Latest updates

October 2015

Following Reservoir High School’s piloting of Fair go, sport! in 2012, the Commission has developed a schools supported-practice project, focused on promoting inclusive and safe environments in sport and physical education for same-sex and gender diverse individuals.

The project has been created as a response to research reports such as, “Come Out to Play”, “Writing Themselves in 3”, “The Equal Play Study” and “The Inclusive Sports Survey” which found that found that:

  • 80% of young people surveyed named their own school as the most common location for the abuse
  • almost a third (32.3%) of students experienced verbal harassment, with just under 30% experiencing verbal abuse, in school-based sport

To date seven schools in Victoria - Reservoir High School, Keilor Downs College, Whittlesea College, Castlemaine Secondary College, Buckley Park College, Manor Lakes College and Overnewton Anglican Community College - have used the Fair go, sport! approach of ‘five key principles’ to create safe and more inclusive school environments.

The results of an independent evaluation by La Trobe University have revealed a decrease in homophobic language, increased respect of gender and diversity and increased confidence in challenging homophobic behaviour and language.

We are currently calling for Expressions of Interest to undertake the Fair go, sport! project in 2016. To register, download the Expressions of Interest form for schools.

If you have any further questions about the Fair go, sport! project or are interested in the work of the Commission, you can call Genevieve Kavenagh on 9032 3477 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

September 2015

Cycling Victoria held its Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley over the 21 to 23 August weekend. The ‘Sam Miranda’ is an annual cycling festival featuring some 20 events including both national and state events. All events cover a 100 kms course, starting and finishing at the Sam Miranda Winery in Oxley.

Fair go, sport! was proud to support Cycling Victoria and have a presence in this event as it

  • has a history of firsts, for example, it was one of the first road events to give equal prize money to women
  • includes a para-cyclists event
  • includes a Masters event
  • has a large non-competitive, general participation event – the Grand Fondo.

Here are some pictures from the day:

 

July 2015

Hockey Victoria has just concluded its fifth annual Fair go, sport! Round (30 July – 5 August). Clubs and associations around the state again demonstrated their commitment to Fair go, sport! and participated with great enthusiasm and creativity.

Arguably this was the best year to date! During the round, Hockey Victoria’s leadership and ongoing support sent a powerful message throughout the sport and saw clubs take that message to their members and their community.

Commission staff were pleased to attend as many games as they could over the round.

Clubs participated by proudly wearing the rainbow socks, playing for Fair go, sport! Cups, presenting medals, hosting afternoon teas and decorating their grounds. Waverley Hockey Club hosted a live streaming broad cast of its Fair go, sport! games on Saturday against Footscray Mens and Mentone Womens.

Over the week, we saw also videos released by Wodonga and Camberwell Hockey Clubs.

Congratulations to Hockey Victoria and all the clubs involved.

June 2015

Manor Lakes College - Exciting launch of their Fair go, Sport! project

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission would like to congratulate Manor Lakes College on the successful launch of the Fair go, sport! project. This project aims to promote awareness of sexual and gender diversity at school, particularly in the sport and physical education space.

On Monday 18 May, the Manor Lakes College participated in the Wyndham City Council celebrations to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Four Manor Lakes College students were invited to represent their school and at the event, one of the senior students spoke on behalf of their College and was part of the flag raising ceremony. Congratulations to the staff in charge of this exciting Manor Lakes College initiative.

The first official Fair go, sport! event was an enthusiastic staff vs. student volleyball match at lunchtime on the school volleyball court. The teachers wore the Fair go, sport! socks while competing in order to show their support of the project. The Fair go, sport! working group has more activities planned and will be asking all staff to wear the socks at these planned sporting events. The Fair go, sport! socks were also distributed to the Manor Lakes College rugby team and they were proud to show them off in a team photo.

 

May 2015

RMIT Football Club

Congratulations to the RMIT Football Club (RMIT FC) that is one of the two Football Federation of Victoria (FFV) pilot clubs, to join the Fair go, sport! community.

17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). As their first Fair go, sport! event, the RMIT FC had an IDAHOT round that was a great success. They had two of their men’s teams and their women’s team partake in the event. Prior to the game they offered to provide the players on the three teams rainbow shoelaces if they wanted to show their individual support for the day. Each and every player partook, which was incredibly encouraging to see. They even had one of their players from a team in a Saturday league ask if they could do something similar for one of their rounds.

Now that they have launched the Fair go, sport! (FGS) program at their club and have garnered interest within the players about FGS, they have organised that each team will have a face-to-face development session, which will further explain what FGS is, and its importance. They also aim to reiterate the club’s zero-tolerance policy, and as a group, discuss what that really means - addressing 'joking' homophobic slurs, etc. (based on one of the major concerns that the club established in the their initial FGS planning workshop). RMIT FC has taken this approach as they felt it “allows each individual to be involved in creating and helping implementing our club policies, rather than just the board writing and enforcing them.”

Congratulations RMIT FC and welcome to the Fair go, sport! Community.

April 2015

Fair go, sport! Community of Practice

Over the last three weeks, there have been two Fair go, sport! (FGS) Community of Practice gatherings – one for all the FGS sporting authorities and the other for the past and present FGS schools.

A Community of Practice gathers participants together in order to develop a domain of knowledge, a notion of community and community focus and actions – in this case around the exciting Fair go, sport! project. Our belief is that a strong Community of Practice fosters interactions and encourages a willingness to share ideas and develop skills and resources.

