Gymnastics Australia – Supplementary Complaints Management Process

Gymnastics Australia in partnership with Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal has developed a temporary, independent process for handling all individual complaints related to misconduct, bullying, abuse, sexual harassment and assault toward an athlete.

This process has been designed to supplement our current Member Protection and Child Safe Policies and provide an avenue for athletes who share their experiences with the Australian Human Rights Review to make a formal complaint should they choose.

Complaints can be submitted to this process from today up until 10 January 2021.

Through this temporary process, Gymnastics Australia, State and Territory Member Associations and all Clubs must transfer the responsibility of handling relevant complaints to an Independent Assessor, Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal (see below for more details).

These independent organisations will be responsible for managing all discretionary aspects of the complaint handling process, including determining and recommending disciplinary action, where appropriate.

If Gymnastics Australia, a State or Territory Association, a Club and/or any individuals working within these organisations does not refer relevant complaints to this temporary process, they will be in breach of the Supplementary Complaints Management Policy .

Please note if you believe a child is in immediate danger call 000.

Who is the Independent Assessor?

The Independent Assessors (IA) are the person/s jointly recommended by Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal (independent of Gymnastics Australia), and appointed by Gymnastics Australia to assess the information provided by the Complainant and to determine the most appropriate Complaints Handling Process.

What is Sport Integrity Australia?

Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) is an independent government organisation that combines the existing functions of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the nationally focused integrity functions of Sport Australia.

Sport Integrity Australia will be responsible for conducting investigations of Relevant Complaints and where appropriate recommending Disciplinary Action.

What is the National Sports Tribunal?

The National Sports Tribunal (NST) was established by the Australian Government to hear and resolve sporting disputes in Australia. The NST is an independent body and provides for effective and transparent resolution of sporting disputes through arbitration, mediation, and conciliation.

If Disciplinary Action is taken against the respondent to your complaint, the respondent may then choose to appeal that decision to the NST.

A Relevant Complaint is a complaint:

  • made by an athlete or former athlete (or their parent/guardian)
  • in relation to a current Gymnastics Australia member
  • about misconduct, bullying, abuse, sexual harassment or assault of an athlete
  • which was experienced while they were an athlete in gymnastics in Australia.

Complaints can be made by a:

  • current or former registered athlete
  • parent or guardian of a minor (under the age of 18 years old) or a person with a mental disability

… if during their time in the sport in Australia, experienced any form of misconduct, bullying, abuse, assault or sexual harassment by a person who is still a current Gymnastics Australia member, as defined within the Gymnastics Australia Constitution.

An individual cannot make a complaint if:

  • they have made a complaint about the same conduct previously, and their complaint was managed through a formal complaints process (i.e. they can’t make a second complaint about the same incident if it has already been dealt with); or
  • the complaint is currently being managed through a process administered by either Gymnastics Australia, a State or Territory Associations or an Affiliated Club

All complaints will be kept confidential, by the Independent Assessor, Sport Integrity Australia and Gymnastics Australia and will not be disclosed to any other person without consent, unless the disclosure is required or authorised by or under Australian law.

Following an investigation, the Independent Assessor and/or Sport Integrity Australia may make recommendations for any disciplinary action which Gymnastics Australia and all Members Associations and affiliated clubs must impose without change.

This ensures the process is independent of Gymnastics Australia and its State and Territory Associations and/or affiliated clubs.

From now until the 10 January 2021, if a relevant complaint is made directly to you, you must direct the complainant to the Supplementary Complaints Management Policy.

Unlike the existing complaints process, (where a complaint is managed at the level where it is reported being club, state or national), this temporary process requires ALL relevant complaints to be referred to the Independent Assessor, regardless of the level of gymnastics at which the report or complaint was made.

No. All complaints that have been made and/or are being managed prior to the implementation of the Supplementary Complaints Management Policy will continue to be dealt with under the existing process until they reach their natural conclusion.

Any new complaint(s) submitted after the 10 January 2021 will be managed under the existing Member Protection or Child Safe Policies and at the relevant (Club/State/National) level of the sport.