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Sport, recreation, arts, culture, community and hobby groups

Victorian sport, recreation, arts, culture and community hobby groups play a significant role in preventing and detecting child sexual abuse. The Victorian Government is working with the sport and recreation sector to enhance child safety and achieve cultural change in the community to ensure children are safe.

Targeted child safe resources for sport and recreation organisations

The Victorian Government continues to provide financial support to Vicsport (Sports Federation of Victoria Inc) to produce and provide targeted resources to the sport and recreation sector on child safety and implementing Victoria’s Child Safe Standards in sports clubs, associations and leagues. These resources include case studies and stories highlighting what sporting organisations have been doing to address the standards.

With the Victorian Government’s support, Vicsport provides a ‘helpdesk’, which delivers assistance and advice to state sporting associations, regional sport assemblies, regional academies of sport, clubs and associations to assist them with cultural change, policy development, change management and communications to meet obligations in Victoria’s Child Safe Standards.

Vicsport convenes an annual industry forum as well as delivering ongoing training on Victoria’s Child Safe Standards for state sporting associations and sporting clubs. The 2019 forum emphasised creating child safe environments in sport, and focused on outcomes, not just compliance, and the change management processes being implemented by sporting groups.

In 2019, the Victorian Government increased its funding for Play by the Rules, a dedicated education and information website for making sport inclusive, safe and fair.

Play by the Rules provides information and free online learning for the community sport and recreation sector throughout Australia on how to prevent and deal with discrimination, harassment and child abuse, and how to develop inclusive and welcoming environments to promote participation. A national child protection online training course for coaches, administrators, officials, players, parents and spectators is available.

The Victorian Government partners with Play by the Rules to improve the content and uptake of its resources.

Fair Play Code

Last year the Victorian Government released the new Fair Play Code – a code of conduct for sport and recreation in Victoria. The Fair Play Code outlines the standards of behaviour expected for everyone involved in sport and recreation. At the heart of the code are the five core values that lead to fair play for all – integrity, respect, responsibility, fairness and safety. Compliance with Victoria’s Child Safe Standards is embedded into the code.

Victorian sporting associations are required to adhere to and enforce the code to receive funding from the Victorian Government. The code includes guidance on the responsibilities of those people who are involved in sport and recreation, including dealing with potential breaches of the code. A self-assessment tool for clubs is available along with the Fair Play Code.

Further tools and resources to promote the code are being developed. The Victorian Government is partnering with regional sports assemblies to roll out information sessions, tools and resources to sports clubs in regional Victoria.

Supporting sporting organisations to comply with Victoria’s Child Safe Standards

The Victorian Government is providing support to state sporting associations to improve the ability of organisations to comply with Victoria’s Child Safe Standards and implement the Fair Play Code, as part of the Together More Active program.