Fair go, sport! Schools

The third FGS schools Community of Practice workshop was attended by five schools. An exciting new addition to our Community of Practice meetings were the 8 students from Manor Lakes College who added a unique perspective to much of the discussion. One of the highlights for the new FGS schools was a panel discussion in which Linda Maxwell (Keilor Downs College); Sue Muir (Whittlesea Secondary College) and Kylie Stanley (Whittlesea Secondary College) discussed the successes, exciting stories and challenges of their year implementing and driving FGS at their schools in 2014.

The Community of Practice concluded with a robust discussion of ways in which the Community could continue to grow and develop. Some of the ideas included; relationship building through active communication; relationship building through face to face contact; creating and sharing resources in a variety of ways and actively engaging and supporting each other. The workshop has already borne fruit in that the first Fair go, sport! Instagram account has been set up for the 2015 schools by Lisa Miller at Manor Lakes College and we look forward to seeing how it is incorporated into the project for 2015.

Fair go, sport! Sports

The first Community of Practice aimed at sporting authorities and FGS clubs had representatives from Hockey Victoria, Football Federation Victoria, Basketball Victoria, Skate Vic / Rollerderby, Cycling Victoria and the RMIT Football Club. There was an animated and interesting report back from all of the sporting codes about what they had been doing to implement FGS within their sport, some of the stirring stories and challenges that they have faced. The participants at the meeting seemed particularly excited by the variety of different resources that have been created by their colleagues at other organisations and the willingness to share these ideas and camaraderie was evident.

The meeting concluded with a group discussion about the way forward and the development of practical ways in which this Community could grow and bring more sports on board. Some of the ideas include; honest and open communication, collaborating to share resources and strengthen practice; inter-sport marketing and promotion of Fair go, sport! and use of the Community of Practice approach within our sports.

March 2015

2015 Fair go, Sport schools announced!

Congratulations to Buckley Park College, Manor Lakes College and Overnewton Anglican Community College for being selected in the 2015 Fair go, sport! schools project.

The Fair go, sport! schools project aims to make schools safer and more inclusive for same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse students (SSAGD), primarily through sport and physical education.

Research shows that most homophobia experienced by SSAGD young people occurs at school and they feel least safe in sport or in the physical education class. This negative experience has a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.

The Fair go, sport! project being adopted at these schools will aim to allow students to feel more comfortable when participating in sport and physical education and will help to create a sense of belonging within the greater school environment.

They join Reservoir High School, Keilor Downs College, Whittlesea College and Castlemaine Secondary College as the trailblazers for fair and inclusive sport in Victorian schools!

February 2015

Cougars Win Basketball’s Pride Cup

Last Sunday morning, 1 February, saw the McKinnon Cougars and Craigieburn Eagles compete in Basketball’s inaugural Pride Cup at Wesley College. The exhibition games involved both women’s and men’s teams and was organised and supported by Big V, Basketball Victoria and Fair go, sport! Both clubs are proud supporters of the Fair go, sport! initiative.

The women played first in what was an exciting encounter. The Cougars’ fast tempo and quick ball movement gave the Cougars the edge over the Eagles by 19 points (44-25).

Second up were the men. Despite some excited plays by both teams, the Cougars again came out 13 point winners over the Eagles (49 -36).

Pride Cup was designed to promote gender and sexual diversity in basketball clubs across Victoria. As the Cougars wrote on its website “The McKinnon Basketball Association prides itself on being an inclusive club and is honored to support such a great initiative.”

Watch the video: McKinnon Basketball Are Proud Supporters of Fair go, Sport! 

 

Transgender Guideline breaks new ground for Victorian sports

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has launched a groundbreaking guideline designed to promote the participation of transgender people in sport. 

The 40-page guideline is believed to be the most comprehensive document ever produced in Australia detailing how anti-discrimination law applies to transgender people in sport.

Developed in consultation with major sporting organisations and community members, it spells out obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act regarding discrimination against transgender people in sport, while giving practical advice for sports clubs.

It is against the law for sports clubs to discriminate against a person based on their gender identity, except in limited circumstances where exceptions can apply.

The guideline dispels some of the confusion and myths surrounding transgender people in sport, such as transgender people will gain or seek to gain a competitive advantage by participating as their affirmed gender.

''The reality is, transgender people, like everyone else, compete in sports and mostly they are welcomed,'' Commissioner Kate Jenkins said.

''The guideline aims to reinforce that supportive environment,'' she said.

''At the same time, some sports organisations are confused about their legal obligations and a lack of understanding about transgender people can lead to discrimination, bullying and exclusion.

"Where there's confusion or discrimination, this publication provides practical guidance and support.''

View the guideline: Transgender people and sport > Complying with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010

Pride March

Pride March turned 20 in 2015. Fair go, sport! and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission marked this milestone as we marched on Sunday 1 February with our Fair go, sport! partners and allies to raise awareness of laws that protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people from harassment and discrimination.

Thank you to Hockey Victoria, Basketball Victoria, Football Federation Victoria, vicsport and everyone else who turned out so colourfully to demonstrate their strong support.

November 2014

18 November

Expressions of Interest to get involved with the 2015 Fair go, sport! supported-practice project have closed. We are thrilled that a number of schools have registered their interest. We are about to commence the selection process and will keep you posted on the outcome

On 5 November, we watched the live webcast of the You Can Play forum which aimed to raise the level of awareness and understanding of homophobia and transphobia in sport. On stage were a panel of experts – Deputy Chief Minister in the ACT Andrew Barr, CEO of Capital Football Heather Reid, retired hockey player Gus Johnson, former Wallaby and Brumbies Rugby Union player Clyde Rathbone and Dr Caroline Symons from Victoria University – while the studio audience discussed a broad range of issues,  raising a number of important questions and challenges for sport. Watch the video.

