Clubs can build a strong culture of respect, fairness and inclusivity where there is no room for abuse and violence.

Club people + Insights and Knowledge + Right Actions = Success

Club people will drive culture change when they are empowered to do so. You want to belong to a club that’s safe, fair, fun, successful and is all about growth opportunities. With the right insight and knowledge to assist you, you can ensure success.

  • Communicating with Respect

    There are manuals galore about communications theory and how to establish good communications. But wise heads know that there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. It has been said, for example, that your beliefs become your thoughts, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, habits become your values and values become your destiny.

    This wisdom applies to sports clubs too. The beliefs and thoughts around the club become the words, the words become the actions and so on. When clubs seek to become a place of respect, safety, fun, fairness and success, all communications, in and around the club, come under the spotlight. Some change and shifts will be required.

    Calm, clear communications and deep listening replaces yelling and screaming. Respectful communications replace sexist and racist abuse. Building the kind of communications in and around a club that helps grow a culture of respect is an exciting and rewarding adventure.

    Club Respect suggests you put all of the club’s communications practices, words and deeds, under the spotlight. 

  • Positive Behaviour Matrix

    Every club has a set of values listed around the club or on its website. Unfortunately, there is a great discrepancy between clubs as to how they act their values.

    It is not uncommon to discover that the members of some clubs are completely unaware of their club values. In other clubs, they may know of them, but fail to enact them.

    The hallmark of clubs with a recognisable culture of respect is their capacity to put their values into action and explicitly demonstrate the actions that align with their values.

    People with key roles, model the values in their work around the club. For example, coaches demonstrate the club values through their collaborative interactions with parents and players, and players engage in positive on and off-field behaviours that also reflect club values.

    What clubs need is a process to assist them to recognise and enact their values. We’ve developed the Club Respect Positive Behaviour Matrix as a tool that can help you get underway.

    The Positive Behaviour Matrix

  • Guarantee Equal Access

    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:

    • boys and men get a better go at using the club’s facilities or resources
    • there is limited access for people with disabilities
    •  people of different racial or ethnic backgrounds aren’t made to feel all that welcome.


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

    • people are valued and appreciated for who they are as people and for their uniqueness
    • no one is considered differently, or treated differently, on the basis of gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, racial and ethnic background


    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:

    • 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 the state level. Find a quick guide to it here.
    • What constitutes equal opportunity, equal treatment and respect for all people should be set out clearly in your club’s Code of Conduct.
    • 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.
    • An Equal Access Checklist (below) will help you assess current provisions to help achieve equal access.
    • 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.
    • The club also needs a thoughtful, clearly-documented and publicised grievance process for handling complaints about unfair treatment.
  • Equal Access Checklist

    Clubs that strive for a culture of deep respect provide equal opportunity for all people to participate in all club activities. We know that club personnel are always changing, so clubs need to continue to check the needs of their community.

    Equal access must never go out the door with a president, committee member(s), or other club leaders when they move on.

    Physical disability

    Club facilities are appropriate for all. Ensure that:

    • Entrances, footpaths, lifts, ramps and corridor widths comply with Australian Standards
    • Accessible bathrooms are available, functioning and clear of clutter
    • There are ramps, handrails and tread strips for easy access.
    • Relevant signs and communications are in place and clearly visible.
    • There’s disability car space provision
    • Drop off access

    See Frequently Asked Questions: Access to Premises for more detail.


    The club is welcoming to people of all cultural backgrounds:

    • Public signage is clear and welcoming and where relevant, in different major languages spoken by club members/the community
    • Committees invite people from various multicultural backgrounds to give feedback about specific needs for their community
    • Committees listen to feedback and implement change
    • Members from multicultural communities are valued equally and receive the same opportunities for roles in the club
    • Committee provides cultural education opportunities for the whole club; this could be as simple as asking people to share information about their culture at club events.


    Everyone has the same access to club facilities and resources, regardless of gender:

    • Club recruitment processes are inclusive
    • Your club advertising for all positions is inclusive
    • Roles around the club are not restricted by gender (or tradition)
    • Fees are applied and distributed equally across playing groups
    • Grounds or playing facilities are shared equally
    • Uniforms and equipment provided is of same quality
    • Recognition of success is applied equally.


    All people, young and old, have equal access to club resources:

    • There’s an opportunity for both the voice of young and old to be heard
    • People of all ages are considered equally for club roles
    • There’s sufficient and safe seating
    • There’s a change room outfitted with facilities for parents with babies and toddlers.

    Fair Play

    Everyone at your club ‘gets a go’:

    • Coaches strive to give equal time on the ground for all players, following club guidelines for player rotations and equal time
    • Teams are selected utilising the club team selection policy
    • The club looks beyond ‘winning at all costs’, and promotes ‘a fair go for all’
    • There’s adequate space and quiet for commentators
    • Club facilities are appropriate for all and not restricted to some
    • The club’s formal committee and decision making processes include opportunities to reflect honestly and constructively on the club’s progress in guaranteeing equal access
    • The club has a thoughtful, clearly-documented and publicised grievance process for handling complaints about unfair treatment.