Gymnastics Australia – Supplementary Complaints Management Process 

Gymnastics Australia has partnered with Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal, to establish the independent Supplementary Complaints Management Policy  (SCMP) for the handling of all individual complaints related to misconduct, bullying, abuse, sexual harassment and assault toward an athlete.

Through this process, Gymnastics Australia will outsource the handling of all Relevant Complaints from all levels of the sport (national/state/club) to the Independent Assessor, Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal. Meaning Gymnastics Australia, its State and Territory Associations and all affiliated clubs will not be involved in any discretionary aspects of the Complaint Handling Process for Relevant Complaints.

The Independent Assessors (IA) are the person/s jointly recommended by Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal (independent of Gymnastics Australia), and appointed by Gymnastics Australia to assess the information provided by the Complainant and to determine the most appropriate Complaints Handling Process.

Any Disciplinary Action determined must be imposed without change by Gymnastics Australia, based on the recommendation or determination of the Independent Assessor, Sport Integrity Australia or the National Sports Tribunal (see below for more details on these organisations).

Who is the Independent Assessor?

The Independent Assessors (IA) are the person/s jointly recommended by Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal (independent of Gymnastics Australia), and appointed by Gymnastics Australia to assess the information provided by the Complainant and to determine the most appropriate Complaints Handling Process.

What is Sport Integrity Australia?

Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) is an independent government organisation that combines the existing functions of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the nationally focused integrity functions of Sport Australia.

Sport Integrity Australia will be responsible for conducting investigations of Relevant Complaints and where appropriate recommending Disciplinary Action.

What is the National Sports Tribunal?

The National Sports Tribunal (NST) was established by the Australian Government to hear and resolve sporting disputes in Australia. The NST is an independent body and provides for effective and transparent resolution of sporting disputes through arbitration, mediation, and conciliation.

If Disciplinary Action is taken against the respondent to your complaint, the respondent may then choose to appeal that decision to the NST.

You can submit a complaint through this process if, during your time as an athlete in gymnastics in Australia, you experienced any form of misconduct, bullying, abuse, assault or sexual harassment by a person who is still a current Gymnastics Australia member.

You can make a complaint through the Supplementary Complaints Management Policy if you are:

  • a current or former registered athlete; or
  • a parent of a minor (under the age of 18 years old) who would like you to make a complaint on their behalf, or, you are making a complaint on behalf of a person with a mental disability.

You can’t make a complaint through the Supplementary Complaints Management Policy if:

  • you have made a complaint about the same conduct previously, and your complaint was managed through a formal complaints process (i.e. you can’t make a second complaint about the same incident); or
  • your complaint is currently being managed through a process administered by either Gymnastics Australia, its State or Territory Member Associations or an Affiliated Club.

If you wish to share an experience about misconduct, bullying, abuse, sexual harassment and assault toward an athlete in gymnastics, but you do not want to or are unable to make a complaint through the Supplementary Complaints Management Policy, you may still wish to engage with the Australian Human Rights Commission review into the culture of gymnastics. You can do this by clicking here.

It is important to note that the Australian Human Rights Commission cannot make a complaint on your behalf. You will be directed back to this process if you wish to make a formal complaint.

You will be provided with the option to choose a Play by the Rules registered Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO) who is independent of gymnastics. The MPIO will be able to offer you information and guidance on the Complaints Handling Process as outlined in the new Supplementary Complaints Management Policy.

If you are needing support with your mental health, there are several support mechanisms in place that are available to assist you.

The Mental Health Referral Network (MHRN) is available to you if you are:

  1. A categorised athlete
  2. A current National Squad athlete (not necessarily categorised)
  3. An impacted family member
  4. An alumni gymnast who was part of a national training squad
  5. A current or previous State Institute of Academy of Sport or Australian Institute of Sport gymnastics scholarship holder
  6. A High Performance staff member

You can contact the MHRN on 02 6214 1130 (Monday - Friday 9am-5pm AEST) or email mentalhealth@sportaus.gov.au.

Alternatively, you can call your local GP to access a government subsidised mental health plan. If your situation is urgent, you can all Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636. A list of other support available can be found here.

Please note if you fear you or a child is in immediate danger, call 000.

You can make a complaint through this process up to the 10 January 2021.

To make a complaint you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you are eligible to make a complaint through this process (see above)
  2. Download the attached Complaint Form
  3. Complete the form with as much detail as you can, (you can get someone to help you)
  4. Email your form to GymnasticsComplaint@sportintegrity.gov.au

If you need assistance completing the Complaints Form, or if you have any questions, you can call Sport Integrity Australia on (02) 6222 4217.

From there, an Independent Assessor, will determine which Complaints Handling Process is most appropriate for your complaint.

The Complaints Handling Processes are:

  • Minor Breach Procedure
  • Mediation or Conciliation administered by the National Sports Tribunal
  • Independent external investigation by Sport Integrity Australia
  • Referral to the police or other appropriate authority

More information about these processes can be found in Part C of the Supplementary Complaints Management Policy.

The method identified by the Independent Assessor will determine how your complaint progresses, including how much involvement you may need to have in the complaint management process and how long it will take for your complaint to be resolved.

For example, an external investigation will usually take longer than a mediation or conciliation process and will likely require further involvement from you. The external investigation process may also take a bit longer if there are multiple complaints against a respondent.

The Minor Breach Procedure is quite quick and will probably not require much further involvement from you as a complainant, if you provide enough detail in your initial documents.

The Independent Assessor or, if the complaint is investigated, Sport Integrity Australia, may make recommendations for Disciplinary Action to be taken against a respondent. Gymnastics Australia will adopt and implement these recommendations without change.

This ensures the process is independent of Gymnastics Australia and its State and Territory Associations and/or clubs.

An external investigation may result in Sport Integrity Australia recommending that disciplinary measures be taken against a respondent. If this happens, the respondent may elect to appeal that decision to the National Sports Tribunal (NST). At this point, you may be requested by one of the Parties to appear as a witness in the NST.

The NST has procedures in place to ensure this process is sensitive to you and the nature of the complaint.

Beyond the Independent Assessor, Sport Integrity Australia and Gymnastics Australia, your complaint will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to any other person without your consent, unless disclosure is required or authorised by or under Australian law.

If Disciplinary Action is taken against one or more persons as a result of your complaint, they may then elect to appeal this decision in the NST. If this occurs, details of your complaint may be disclosed to the NST on a confidential basis during these proceedings.

Complaints made past the 10 January 2021 will be managed through Gymnastics Australia’s existing Complaints Handling Process. More information about this process can be found here.