ASAPD’s One Voice Alliance: Greater collaboration will deliver greater inclusion for all in Australian sport

The Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD) has recently launched its One Voice Alliance program to the Australian sporting sector – a vehicle to furthering greater inclusion for all Australians, of all abilities, in all sports.

The One Voice Alliance program is dedicated to fostering meaningful collaboration between ASAPD and National Sports Organisations (NSOs), and has already secured the support and involvement from Tennis Australia, Surf Life Saving Australia, Skate Australia with others to be announced shortly.

The program’s objectives are two-fold:

  1. Drive cooperative initiatives aimed at enhancing inclusivity in sport for individuals living with a disability; and
  2. Empower NSOs to effectively administer inclusive programs at various levels.

An evolution of the Inclusion Alliance Project from 2017, One Voice Alliance marks a significant step towards supporting and educating NSOs about the importance of accommodating for individuals living with a disability and how to deliver upon this, by providing bespoke educational resources, workshops, training, and other activities.

ASAPD CEO Dr Phil Hamdorf, believes the initiative is unique within the sport sector and is buoyed by the positive response to date, saying “Our ultimate aim is to develop more effective engagement strategies that ensure sport programs become truly inclusive for individuals living with a disability.” he said.

“By strengthening the inclusive capacity of sport, the program not only empowers individuals but also supports the growth of their respective sport, it really is a win-win for all, and we look forward to welcoming more NSOs into the One Voice Alliance,” said Dr Hamdorf.

For more information or to become involved email Dr Hamdorf at


Q&A with Toby Pattullo

In this Q&A session, we’re excited to welcome Toby, our dedicated web developer here at ASAPD. Toby is profoundly deaf and has an extreme passion for sport. Early challenges in his career prompted him to forge his own entrepreneurial path, specialising in website development. His involvement with organisations like ASAPD and Deaf Sports Australia highlights not only his professional expertise but also his commitment to enhancing accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Outside of his work, Toby’s passion for ultra-running reflects his resilience and determination, showcasing his ability to overcome barriers and achieve personal milestones. 

 Welcome Toby! Thank you for joining us. Before we begin our discussion, could you please provide an overview or share some insights into your background?

I am the web developer for ASAPD. I have been profoundly Deaf since the age of four due to meningitis, and I communicate using Auslan. I hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Sports Management. In the late 90s, I encountered challenges in securing a permanent job within the sports industry due to its competitiveness and communication barriers. However, I managed to secure small contract jobs, including twice with a Melbourne Major Event Company, where I provided research assistance. This experience inspired me to start my own online research business. Over the past 24 years, I have taught myself website development and expanded my business to focus on building websites for others, establishing relationships with designers and agencies along the way.

Could you briefly explain how you became involved with the Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD) and one of their partners, Deaf Sports Australia? 

 I have been involved in the Deaf sports community for many years, having competed with the Deaf Australia Basketball team twice. In 2005, during the Deaflympic Games in Melbourne, where I was a webmaster, I developed a strong network with Deaf Sports Australia. This experience led me to become involved with ASAPD and Australia Blind Sports as well.

In your role as a website designer for ASAPD and Deaf Sports Australia, why was collaboration with these organisations crucial, and how does technology contribute to enhancing accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing community in your work?

 Collaboration was essential, drawing upon my 23 years of experience in website development and collaboration with various designers from marketing agencies. Moreover, my personal experience with deafness and disability allows me to understand the unique needs of these organisations and their audiences. Regarding technology, I believe it plays a vital role in improving accessibility for the disability community. For instance, my expertise in web development enables me to create websites optimised for screen readers and provide closed captioning for videos.

 Shifting to your personal interests, you’re involved in Ultra Running. Can you share how you initially got into this sport?

 I’ve always been active and high-energy, participating in sports like basketball and rowing since I was younger. When I started my own business from home, I would often go for runs to clear my mind and feel refreshed. I ran my first couple of marathons about 16 years ago but stopped. However, I rediscovered my love for running, particularly in trail runs and ultra-running events. It has been my hobby for the past 7 years.