Yesterday, we attended the launch of the What makes an ally? project, aimed at encouraging allyship with transgender and gender diverse young people. Resource packs are ready to be downloaded.

Later in the evening on ABC’s Four Corners was Being Me - the story of girls and boys, born in the wrong body and their struggle to be who they are. Watch an excerpt.

If you’ve yet to register for the 2014 Human Rights Oration on 9 December, there’s still time. This annual event marks International Human Rights Day and the Commission is proud to have Group Captain Catherine McGregor, Australia’s highest ranked transgender person in the military to deliver the oration.  She will speak about her gender transition and the experience of women in the defence forces.

Register online or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

September 2014

18 September

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is calling for Expressions of Interest from secondary schools keen on participating in the 2015 Fair go, sport! supported-practice project.

While our online starter kit will help any school undertake the Fair go, sport!, successful schools in the supported-practice project will receive up to $4,000 to implement this project in their school, as well as hands-on support from the Commission.

Learn more about the program and how to apply.  

9 September

The 2014 Hockey Victoria Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, 17 September at Medallion Club, Etihad Stadium. 

Fair go, sport! congratulates Camberwell Hockey Club (CHC), the winner of the 2014 Inclusive Club of the Year. 

Camberwell Hockey Club is one of the original Fair go, sport! pilot clubs and was at the forefront of the Fair go, sport! initiative again in 2014. This year the club chose to make a video to share its thoughts around what FGS means to them. Watch the video

CHC has been involved in a number of programs to increase participation in hockey and ensure that there is an ongoing culture of the club that everyone is treated equally and with appropriate respect.
They have made a concerted effort to attract more women and girls over the past three years. This year for the first time they were able to field two all girls teams in each age group (including U10 girls which had three). They have run transition programs for juniors moving into seniors, and have a mentor program for young girls.

The club celebrates Women’s round by engaging the whole club to be involved on the day. 

The club has a diverse board with equal gender balance and numerous working groups comprising highly skilled individuals. They have a trained Member Protection Identification Officer, Club Inclusion Ambassador and policies and processes in place to deal with member protection issues, communications and risk.

 Andrew Minter and Rosemary Kelly accepting the Award from Stefan Grun, VicHealth.

Mackay West Rainbow Uniwolves get behind Fair go sport!

The Mackay West Rainbow Uniwolves from North Queensland are promoting the Fair go, sport! message in this season’s school touch football competition.

The majority of the team attend Mackay West State School, which recognises the importance of anti-discrimination in the school yard, classroom and on the sporting field throughout the year via various events such as free dress days, themed plays and presentations by various community leaders.

The Uniwolves, a group of year 6 and 7 students who have played together for several years, have always been about inclusion for all and sport for the fun of it, and this year have taken the anti-discrimination message into the community by spreading it on Friday nights when they show up to play wearing their Fair go, sport! socks.

Team manager, Paul Anderson says ‘Our side is a very diverse group from different social, cultural, religious and racial backgrounds with different levels of sporting ability and unfortunately some of the girls have been subjected to various types of discrimination in the past, both on and off the sporting field. Each week before we play, the team sits down and makes a commitment to each other to ensure everyone receives the same opportunities and there is no discrimination when it comes to this team.’

‘They talk about game time, positions and how everyone can have a chance regardless of result because we show up to play and have fun and if we win well that’s a bonus. It doesn’t seem to matter whether they are winning or losing they continue to play the game the same, fairly and making sure everyone enjoys the experience, opposition included. Last week for example the score line was blowing out at half time in our favour. The girls elected to continue with one less player to give the opposing side an advantage. The game suddenly became more enjoyable for both teams and spectators in the second half. There wasn’t one complaint.’

‘The colour of the socks has certainly drawn some attention on Friday nights, and it has been great to explain to parents and spectators what the message behind them is. It’s certainly raised awareness about discrimination and what actions everyone can take to stop it. The best part is seeing the girls start and finish with a smile, week in and week out, 45 minutes of team football without any discrimination is a great way to end the week, regardless of what has happened to them over the previous 7 days. Sport on Friday nights for 11 and 12 year olds is, and should only be, about getting together and having fun.’

August 2014

Hockey’s Fair go, sport! Round 2014

Hockey Victoria again this year invited all clubs across the state to celebrate sexual and gender diversity and the importance of creating safe, welcoming and inclusive environments within the sport of hockey. Hockey Victoria reports the level of interest in member clubs has risen again with more clubs wanting to get involved and with clubs engaging through more creative and sustainable activities.

For example:

  • Hockey Victoria CEO, Andrew Skillern, took the Fair go, sport! message to regional Victoria where he promoted the diversity message to the Wimmera Hockey Association. Andrew donned the rainbow socks himself to participate in the Nhill vs Dimboola Men’s match. All Senior Men’s and Women’s matches saw Fair go, sport! medals presented to the best and fairest player in each team.
  • Camberwell Hockey Club captured the Fair go, sport! commitment of club members in a video (LINK) it created over the round. The club also asked its Juniors to write and draw on a Fair go, sport! mural during its fourth annual Fair go, sport! cup day.
  • Essendon Ladies Hockey Club celebrated with rainbow cakes, rainbow socks and the Juniors shared supper with their opponents. The club also developed their own YouTube version of "You Can Play".
  • At Brunswick Hockey Club, all Under 16 to Masters team captains wore rainbow socks during the round.
  • Kew, Melbourne High School Old Boys and Doncaster Hockey Clubs also promoted the Fair go, sport! message of inclusion, equality and fairness by wearing the socks and making presentations to players who embraced the Fair go, sport! values.

