Reports to the Minister under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth)
The Commission can issue guidelines under discrimination laws to assist the community to understand the law and provide examples of how to best to comply with it. In this period Commissioner Jenkins released an updated version of the Commission’s guidelines for the use of special measures under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).
In addition, the Commission developed the following two guidelines in partnership with major sporting organisations in Australia.
Guidelines for the promotion of equal opportunity for women and girls in golf
Most golf clubs in Australia offer women and girls opportunities to play and compete; however, frequently men are given greater opportunities purely because of their gender. For example, many clubs only hold competitions for women and girls on weekdays or require women to meet criteria that do not apply to men in order to be able to play on a weekend.
The Commission developed ‘Guidelines for the promotion of equal opportunity for women and girls in golf’ (Golf Guidelines) to assist clubs to ensure they meet their legal obligations and are gender inclusive—a hallmark of Golf Australia’s ‘Vision 2025: The Future of Women & Girls in Golf’ strategy.
The Golf Guidelines were developed through an extensive consultation process that included a series of roundtables in Melbourne and Sydney and individual discussions with interested parties. Those who participated in the consultations included golf club administrators and board members, executives from state golfing peaks and women and men golfers.
Launched in March 2019, the guidelines were rolled out by Golf Australia to 1,600 clubs. The launch generated extensive and positive media coverage, including strong regional coverage, helped by the prominence of golf as a sport in regional Australia.
Many clubs across Australia have since made changes reflecting the Golf Guideline’s equal opportunity principles, for example:
‘In an attempt to provide equal opportunities for its male and female members, Newcastle Golf Club has voted to adopt a new Club Constitution. This has transformed its membership structure so that all active playing members fall under a full 7-Day membership category which gives the majority of female members increased access to the golf course. The new Club Constitution provides a great framework to govern the Club in a modern and progressive manner.’
—abridged Golf Australia News article, 19 June, www.golf.org.au
Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport
These Guidelines were developed in partnership with Sport Australia and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports. Members include the Australia Football League, Rugby AU, Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, the NRL, Netball Australia and Tennis Australia.
The Guidelines provide information about the operation of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) in relation to: unlawful and permissible discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity; sexual harassment and victimisation. They also provide practical guidance for promoting inclusion in line with fundamental human rights-based principles: equality; participation in sport; freedom from discrimination and harassment; and privacy.
The Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport were developed using a similar process to the Golf Guidelines. Over 100 individuals and organisations were consulted through a series of roundtables and individual discussions. Those who participated in the consultations included national sporting organisations, state sporting organisations, government sports and recreation departments, player associations, non-government organisations, other human rights agencies, academics, legal advisers, medical experts and athletes.