Category : Sport

New guidelines launched to promote the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport

Originally published by Sport Australia, 13 June 2019

 

Sport and human rights leaders are encouraging all Australians to “stand for inclusivity”, launching new guidelines that promote the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport.

National Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport were launched in Melbourne today. The Guidelines were developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission in partnership with Sport Australia and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS).

The Guidelines provide information on the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and guidance on creating and promoting inclusive environments in sport. Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer said the simplest approach was to “put people first”.

“Sport must be safe and inclusive for all because every Australian has the fundamental right to enjoy the wonderful benefits of sport and physical activity,” Palmer said. “Sport Australia stands for inclusivity and we want every person in Australian sport to stand with us.

“Research tells us gender diverse people, particularly young people, want to engage more in sport and physical activity but often face or fear peer rejection. Let’s ensure sport is a welcoming place that helps. Let sport be an example for broader society, showing how we can positively influence community connections and a better future.

“It must take strong, proactive leadership to stand up against any attitudes or behaviours that lead to discrimination in sport, so I urge every sporting organisation to use this resource as a guide to make your sport more inclusive. But it’s not just up to our sport leaders, every single person involved in Australian sport can play an important part in being more inclusive.”

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said the Australian Human Rights Commission consulted with a broad range of sporting stakeholders, including transgender and gender diverse participants across a variety of sports and competition levels to develop the guidelines.

“Unfortunately transgender and gender diverse people are sometimes excluded from sport or experience discrimination and sexual harassment when they do participate,” Jenkins said.

“While some reported positive experiences of inclusion, others described how they had been excluded from the sports they loved because of their sex or gender identity. Some spoke of disengaging from sport during their transition journey because of their concern about how their team mates would treat them.

“I look forward to sporting organisations using these Guidelines to take steps to encourage the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in their sport.”

COMPPS represents some of Australia’s biggest sports, including 9 million participants and 16,000 clubs. COMPPS spokesperson Craig Tiley urged all sports to engage with the guidelines.

“We are proud to be involved in the development of these guidelines, but these are just words on pages until we, as sport leaders, implement them and bring them to life,” Tiley said.

“As custodians for our sports, we all need to embrace and promote the importance of diversity and inclusion so that sport better represents individuals, communities and Australia as a whole.”

Representing LGBTI sport charity, Proud 2 Play, outreach manager and sporting participant Bowie Stover says the Guidelines are a positive step towards the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in the wider sporting community.

“As a non-binary athlete and having worked with numerous sporting clubs and codes over the past few years, I’ve experienced first-hand the many positive outcomes that occur when clubs actively show support for their trans and gender diverse participants,” Stover said.

“It benefits not only the trans and gender diverse community involved as players, volunteers and spectators, but also helps the clubs and all sports as whole, in creating a diverse and safe sporting environment for everybody.

“I encourage sporting clubs and bodies to adopt these guidelines in order to help ensure trans and gender diverse inclusion in their sports is proactive and that everyone is supported when joining their clubs, regardless of their sex or gender identity.”

The Guidelines can be accessed at: www.sportaus.gov.au/transgender

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About us

Sport Australia is the Australian Government’s lead agency for sport and physical activity. Our vision is for Australia to be the world’s most active sporting nation, known for its integrity, sporting success and world-leading sport industry.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory organisation, established by an act of Federal Parliament. It is Australia’s national human rights institution. We protect and promote human rights in Australia and internationally.

The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) comprises Australian Football league, Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, National Rugby League, Netball Australia, Rugby Australia and Tennis Australia. The role of COMPPS is to provide a collective response on behalf of its member sports where their interests are aligned.

Tennis Australia named one of Australia’s most LGBTIQ+ inclusive sporting organisations

Originally published by Star Observer , 13 June 2019

 

Tennis Australia has been named one of Australia’s best sporting organisations for LGBTIQ+ inclusion at the recent Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne.

The awards, which recognise exceptional efforts in making sport more inclusive for LGBTIQ+ people, were launched last year and are the first of their kind in Australia.