 As a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, do you believe that your participation in ultra-running has helped in raising awareness about the abilities and achievements of people with disability?

 While my participation in ultra-running wasn’t aimed at raising awareness about my deafness, I’ve found that I’ve inspired many people through my achievements and involvement in these events. It’s been a personal journey and hobby for me.

Could you share some insights into your training routine and preparation for ultra-running events? Any secrets or specific tips you’d like to share with fellow enthusiasts who might be aspiring to take on similar challenges?

 I follow a consistent training routine leading up to the event, with a rest day each week. My training includes strength workouts, slow recovery runs, high-intensity interval runs, hill repeats, and long runs. An important tip is to learn to eat while going for long runs to sustain energy. Start with smaller distances and gradually build up; maintaining consistency is key. Focus on proper running form to prevent injuries and enjoy the outdoors.

Considering the importance of communication in ultra-running, how do you navigate challenges in this aspect, especially given your deaf or hard of hearing status?

 I’m grateful for my GPS watch that alerts me if I go off track. It’s a useful tool for everyone, not just for me. Once, someone yelled at me from behind to let me know I was going the wrong way, but I received the alert on my watch and turned around. I saw someone running toward me and waving, and it was a funny moment!

 What has been one of your most memorable moments or achievements in your ultra-running career so far?

One of my most memorable moments in my ultra-running career was during the Great Southern Endurance Run in 2022 in Harrietville/Mt Hotham. It was a 50-mile (80km) run with a 5,000m vertical climb. The run was challenging, with a really bad thunderstorm and heavy rain in the mountains. It took me a bit over 18 hours, and I ran in the dark. Unfortunately, the event was stopped 13 km before the downhill stretch to the finish line due to safety concerns. I attempted the race again in 2023, but it was a very hot day, and I had to stop at 57 km and 3,500m climbs, with a time of 13:33 due to digestive distress from heat exhaustion, which I’d been battling for over 5 hours. I’m hopeful that my third attempt this year in November will be successful!

Looking ahead, what are some of your goals or aspirations, both in terms of your involvement in sports and professional work?

For my work, I’ve achieved many goals in my skills and business over nearly 25 years. I’m happy with where I am now and plan to continue enjoying my work and business while maintaining strong relationships with clients. In sports, I hope to stay involved in ultra-running for a long time, even into old age! On my list of goals is running a 100-mile event in The Grampians, Mt Hotham, and New Zealand.

Considering your involvement with ASAPD, can you share your thoughts on the importance of this organisation and how it contributes to the broader goals of accessibility and inclusivity in sports for people with disability?

I believe ASAPD plays a vital role in promoting inclusivity and accessibility in sports for people with disability. By uniting various disability organisations, ASAPD creates a stronger, more inclusive community, and opens up more opportunities for individuals with disability to participate in sports.

Fast five: Top food, top book, top destination, top person, top tip

  • Top Food: Lobster
  • Top Book: Born to Run
  • Top Destination: Japan
  • Top person: My best friend since childhood, Kane.
  •  Top tip: Make the most of it, stay relaxed, and life’s too short to take too seriously.

Introducing the National Integrity Framework

Some members and followers may have heard about the implementation of the National Integrity Framework (NIF) by the Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD), but many may still be wondering what exactly the NIF entails and why it holds significance, not just for our organisation, but also for the broader sporting community in Australia.

The NIF is a suite of policies that establish consistent rules for all individuals in the Australian sporting community – including athletes, coaches, volunteers, staff, and board members – to follow regarding their conduct and behaviour in sport. ASAPD is just one of the many National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) or National Sporting Organisations for people with Disability (NSODs) to have adopted and implemented the NIF in an effort to standardise acceptable behaviour in sport, making it safer, fairer, and more inclusive for all participants.

Where did the NIF originate?

