The Australian Human Rights Commission will today commence public consultation for its Independent Review of the sport of gymnastics in Australia.
The Commission is undertaking the Review of the sport at the request of Gymnastics Australia, with the support of the AIS and the National Institute Network, and will deliver its findings in early 2021.
The Review will build an understanding of the sport’s culture and identify systemic issues impacting upon athlete experience and barriers to reporting misconduct to inform future, better practice to ensure safety and inclusivity.
The Commission has sought and been granted ethics approval for the Review process from a national human research ethics committee.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said the Commission would now begin conducting interviews and focus groups and accept written submissions from former and current athletes and their families, coaches, officials, administrators, and former and current staff.
“With the spotlight on human rights of athletes globally this is a landmark project for the sport of gymnastics in Australia, and we expect the findings to inform future practice across sport more broadly,” Ms Jenkins said.
“Any member of the gymnastics community in Australia, past or present, is encouraged to participate in the Review.
“Your experiences will be heard and will form an important part of the Review’s findings and recommendations for change.”
All information gathered through the focus groups, interviews and written submissions will be used in a de-identified manner and treated as confidential.
The Review will also consider current policies and practices relating to the safety and wellbeing of athletes within the sport. The scope of the Review does not extend to investigation of individual allegations or findings being made against individuals.
Update on release of Review
The Commission will publish its findings and recommendations for change in a public report to be released in May 2021.
Initially, these findings had a planned release of the first quarter of 2021. However, due to community interest in the Review, the Commission extended the timeline for consultation to allow more people to participate and share their ideas with the Review.