This year, the top award was given to both Tennis Australia and Melbourne University Sport. Cricket Victoria was recognised as the Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation, while the St Kilda Football Club took home the award for the Highest Ranking Professional Club.

The awards showcase the result of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI), a national benchmarking instrument used to assess LGBTIQ+ inclusion within Australian sport.

ACON Vice-President and Co-Founder of the PSI, Andrew Purchas, said the past year had highlighted the continued struggles facing LGBTIQ+ people in sport.

“These awards and the index continue to highlight the important inclusion work being done by many within Australian sport, as they provide sporting organisations and figures with an opportunity to reflect on their work in the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ participants and staff, and identify areas they can address to ensure their sport is truly inclusive,” he said.

“Many of Australia’s sporting organisations are taking the positive steps needed to be taken to ensure your sexuality, gender identity and experience does not impact your ability to play, watch or be involved with sport at any level.

“I congratulate all the award recipients and the many others working towards making Australian sport an inclusive place for everyone and I’m proud to celebrate those success stories at the Pride in Sport Awards today.”

The awards were hosted by NITV presenter and former Star Observer cover star Matty Webb, and featured a host of leading and sporting community figures, including a keynote address from Matt Cecchin, the first openly gay NRL referee.

This year’s PSI results saw a 61 per cent increase in index submissions, highlighting the focus sporting groups are beginning to put on LGBTIQ+ inclusion.

Award nominations from the wider community also rose by 70 per cent.

Program Manager for Pride in Sport, Beau Newell, said the index had continued to see a significant shift in practice with LGBTIQ+ inclusion work in Australian sport.

“With a wide range of sporting organisations participating, we are seeing more and more commitments to providing safer and more inclusive environments and experiences for LGBTIQ+ people,” he said.

“While inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda, there is more to be done to ensure that sport in Australia can experience greater levels of LGBTIQ+ inclusion.”

The awards were produced by Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit sporting inclusion program spearheaded by Australia’s largest LGBTIQ+ health organisation ACON.

See a full list of this year’s winners below.

Award Recipient
Highest Ranking Overall Melbourne University Sport and Tennis Australia
Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation Cricket Victoria
Highest Ranking Professional Club St Kilda Football Club
LGBTI Ally Award David Kyle, North Gippsland Football & Netball League
LGBTI Inclusive Coach Aaron Lucas, Sydney Roller Derby League
LGBTI Community Sport Perth Pythons LGBTI+ Hockey Club
LGBTI Out Role Model Tony Boutoubia (Tennis)
LGBTI Inclusion Initiative LGBTIQA+ Women’s Water Polo Program (Sydney Stingers Water Polo)
Small Club Award Loton Park Tennis Club

© Star Observer 2019 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Pride in Sport Awards recognise athletes, clubs and organisations for LGBTQ inclusion

Cricket Victoria, Tennis Australia, Australian Football League (AFL) club St. Kilda and Melbourne University Sport are among other sporting organisations and individuals who have been named as Australia’s best for LGBTQ inclusion at the Australian Pride in Sport Awards held today at the Cargo Hall in Melbourne.

Launched last year, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards is the first celebration of its kind dedicated solely to recognising exceptional efforts in making sport more inclusive of LGBTQ people. It is produced by Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit sporting inclusion program spearheaded by Australia’s largest LGBTQ health organisation, ACON.

Cricket Victoria was recognised as the Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation, while the St. Kilda Football Club took home the award for the Highest Ranking Professional Club. Tennis Australia and Melbourne University Sport were the Highest Ranking Overall Award joint recipients.

Three individuals across various sporting codes were awarded for their efforts in making their respective sports more inclusive of LGBTQ people on and off the field, with three community awards also being handed out.

The awards showcase the results of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI) – a national benchmarking instrument used to asses LGBTQ inclusion within Australian sport.

