Safeguarding of Children and Young People
Our Club is committed to the safeguarding of children and young people in Surf Life Saving. One way we do this is by ensuring that our members behave in a way which creates a safe, positive and inclusive environment. Surf Life Saving’s Codes of Conduct represent the minimum standards of member behaviour and must be complied with at all times. There are two Codes of Conduct, both of which can be found in the SLSA Member Protection Policy.
1. The General Code of Conduct: includes expectations relating to respect; ethics; professionalism; complying with SLSA rules, policies and procedures; reporting breaches of the Safeguarding Program; and being a positive role model.
2. The Code of Conduct for People in Positions of Authority when Dealing with Children or Young People: includes expectations relating to positive guidance; overnight stays; language; adhering to role boundaries; transporting children; use of electronic communication; use of changing rooms; use of photography; physical contact; gift giving; wearing of uniforms; and use of alcohol or drugs.
Members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Codes of Conduct, and to ensure that their behaviour, as well as the behaviour of others within the Club, is appropriate. They are encouraged to say something if they see something that doesn’t feel right, or is not in line with the Codes of Conduct.
Working with Children Check (WWCC)
Good child safe policies and practices are the best way to reduce potential environmental risks and keep kids safer in our organisation and since April 2016 all sporting organisations must comply with the Child Protection legislation. This means that a WWCC is now a prerequisite for anyone in child-related roles, either paid or voluntary.
What is the Working with Children Check?
The WWCC is managed by the Office of the Children’s Guardian and involves a national criminal history check and review of findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a WWCC is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. A Check is a prerequisite for anyone in child related work.
Do Surf Life Saving Members need a Working with Children Check?
All NSW Surf Life Saving Club members and employees (over 18 years of age) require a WWCC if they are undertaking a child related role. However, there are a number of exemptions which are explained below.
Exemptions for the Working with Children Check
• Children under the age of 18
• Administrative, clerical, maintenance or ancillary work not ordinarily involving contact with children for extended periods
• Very short term work: not more than a total of 5 days in a calendar year (eg. parent helpers on a bbq)
• Volunteering by a parent or close relative with a team, program or other activity* in which their child usually participates or is a team member (the vast majority of our Nipper Age Mangers fall into this category)
• Co-workers and supervisors where a child works. (eg. patrolling members in the senior Club fall into this category)
The child can be in any group on the beach. As long as the child is enrolled in Nippers and regularly attends, their parent/close relative is exempt. This is due to the fact that Nippers activities happen on the same day, and at the same location, no matter which group the child is in.
*Other activity – The child must be in the same group for the parent/close relative exemption to apply. This is because other activities can happen in isolation from other groups.
Member Protection Information Officer
Lizzy Wootton is the Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO) for Port Macquarie Surf Life Saving Club.
Lizzy is the first point of call in the club for any enquiries, concerns or complaints about harassment, abuse or other inappropriate behaviour. As MPIO Lizzy will provide information about possible ways to resolve issues and offers moral support to the person who raises the concern or the person who is the subject of the alleged behaviour. All information will be treated as strictly confidential. Please note that as the MPIO Lizzy will remain impartial and is not responsible for investigating or mediating complaints.
For further information relating to WWCC contact our Member Protection Officer at email@example.com