July 2014

Keeping homophobia out of hockey

At the end of July 2014, Fair go, sport! ambassador Gus Johnston gathered 15 hockey goalkeepers from 10 different clubs for a photoshoot to help put the boot into homophobia.

As Gus explained, “Leadership doesn’t begin and end when we cross that little white line. All of these keepers have stepped up to that challenge because they want to keep homophobia out of hockey.”

Included in the photo with Gus are triple Olympian Lachlan Dreher, Stephen Mowlan OAM (Olympic gold medallist) and George Bazely (Kookaburra World Cup and Champions trophy gold medallist).

In other hockey news, check out this new anti-homophobia initiative by Play By The Rules.

18 November 2013

Expressions of interest - Fair go, sport! schools project

Creating safe and inclusive schools for SSASGD students through sport
Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV) and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission are calling for expressions of interest from secondary schools wishing to participate in the 2014 Fair go, sport! supported practice project.

In 2013, Reservoir High School successfully piloted Fair go, sport!. SSCV and the Commission are now inviting applications from other secondary schools wanting to implement this project in their school in 2014.

While our starter kit will help any school to undertake a Fair go, sport! project, successful schools in the supported practice project will receive up to $5,000 to implement this project in their school and hands on support from the Commission.

What do you need to do?

1. Read the background information and watch our 5-minute video.

2. Send us an application (no more than 750 words) telling us:

  • why your school wants to get involved (e.g. why this project will make a difference in your school)
  • how you can show your school is ready for such a project (e.g. what you have already done, the feedback you have received and the results you have achieved)
  • what support you have in place to ensure the project will be successful (e.g. who and how your school community will support this project)
  • who we can contact to discuss this application.

3. Ask your principal to write and sign a short statement endorsing your participation in the project.

4. Send your application to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm, Wednesday 11 December 2013.

Please note:

  • To be fair to all schools who apply, we will not be able to accept any late applications.
  • After we have received applications, we will select a short list of schools for interview.
  • We will notify schools about this shortlist by COB 19 December, and arrange to interview the short-listed schools very early in Term 1 2014.
  • After the interviews we will select up to four schools, depending on the quality of applications.
  • Successful schools will need to be available for the key start up workshops in Term 1, 2014.
  • To enable SSCV to support participating schools, all successful schools will be asked to take out membership of SSCV, if they haven't already done so.

If you have any questions, please contact Penny Wolf by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 9032 3407.

6 August 2013

Hockey Fair go, sport! Round 2013

This year Hockey Victoria again celebrated and promoted safe, welcoming and inclusive hockey environments by declaring Saturday, 27 July to Sunday, 4 August Fair go, sport! Rounds in seniors, masters and junior hockey matches across the state.

A memo circulated to all Hockey Victoria affiliates in late June announced the Rounds and provided many creative examples of how clubs could respond and celebrate.

Clubs throughout the state rose to the occasion. A few examples include:

  • Altona Hockey Club President David Burns launched its involvement and interviewed local councillor Tony Briffa (the world's first intersex mayor) on its latest edition of Prez Sez.
  • Essendon Ladies Hockey Club hosted a brunch to give members an opportunity to think about how ELHC can be a more inclusive club. Vice President, Gerry Dwyer's opening remarks through out a positive challenge to the club.
  • Doncaster Hockey Club organised a massive club day on Saturday, 3 August and invited Olympian Kookaburra Russell (Rusty) Ford to play with the Men's Premier League team to help kick off the day. A new poster was also unveiled.
  • Camberwell Hockey Club celebrated with a family day with a rainbow theme! Local federal member, Anna Burke and Fair go, sports!'s Peter Gourlay presented Fair go sport! cups to the winners of the Men's and Women's Premier League games.

Melbourne High School Old Boys, Werribee, Essendon, Kew, La Trobe University, Swinburne University and Gippsland Bulls Hockey Clubs also joined in the celebration.

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Anna Burke and Peter Gourlay with the Women's Premier League captains of Camberwell and Waverley.

 

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The best and the brightest at Doncaster Hockey Club.

31 July 2013

Fair go, sport! Starter Kit

The FGS pilot project has been a great success. In a relatively short amount of time, the project has created greater awareness and support of sexual and gender diversity amongst the RHS community. The FGS project has started conversations amongst students and staff about sexual and gender diversity, a topic that is often taboo. 

"It's kids starting conversations with other kids, which is much more powerful than being told about sexual and gender diversity from teachers", one student said. 

"I can put myself in same sex attracted people's shoes and (think about) how they must feel... playing sporting and when they're bullied. I didn't put myself in their shoes before. But because of the project I thought 'wow this is actually a really big thing not being able to be yourself'. I'm more open minded than I was," said another student.    

Given the success of the FGS pilot project, RHS will continue the FGS project and the Commission will launch an online FGS starter kit later this year. The starter kit will provide key recommendations and resources, based on what has actually works in a school setting. This will enable every school across Australia to implement the FGS project in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them. 

22 July 2013

Basketball signs up to Fair go, sport!

Hot on the heels of Hockey Victoria, Basketball Victoria has become the next lead sport in our Fair go, sport! program.

Basketball Victoria chief officer Nick Honey said the Fair go, sport! project was very important and would allow clubs across Victoria to see what they can do to make basketball a more welcoming and inclusive sport for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

One club already taking action is the Torquay Swisharoos, led by their under-14 boys' team.

