Equality guidelines in stone

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LR: Chyloe Kurdas (senior manager of female engagement, Golf Australia), Kate Jenkins (Commissioner for Sexual Discrimination, Australian Human Rights Commission) and Stephen Pitt (Chief Executive, Golf Australia) at the launch of the guidelines at Mt Derrimut Golf and Community Club.

New guidelines have been released today to ensure that Australian golf clubs offer equal opportunities for both sexes.

The Australian Human Rights Commission, in collaboration with Golf Australia, today launched a publication entitled & # 39; Guidelines for the promotion of equal opportunities for women and girls in golf & # 39; .

The launch took place at Mt Derrimut Golf and Community Club in the western suburbs of Melbourne, a club that offers open access to all genders seven days a week.

Kate Jenkins, Commissioner for gender discrimination at the Commission, said: "The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes this opportunity to work with Golf Australia to develop these guidelines.

"They provide information on the functioning of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and practical guidelines on how golf clubs can promote equal opportunities for women and girls.

"With the use of a unique handicap system, golf is particularly well placed to be an inclusive game for people of all sexes, ages and abilities.There is a real chance to increase the participation rate of women and girls within golf.

"The guidelines provide golf clubs in Australia with the opportunity to review their policies and practices to ensure compliance with the law and to address these issues.The guidelines are particularly relevant given the current dynamics in relation to the participation of women in sport . "

Golf clubs can minimize the chance of a successful claim to discrimination and promote equal opportunities by:

• ensure that the membership categories are gender-neutral

• open access to the course for women / girls and men / boys at all times

• maximizing the participation of women and girls in competitions

• facilitate the inclusion of women and girls in governance arrangements.

Stephen Pitt, CEO of Golf Australia, said: "I would like to express the sincere appreciation of GA to the Australian Human Rights Commission for agreeing this publication for the golf game.

"To date, there is a clear gap in the guidance that we have been able to give to clubs on two important issues relating to equal opportunities for women and girls.

"Firstly, the consistency of various operational golf practices with federal sex discrimination legislation, which has been in force since 1984, and second, what it is that clubs can do to implement policies to ensure equal opportunities for women and girls in golf. promote

"We think this document will make a big contribution to filling this space."

Pitt strongly encouraged all clubs to work through this publication and follow the Commission's instructions.

"We believe that it is particularly important to help clubs comply with their legal obligations and, if there is any doubt as to whether a certain practice complies with the law, we would urge clubs to focus on maximizing inclusion of women and girls and where appropriate, seek legal advice, "he said.

"This approach will help to minimize the risk of a discrimination claim, against a club or official, under the law."

Strengthening Australian golf clubs to ensure they are gender inclusive is a hallmark of the Vision 2025: The Future of Women & Girls in Gulf Australia's Golf & # 39; strategy

Pitt said that supporting clubs to follow the Commission's guide will help to further develop the inclusive nature of golf.

"Anyone who loves our sport should be enthusiastic about this last step we take with the Commission to provide a friendly experience for all golfers regardless of their gender," he said.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R & A, the governing body for golf in all parts of the world, except the United States and Mexico, said: "We praise Golf Australia for taking the initiative to provide such useful guidelines on discrimination. and equal opportunities legislation to the affiliated clubs.

"Golf has a duty to ensure that those who become members of clubs are treated equally and equitably and are not discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, religion or nationality.

"The R & A works with 157 affiliated organizations around the world, including Golf Australia, and we encourage national federations to highlight examples of best practices, and I am sure that others are covered in this guide. and will consider offering a comparable resource in their own country. "

Click here to view the guidelines

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