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Rowing Australia – Adoption of the National Integrity Framework effective 30 June 2022

Rowing Australia is committed to ensuring a level playing field for all those who participate in our sport. There are inherent integrity risks at all levels of rowing, and in recent months we have worked to identify those risks and to step up our focus on safeguarding the future of our sport.

Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) is a new Federal Government organisation that is the cornerstone of the Government’s comprehensive sport integrity strategy. As part of SIA’s work, the National Integrity Framework was launched in March 2021 and National Sport Organisations including Rowing Australia have been asked to adopt the Framework by June 2022.

Rowing Australia commenced work to adopt the Framework of policies provided by Sport Integrity Australia in May 2021 and have moved forward to formally adopt the policies effective 30 June 2022.

The policies within the Framework include:

  • National Integrity Framework – the umbrella policy that establishes the jurisdiction and scope of the Framework and requirements or processes that are common to all policies.
  • Member Protection Policy – this replaces and covers similar ground to the previous Member Protection Policy, by prohibiting abuse, bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct, unlawful discrimination, victimisation, and vilification.
  • Child Safeguarding Policy (including the South Australia Addendum) – a standalone policy for child safeguarding (which used to be part of the earlier Member Protection Policy) which sets out the expected standards of behaviour and the behaviours that are not acceptable.
  • Improper Use of Drugs & Medicine Policy – sitting alongside the existing anti-doping policies, this deals with medication, supplements and injections; illegal drugs; and qualifications for sport science and sport medicine personnel.
  • Competition Manipulation and Sports Wagering Policy – this replaces and covers similar ground to the previous anti-wagering policies.
  • Complaints, Disputes and Discipline Policy – this sets out the new independent, transparent, and fair system for managing complaints and disciplinary action arising from alleged breaches of the Framework policies – but does not apply to eligibility and selection, competition-related rules, personal grievances, code of conduct or governance matters.

One of the key objectives of the National Integrity Framework is to have a single framework for all levels of rowing as a sport. Adoption will mean that the Policies apply to all sports organisations and people involved in our sport. While this is the intent and how existing integrity policies are currently used, adopting the National Integrity Framework will streamline the approach.

By Rowing Australia adopting the National Integrity Framework, Sports Integrity Australia will manage the independent assessment and referral of complaints. This will reduce the burden on administrators and volunteers and provide athletes and participants with a consistent, fair, and independent dispute resolution process.

If you are interested in learning more about the Framework, there is an online induction that explains the policies and how they work together.

For your reference, the policies can be found here.

For further information, please feel free to contact Liam Bourke, National Integrity Manager, at [email protected].