A message from CEO Kitty Chiller AM
This is a challenging time for our sport in so many ways as we continue to deal with COVID-19 and as we read and hear stories of our athlete’s time in the sport.
I once again want to applaud everyone for their courage for speaking up. Listening and hearing from anyone who has suffered is an essential step to continue on our journey of cultural change for the current and next generations.
Any change, and none more so than cultural change, does not happen overnight. It takes a collective commitment and responsibility from every member of our community over a period of time.
That time, and the desire to change, has already well and truly started at Gymnastics Australia. We have and will always have zero tolerance to any form of abuse toward any member, especially those vulnerable younger members of our community.
That is why today, with the support of the Australian Institute of Sport Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement team, we can announce the establishment of a completely independent helpline - that allows gymnasts, parents, coaches, staff and volunteers to confidentially report any experiences of abuse.
The Gymnastics Support Line will enable information from anyone from a national, state or club level to report safely, confidentially and with the option for anonymity to an independent company with professional trained and equipped facilitators.
We genuinely want to hear about your experiences and more importantly your constructive suggestions.
Alongside the establishment of this helpline, we are also focussing on ensuring our education courses deliver the required training of expected and accepted behaviours of all our members. We have established a Foundation Course Advisory Group with several athletes, who have aired their stories, offering to help develop and drive this new course. This Group is charged with building an education framework based on the athlete first and athlete – coach partnership philosophy.
The education framework will start with a foundation course that will be compulsory for all coaches and judges to complete in order to renew their Membership. Additionally, all affiliated clubs will be required to have their staff and volunteers complete the foundation course as well.
We continue to provide support to all athletes who have come forward and again we applaud and acknowledge you.
These are the first steps in this phase of our ongoing journey of change. We will not be complacent.
We will remain committed to listening and acting.
Speaking up is difficult, but it is so important because without this knowledge, your knowledge, we cannot make change. Together and As One.