Sport and Recreation Tasmania is committed to
protecting the fundamental right of children to be
safe from any form of abuse while involved in sport
and recreation activities. Child protection is a legal
requirement as well as a moral obligation that Child protection is a
requires a commitment from everyone involved in legal requirement as well
all levels of sport to ensure sporting environments as a moral obligation that
are safe for all children. It includes an awareness of
the requirements and risks, a commitment to requires a commitment from
practices that minimise the risks of harm, and the everyone involved in all levels
ability to appropriately respond to incidents of of sport to ensure sporting
child abuse. environments are safe for
Child abuse relates to children at risk of harm, all children.
usually by adults and often by those they know and
trust. The most common characteristics of all
forms of abuse against children are an abuse of
power or authority, or a breach of trust. Abuse
usually occurs in a pattern or cycle of behaviour,
not as a one-off incident.
Child abuse in sport can range from inappropriate
touching when demonstrating techniques, In Tasmania, mandatory reporting requirements are
inappropriate training methods that give extra outlined in the Children,Young Persons and Their
physical loads to children as ‘punishment’ and Families Act 1997 (the Act). The Act emphasises the
physical aggression when disciplining a child, responsibilities for all members of the community
through to sexual assault and sexual intercourse to make sure children are protected. Those
with a minor. Child abuse is generally recognised mandated to report child abuse or neglect include
as falling into four categories: medical practitioners, nurses, dentists, police
officers, psychologists, probation officers, child
• sexual abuse/sexual misconduct welfare officers, school principals, teachers,
• physical abuse kindergarten teachers, people who manage child
• emotional abuse care services and people employed by or
volunteering in government agencies or
• neglect. organisations funded by the Crown that provide
health, welfare, education or care for children.
Mandatory reporting Anyone who reasonably suspects that a child is or
has been abused or neglected must report this to
This refers to the legal requirement that specific
the Child Protection Advice and Referral Service
people report reasonable suspicions of children
on 1800 737 639 and/or to police.
being, or at risk of being, abused or neglected. It
applies when that suspicion is formed during a For more information about reporting
person’s work, regardless of whether it is paid or concerns, visit the Commissioner for
voluntary work. Children website at www.childcomm.tas.gov.
Working with children checks in Tasmania Travelling interstate
In the sporting industry, it is becoming increasingly It is important to be aware that when travelling
important to screen people whose role will involve interstate with children, state and territory child
direct and unsupervised contact with people under protection requirements apply to individuals and
the age of 18 years. Screening refers to inspecting organisations originating outside of the state. For
a person’s criminal and employment history and example, if a Tasmanian organisation or club takes
other information relevant to their suitability to junior players to New South Wales or Queensland
work with children. for training camps, championships, competitions or
Police checks should be conducted on all other activities, those travelling with the teams
individuals filling positions, either paid or unpaid, must comply with the NSW or QLD legislative
that require direct contact with children, to screen requirements. Some exemptions for short trips do
out those who have a history of abusing or apply, but be sure to find out the relevant state or
exploiting children and/or violence. Substance territory’s requirements well before you go; see
abuse is also an offence of concern, as are driving below for links.
offences if the position requires driving.
Application forms for a Criminal History New South Wales
Record Check can be found on the An adult travelling with a team to New South
Tasmanian Police website at Wales must sign a Prohibited Employment
www.police.tas.gov.au Declaration Form before entering the state.
People are entitled to one free Tasmania Police More information: www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/
Record Check every twelve months (a check will children/wwcc_faqs.asp
only be made of those records held by Tasmania
Police). The cost for any subsequent Tasmania
Police Record Check is $20. A National Police Queensland
Record Check, where the applicant will be A Blue Card is required by all adults travelling to
provided with a National Police Certificate, costs Queensland with children. Blue Cards must be
$45. obtained before the team arrives in Queensland
and it is essential that up to six to eight weeks is
allowed for the process.
Organisational practices More information: www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au/
Practices that should be implemented by employment/index.html
organisations to protect children include:
• developing and implementing a policy on child Western Australia
protection and codes of conduct for all staff,
members and parents In Western Australia, it is compulsory for people
working with children to undergo a Working with
• adopting thorough recruitment practices, such Children Check.
as having job descriptions for all roles (paid or More information: www.checkwwc.wa.gov.
voluntary), interviewing applicants, conducting au/checkwwc/About+WWC+Check/
police checks and checking references WWC+Check/
• appointing a member protection officer who
should be the first point of contact for issues,
concerns and complaints Victoria
• using accredited coaches and officials and In Victoria the Working with Children Act (2005)
checking that their accreditation is current requires that people who work or volunteer in
certain child-related work apply for, and pass, a
• ensuring all personnel and affiliated associations Working with Children Check.
understand and comply with legal requirements. More information: http://www.justice.vic.gov.
South Australia Northern Territory
Currently there are no legal requirements for Currently there are no legal requirements for
people working with children to undertake a police people working with children to undertake a police
check in South Australia. However, obtaining check in the Northern Territory. However, the
criminal history reports is embedded in the Northern Territory Government has released draft
Children’s Protection Act (Section 8B). Be sure to legislation for the creation of a screening scheme,
check requirements before you go. which outlines minimum standards for child-related
More information: occupations and activities. Be sure to check
www.familiesandcommunities.sa.gov.au/ whether any such legislation has been implemented
Default.aspx?tabid=1059 or contact the before you go.
Department of Families and Communities
on (08) 8226 8800. More information: www.families.nt.gov.au/
asp/index.asp or contact the Office of
Children and Families on (08) 8999 2779.
Australian Capital Territory
Currently there are no legal requirements for
people working with children to undertake a police Useful links
check in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The following links provide further information
However, the ACT government has released a about child protection and related topics:
discussion paper for the creation of a screening • www.ausport.gov.au/supporting/ethics/child_
scheme that stipulates minimum standards for protection
broadly identified child-related occupations and
activities. Be sure to check whether any such
legislation has been implemented before you travel. • www.playbytherules.net.au
More information: www.dhcs.act.gov.au/
contact Care and Protection Services on • www.childwise.net
1300 556 728.
Published: March 2009
by Sport and Recreation Tasmania
Sport and Recreation Tasmania