Author Archives: Marli Blackney-Noter

Policy of the Month – September, 2020

Our Policy of the Month for September is the Interacting with Children Guidlines!

This week is National Child Protection Week. This year National Child Protection Week will celebrate its 30th year with the theme:

 Putting children first…

‘Putting children first’ was front of mind when the National Child Protection Week campaign was launched in 1990, with the aim of bringing abuse and neglect out of the shadows and putting child wellbeing on the national agenda.

Since then, the need to put children first has been recognised time and time again as an important pillar for boosting the wellbeing of all children in Australia.  

Under this year’s theme of ‘Putting children first’ we invite all Australians to look at how they can prioritise children in their lives and communities and to engage in National Child Protection Week – as individuals, and as part of families, organisations, communities and society.

Putting children first means prioritising the safety and wellbeing of children. To grow up well children need to feel safe and loved, have a chance to play and explore, have a say in decisions that affect them, and access to essential things like food, shelter and healthcare. 

For children to thrive we need to come together as a community and put children’s needs first during National Child Protection Week and every week. 

With that in mind clubs should think about what they need to do ensure children feel safe in your sporting club.

This month we are looking at Interacting with Children Guidelines. These guidelines are for coaches and other personnel to protect them from risk and to keep children safe.

CLICK HERE to download the Interacting with Children Guidelines. It is recommended that sporting organisations develop guidelines tailored to the needs and context of their sport. 

Also take a look at our May 2020 Policy of the Month – Child Safe Policy.

Volunteering Victoria Supplementary Grants

The Volunteering Victoria Supplementary Grants program provides funding to support the efforts of Victoria’s volunteers as well as to encourage and increase participation in volunteering by providing small amounts of money that organisations and community groups can use to help their volunteers.

The intended outcome of the grants is to strengthen community functioning by increasing participation in volunteering.

The 2020 Supplementary Grants are designed to support volunteer involving organisations with a high proportion (over 40%) of volunteers to:

  • Help support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers
  • Help support the inclusion of vulnerable people through volunteering
  • Encourage, support, and increase participation in volunteering
  • Post COVID-19 re-engagement activities for volunteers
  • Adapting practices to support volunteers’ safety in relation to COVID-19

Grants of between $1,000 – $5,000 are available to enable volunteer involving organisations to strengthen community functioning by increasing participation in volunteering.

For more information or to apply for this grant, click here.

Applications close on Sunday 20th September 2020.

Active Kids Grants

The Australian Sports Foundation Active Kids Grants are now open.   

The Active Kids Grants aim to provide every child with the active childhood they deserve, by helping sporting clubs with additional funds for equipment to increase junior participation.  

The grants will focus on volunteer run grassroots and community clubs with young members aged under 20, with priority given to clubs in disadvantaged and / or rural communities. 

Applications will be accepted from 1 September to 30 September with suggested grant values up to $10,000 to fund projects that will acquire sporting equipment, sporting kits and uniforms. 

For more information or to apply for this grant, click here.

Applications close on Wednesday 30th September 2020.

A South West Spotlight – Archers of Warrnambool

Archers of Warrnambool committee member Denise Burrell in action at the club’s outdoor range. She’s driving a project to increase female participation at the club.
Pictures: Anthony Brady, WARRNAMBOOL STANDARD

If you’re a woman looking for a sport to do when the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions ease once again, archery might be the one to target.

The Archers of Warrnambool had less than 10 members two years ago and now has more than 60. A south-west club on the rise the Warrnambool Archers have about a third of members that are women and they are keen to even up the gender balance.

The 2019 Amazon Sports Star Awards Club of the Year Archers of Warrnambool have not let a pandemic get in the way of some awesome future planning for the club. In June it was announced the club was successful in receiving the VicHealth Active Club Grant plus an additional $2000 to become a This Girl Can VIC Campaign Supporter.

The Archers of Warrnambool plan on using this grant to encourage more women to get involved in the sport. This Girl Can Vic is about empowering Victorian women to get active without worrying about judgement, gender stereotypes or skill level.

Archers of Warrnambool committee member Denise Burrell was thrilled to hear the club’s funding application had been successful. “The main message is we’ll be targeting women who want a fun time trying a new sport” she said.

The club has plans to host some introductory sessions for women once the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions allowed. The program has been named the ArchANGELS. They will be targeting groups of women who normally wouldn’t try a new sport due to being time-poor. Most importantly they want to make the ArchANGELS program something that’s fun and social so women really feel welcome and want to come along.

To keep up to date with the ArchANGELS program as well as all the other programs being ran by the Archers of Warrnambool make sure you check out their facebook page HERE

Policy of the Month – May

Our Policy of the Month for May is the Child Safe Policy!

This month we look at why a Child Safe Policy exists, and why every club should have one in place.

Your child safe policy should be publicly available to help raise awareness about the importance of child safety in clubs and demonstrate your commitment to protecting children from abuse, for example on your website and/or in welcome packs for new personnel, children and families.

Child safety must be embedded in every Australian sporting organisation’s culture, reflected in their policies and procedures, and understood and practised at all levels of the sport. This includes within our own clubs and facilities where children and young people come to practice, play, learn and excel.

It is essential everyone involved with delivering sport in Australia understands the important legal and governance responsibilities they have in relation to child safety. This includes boards, committees, club administrators, volunteers, coaches, parents and participants. There is zero tolerance for any behaviour that puts the well-being of children and young people at risk.

What is a Child Safe Policy?

A Child Safe Policy is an overarching document that provides an overview of key elements of your sport club’s approach to child safety.

It should:

  • clearly state the clubs zero tolerance of child abuse
  • detail the clubs child safe processes and procedures, or link to existing documents that include child safety considerations – for example, its reporting procedures (including leadership responsibilities), how to respond to an allegation of child abuse, human resources and recruitment practices, and risk management strategy and procedures
  • clearly state the clubs commitment to cultural safety for Aboriginal children, cultural safety for children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability
  • detail expectations and requirements of staff and volunteers to ensure the protection of children, and the training and support staff and volunteers receive
  • Include contact details for people to access information in relation to child safety, such as the child safety officer. A child safety officer/champion is a person in your club who has knowledge of child safety issues, and could be a point of contact for others who have questions or concerns or want to report an allegation of child abuse. You could consider including child safety officer/champion duties in the person’s job description
  • Include how and when the policy and other child safety tools are reviewed to help your club improve.

Talk to us if your club needs assistance with a Child Safe Policy or requires templates or resources.

You can download the Child Safe Policy template.