Member Protection Policy

POLICY GROUP:General Policies
POLICY NAME:Member Protection Policy
REVISION:Rev:- 1 Dated:- 1/06/2020
AuthorGeneral Manager, VHGC
Reviewed by GAR 
Approved by CoM15/05/2021
Policy Operational Date1/07/2021
Next Scheduled Review15/5/2022
Related Document(s) 


This policy provides a code of conduct forming the basis of appropriate and ethical conduct which everyone involved in junior golf must abide by.


The purpose of Part A of this policy is to provide clear guidelines for those persons associated with junior golf at Victor Harbor Golf Club (‘VHGC’) so as to promote a safe environment for children experiencing junior golf at the lowest level of development through to advanced and structured events.

VHGC is committed to the principles of The Essence of Australian Sport code of behaviour.

VHGC will adopt a proactive and preventative approach to tackling inappropriate behaviour. All persons who play, volunteer or support junior golf will require to be cognisant of this policy.

The purpose of Part B is to provide for an environment at VHGC that is free from harassment and abuse for all members and promotes respectful and positive behaviour and values.


This Dictionary sets out the meaning of words used in this policy and its attachments without limiting the ordinary and natural meaning of the words.

Abuse is a form of harassment and includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and abuse of power. Examples of non-physical abusive behaviour include bullying, humiliation, verbal abuse and insults.

Adult means a person who has attained the age of 18 years.

Child means a person who is under the age of 18 years.

Child abuse relates to children at risk of harm (usually by adults, sometimes by other children) and often by those they know and trust. It can take many forms. Children may be harmed by both verbal and physical actions and by people failing to provide them with basic care. Child abuse may include:

  • Physical abuse by hurting a child or a child’s development eg. hitting, shaking or other physical harm; giving a child alcohol or drugs; or training that exceeds the child’s development or maturity).
  • Sexual abuse by adults or other children where a child is encouraged or forced to watch or engage in sexual activity or where a child is subject to any other inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature or inappropriate touching or conversations.
  • Emotional abuse by ill-treating a child (e.g. discrimination, harassment, humiliation, taunting, sarcasm, yelling, negative criticism, name calling, ignoring or placing unrealistic expectations on a child).
  • Neglect (e.g. failing to give food, water, shelter or clothing or to protect a child from danger or foreseeable risk of harm or injury).

Committee means the Committee of Management of VHGC. Complaint means a complaint made under this policy.

Complainant means the person making a complaint.

Discrimination means treating or proposing to treat someone less favourably than someone else because of a particular characteristic in the same or similar circumstances in certain areas of public life (this is Direct Discrimination). This policy also covers Indirect Discrimination. This is imposing or intending to impose an unreasonable requirement, condition or practice that is the same for everyone, but which has an unequal or disproportionate effect on individuals or groups with particular characteristics.

The characteristics covered by discrimination are:

  • Age;
  • Disability;
  • Family/carer responsibilities;
  • Gender identity/transgender status;
  • Homosexuality and sexual orientation;
  • Irrelevant medical record;
  • Irrelevant criminal record;
  • Political belief/activity;
  • Pregnancy and breast feeding;
  • Race;
  • Religious belief/activity;
  • Sex or gender;
  • Social origin;
  • Trade union membership/activity.

General Manager means the person for the time being appointed to be the General Manager of the Victor Harbor Golf Club.

Harassment is any type of behaviour that another person does not want and does not return and that is offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening. The behaviour is unwelcome and of a type that a reasonable person would recognise as being unwelcome and likely to cause the recipient to fee! offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Mediator means a person appointed to mediate complaints made under this policy. It is preferable that the mediator has relevant skills, qualifications and/or training in mediation.

Member protection is a term used by the Australian sport industry to describe the practices and procedures that protect members – both individual members such as players, coaches and officials, and the member organisations such as clubs, state associations, other affiliated associations and the national body. Member protection involves:

protecting those that are involved in sport activities from harassment, abuse, discrimination and other forms of inappropriate behaviour adopting appropriate measures to ensure the right people are involved in an organisation, particularly in relation to those involved with juniors, and providing education.

Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO) means a person appointed by the General Manager to assist a person who has reported a complaint under, or a breach of, this policy. The MPIO if required, provides confidential information and moral support to the person with the concern or who is alleging harassment or a breach of this policy. The MPIO may if required, and it is appropriate, help the complainant deal with any emotions they may have about what has happened and operate as a sounding board as the complainant decides what he or she wants to do. The MPIO may if appropriate accompany the complainant in anything they decide to do and the MPIO is requested to assist. The General Manager has a discretion to determine whether a MPIO is required in any particular case.

Natural justice incorporates the following principles:

  • a person who is the subject of a complaint must be fully informed of the allegations against them
  • a person who is the subject of a complaint must be given full opportunity to respond to the allegations and raise any maters in their own defence
  • all parties need to be heard and all relevant submissions considered
  • irrelevant matters should not be taken into account
  • no person may judge their own case
  • the decision maker/s must be unbiased, fair and just
  • the penalties imposed must not outweigh the ‘crime’ Police check means a national criminal history record check.

Respondent means the person who is being complained about.

Sexual harassment means unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature which makes a person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Sexual harassment takes many different forms and may include unwanted physical contact, verbal comments, jokes, propositions, display of pornographic or offensive material or other behaviour that creates a sexually hostile or threatening environment.

Part A – Child Protection Policy – Section 1


Victor Harbor Golf Club (‘VHGC’) is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children accessing our junior golf programs.

We support the rights of the child and will act without hesitation to ensure a child safe environment is maintained at all times.

We also support the rights and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment for all participants.


This Child Protection Policy aims to ensure our core values, good reputation and positive behaviours and attitudes are maintained. It assists us in ensuring that every person involved in junior golf is treated with respect and dignity and is safe and protected from abuse.

This policy also ensures that everyone involved in junior golf is aware of his or her legal and ethical rights and responsibilities. This policy also reflects our support and implementation of the sport industry principles and values outlined in ‘The Essence of Australian Sport Code of Conduct – Principles of Fairness, Respect, Responsibility and Safety’.

The policy attachments provide the procedures that support our commitment to eliminating child abuse and other forms of inappropriate behaviour from junior golf.

As part of this commitment, VHGC will take appropriate disciplinary action against any person or organisation bound by this policy.


This policy applies to the following, whether they are in a paid or unpaid/voluntary capacity:

  • Individuals sitting on committees and sub-committees
  • Employees and volunteers
  • Support personnel (e.g. managers)
  • Coaches and assistant coaches
  • Competitors
  • Referees and other officials
  • All VHGC members, parents, guardians, spectators and sponsors to the full extent that is possible

This policy will continue to apply to a person even after they have stopped their association or employment with VHGC if disciplinary action, relating to an allegation of child abuse against that person, has commenced.


VHGC requires every individual and organisation bound by this policy to:

  • Be ethical, fair and honest in all their dealings with other people and VHGC
  • Treat all persons with respect and courtesy and have proper regard for their dignity, rights and obligations
  • Always place the safety and welfare of children above other considerations
  • Comply with VHGC’s Constitution, Rules, By-Laws and policies including the Member Protection Policy
  • Operate within the rules and spirit of the sport
  • Comply with all relevant Australian laws (Federal and State), particularly anti-discrimination and child protection laws
  • Be responsible and accountable for their conduct.

Organisational Responsibilities

The VHGC must:

  • Adopt, implement and comply with this policy
  • ublish, distribute and otherwise promote this policy
  • Promote appropriate standards of conduct at all times
  • Promptly deal with any breaches of or complaints made under this policy in an impartial, sensitive, fair, timely and confidential manner
  • Apply this policy consistently without fear or favour
  • Recognise and enforce any penalty imposed under this policy
  • Ensure that a copy of this policy is available or accessible to the persons to whom this policy applies
  • Appoint or have access to appropriately trained people to receive and handle complaints and allegations and display the names and contact details in a way that is readily accessible; and
  • Monitor and review this policy at least annually.