"The boys from the Swisharoos have sent a clear message by wearing the rainbow socks, that unfair treatment of others based on their sexuality – or assumed sexuality – has no place in our sport," Mr Honey said.

Acting Commissioner Karen Toohey said it was fantastic to see new sports and clubs getting behind Fair go, sport!  "Through creating a supportive and welcoming environment, Basketball Victoria has put out the welcome mat to all players.

"Everyone, regardless of who they are, should feel safe enough to participate in sport without facing discrimination," Ms Toohey said.

View the media release: Basketball Victoria Promotes Gender and Sexual Diversity

To learn more, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

28 June 2013

Hockey ready and set for Fair go, sport! Round 2013

Hockey Victoria's Fair go, Sport! Round is an opportunity for all clubs to celebrate hockey's spirit of fair play, inclusiveness and to promote their club as a safe, welcoming and inclusive sporting environment.

The Fair go, sport! Round will take place from Saturday 27 July (Seniors) until Sunday 4 August 2013. The following competitions will be involved:

  • Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July: Seniors Round 14
  • Monday 29 July: Masters Round 15
  • Wednesday 31 July: Masters Round 15
  • Friday 2 August: Juniors Round 12
  • Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 August: Seniors Round 15

Further details about individual rounds and fixtures can be found on the Hockey Victoria website.

13 June 2013

Eight new clubs sign up for Fair go, sport! Phase Two

In 2011, four Hockey Clubs - Camberwell, Gippsland Bulls, Werribee and Old Carey, volunteered to assist Hockey Victoria and the project partners in piloting various initiatives within their Clubs to increase awareness of sexual and gender diversity in Hockey as part of the Fair go, sport! project.

These initiatives were extremely successful thanks to the great work undertaken by the project advocates and committees within each of the pilot clubs.

In 2013, an additional eight clubs have signed up for phase 2 of the project. These clubs are: La Trobe Uni, Doncaster, Mentone, MHSOB, Swinburne, Essendon, Essendon Ladies and Altona.

All 12 clubs met at Hockey Victoria on 30 April to explore how the original pilot clubs, Hockey Vic and VEOHRC could best support, mentor and encourage the new project clubs.

The clubs will continue to work together to build sustainability within Hockey to generate lasting cultural change that promotes diversity, inclusion and welcoming environments.

latrobe.jpg Essendon_ladies.jpg   MHSOB.png
Essendon.png  altona.jpg

News archive

Reservoir High Fair go, sport! ambassadors present at national conference

So impressed by students and staff at Reservoir High’ - a tweet from a delegate at the National Safe Schools Coalition (NSSC) Conference
The young people here today are just so awesome. Can we just put them in charge?’ - another delegate tweet


The Reservoir High Fair go, sport! (FGS) student ambassadors did a brilliant job presenting at the National Safe Schools Coalition Conference on 20 October 2012. They were selected, with just one other school, to showcase how Victorian schools are creating safe and inclusive environments for same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) students.

As Cliantha Delana Quai Hoi explained to about 150 conference delegates, ‘(All the FGS ambassadors at Reservoir High) became involved (in the project) for different reasons but all of us share a desire to make a difference for same sex attracted and gender diverse students by making school sport more inclusive and combating homophobia in school sporting environments’.

The FGS ambassadors spoke about their plans to involve as many students as possible in developing and communicating a FGS Code of Conduct to ensure that all students, irrespective of their sexuality or gender identity feel safe participating in sport at Reservoir High. They also spoke about the importance of actively spreading their message of support through initiatives such as giving FGS wrist bands to opposition players in inter-school sports competitions and holding an annual FGS themed school athletics day.

‘We all feel really proud to work with the (Victorian Equal Opportunity and) Human Rights Commission and to be the first school implementing the FGS project’, added Cilanta. Their main message however, was one of encouragement to other schools to ‘take up the FGS challenge’ and ‘to make sport a more even playing field’. As Yoana Doleva, another FGS ambassador said, ‘If we can do it, anyone can!’

Following the 12 month pilot project with Reservoir High School, the Commission plans to create a starter kit to enable schools across Victoria to implement a FGS project in their own school.  

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Reservoir High's FGS ambassadors 'representing' at the NSSC conference.

Project planning at Reservoir High

Reservoir High Fair go, sport! (FGS) staff and student ambassadors developed their own project vision, strategies and actions through interactive workshops that were facilitated by the Commission and supported by Safe Schools Coalition Victoria.

Through planning workshops the Reservoir High team developed a vision for their project by identifying what they would see if their school was safe and inclusive for same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) students. For example, they decided they would see:

  • language about sexual and gender diversity being used only in a positive way
  • students treating each other the same irrespective of their sexuality or gender identity
  • empowered student leaders acting to improve inclusion and well-being for SSASGD students.

Based on their project vision, the FGS student and staff ambassadors developed project strategies and actions that were relevant to their specific school.

The planning workshops highlighted the importance of student participation and proved to be great learning opportunities for both staff and students. As Dylan, a FGS student ambassador said, “Sure you have to plan a project but the big bonus has been that it has really cemented us as a group - because teachers and students have contributed in an equal way”. He reflected that “the students were surprised that they were obviously more aware of incidents of homophobia than the staff generally were”.

The importance of student participation was also recognised by Mel, a FGS teacher, who said her biggest learning from the project was seeing how crucial student involvement is to the success of FGS. 

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The Reservoir High team of staff and student ambassadors with their supporters

 

Victorian Vikings take the Fair go, sport! cup

Match 15 of the Australian Hockey League (Men's) saw the Victorian Vikings take on the ACT Lakers for the Fair go, sport! Cup and win 6-1.

