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

  • Guarantee Equal Access

    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.
    • 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.

    Multiculturalism

    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.

    Gender

    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.

    Age

    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.

How would you rate your club right now?

⭐⭐⭐

 The club has policies and procedures in place that actively promote equality and fair treatment for all people, across all of the club’s operations.

⭐⭐

The club speaks about fairness and equality, holds information sessions and runs special matches to highlight important causes.

The club has players from disadvantaged groups and believes that being fair just happens.

The club doesn’t believe it’s important.