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Member Protection Officer (MPO)

Every person involved in lifesaving has the right to work in a safe, fair, and inclusive environment, as well as to be treated with respect and dignity. According to the terms of membership and affiliation to SLSA, all members should be able to participate freely and have positive relationships with one another. Everyone must be able to work or volunteer in an environment free of harassment and bullying, which is an important aspect of working relationships. PMLSC forbids any inappropriate behaviour that constitutes bullying, discrimination, or harassment of any kind. Disciplinary action will be taken in cases of proven bullying, discrimination, or harassment, including, where appropriate, membership termination. Members should feel safe and secure in their club, sport, or while on patrol. You can find the Surf Life Saving Australia Child Safe Policy here.

As an affiliate of Surf Life Saving Australia our club strives to:

  • Provide a safe environment for everyone

  • Take an inclusive approach in its activities

  • Ensure the safety and wellbeing of their members and children or young people in particular.

 

In carrying out our commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of all our members, we take seriously our responsibility to educate and inform everyone involved in life-saving about each person's responsibilities to:

  • Protect each other, and particularly children or young people, from all abuse and child abuse including grooming

  • Create and maintain a member and child-safe culture and a culture of inclusion and safety that is understood, endorsed and put into action by all.

 

The role of the member protection officer entails providing confidential support and assistance to club members. This includes the following:

  • Discussing concerns

  • Investigating complaints

  • Assessing risk

  • Prioritising actions based on need and urgency

  • Moderating mediation between club members

  • Providing support and education around safeguarding children.

Complaints handling procedures

  • Members should try to resolve differences with each other in the first instance.

  • If unsuccessful, the Club’s Member Protection Officer should be the first contact utilising the club’s dispute resolution process.

  • All complaints will be taken seriously.

  • If a complaint is found to be vexatious, malicious or frivolous then it may result in disciplinary action against the complainant.

  • All parties to the complaint will be afforded Procedural Fairness.

  • All complaints will be treated confidentially by all parties to the complaint and to the resolution process. Any breaches of confidentiality may result in disciplinary action.

  • All complaints will be resolved in a timely manner, as circumstances allow.

  • All complaints will be handled in a courteous and respectful manner and any person who lodges a complaint will not be victimised.

  • If a complaint cannot be resolved within the club or the complainant is not comfortable given the nature, seriousness or complexity of the complaint a more formal process will be required. These complaints will be referred to Life Saving Victoria (LSV)

  • LSV’s formal complaints process is set out in the Member Protection Complaints Handling Process 
     

This year, Port Melbourne LSC appointed Rob Breen as Member Protection Officer (MPO). In the club, the MPO is the first point of contact for any concerns or complaints about harassment, abuse, or other inappropriate behaviour. The MPO provides information and guidance on possible resolutions to the issue, as well as moral support to the person who raises the concern or the person accused of inappropriate behaviour. All information will be treated as strictly confidential by the MPO.

Please Contact tea@portmelblsc.com.au for MPO’s contact details.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Port Melbourne Life Saving Club respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, the Boon Wurrung People of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land.

 

For more information, resources, policies, and community contacts for and about First Peoples communities in Port Phillip, please visit the City of Port Phillip's First Peoples' community information page.