Individual Responsibilities

Individuals bound by this policy are responsible for:

  • Making themselves aware of the policy and complying with the standards of conduct outlined in this policy
  • Consenting to a national police check if the individual holds or applies for a role that involves regular contact with people under the age of 18 years
  • Complying with all other requirements of this policy
  • Co-operating in providing a child abuse free sporting environment
  • Understanding the possible consequences of breaching this policy

Every person and organisation bound by this policy must always place the safety and welfare of children above all other considerations and protect them from persons who are unsuitable to work with children.

VHGC acknowledges that our staff, members and volunteers provide a valuable contribution to the positive experiences of our juniors. VHGC aims to ensure this continues and to protect the safety and welfare of its junior participants.

Several measures will be used to achieve this such as:

  • Prohibiting any form of abuse against children
  • Providing opportunities for our juniors to contribute to and provide feedback on our program development
  • Carefully selecting and screening people whose role requires them to have regular contact with children
  • Ensuring our codes of conduct, particularly for roles associated with junior sport, are promoted, enforced and reviewed
  • Providing procedures for raising concerns or complaints; and
  • Providing education and/or information to those involved in our sport on child abuse and child protection.

VHGC requires that any child who is abused or anyone who reasonably suspects that a child has been or is being abused by someone within our junior golf program (or any member or other person associated with the VHGC), to report it immediately to the police or relevant government child protection agency and the General Manager. The General Manager must inform the Committee of any such report.

All allegations of child abuse will be dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially. A person will not be victimised for reporting an allegation of child abuse and the privacy of all persons concerned will be respected.

If the complaint relating to a child who is the subject of this policy is not of such a serious nature that action is taken by the police or relevant government child protection agency, but still amounts to a breach of this policy, the General Manager may direct that the complaint be dealt with by the MPIO under Part B of this policy, save that a child must at all times be accompanied by a parent or lawful guardian or government approved carer in respect of any action taken to resolve the complaint.

If anyone bound by this policy reasonably suspects that a child is being abused by his or her caregivers, they are advised to contact the Department of Families and Communities (Families SA) through the Child Abuse Report Line.

Part A – Child Protection Requirements – Section 2


In South Australia child protection legislation places specific requirements upon individuals and organisations involved in a range of areas including sport and recreation.

We will add new requirements or any amendments to existing requirements to our Child Protection Policy as they are required. The specific child protection requirements for the State of South Australia apply despite the existence or absence of our Child Protection Policy.


As part of VHGC commitment to protecting the safety and welfare of children involved in junior golf activities VHGC requires the following measures to be met.

  1. Provide opportunities for juniors to contribute to and provide feedback on program development;
  2. Provide education and/or information on child abuse and child protection to those involved in our sport such as juniors, parents and officials; and
  3. Establish a screening process for people who currently occupy or who apply for any work (paid or voluntary) in our club that involves regular contact with people under the age of 18 years.


All members of Victor Harbor Golf Club


Under VHGC’s Child Protection Policy our club is required to:

  1. Identify positions (paid and voluntary) that involve working with people under the age of 18 years.
  2. Obtain a completed Member Protection Declaration (MPD) from all people who are bound by this policy if they occupy or apply for a position that involves working with people under the age of 18 years.The MPD will be kept in a secure place. If a MPD is not provided, or it reveals that a person does not satisfactorily meet with one or more of the clauses in the MPD (e.g., has a relevant criminal conviction) VHGC will:
    • provide an opportunity for the person to respond/provide an explanation, and
    • make an assessment as to whether the person may pose a risk to or be unsuitable to work with people under the age of 18 years.

    If unsatisfied, then the VHGC will:

    • in the case of an existing employee/volunteer, transfer the person to another role which does not require them to work directly with people under the age of 18 years. If this is not possible, the appointment may end;
    • in the case of someone applying for the position/role, not appoint them.
  3. Ask people applying for and people who currently occupy a position that involves regular contact with people under the age of 18 years to sign a consent form for a national police check.

    Request a national police check from our relevant police jurisdiction for people applying for positions that involve regular contact with persons under the age of 18 years.

    In most police jurisdictions a ‘Part Exclusion’ check for people working with children can be requested. This check excludes irrelevant records.

