Gymnastics Australia commits to adopt the National Integrity Framework

Gymnastics Australia has reaffirmed its full commitment to adopting the National Integrity Framework (NIF) after meetings of the Board, Integrity Committee, and a presentation by Sport Integrity Australia to Gymnastics Australia Member Associations. 

A decision that was initially endorsed by the Gymnastics Australia Board in May 2021, following the release of the Change the Routine Report, the adoption of the NIF will further strengthen Gymnastics Australia’s commitment to implement a safe sport. 

Gymnastics Australia has been working closely with Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) in recent months toward the adoption of the NIF policies, which includes an independent complaints handling process. The process will require SIA to assess, investigate and manage all relevant complaints and provide a fair and transparent system for all involved. 

In addition to the NIF, Gymnastics Australia is also working with Sport Integrity Australia on a Safeguarding in Sport Continuous Improvement Program (SISCIP) which is aimed at assessing gymnastics’ maturity level with respect to Safeguarding and Member Protection. 

The aim of this project is to provide Gymnastics Australia with an accurate understanding of the areas of work where significant progress has been made, as well as the areas where further development or resources are required to improve. 

The work being undertaken by both organisations continues the collaboration between the two bodies that commenced in 2020 with the independent complaints handling mechanism for gymnastics running alongside the Australian Human Rights Commission whole of sport review. 

Sport Integrity Australia CEO, Mr Sharpe welcomed the move and said all participants in the sport of gymnastics will benefit.

“We have been working closely with Gymnastics Australia since last year, and this is an important step towards fully implementing the National Integrity Framework. 

“The initial decision to engage the Australian Human Rights Commission, and to subsequently undertake the hard work of implementing the recommendations from the review, has put Gymnastics Australia at the forefront of integrity in Australian sport. I commend Gymnastics Australia for their ongoing commitment to integrity in sport, particularly around the safeguarding of participants at all levels.” 

Gymnastics Australia President Ben Heap said that providing an environment where all members feel safe and empowered is the number one priority for the Gymnastics Australia Board.  

“While a lot of work has been done in recent years to improve our policies and procedures, our goal is to continuously improve and committing to an independent National Integrity Framework is an important step in this respect. 

“We have been working closely with SIA for many months now on what the National Integrity Framework will look like for gymnastics so that we can provide an environment that respects the rights and supports the wellbeing of every participant from the grass roots through to the state and national levels of the sport,” said Heap.   

Gymnastics Australia CEO Kitty Chiller AM added that the adoption of the NIF would contribute to the whole of sport response to the Change the Routine Report.

“In the 4 months since the release of the Report, Gymnastics Australia has established a comprehensive framework of workstreams and working groups with internal and external experts, including the athlete voice, to address all 12 Recommendations in the Report.

“Much work is underway with some key response activities set to be announced before the end of the year. We continue our commitment to be fully transparent with our community on all decisions made,” said Chiller.