ACON Vice-President and Co-Founder of the PSI, Andrew Purchas, said: “Despite significant recent gains in equality and law reform, the past year has shown that struggles continue to persist for LGBTQ people in Australia, including within the sporting sector”.

“These awards and the index continue to highlight the important inclusion work being done by many within Australian sport, as they provide sporting organisations and figures with an opportunity to reflect on their work in the inclusion of LGBTQ participants and staff, and identify areas they can address to ensure their sport is truly inclusive.

“Many of Australia’s sporting organisations are taking the positive steps needed to be taken to ensure your sexuality, gender identity and experience does not impact your ability to play, watch or be involved with sport at any level.

“I congratulate all the award recipients and the many others working towards making Australian sport an inclusive place for everyone and I’m proud to celebrate those success stories at the Pride in Sport Awards today,” Mr Purchas said.

The awards, hosted by NITV presenter Matty Webb, featured a host of leading sporting and community figures, including a keynote address from the first openly gay NRL referee Matt Cecchin, Australia’s first openly gay male soccer player Andy Brennan, and leading Australian cricketer and co-patron of Pride in Sport, Alex Blackwell.

This year’s PSI results saw a 61 per cent increase in index submissions, highlighting the focus sporting entities are beginning to put on LGBTQ inclusion within various codes. In addition, award nominations from the wider community also rose by 70 per cent, indicating that a far greater portion of the sporting community are achieving positive outcomes when they develop initiatives for inclusion at a grassroots level.

Program Manager for Pride in Sport Beau Newell said: “Since 2016, the Pride in Sport Index has continued to see a significant shift in practice with LGBTQ inclusion work in Australian sport. With a wide range of sporting organisations participating, we are seeing more and more commitments to providing safer and more inclusive environments and experiences for LGBTQ people”.

“While inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda, there is more to be done to ensure that sport in Australia can experience greater levels of LGBTQ inclusion.

“I would like to congratulate each sport and the many volunteers on the efforts they are making to ensure everyone is welcome both on and off the sporting field,” Newell said.

 

2019 Pride in Sport Awards Recipients

 

Highest Ranking Overall

Melbourne University Sport and Tennis Australia

Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation

Cricket Victoria

Highest Ranking Professional Club

St Kilda Football Club

LGBTI Ally Award

David Kyle, North Gippsland Football & Netball League

LGBTI Inclusive Coach

Aaron Lucas, Sydney Roller Derby League

LGBTI Community Sport

Perth Pythons LGBTI+ Hockey Club

LGBTI Out Role Model

Tony Boutoubia (Tennis)

LGBTI Inclusion Initiative

LGBTIQA+ Women’s Water Polo Program (Sydney Stingers Water Polo)

Small Club Award

Loton Park Tennis Club

 

TOP IMAGE: 2019 Pride in Sport Awards recipients for Highest Ranking Overall – Tennis Australia and Melbourne University Sport (Joint Winners). Pictured (from left): Pride in Sport Program Manager Beau Newell, Tennis Australia National Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Irena Farinacci, Tennis Australia Head of Diversity Kerry Tabrou, Melbourne University Sport Pride and Diversity Coordinator Chris Bunting, Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer and Pride in Sport Co-founder Andrew Purchas. Photo: Reg Domingo    

 

ABOUT PRIDE IN SPORT

Pride in Sport is a national not-for-profit program that assists sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTI employees, players, volunteers and spectators. It is part of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, which provides a range of services to employers, sporting organisations and service providers with support in all aspects of LGBTI inclusion. All funds generated through membership and ticketed events go back into the work of Pride in Sport, actively working alongside sporting organisations, clubs and participants to make Australian sport inclusive of LGBTI communities. For more information, visit the Pride Inclusion Programs website here.