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From L to R: Victoria Vikings Captain and Kookaburras Olympian Russell Ford, Peter Gourlay of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Federal Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy and Terry Evans, CEO of Hockey ACT

 

The Australian Women’s Masters Championship stands up for fairness and equality

The Australian Women’s Hockey Masters Championship designated Friday, September 28, 2012 as Fair go, sport! Day. And to mark Fair go, sport! Day, 36 hockey teams from around Australia threw their support behind this great initiative.

At the opening ceremony  Acting Commissioner Karen Toohey said it was fantastic to see so many teams getting behind Fair go, sport! and doing what they can to send a strong message that there is no place for homophobia in sport.

“By wearing the Fair go, sport! rainbow socks and wristbands, each team is saying that a player’s sexuality should no longer be cause for comment,” Ms Toohey said. “Hockey has put out the welcome mat to all players.”

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 Women Masters showing their mettle

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 Lyn Tout of Werribee Hockey Club delivering the championships' special guest

 

Fair go, sport! is launched at Reservoir High

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission launched the Fair go, sport! school project in August 2012.  The project is designed to support sexual and gender diversity through sport in Victorian schools. The project is being supported by the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria and will be run in partnership with Reservoir High for 12 months before being rolled out to other Victorian schools.

Acting Commissioner Karen Toohey said that the initiative was developed out of a need to do more to ensure that schools are safe places for every student, regardless of their sexuality.  ‘Everyone should be able to be themselves and feel safe and included at school and in sport no matter who they are,’ Ms Toohey said.  ‘We know that students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or intersex are at risk of social exclusion and verbal – and even physical – abuse, which is why initiatives such as this one have never been more important’.

The project will take a human rights based approach and genuinely include student participation in all phases of the project, from planning to implementation and review.  The importance of student participation was acknowledged by a Reservoir High teacher, who said the Fair go, sport! student ambassadors’ involvement in the project launch ‘sent such a powerful message of support for sexual and gender diversity (to the whole school)’.

The Commission hopes that other schools will be encouraged by the Fair go, sport! initiative at Reservoir High and will get on board, so that the project can be rolled out to all schools, across the state. 

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Some of Reservoir High's FGS ambassadors. From L to R: Tyler Gardiner, Marc McAuliffe, Dylan Demtschyna, Naomi Bamblett, Cliantha Delana Quai Hoi. 

 

Wanted: Players for Phase 2!

The Commission and the Department of Planning and Community Development, through Sport and Recreation Victoria, are calling for sporting codes to nominate for Phase 2 of the Fair go, Sport! project.

Following the success of Phase 1 with Hockey Victoria, Fair go, sport! Phase 2 is a great opportunity for your sport to explore the issues of diversity and inclusion in a positive and practical way, to build on your strengths and make your sport safer and more welcoming for our GLBTI communities. It’s all about promoting participation, performance and member well-being.

To get involved or find out more, contact Peter Gourlay at the Commission on 03 9032 3420, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fair go, sport! makes the world go round

Ben Hartung, CEO Hockey Victoria, and Gus Johnston, Fair go, sport! Ambassador, address the Pennant A teams from Doncaster and Camberwell

Gus Johnston, Fair go, sport! Ambassador, and Ben Hartung, CEO Hockey Victoria, address the Pennant A teams from Doncaster and Camberwell

Hockey Victoria had one of its biggest weekends ever when Round 13 was played from 20to 25 July. Named the Fair go, sport! round, the event was part of their winter season and involved 650 men’s and women’s teams from across the state –under 15s, under 17s, Seniors and Masters – all playing to win and in the spirit of Fair go, sport!

The idea behind the Fair go, sport! round was to encourage local clubs to get involved and to start those conversations about sexual and gender diversity – what it means to a club and everyone involved in that club, and the difference it could make to members, present and future. 

To mark the round, each team captain wore rainbow socks while the rest of the team wore rainbow wristbands, which opposing teams exchanged with one another before the game. Many clubs made a day of it, holding a barbeque or having an afternoon tea (at least two clubs scored with rainbow cupcakes and lamingtons!). And let’s not forget what the clubs were playing for – the wins and accolades, medals, cups and trophies.

While clearly an important fixture in the hockey calendar, the Fair go, sport! round was a fantastic way of spreading the word about the project and its potential. 

P.s. Have you bought your rainbow socks?

Players from Essendon and Mentone exchange rainbow wristbands just before their SL1 match

Players from Essendon and Mentone exchange rainbow wristbands just before their SL1 match

Karen Toohey, Acting Commissioner of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, with Werribee Women’s SL3 Team who retained their Fair go, sport! cup

Karen Toohey, Acting Commissioner of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (far right), with Werribee Women’s SL3 Team, which retained itsFair go, sport! cup

Brunswick Hockey Club’s rainbow cupcakes against the backdrop of their Fair go, sport! wall

Brunswick Hockey Club’s rainbow cupcakes against the backdrop of their Fair go, sport! wall 

Network speaks up against homophobia

The Commission had a role as part of Fair go, sport! in not one but two events at this year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). On May 17 at Brimbank City Council Offices in Sunshine, both Karen Toohey, Acting Commissioner, Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission and Ben Hartung, Chief Executive Oficer, Hockey Victoria, spoke about Fair go, sport! as part of the Council’s IDAHO flag raising event and celebratory function.

