About the project

Council shared the Draft Fair Access Policy and Draft Action Plan for public exhibition and comment from 15 March to 21 April 2024. The documents are aimed at eliminating barriers associated with accessing and using our community sports facilities.

Recognising the importance of equal opportunities for all, this policy strives to create a level playing field where individuals can engage in sports and physical activities free from discrimination or prejudice.

Together, we can break down barriers, create equal opportunities, and build a stronger sense of unity within our sporting community.

The consultation is now closed.

Next steps

Feedback from community will be reviewed prior to final documents being presented to Council for consideration at its July meeting.

2024 Engagement Summary

Why are we doing this?

  • All Victorian Councils are required to have a Fair Access Policy in place by 1 July 2024, under the State Government's Fair Access Roadmap.

  • All people should have fair & reasonable access to the ‘best’ training, game times, facilities, coaching & leadership opportunities.

  • Sporting clubs provide positive physical, social & mental wellbeing benefits which should extend to more people within the community.

  • Historically, elements within sporting culture have made certain groups feel unsafe, excluded or that it is tricky to participate

  • A welcoming environment for women, girls & other diverse groups can remove barriers to participation in sports clubs, increase membership & positive culture.

Our Draft Policy and Action Plan

Key Focus Areas

Council Actions

  • Provide communications and engagement that is welcoming, safe, accessible and inclusive for our community including First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) peoples, people with disability and of all ages.
  • Support, promote clubs to host Come and Try days or sporting activations for women, girls and gender diverse people through Council’s Community Grants Program.

Club Actions

  • Ensure the club’s social media presence and club documents showcases the clubs effort towards fairer access. Ensure inclusive language is used around the club (eg, Chairperson instead of Chairman, seniors & juniors instead of boys or girls).
  • Implement a flexible uniform policy and strategies that listen to what women, girls and gender diverse people prefer to help break down barriers to participation.
  • Ensure social events are welcoming, safe, accessible and inclusive to the whole community including First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) peoples, people with disability and for all ages fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the club.
  • Ensure prizes, awards, promotion and opportunities are fair for all players, volunteers and officials regardless of gender.
  • Promote training and mentorship for all club members who want to learn, coach, officiate or join a committee .
  • Consider modified or participation based programs or low commitment options that may attract new people to the club.

Council Actions

  • Provide communications and engagement that is welcoming, safe, accessible and inclusive for our community including First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) peoples, people with disability and of all ages.
  • Support, promote clubs to host Come and Try days or sporting activations for women, girls and gender diverse people through Council’s Community Grants Program.

Club Actions

  • Ensure the club’s social media presence and club documents showcases the clubs effort towards fairer access. Ensure inclusive language is used around the club (eg, Chairperson instead of Chairman, seniors & juniors instead of boys or girls).
  • Implement a flexible uniform policy and strategies that listen to what women, girls and gender diverse people prefer to help break down barriers to participation.
  • Ensure social events are welcoming, safe, accessible and inclusive to the whole community including First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) peoples, people with disability and for all ages fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the club.
  • Ensure prizes, awards, promotion and opportunities are fair for all players, volunteers and officials regardless of gender.
  • Promote training and mentorship for all club members who want to learn, coach, officiate or join a committee .
  • Consider modified or participation based programs or low commitment options that may attract new people to the club.

Council Actions

  • Partner with Hawthorn Football Club, Gippsport and State Sporting Association’s (SSA’s) to provide training and mentorship opportunities the women, girls and gender diverse people to learn about leadership, officiating and coaching.
  • Partner with Hawthorn Football Club, Gippsport and SSA’s to provide education/information sessions for clubs about how to be more inclusive to all.
  • Continue to ensure all professional sporting bodies holding events Bass Coast offer equal prize money to men and women.
  • Council to support sporting clubs who are achieving Fair Access Commitments for project and funding opportunities.

Club Actions

  • Partner with local leagues to ensure equal recognition of all teams in the allocation of officials, trophies and match times.
  • Utilise opportunities provided by Gippsport, local leagues and State Sporting Associations to build awareness and promote gender equality Eg. Orange round, Pride Round.

Council Actions

  • Ensure Community Grants criteria for sport and recreations clubs incorporate fair access requirements to receive grants.
  • Ensure the draft Reserve User Service Agreement incorporates Fair Access practices and principles.
  • Ensure Fair Access is reflected in the allocation of sports field usage on Bookable system.
  • Track participation on reserves by different user groups using bookable.
  • Review Active Bass Coast and further embed Fair Access principles and practices.

Club Actions

  • Support and encourage Clubs to adopt and implement a Fair Access Policy.
  • Encourage clubs to review their inclusive practices by completing an audit such as Frankston City Council’s Gender Inclusive Sporting Club: Self-Assessment Tool in order to identify areas for improvement.
  • Encourage clubs to create a diversity strategy or set goals within your club that focuses on equal representation in decision making roles across different aspects of the sporting club (executive committee and coaching/ officiating roles).
  • Establish clear anti-discrimination and harassment policies emphasising a zero tolerance approach to inappropriate behaviour.
  • Create safe and confidential reporting mechanisms for any instances of discrimination, harassment or inappropriate behaviour.
  • Set expectations early through player, coach, parent and spectator code of conducts, including the Fair Play Code and other relevant rules.

Fair Access Principles

We have developed our Draft Policy and Action Plan using the following principles, outlined in the Fair Access Roadmap.

This Roadmap was shaped by the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Sport and Recreation Victoria and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)