It is with some disappointment that we have observed the recent independent review by the Australian Human Rights Commission into Gymnastics in Australia.
The Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP) is committed to creating working and learning environments that are welcoming, safe and respectful. Our College maintains zero tolerance of Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination of any kind and are working towards eliminating attitudes that perpetuate this behaviour.
Historically, there has been a culture of Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination that exists within medicine and sport and this must be addressed.
We are committed to enabling the best environments for our members and staff to grow, work and connect. To allow this we develop policies, support pathways and consultative opportunities to ensure that respect is underpinned in the way we operate and interact with others.
ACSEP’s Bullying, Discrimination, Harassment and Unacceptable Behaviour Policy clearly outlines the College’s processes and expectations. Our Code of Ethics articulates the professionalism we promote within the specialty. The Grievance Policy outlines procedures when a formal complaint is brought to the attention of College.
We are working with partners in the sport and exercise field to progress a collective position. ACSEP has supported the International Olympic Committee consensus statement: harassment and abuse (non-accidental violence) in sport. We are also a signatory of the NSW Health Statement of Agreed Principles on a respectful culture in medicine. The Women in SEM Advisory Group are planning an athlete safety webinar to be held in the next few months in conjunction with ShePower Sport and the Sports Equity Lab. This webinar will focus on the various roles of SEM physicians in athlete safeguarding and will link with Dr Steven Ungerleider’s ‘At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal’. More information here.
The Women in SEM Support Group is comprised of senior female Fellows of the College who are able to listen to concerns and offer advice. Protecting your privacy and concerns are paramount. All discussions are treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality. Registrars and Fellows who have experienced sexual harassment and are seeking support, are encouraged to access this group.
In addition, the College has the following embedded practices:
Dissemination of an annual survey to gauge workforce and training issues and concerns.
The requirement of our accredited practices to have an anti-discrimination policy as part of practice accreditation.
Further to this, we continue build our knowledge and action in this area. Projects in the pipeline include:
Developing a cultural diversity policy to guide the way we approach recruiting, retention, and supporting members and staff from diverse backgrounds.
The inclusion of an interactive ethics workshop at the Annual Scientific Conference to assist members in dissecting real life challenges that may arise in their practice.
Members and staff (and their immediate family) are reminded that they can access three private and confidential sessions with Converge International via face-to-face, video or phone appointments. For more information visit the Converge website.
Registrars and Fellows can also access the Peer Support Group and any of its members.
Our College will continue to advocate for inclusion and equity in all that we do while also providing safe spaces for members and staff experiencing bullying, discrimination, and harassment to access the support they need.