimination laws operating at the federal level.

    If you’re local in Victoria, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 operates at state level.

    Find a quick guide to it here.

  • 2.

    What constitutes equal opportunity, equal treatment and respect for all people should be set out clearly in your club’s Code of Conduct.

  • 3.

    These expectations should be:

    • prominent in all your club documents
    • reflected in all your public communications
    • known, understood and embraced by everyone at the club.
  • 4.

    An Equal Access Checklist will help you assess current provisions to help achieve equal access.

    Here’s one we’ve made to help you.

  • 5.

    The club’s formal committee and decision making processes need to include opportunities for everyone to reflect, honestly and constructively, on the club’s progress in guaranteeing equal access.

  • 6.

    The club also needs a thoughtful, clearly-documented and publicised grievance process for handling complaints about unfair treatment.