    If the police check indicates a relevant offence, the VHGC will:

    • provide an opportunity for the person to respond/provide an explanation, and
    • make an assessment as to whether the person may pose a risk to or be unsuitable to work with people under the age of 18 years.

    If unsatisfied, then the VHGC will:

    • in the case of an existing employee/volunteer, transfer the person to another role which does not require them to work directly with people under the age of 18 years. If this is not possible, then the appointment may end.
    • in the case of someone applying for the position/role, not appoint them.

    If the person does not agree to a national police check after explaining why it is a requirement, the VHGC shall make an assessment as to whether the person may pose a risk to or be unsuitable to work with people under the age of 18 years. If unsatisfied, the VHGC will:

    • in the case of an existing employee/volunteer, transfer the person to another role which does not require them to work directly with people under the age of 18 years. If this is not possible, then the appointment may end.
    • in the case of someone applying for the position/role, not appoint them.
  4. Decide whether to offer the person the position or retain the person in the position, taking into account the result of the police check and any other information VHGC has available. Where it is not practical to complete the police check prior to employment commencing, VHGC must still complete the check as soon as possible. VHGC will advise the person that their ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory outcome of the check.
  5. Where a national police check is obtained under this member protection policy, another organisation which is also required to screen may obtain a copy of the national police check provided that the consent of the relevant person is obtained, and the national police check was performed in the immediately preceding two years.
  6. Protect the privacy of any person who is checked and the confidentiality of any information obtained through the checking process. Information collected during screening (such as a completed MPD form, police records and referee reports) will be returned to the relevant person if that person is not appointed to/will not remain in the position, or otherwise be destroyed with the consent of the person concerned.

Additional References

Part B – General Member Protection Policy

Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy

The Victor Harbor Golf Club (‘VHGC’) aims to provide a sport environment where all those involved in its activities are treated with dignity and respect, and without harassment or discrimination.

VHGC recognises that all those involved in its activities cannot enjoy themselves, perform to their best, or be effective or fully productive if they are being treated unfairly, discriminated against or harassed because of their age, disability, or family responsibilities.

Discrimination and harassment are extremely distressing, offensive, humiliating and/or threatening and create an uncomfortable and unpleasant environment. In most circumstances discrimination and harassment are against the law.


VHGC aims to provide an easy to use, confidential and trustworthy procedure for complaints based on the principles of natural justice. Any person may report a complaint about a person/s or organisation bound by this policy if they reasonably believe that a person/s or a sporting organisation has breached this policy.

A complaint may be reported as an informal or formal complaint and is to be made to the General Manager. The General Manager must report all complaints to the Committee.

The complainant decides whether the complaint will be dealt with informally or formally unless the General Manager in consultation with the MPIO considers that the complaint falls outside the parameters of this policy and would be better dealt with another way.

The General Manager may decide that the complaint will be dealt with by the MPIO. All complaints will be dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially.


VHGC aims to sort out complaints with the minimum of fuss wherever possible. In many cases, complaints can be sorted out by agreement between the people involved with no need for disciplinary action. The complainant and the respondent may also agree to seek the assistance of a neutral third person or a mediator.

Mediation may occur either before or after an investigation of a complaint. If a complainant wishes to try and resolve the complaint with the assistance of a mediator, the MPIO may arrange for a mediator to mediate the complaint if the respondent is agreeable to that course.

Complaints Procedure

To ensure due process, consistency and that the principles of natural justice are followed in all aspects of handling or conducting complaints, allegations, investigations, tribunals and disciplinary measures, the VHGC will follow and implement the following complaints procedures.

