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Over the past 18 months, SLSA has been working with government agencies and our Surf Life Saving state and territory entities to strengthen our integrity policies. The decision was to separate the SLSA Member Protection Policy into three separate policies: Member Protection; Child Safe; and Complaints & Grievances.

SLSA is committed to maintaining effective and contemporary governance in-line with community and industry standards. To ensure that our process reflects ‘best practice’, three separate policies have been developed to replace the previous SLSA Member Protection Policy. The intent of the changes is to make all three policies more concise and ultimately easier to understand and use.

Surf Life Saving (SLS) is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people (CYP) involved in our amazing movement. Our policies and procedures address the potential risks to child safety and help reinforce a child safe culture and practices that are in line with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

The new Child Safe Policy includes the Child Safe Code of Conduct that sets out the expected standards of behaviour relating to CYP (under 18s) in SLS. The Child Safe Commitment is the SLSA Board’s commitment to creating a Child Safe environment in SLS where CYP are safe from abuse and neglect.

Further to the policies, SLSA has redeveloped the Child Safe Program, which is  “A Guidebook” for Clubs.

This resource contains all the materials you and your Club need to ensure you understand your requirements in keeping CYP Safe.

Sitting alongside this resource is the Child Safe Awareness Course. This course gives you an understanding of the importance of providing a Child Safe environment for our young members. I encourage all our volunteers to take the time to login to Members Area and complete the Online Course.

The new Member Protection Policy is a simplified document that focuses on the Member Code of Conduct and expected standards of behaviour of members. The intent of this policy is to ensure we uphold the core values of Surf Life Saving by creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone involved in Surf Life Saving.

I am also pleased to let you know, that the SLSA Board recently wrote its commitment to delivering an inclusive environment through an Inclusion & Diversity Statement.

“We deliver a unique and inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated. We actively listen to our volunteers and the broader community, and we promote progressive values and innovative thinking. Our sense of ‘belonging’ binds us together and helps to create great Australians and build better and more resilient communities.”

The introduction of this Inclusion & Diversity Statement reaffirms the SLSA Board’s commitment to creating a safe environment for all members.

The Reporting and Complaints Guideline that formed part of the previous Member Protection Policy has been replaced by a standalone Complaints Resolution Policy. The new policy outlines clear steps for complainants, respondents, and complaint handlers when complaints arise. The introduction of this new policy has resulted in Section 4 of the SLSA Regulations being repealed, and from now on, all complaints are being handled under this new policy.

SLSA is happy to assist clubs and members with questions that arise out of these changes to the policy. We encourage you to reach out to your state or territory entity in the first instance with any enquiries; however, you can contact the team at SLSA by email: integrity@slsa.asn.au.