 

ABOUT THE PRIDE IN SPORT INDEX

The Pride in Sport Index (PSI) is an independently administered benchmarking system that provides the opportunity for all national and state sporting organisations to have their LGBTI related initiatives, programs and policies reviewed, measured and monitored. An initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Sports Commission and a legacy of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 (the world cup of gay rugby), it was developed alongside an advisory group that includes representatives from the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL), the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), Football Federation Australia (FFA), Cricket Australia, Swimming Australia, Water Polo Australia, Basketball Australia and Golf Australia. For more information, visit the Pride in Sport website here.

SPORTING ORGANISATIONS COMMIT TO AN INDEX TO TACKLE HOMOPHOBIA

Dawn Hough, Director, Pride in Diversity (ACON)

Pride in Diversity has been commissioned by Australian Human Rights Commission and Australian Sports Commission to develop an index to assess, measure and drive inclusive practice in Australian Sports.\

Pride in Diversity is best known for its internationally recognised Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), an annual benchmarking instrument that determines, assesses, drives and acknowledges best practice in LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) workplace inclusion. This index has been instrumental in taking Australian workplace practice from a lag position behind the UK and the US to international good practice whereby Top Employers are now on par with their overseas counterparts and in many instances setting the pace for best practice globally.

On the back of ‘Out on the Fields’ a world first international study just released on Homophobia in Sport ‘,Pride in Diversity have been engaged by the Human Rights Commission, Australian Sports Commission and instigators, the Bingham Cup, to develop a similar index for Australian Sporting Organisations. The ‘Out on the Fields’ study uncovered widespread homophobic behaviour in sport with an alarming numbers of participants not feeling safe, experiencing homophobic violence, bullying, slurs or choosing to stay in the closet for fear of repercussions. Leaderboard stats for Australia were poor, being listed as the second most likely country in which male athletes were likely to stay in the closet faring only marginally better for lesbian athletes.

While Australians may believe that we have come a long way and that there are gay athletes out there who are openly accepted, evidence for the majority paints a very different picture.   Personal experiences of violent forms of homophobia, threats, bullying and social exclusion saw Australia rank at the high end of the incidents list with particular concerns for youth teams sports and school physical education classes. Impacts were sufficient enough for people to decide against playing team sports.

After listening to much of the commentary on the study over the weekend, the disconnect between perceived inclusion and actual lived experience of our LGBTI athletes is apparent. Naming a few out athletes who are openly accepted as evidence of sports inclusivity is akin to saying we have a few gay mates who have never been bullied and therefore we don’t have a problem with LGBTI inclusion in Australia. Yet, suicide and depression is still greater for LGBTI people with a significant contributor being social exclusion and lack of acceptance. The argument only highlights the general lack of awareness in terms of what LGBTI athletes actually experience on the fields and within other sporting domains.

We need to be mindful of the lens that we look through. As a heterosexual sportsperson or commentator, we may not necessarily be privy to the lived experience of our LGBTI counterparts. Assuming that what we see is the lived experience of the majority of LGBTI athletes out is akin to sweeoubg the problem under the carpet, when in reality what we need is people to understand what the real experiences are and become part of the solution.

Thankfully, sporting organisations across the country were quick to acknowledge that damaging homophobic behaviour exists and were keen to support the development of the index. This weekend the ARU, AFL, NRL, FFA and CA expressed their support for the benchmarking instrument with many agreeing to participate in an advisory panel led by Pride in Diversity to assist with its development.

The index will determine the current state of play, determine the areas that need addressing and set a national sporting benchmark by which sporting organisations will be able to assess the impact of their work on player experience and perception. The index will be administered annually by Pride in Diversity allowing sports to measure progress as well as benchmark themselves either anonymously or publicly against other sports or clubs.   It is also expected that as with the AWEI, the Index will acknowledge top performers with awards and recognition, whether that be in the first year or two is yet to be determined.

Pride in Diversity is a proud to have been commissioned to develop what we believe to be a world-first sporting inclusivity index in conjunction with the Human Rights Commission, Australian Sport Commission and representatives of Australian Sport.

For more information contact Dawn Hough, Director, Pride in Diversity on (02) 9206.2139 or dawn.hough@prideindiversity.com.au