  • A complaint can be about an act, behaviour, omission, situation or decision that someone thinks is unfair, unjustified, unlawful and/or a breach of this policy. Complaints will always vary. They may be about individual or group behaviour; they may be extremely serious or relatively minor; they may be about a single incident or a series of incidents; and the person about who the allegation is made may admit to the allegations or emphatically deny them.
  • Given the variables that can arise, the VHGC provides a step-by-step complaint procedure that   people may use/enter at any stage. Individuals and organisations to which this policy applies may also pursue their complaint externally under anti-discrimination, child-protection or other relevant legislation.
  • All complaints will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to another person without the complainant’s consent except if law requires disclosure or if disclosure is necessary to effectively deal with the complaint.
  • General principles to be followed when dealing with a complaint:
  • Treat all complaints seriously.
  • Deal with complaints promptly, sensitively and confidentially.
  • aintain a calm attitude.
  • Make notes (and inform the complainant that notes will be kept in the club records).
  • Write the description of the complaint/problem using the complainant’s own words (as much as is possible).
  • Find out the nature of the relationship between the complainant and the person complained about (for example, coach/competitor, team members, etc.) and if there is any relevant history.
  • Take a note of the facts and do not pre-judge the situation.
  • Ask the complainant whether they fear victimisation or other consequences.
  • Find out what outcome the complainant wants and if they need any support.
  • Ask the complainant how he/she wants the complaint to be dealt with under the policy.
  • Keep the complaint confidential and do not disclose it to another person without the complainant’s consent except if disclosure is required by law (for example, a report to government authorities) or if disclosure is necessary to effectively deal with the complaint.

What is a Breach of this Policy?

It is a breach of this policy for any person or organisation to which this policy applies, to have been found to have:

  • Done anything contrary to this policy;
  • Breached the Code of Conduct;
  • Brought the sport and/or VHGC into disrepute;
  • Failed to follow VHGC policies and procedures for the protection, safety and welfare of children;
  • Appointed or continued to appoint a person to a role that involves working with children contrary to this policy;
  • Discriminated against or harassed any person;
  • Victimised another person for reporting a complaint;
  • Engaged in a sexually inappropriate relationship with a person over whom that person has influence, authority or power or supervision;
  • Disclosed to any unauthorised person, or organization, any information that is of a private, confidential or privileged nature;
  • Made a complaint they knew to be untrue, vexatious, malicious or improper;
  • Failed to comply with a penalty imposed after a finding that the individual or organisation has breached this policy;
  • Failed to comply with a direction given to the individual or organisation during the discipline process.

Forms of Discipline

If an individual or organisation to which this policy applies breaches this policy that person if a member of VHGC shall be deemed a cited member and the provisions of the VHGC constitution shall apply.

If there is a breach by a non-member of the VHGC one or more forms of discipline may be imposed. These may include making a verbal or written apology, have VHGC privileges suspended or withdrawn or having a person’s appointment or employment terminated.

Step 1

As a first step the complainant should try to sort out the problem with the person or people involved if the complainant feels able to do so.

Step 2


  •  the first step is not possible/reasonable; or
  • the complainant is not sure how to handle the problem; or
  • the complainant just wants to talk confidentially about the problem with someone and get some more information about what the complainant can do; or
  • the problem continues after the complainant has tried to approach the person or people involved;
  • the complainant should then talk with the General Manager.

The General Manager must refer any complaint to the Committee. If the General Manager thinks appropriate, he or she may refer the complaint for resolution by the MPIO,

The MPIO will:

  • take notes about the complaint (which the MPIO will keep in a secure and confidential place);
  • try to sort out the facts of the problem;
  • ask what outcome/how the complainant wants the problem resolved and if the complainant needs support;
  • provide possible options to resolve the problem;
  • explain how the VHGC complaints procedure works;
  • act as a support person if requested;
  • if thought necessary refer the complainant to an appropriate person to help resolve the problem;
  • inform the relevant government authorities and/or police if required by law to do so; and maintain strict confidentiality.

Step 3

After talking with the MPIO, the complainant may decide:

  • there is no problem;
  • the problem is minor and does not wish to take the matter forward;
  • to try and work out a resolution (with or without a support person such as the MPIO), or
  • to seek an informal mediated resolution with the help of a third person

If the complainant wishes to remain anonymous, the VHGC cannot assist to resolve the complaint. VHGC has to follow the principles of natural justice and be fair to both sides. This means that VHGC or the complainant may be required to provide the person/people complained about with full details of the complaint so they have a fair chance to respond to all the allegations.

Step 4

If the complaint is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, the complainant may:

  • make a formal complaint in writing to the General Manager;
  • approach a relevant external agency such as the Equal Opportunity Commission, for advice.

