Responding to Complaints

COVID-19 UPDATE: Samford Tennis Club is open for court hire for singles and doubles while practicing social distancing and hygiene inline with government recommendations

1. Complaints
Our club takes all complaints about on and off-field behaviour seriously. Our club will handle complaints based on the principles of procedural fairness, and ensure:

  • all complaints will be taken seriously;
  • the person making the complaint (complainant) will be given full details of what is being alleged; against them and have the opportunity to respond to those allegations;
  • irrelevant matters will not be taken into account;
  • decisions will be unbiased; and
  • any penalties imposed will be reasonable.

More serious complaints may be escalated to our National or State body, Tennis Australia and Tennis Queensland respectively.
If the complaint relates to suspected child abuse, sexual assault or other criminal activity, then our club will report the behaviour to the police and/or relevant government authority.

2. Complaint Handling Process
When our club receives a complaint, the person receiving the complaint (e.g. President, Member Protection Information Officer) will:

  • listen carefully and ask questions to understand the nature and extent of the concern;
  • ask what the complainant how they would like their concern to be resolved and if they need any support;
  • explain the different options available to help resolve the complainant’s concern;
  • inform the relevant government authorities and/or police, if required by law to do so; and
  • where possible and appropriate, maintain confidentiality but not necessarily anonymity.

Once the complainant decides on their preferred option for resolution, the club will assist, where appropriate and necessary, with the resolution process. This may involve:

  • supporting the person complaining to talk to the person being complained about;
  • bringing all the people involved in the complaint together to talk objectively through the problem (this could include external mediation);
  • gathering more information (e.g. from other people that may have seen the behaviour);
  • seeking advice from our district, regional, state and/or national body or from an external agency (e.g. State Department of Sport or anti-discrimination agency);
  • referring the complaint to our National or State body; and/or
  • referring the complainant to an external agency such as a community mediation centre, police or anti-discrimination agency.

In situations where a complaint is referred to our National or State Body and an investigation is conducted, the club will:

  • co-operate fully with the investigation;
  • where applicable, ensure the complainant is not placed in an unsupervised situation with the respondent(s); and
  • act on our National or State Body association’s recommendations.

At any stage of the process, a person can seek advice from an anti-discrimination commission or other external agency and, if the matter is within their jurisdiction, may lodge a complaint with the anti-discrimination commission or other external agency.

3. Disciplinary Sanctions
Our club may take disciplinary action against anyone found to have breached our policy or made false and malicious allegations. Any disciplinary measure imposed under our policy must:

  • be applied consistent with any contractual and employment rules and requirements;
  • be fair and reasonable;
  • be based on the evidence and information presented and the seriousness of the breach; and
  • be determined by our constituent documents, by Laws and the rules of the game.

Possible sanctions that may be taken include:

  • a direction that the individual make verbal and/or written apology;
  • counselling of the individual to address behaviour;
  • withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by our club;
  • suspension or termination of membership, participation or engagement in a role or activity;
  • de-registration of accreditation for a period of time or permanently;
  • a fine; or
  • any other form of discipline that our club considers reasonable and appropriate.

5. Appeals
The complainant or respondent may be entitled to lodge an appeal against a decision made in relation to a complaint (including a decision where disciplinary sanctions are imposed by our club) to our National or State Body.  Appeals must be based on any right of appeal provided for in the relevant constituent documents, rules, regulations or by laws.

As approved Management Committee 5/9/2019

Tennis Australia