Member protection

Member protection means that all people associated with an organisation or association - including players, administrators, coaches, officials and referees - can participate in the organisation's activities in an environment free from inappropriate behaviours such as harassment, discrimination or abuse.

Member protection involves:

  • protecting members from harassment, discrimination, vilification, abuse and other forms of inappropriate behaviour
  • getting the right people involved in your organisation

The well-being of every member of a sport organisation is integral to the future of sport. As membership and volunteer numbers decline, organisations need to look at practices and procedures that create safe, welcoming and enjoyable environments. Organisations must comply with legislative requirements (such as anti-discrimination and racial and religious vilification laws), identify the potential for any incidents relating to harassment and abuse of members and develop strategies to reduce the likelihood or severity of harassment or abuse.

Member Protection Resources

Play by the Rules is an interactive website that provides information and online training on equal opportunity and other relevant legislation to address inappropriate behaviour in sport. It also outlines how to prevent and deal with discrimination, harassment, favouritism, bias and abuse and provides templates for member protection policies.

The Australian Sports Commission has developed a Member Protection Policy template to assist sports to write their own sport specific member protection policy.

The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (refer Legislation Victoria website: was passed by Parliament on 14 June 2001 and the Act came into effect on 1 January 2002.

Member Protection Officer Training

Education for member protection is offered on a regular basis. Contact us for details of the next course.

Equal Opportunity in Sport

The Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission can provide further information and copies of Playing Fair - Guidelines for Tackling Discrimination in Sport. The Commission also regularly conducts Equal Opportunity in Sport/Play by the Rules information sessions.