Hockey Victoria's Ben Hartung wearing the Fair go, Sport! rainbow socks

Hockey Victoria’s Ben Hartung walks the walk as he addresses the audience at Brimbank

Karen Toohey said innovative projects like IDAHO and Fair go, sport! not only promote sexual and gender diversity, inclusion and participation in sport but inspire new audiences to tackle discrimination in their communities.

Raising the rainbow flag at Brimbank City Council

Raising rainbows: (From left) Brimbank’s Cath Olive, Kath Brackett, Amanda Rigby, Dean Michael and Ellen Kessler.

Meanwhile, Leisure Networks (a Regional Sports Assembly) and eight sporting clubs across Geelong, Surf Coast and the Bellarine used the Fair go, sport! rainbow socks to raise awareness of sexual and gender diversity and create safe and inclusive environments in their own clubs . See how Leisure Networks showed their support of Fair go, sport! and their commitment to the principles behind IDAHO.

Back in Sunshine, Brimbank’s Amanda Rigby, Team Leader with the Youth Support Team provided an introduction to Pridentity in Action, a whole of school approach to reducing homophobia, which was followed by the screening of Gus Johnston’s video, “The reality of homophobia in sport”. To watch Gus’ engaging and insightful 12 minute video, go to the ‘Media and resources’ section below.

In support of IDAHO 2012, Gus also wrote an open letter to the hockey community, asking everyone to take a stand and speak up about homophobia.

Stepping out for a fair go

On Sunday 5 February, Fair go, sport! project partners walked alongside representatives from other sporting codes and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission at the 17thAnnual Pride March in St Kilda.

The wild weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd as they cheered on the 50-strong contingent that fielded representatives from the Australian Football League, Basketball Victoria, Football Federation of Victoria and Table Tennis – some of whom were making their first appearance at a Pride March.

Hockey itself was well represented with Hockey Victoria, Baw Baw HC, Camberwell HC, Mentone HC and Old Carey HC flying the flag.

The group was rounded up by VicHealth and Parkville Women (from the Fair go, sport! Steering Committee), Gus Johnston, John Searle (Commission Chair), Brendon Gale (Commission board member), Commission staff and their supporters.

Along with the 'fair go' message, the Commission continued to promote equality, giving out its 'We are not all the same but we are all equal' magnets and stickers, which were very popular with the crowd. 

Commission staff and sporting organisations at the 2012 Pride March

The contingent from Fair go, Sport! and the Victoria Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

Magnet - We are not all the same but we are all equal

The ‘Equal’ magnet (also available – badges, stickers, postcards and poster)

Fair go, sport! flies the flag at Midsumma

Fair go, sport! will once again have a presence at Midsumma – Melbourne’s arts, sporting and cultural festival that celebrates the pride and diverse achievements of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people in the community. There are three events not to be missed so get your diaries out!

Midsumma Carnival, Sunday 15 January

Visit the Fair go, sport! stall and meet the team – project partners, project advocates and pilot club reps – and help yourself to some Fair go, sport! freebies. And while you’re at it, why not find out how your club or sport can get involved in the project?

“We’re here, we’re queer and we wanna play!”

A Fair go, sport! forum, Tuesday 24 January

This forum will bring together the key Fair go, sport! partners and pilot clubs to explain and explore the project – the issues, the approach and the learnings – and showcase a range of positive approaches and practical activities. If you play sport, watch sport, manage sport or just want to get involved, come and join the discussion.

The forum is free to attend but you will need to register to ensure a place. To register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (03) 9032 3420.

Pride March, Sunday 5 February

Pride March is an important community event and always lots of fun. Marching at Pride is about showing your support of Victoria’s GLBTI community and demonstrating your commitment to the spirit of inclusiveness. So how about marching for Fair go, sport! with staff and supporters of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission? It’s a great opportunity to be in the thick of the action.

Everyone’s invited so if you’d like to join us, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (03) 9032 3429.

For more information download the 2012 Pride March flyer (PDF, 387KB).

Werribee Hockey Club shows its support for a fair go

Werribee Hockey Club celebrated the final round of the season by hosting a Fair go, sport! and Family Day on Saturday, 27 August.

Club President, Lyn Tout, said the Fair go, sport! message had been firmly embedded in the club’s code of conduct, policies and practices and underscored its commitment to fair play and inclusion at all levels in the club.

Two Fair go, sport! Cups were played on the day at the State League 3 level. In both games Werribee was victorious with the women defeating Melbourne University (4-2), and the men easily defeating Baw Baw, another of the project pilot clubs (7-2).

Over the weekend not only did all senior teams get into the spirit of the project and wear the rainbow socks, but all teams also wore rainbow wristbands as well as presenting wristbands to the opposing teams with a card that stated, “Fair go, sport! At Werribee Hockey Club this means everyone.”

The club also proudly displayed a new poster as part of its commitment to the project.

The Werribee women’s State League 3 team welcoming the players from Melbourne University

The Werribee women’s State League 3 team welcoming the players from Melbourne University

The victorious Werribee Men’s State League 3 team

The victorious Werribee Men’s State League 3 team

Old Carey turns 50, takes on inclusion and fair play

On Sunday 21 August, Old Carey Hockey Club created a bit of magic at Elgar Park when they stepped out in their Fair go, sport! socks, and then scored a 3-1 victory against Melbourne High School Old Boys. Making the evening doubly sweet, the club unveiled its new banner that not only marked its 50th year but was testament to its commitment to the Fair go, sport! ideals of inclusion and fair play.

Two Fair go, sport! medals were later presented to two ‘men of the match’ – the ‘fairest player’ from each team, as nominated by their own team.