The NIF emerged as a response to both local and global threats to the safety and integrity of sport in Australia, as highlighted in the 2018 Report of the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements  (the Wood Review). The Wood Review covered five key themes and made 52 recommendations. The five themes were: 


  1. A stronger response to match-fixing 
  2. Regulation of gambling and sports wagering 
  3. Enhancing Australia’s anti-doping capability
  4. The development of a National Sports Tribunal 
  5. The development of a National Sports Integrity Commission 

A year before the Wood Review, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse conducted another review, focussing on concerning conduct in Australia more broadly. Although the Royal Commission examined institutions across the nation, Volume 14 of its report revealed the ongoing necessity to safeguard children and young people from abuse within the sporting environment and other community institutions. 

What are the NIF Policies that I need to be aware of? 

The NIF comprises five policies – four core policies – and one policy that underpins the other four. 

The four core policies – each with an explainer video link for more information – are: 

1. Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy

2. Member Protection Policy

3. Competition Manipulation and Sports Gambling Policy

4. Improper Use of Drugs and Medicines Policy​

Each of the above policies defines what is known as ‘Prohibited Conduct’ – actions or behaviour which are unacceptable to us at ASAPD.

The Complaints, Disputes and Discipline Policy is the policy that underpins the core policies of the NIF. The purpose of this policy is to hold individuals or sporting organisations accountable for their misconduct or wrongdoing and explains how they will be held accountable for their actions.

I think a Policy has been breached – who do I raise it with?  

For serious types of misbehaviours, there is an independent complaint handling body called Sport Integrity Australia (SIA). Complaints that should be made to SIA are concerns regarding breaches of the Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy or complaints about discrimination. For complaints related to these matters, you can follow this link. Only matters that have occurred after we signed the NIF on 19 September 2023 can be reported to SIA.

Matters that do not involve safeguarding concerns or discrimination, or occurred prior to us signing the NIF, should be reported to us at ASAPD. Our contact details are  

To break it down, we have compiled a list below:

Complaints to SIA
Complaints to us
  • Misconduct with a child or young person • Sexual behaviour with or around a child or young person
  • Shaming, humiliating, intimidating or belittling a child or young person
  • Causing a child or young person physical pain or discomfort
  • Breaching the Child/Young Person Safe Practices
  • Supplying of drugs or alcohol to a child or young person
  • Discrimination based on: – race or ethnicity – age – disability – sex or sexual orientation – religion
  • Doping (managed under the sport’s Anti-Doping Policy)
  • Abuse, bullying or harassment between adults
  • Victimisation of an adult
  • Sexual Misconduct between adults
  • Match, race or competition fixing and other types of Competition Manipulation
  • Supplying inside information for the purposes of gambling
  • Betting by members on their own sport
  • Unlawful use or provision of over the counter or prescription drugs or supplements
  • Use, possession or trafficking of illegal drugs
  • Concealing information about Prohibited Conduct
  • Selection and eligibility disputes
  • Competition Rules disputes
  • Code of Conduct breaches
  • Social Media Policy breaches
  • Governance misconduct
  • Employment disputes
  • Complaints that are solely a Personal Grievance
  • Whistleblower disclosures
  • Any conduct that occurred before your sports commencement date
  • Any other policies that your sport has

If you are still unsure whether to make a complaint to Sport Integrity Australia or us, you can call SIA at 1300 027 232, and they will be able to provide you with further guidance on which is the most appropriate body to make your complaint to.  

Keeping Australian sport safe

Throughout this year, we will be providing information and education on various NIF policies and areas of concern through newsletters and our social media channels. We hope you will follow this campaign to help make our sporting organisation as safe as possible.  

Additionally, Sport Integrity Australia has created a series of free e-learning short courses on each of the topics, which can be completed at your own pace and accessed by registering here. These courses offer excellent professional development opportunities for athletes, coaches, volunteers, and staff alike. While we do not mandate these courses for every participant in our organisation, completing them is a meaningful way to demonstrate our commitment to keeping our community safe and contributing to the safety of the broader Australian sporting. It’s time to replace the old maxim ‘knowledge is power’ with the new idea that ‘knowledge is empowering’.

If you are interested in connecting with our Integrity team, have questions or wish to explore opportunities for collaboration, please feel free to reach out to

We believe in the power of collaboration and welcome your engagement as we work together to create positive change.