Gymnastics Australia statement - Change the Routine update - 30 July 2021

As part of our commitment and desire to keep the community informed, we are pleased to provide you with another update on our response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Change the Routine report.
 
Since the release of the Report, significant work has been undertaken as we look to deliver not only the Report’s 12 Recommendations but also implement meaningful and sustainable whole of sport cultural change.
 
Under the overarching umbrella of transformational cultural change, four work streams have been established, each with Gymnastics Australia, state and territory, and other internal and external subject matter experts as members. These work streams reflect the specific recommendations within the four sections of the Report being: 

- Athlete Experience
- Complaints and Investigations
- Coaching
- Governance and Structure

Key activities within each work stream are summarised below. 
 
The key achievement since our last update has been the appointment of two athlete representatives to the Gymnastics Australia Integrity Committee. After a community-wide Expression of Interest process which attracted an incredible group of applicants, Annie Flamsteed and Alex Eade have been appointed by the Gymnastics Australia Board to the Integrity Committee.
 
Annie and Alex bring their long experiences as gymnasts at both a recreational and elite level to the role along with a significant motivation and commitment to being a part of our transformational cultural change journey as advocates for holistic athlete wellbeing.


"Being appointed as the Athlete Representative onto the Integrity Committee is a huge responsibility and not something I take lightly. I am both honoured and grateful to be a part of an organisation that is taking the steps to drive real change. I plan to provide a voice for the entire gymnastics community from the smallest clubs and the youngest athletes, right up to our Olympians past,
present and future."
  - Annie Flamsteed 

"I am honoured to be the athlete representative on the gymnastics integrity committee and I hope the athletes can trust that I will do everything in my power to advocate for them and make gymnastics a safe and enjoyable sport." - Alex Eade 


We look forward to working with Annie and Alex in this important role as we continue to provide opportunities for our athletes to have their voice at the highest level.
 
The candidate pool in the EOI process was exceedingly strong with many current and former athletes willing to share their experiences and provide constructive input. Gymnastics Australia is already in conversation with many other applicants to be involved in other ways through the work streams, as we aim to ensure the athlete’s voice is front and centre in everything that we do.
 
One of the first responsibilities for Annie and Alex will be to help us shape our Youth Advisory Panel. The recommended Panel framework will provide another opportunity for young people to have their say, enabling the sport’s governing bodies to have an essential and important direct line of communication with those who make up the majority of our membership base.
 
More information about the Youth Advisory Panel and how young people can get involved will be made available on our website in the coming months.  
 
Gymnastics Australia remains committed and accountable to being open and transparent with our community on our response to the report and we will continue to provide regular updates on the GA website. I encourage you to forward the link to your staff so they too can be kept updated on what we are doing, together.

Yours in sport

Kitty

Work Stream updates

Athlete Experience

- Annie Flamsteed and Alexandra Eade appointed to Gymnastics Australia’s Integrity Committee
- Research commenced on a framework for the Youth Advisory Panel
- Disordered Eating Policy nearing completion and work commenced on aligned education materials
- Research commenced on a wellbeing tool for young members
- Discussions are underway with the National Sports Tribunal and external experts on a restorative engagement process

Complaints and Investigations

- Ongoing discussions with Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) to develop an integrity framework which provides for dispute resolutions to be managed by SIA under a National Integrity Framework
- Commenced work on an alternate dispute resolution process for matters outside the scope of the National Integrity Framework
- Started work on educational programs and resources to assist in the understanding and implementation of the National Integrity Framework within the community
- GA has appointed a National Complaints Manager to provide oversight and guidance for all integrity related-matters.

Coaching
- Completed a comprehensive and prioritised action plan to transform coach education This plan includes:
- Coach support and mentoring program;
- An aligned professional development program to address key topics including holistic positive coaching, coach/athlete/parent relationships, self-reflection and developing a team approach to athlete support;
- A full review of all coach accreditation courses to further embed athlete-centered coaching principles; and
- A quality assurance framework to reinforce continued coach development

Governance and Structure
- Started the development of a handbook of guiding principles and information to assist affiliated clubs to incorporate child safeguarding in all aspects of their governance and administration. The handbook will include templates for member associations and clubs to adopt, including:
- Safeguarding Commitment Statement
- Recruitment and screening protocols
- Safeguarding requirements for volunteer committees
- Template for Board reporting on integrity matters