The Old Carey team in front of their new banner

Everyone’s a winner: the Old Carey team in front of their new banner

Men of the match

Men of the match (from L to R): Ben Hartung (CEO, Hockey Victoria), Wei ‘Wedgie’ Guang Wang (Fair go, sport! medallist from Melbourne High School Old Boys), Paul Burrows (Fair go, sport! medallist from Old Carey), Polash Larsen (President, Old Carey HC)

Baw Baw Hockey gets bullish on fair play and inclusion

On Sunday 31 July, Baw Baw Hockey Club hosted its Sponsors Day staging both metro and state league matches and declaring their commitment to promoting fair play and inclusion at all levels in the club.

“We want to be known as a club that is welcoming of everyone including gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and inter-sex people. From Leongatha to Lakes Entrance, everyone’s invited,” said Keith Sutton, President, Baw Baw Hockey Club and the club’s Fair go, sport! project advocate.  Mr Sutton also said the Gippsland-based club had been using Fair go, sport! to implement a Play by the Rules approach within the club, to update its policies and improve its administration.

Ben Hartung, Hockey Victoria’s CEO acknowledged the change that ‘the Bulls’ were ushering in the region. “Baw Baw Hockey Club already provides the people of Gippsland the opportunity of playing in the metropolitan competition and now, with its approach to inclusive sport, creates even greater opportunity to participate in and connect with the community,” he said.

Camberwell Hockey Club strikes the perfect pitch!

On Saturday 2 July, Camberwell Hockey Club relaunched its pitch at Matlock Reserve. Camberwell is one of the four Fair go, sport! pilot clubs.

The club celebrated with a family day and hosted two Fair go, Sport! Cup games against Waverley Men's and Women's State League 1 teams. Camberwell played in rainbow socks bearing the project name. These created enormous interest and were a striking success.

Andrew Minter, President, Camberwell Hockey Club said inclusive sport provides a way of connecting with the community and offers the opportunity to ‘belong’, as he unveiled the club’s new “What you say matters” poster on the day.

“Fair go, sport! has inspired us to explore our club practices to see what is working and what we can do to make hockey more inclusive of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and inter-sex people,” Mr Minter said.

The Hon Andrew McIntosh, MP, State Member for Kew, and Councillor Nicholas Tragas, Mayor of the City of Boroondara, both recognised the important role of the project and commended the club for its involvement.

Camberwell Hockey Club State League 1 Teams and friends.JPG

Camberwell Hockey Club's Men's and Women's State Leaue 1 team and friends

(From left: Mayor Nicholas Tragas, City of Boroondara, Mr Andrew McIntosh, State MP for Kew, [fifth from left] Ben Hartung, CEO Hockey Victoria, Ms Anna Burke, Federal MP for Chisholm, Mr Graham Watt, State MP for Burwood, Ms Georgie Crozier, State MP for Southern Metropolitan Region, Dr Helen Szoke. Commissioner, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Andrew Minter, President, Camberwell Hockey Club)

Fair go sport socks

Camberwell HC putting their best feet forward

Media launch and project champions

On 29 March 2011, we introduced Claire Prideaux and Katie Allen OAM  to the media as Fair go, sport! project champions. As project champions, Claire (a former Hockeyroo and current Hockey Australia Board Member) and Katie (an Olympic Hockey Gold Medallist and the current women’s coach at the Victorian Institute of Sport) will promote Fair go, sport!, advocate the benefits of the project and help rally support for it.  

Since then, another project champion has joined the fold, Trish Heberle, a former international national coach and Olympian, who is currently a High Performance Network Manager with Hockey Australia.

 Fair go, sport! media launch group photo.

From left: Tom Kneebone, Clare Prideaux, Andrew Skillern, Katie Allen, Dr Helen Szoke - Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Alisha Burjorjee, Ben Hartung and Mary Lofthouse

Fair go, sport! project champions Katie Allen and Clare Prideaux.

Fair go, sport! project champions Katie Allen and Clare Prideaux

Pilot clubs

An important part of the project is the opportunity to work with a small number of hockey clubs to try out some interventions to promote sexual and gender diversity, and inclusive environments in their clubs. The four selected pilot clubs are:

  • Werribee Hockey Club              
  • Old Carey Hockey Club            
  • Camberwell Hockey Club         
  • Baw Baw Hockey Club

Each pilot club has the support of its Committee and has identified at least one Project Advocate to be the primary contact and to facilitate and encourage their club’s involvement.

The project does not plan to impose any particular activities or interventions on the pilot clubs but hopes the clubs will work on activities that will suit their own needs. These activities could include updated policies and codes, education, themed events, ground announcements, banners, social media, posters or whatever the club thinks might be relevant and effective for them.

Literature review

The project evaluators at La Trobe University were commissioned to develop a literature review to inform and support the development of the project. While the literature review begins with a summary of the evidence of the existence of homophobia and transphobia in sport, its primary focus is on what has and can be done to promote safer and more inclusive sporting environments.

Download the Fair go, sport! literature review (PDF, 190KB).

Midsumma Festival and Pride March

The Midsumma Festival at Birrarung Marr on 16 January provided Fair go, sport! with the opportunity to connect with people attending Victoria’s biggest and most vibrant event for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community. At the Commission’s information stall, Fair go, sport! received a lot of airplay and positive feedback.

Fair go, sport! received another plug at the Pride March – which closed the Festival – on 6 February, with a strong contingent, comprising staff from the Commission, Hockey Victoria and Hockey Australia, marched with project placards upfront.

Fair go, sport! contingent at the Pride March 2011.

Fair go, sport! contingent at the Pride March 2011

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