Step 5

If the complainant decides to make a formal complaint in writing under Step 4, the General Manager will, on receiving the formal complaint refer it to the Committee which, based on the material provided, will decide whether:

  • the Committee is the most appropriate body to receive and handle the complaint;
  • the nature and seriousness of the complaint warrants a formal resolution procedure. Some complaints may be of a minor and/or purely personal nature with no connection to the activities of the VHGC. In these cases, the Committee may determine that the complaint does not warrant a formal resolution procedure;
  • to appoint a person to investigate the complaint;
  • to refer the complaint to an informal or formal mediation session;
  • to refer the complaint to a relevant external agency;
  • to refer the matter to the police or other appropriate authority; and/or
  • to implement any interim administrative or other arrangements that will apply until the complaint process set out in these procedures is completed.

In making the decision(s) outlined above, the Committee will decide:

  • whether there has been any personal involvement of any person in the circumstances giving rise to the complaint which may prevent the Committee from impartially managing the complaint or may appear to compromise such management;
  • whether, due to the nature of the complaint, specific expertise or experience may be required to manage the complaint;
  • the wishes of the parties involved regarding the manner in which the complaint should be handled;
  • whether, due to the nature of the complaint, the relationship between the complainant and the respondent and any other relevant factors, the complaint should be referred (or should not be referred) to informal or formal mediation or to an external agency. Relevant factors may include an actual or perceived power imbalance between the complainant and the respondent, the nature of any ongoing working relationship between the parties and their personal attributes (for example, if one party does not speak English fluently, some of the possible complaints resolution mechanisms may not be appropriate);
  • the nature and sensitivity of any information or other material that must be provided by the respondent, and any of the other people involved in the complaint;
  • whether the facts of the complaint are in dispute; and
  • the urgency of the complaint, including the likelihood and the consequences (if the complaint is ultimately proven) that there will be further unacceptable behaviour while the complaint process set out in these procedures is being conducted.

Part C – Role Specific Codes of Conduct


The Victor Harbor Golf Club (‘VHGC’) recognises that the success of our junior golf program and the maintenance of the Club’s integrity requires that all persons involved with or at VHGC display the highest level of integrity.

Players Code of Conduct

  • Play by the rules.
  • Never argue with an official. If you disagree, have a parent or team manager approach the official after the competition.
  • Control your temper. Verbal abuse of officials, sledging other players or deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent is not acceptable or permitted behaviours in any sport.
  • Work equally hard for yourself and/or your team. Your team’s performance will benefit and so will you.
  • Be a good sport. Applaud all good plays whether they are made by you or your team or the opposition.
  • Treat all participants in junior golf as you like to be treated. Do not bully or take unfair advantage of another competitor.
  • Cooperate with all persons who coach, fellow team-mates and opponents.
  • articipate for your own enjoyment and benefit, not just to please your parents and coaches.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

Parent Code of Conduct

  • Remember that children participate in sport for their enjoyment, not yours.
  • Encourage children to participate, do not force them.
  • Focus on your child’s efforts and performance rather than whether they win or lose.
  • Encourage children to play according to the rules and to settle disagreements without resorting to hostility or violence.
  • Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  • Remember that children learn best by example.
  • Appreciate good performance and skilful plays by all participants.
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities.
  • Respect officials’ decisions and teach children to do likewise.
  • Show appreciation for volunteers and administrators. Without them, your child could not participate.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.
  • Modify rules and regulations to match the skill levels and needs of children.
  • Compliment and encourage all participants

Volunteers and administrators code of conduct

  • Be consistent, objective and courteous when making decisions.
  • Condemn unsporting behaviour and promote respect for ail opponents.
  • Emphasise the spirit of the game rather than the errors.
  • Encourage and promote rule changes that will make participation more enjoyable.
  • Be a good sport yourself. Actions speak louder than words.
  • Keep up to date with the latest trends in officiating.
  • Remember, you set an example. Your behaviour and comments should be positive and supportive.
  • Place the safety and welfare of the participants above all else.
  • Give all young people a ‘fair go’ regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.