Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability Logo

Sydney, Australia: National sporting organisation, the Australian Sporting Alliance for People with Disability (ASAPD), has today announced its strategic partnership in Australia with the world’s largest global law firm, Dentons.

The initiative will see Dentons represent ASAPD and its eight-member National Sporting Organisations for People with Disability (NSODs) on legal requirements across governance, intellectual property, risk management, integrity and conduct issues and more.

Legal issues for ASAPD are wide and varied and CEO, Dr Phil Hamdorf, is confident the partnership will help protect and grow the Alliance and its members.

“Dentons has significant expertise to navigate the legal challenges that confront disability sports organisations” Dr Hamdorf said.

“Partners Campbell Hudson and Caroline Snow have a strong track record of working with disability service providers, not-for-profit organisations and charities, enabling them to bring a rich and holistic approach to our collective legal and commercial needs, and we’re looking forward to their counsel” he said.

Mr Hudson was equally pleased with the partnership adding, “ASAPD is the perfect alignment for Dentons; with our sector experience and the Alliance’s growth trajectory, we are committed to providing value to the ASAPD entity and its members” he said.

The member organisations of ASAPD include Blind Sports Australia, Deaf Sports Australia, Disabled Wintersport Australia, Disability Sports Australia, Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia, Special Olympics Australia, Sport Inclusion Australia, Transplant Australia.

Across over 80 countries, Dentons helps clients grow, protect, operate, and finance their organisation by providing uniquely global and deeply local legal solutions. Polycentric, purpose-driven and committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and sustainability, Dentons focuses on what matters most to clients.

National Integrity Framework: The Member Protection Policy

In previous blog posts, ASAPD has introduced the broader National Integrity Framework and discussed the Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy. Today, we will introduce you to another crucial aspect of our commitment to safety and well-being in sports: the Member Protection Policy (MPP).

What is the Member Protection Policy?

The MPP seeks to ensure that everyone involved with ASAPD is aware of their rights and responsibilities. It sets the standards of behaviour expected and the behaviours that are not acceptable (‘Prohibited Conduct’). It aims to:

  • Provide a safe environment for all participants;
  • Safeguard the safety and well-being of everyone involved in sports; and
  • Clearly define key terms: abuse, bullying, harassment discrimination, sexual misconduct, vilification and victimisation.

By setting clear guidelines and procedures, the MPP enables participants in sport to regulate their own behaviours and offers a framework for addressing issues when they arise.

What is Prohibited Conduct Under the MPP?

Prohibited Conduct, as defined by the MPP, encompasses actions or behaviours that are unacceptable within ASAPD:

  • Abuse, whether physical, emotional, psychological or sexual.
  • Bullying and the misuse of power, where actions are repeated and deliberate.
  • Harassment, including unwanted behaviours which are reasonably likely to cause harm.
  • Sexual harassment and sexual offences.
  • Discrimination, whether deliberate or inadvertent.
  • Victimisation of anyone who chooses to speak out, make a complaint, or plans to.
  • Vilification of anyone based on a particular characteristic, as covered by legislation.

A short video on the Member Protection Policy is available here:

Reporting a Breach

If you have witnessed or experienced behaviour that violates the MPP, it’s crucial to bring it to our attention. Reporting is not about “dobbing”, rather, it’s an opportunity for positive change.

For serious matters like discrimination, complaints should be directed to Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) via this link. Please note that only discrimination which has occurred after we signed the NIF on 19 September 2023 can be reported to SIA.

For matters which do not involve safeguarding concerns or discrimination, or occurred prior to us signing the NIF, please contact ASAPD directly at, or through our website.

Still unsure where to turn? Call SIA on 1300 027 232 for confidential guidance on the most appropriate course of action.

Understanding Sanctions

Sanctions are the consequences someone faces if they have been found to have breached the MPP. Sanctions for MPP breaches vary based on several factors:

  1. The type of sanction which the person who was the victim of the behaviour has requested;
  2. The type of prohibited conduct found to have been engaged in;
  3. The nature of the prohibited conduct;
  4. Whether the conduct was a singular occurrence or ongoing behaviour;
  5. Whether the conduct or behaviour was first time instance or whether the person found to have engaged in other forms of disciplinary problems;
  6. Circumstances which may help reduce a sanction (known as mitigating factors) or circumstances which may justify a harsher penalty (known as aggravating factors).

To ensure consistent handling of breaches, ASAPD will adopt case categorisation levels to determine appropriate sanctions. A detailed article on case categorisation is currently in the works, however those seeking immediate information can search online for ‘Sport Integrity Australia Case Categorisation & Guidance for Sanctions’ to access a guide provided by Sport Integrity Australia.

Further Information

Throughout 2024, ASAPD will provide educational resources on various NIF policies via newsletters and our social media channels. Additionally, SIA offers free e-learning courses to anyone involved in sport, which can be accessed here. These courses are excellent professional development for athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff alike. Completing these courses is a good way to demonstrate your commitment to helping ASAPD and the broader Australian sporting community safe. Knowledge is empowering

Celebrating Volunteering: ASAPD Joins the National Strategy for Volunteering!

We are excited to announce our official involvement in the National Strategy for Volunteering, an initiative developed in 2022 with the aim of reshaping and enhancing the future of volunteering in Australia.

The National Strategy for Volunteering was co-created by stakeholders from across the volunteering ecosystem, and provides a blueprint for the next ten years that will enable volunteering in Australia to thrive.

Volunteering is integral to Australian society, particularly in the sporting and disability communities. From coaching local sports teams, scoring matches, or coordinating community sports programs, volunteers play an invaluable role and make a meaningful difference thanks to their passion and commitment.

The vision of the National Strategy captures the essence of volunteering: “Volunteering is the heart of Australian Communities.” It emphasises the importance of:

  • Encouraging more people to volunteer regularly.
  • Ensuring that volunteers feel valued and respected for their contributions.
  • Integrating volunteering into policy decisions, service designs, and strategic investments.
  • Recognising and celebrating the diversity of volunteering.
  • Empowering individuals and communities to thrive through volunteering.

The strategy outlines three key areas to achieve its vision:

  1. Individual Potential and the Volunteer Experience: Ensuring that volunteering is safe, inclusive, accessible, meaningful, and fair.
  2. Community and Social Impact: Highlighting and celebrating the diverse and profound impact of volunteering.
  3. Conditions for Volunteering to Thrive: Creating an environment that fosters effective and sustainable volunteering efforts.

We invite more organisations to join us in supporting the National Strategy for Volunteering. Visit the Coalition of Support webpage: to pledge your support and become part of this transformative movement, driving positive social change and fostering greater growth for our communities.