Ministry of Sport

Sport Australia Launch New Guidelines For Gender Inclusivity In Sport

The Australian Human Rights Commission in partnership with Sport Australia and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS), have just launched new guidelines that promote the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport.

The Guidelines, which were announced in Melbourne today, 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.

“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 teammates would treat them.

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 sports 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.”

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

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney