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Bullying & Harassment Policy


Rise & Shine Debating regards the dignity and autonomy of all people as a core value of the group. Harassment and bullying behaviour is based on the misuse of power in human relationships, and negates the dignity and autonomy of its victims.

Rise & Shine Debating regards the health and safety of its students and volunteers as a key responsibility.

Rise & Shine Debating is fully committed to eliminating, as far as possible, all forms of bullying in organised activities and in its relationships with its students through a culture of openness, support, and accountability.



Unreasonable behaviour is behaviour that is offensive, humiliating, intimidating, degrading or threatening. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • verbal abuse;

  • initiation pranks;

  • excluding or isolating members;

  • giving a person the majority of an unpleasant or meaningless task;

  • humiliation through sarcasm, or belittling someone’s opinions;

  • constant criticism or insults;

  • spreading misinformation or malicious rumours;

  • deliberately setting routines or procedures to inconvenience certain members; and

  • displaying written or pictorial material which may degrade or offend certain members.

Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a person or group of persons. It includes behaviour that could be expected to intimidate, offend, degrade, humiliate, undermine or threaten.

Harassment is uninvited, unwelcome behaviour, which does not have any group function. Harassment includes any written, physical, or verbal conduct that from the perspective of a reasonable person is intimidating, offensive or humiliating against another person. Harassment is any behaviour which is not asked for and not wanted and that happens because of a person’s sex, race, age, pregnancy, marital status, disability, transgender (transsexuality) or sexuality.

Harassment can include:

  • sexual or suggestive remarks or gestures;

  • displaying or circulating sexually suggestive, offensive or degrading/insulting material;

  • making fun of someone, imitating someone’s accent, spreading rumours, unwelcome practical jokes;

  • obscene or unsolicited telephone calls, letters, faxes, texts or e-mail messages;

  • invasion of personal space, unnecessary physical contact;

  • continually ignoring or dismissing someone’s contribution in a project/discussion;

  • pushing, shoving or jostling or assault; and

  • threats, insults, name-calling, inappropriate language.



Where a parent/guardian has any repetitive/continual issues and concerns with any aspect of Rise & Shine Debating and/or those involved (adults or children), please ensure you report your concerns to the coach as soon as the issue arises.

The coaches will respect your privacy and investigate any issues and concerns discreetly.

Rise & Shine Debating strongly encourages anyone who feels they have been bullied, or have witnessed bullying taking place, to take action by making it clear that such behaviour is unwelcome and offensive.

  • Instructors, volunteers and students are encouraged to first discuss the matter with the involved party prior to lodging a formal complaint.

  • If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the complainant should provide written details of their concerns and the nature of the complaint to the organiser.

  • The organiser will initiate an informal meeting with the complainant to discuss the complaint and come to a full understanding of it.

  • If the matter involves a student and the organiser, the complainant may discuss the issue directly with another organizer and a mediator.

  • The organiser should address the complaint with a view to resolving it within two weeks. This may take the form of the organiser prescribing certain actions to be adopted which address the issues and find a resolution.

  • On completion of the investigation the organiser will determine a course of action to be taken.

Possible courses of action may include, but not be limited to, any combination of the following:

  • formal apologies and undertaking that the behaviour will cease;

  • removing a participant who is engaging in bullying or harassing behavior from the class without recourse to a refund for fees already paid;

  • exclusion from future activities organised by Rise & Shine Debating;

  • disciplinary action against the person who complained if there is strong evidence that the complaint was vexatious or malicious;

  • for the person found to have harassed or bullied another person to reimburse the complainant’s class costs for classes not attended due to discrimination or harassment;

  • official warnings recorded on a confidential file kept by the organiser(s);

  • official warning to the person who complained if there is strong evidence that the complaint was vexatious or malicious;

  • conciliation/mediation conducted by an impartial third party where the parties to the complaint agree to a mutually acceptable resolution;

  • If the group finds that a particular student is repeatedly disruptive to the Code of Conduct and the group’s overall well-being, that person may be asked to withdraw from Rise & Shine Debating classes, activities and events.



A register of complaints and appeals will be kept in a confidential file held by the organiser. The register will be maintained by the organizer and will record the following for each complaint or appeal:

  • details of the complainant and the nature of the complaint;

  • date lodged;

  • action taken;

  • date of resolution and reason for decision;

  • indication of complainant being notified of outcome; and

  • complainant response and any further action.

Copies of all correspondence will be kept in a confidential file. The documents and files will be confidential and access is restricted to Rise & Shine Debating’s owner. Written documents produced as part of the dispute should be held in this confidential file by the owner for a period of twelve (12) months and destroyed if no further conflicts arise.


This Child Protection Policy has been adopted by Rise & Shine Debating. This policy demonstrates the strong commitment of the organiser(s), instructors and volunteers to child safety and establishing and maintaining child-safe and child-friendly environments.



All young people who access the services of Rise & Shine Debating have a right to feel and be safe.

Rise & Shine Debating is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people accessing our services and the welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority. We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where young people feel safe and enjoy learning.



This policy applies to all organisers, instructors, volunteers, guests and young people who access the services of Rise & Shine Debating.



Rise & Shine Debating encourages young people to express their views, and make suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect young people. We encourage all young people who access our services to ‘have a say’ about those things that are important to them. We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. We advise young people about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns young people, or their parents, raise with us.



Rise & Shine Debating will be diligent in the recruitment and screening of organisers, instructors and volunteers. Our statement of commitment to child safety and our requirements are included in all advertisements. Rise & Shine Debating conducts criminal history assessments for people working with children, as required by Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 and subsequent amendments.



Rise & Shine Debating seeks to attract and retain the best employees and volunteers. We provide support and supervision so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated. Rise & Shine Debating have a code of conduct to provide guidance to employees and volunteers, all of whom acknowledge the requirements of the code. We also have a grievance procedure so that we can ensure that all issues raised can be addressed in a fair and equitable matter.



Rise & Shine Debating will not tolerate incidents of child abuse. Rise & Shine Debating are responsible for ensuring that employees and volunteers are aware how to make appropriate reports of abuse.


Coaches and adjudicators must notify the Department of Child Protection 1800 622 258 as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a young person has been or is being abused or neglected.


Rise & Shine Debating will support any employee or volunteer that makes a report to the Department of Child Protection. 
The Child Protection contact is the group organiser.


Definitions of the following terms are included below:

Child, Child Abuse, Child Protection Contact Person, Criminal History Assessment, Emotional Abuse, Employee, Neglect, Orgaiser, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Young Person.



Child (Young Person) – A child means a person under 18 years of age

Child Abuse – Children can be abused in different ways and child abuse includes a wide range of acts of omission and commission.

Child Protection Contact Person – the organiser(s) to be responsible for child protection matters and to ensure that Rise & Shine Debating child protection procedures conform to the requirements of the relevant jurisdiction.

Criminal History Assessment – a decision about whether a person is suitable to work with children based on the person’s criminal history (if any) and the assessed risk of harm to children who receive the service.

Emotional Abuse – tends to be a chronic behavioural pattern directed at a child whereby a child’s self-esteem and social competence are undermined or eroded over time. Behaviours may include devaluing, ignoring, rejecting, corrupting, isolating, terrorising, chronic or extreme domestic violence in the children’s presence.

Employee – any person over the age of 18 who is contracted by Rise & Shine Debating and is responsible for the care and safety of children at a class or event delivered under Rise & Shine Debating.

Neglect – is characterized by the failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Behaviours may include inadequate supervision of young children for long periods of time; failure to provide adequate nutrition, clothing or personal hygiene; failure to provide needed or appropriate health care/medical treatment; disregard for potential hazards in the home; forcing the child to leave home early; allowing children to engage in chronic truancy.

Organiser – the Rise & Shine Debating employee who liaises with venues and coordinates enrolments.

Physical Abuse – is commonly characterized by physical injury resulting from practices such as hitting, punching, kicking (marks from belt buckles, fingers); shaking; burning (irons, cigarettes), biting, pulling out hair; alcohol or other drug administration.

Sexual Abuse – occurs when someone in a position of power to the child uses his/her power to involve the child in sexual activity. Behaviour can include sexual suggestion; exhibitionism, mutual masturbation, oral sex; showing pornographic material e.g. DVDs, internet; using children in the production of pornographic material; penile or other penetration of the genital or anal region; child prostitution.

Young Person – term used instead of the word child to describe a person under the age of 18.



First aid: is the provision of emergency treatment for people suffering injury or illness at the group’s meeting place.

First aid facilities: refers to the first aid kit and/or equipment and supplies available at the venue where the activity takes place.

Organiser: Refers to the owner of Rise & Shine Debating.

Instructor: The person delivering activity/class content.



Rise & Shine Debating is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for members, volunteers, instructors and the organiser. Rise & Shine Debating will endeavour to provide appropriate first aid treatment in the event of a person sustaining an injury or illness whilst attending the group to the best of their capacity.

Rise & Shine Debating will systematically identify causes of injury and illness and assess the risk of injuries and illness occurring. The available first aid facilities and responders will be determined, evaluated and provided.



If First Aid Responders are deemed necessary for the group, the organiser should determine which members would like to be trained as the group First Aid Responder(s). The Organiser will then arrange training for First Aid Responder.

In many cases, trained First Aid Responders are not required during Rise & Shine activities, as staff from the venue where the activity is held may be trained in First Aid. Rise & Shine employees may deliver simple first aid where assistance from a First Aid Responder is deemed unnecessary.

Rise & Shine employees and volunteers will call an ambulance should this be deemed necessary.



The level of first aid facilities should be determined through discussions between the group organiser and the Instructor. The type of facility depends on the facilities available at the location of the activity and the ease of access.

Where first aid facilities are deemed necessary, they are to be located at a point convenient in the venue and known to all Instructors and Volunteers. A basic first aid kit will be available during all Rise & Shine activities.



Rise & Shine Debating is committed to ensuring that any person using Rise & Shine Debating services or affected by its operations has the right to lodge a complaint or to appeal a decision of the organisation and to have their concerns addressed in ways that ensure access and equity, fairness, accountability and transparency.

Rise & Shine Debating will provide a complaints and appeals management procedure that:

  • is simple and easy to use;

  • is effectively communicated and promoted to all students;

  • ensures complaints or appeals are fairly assessed and responded to promptly;

  • is procedurally fair and follows principles of natural justice; and

  • complies with legislative requirements.



Rise & Shine Debating will:

  • consider all complaints it receives;

  • treat all complainants with respect, recognising that the issue of complaint is important to the complainant;

  • maintain confidentiality of parties involved, keeping any information private to those directly involved in the complaint and its resolution;

  • resolve complaints, where possible, to the satisfaction of the complainant;

  • deal with all complaints in a timely manner;

  • keep parties to the complaint informed of progress of the complaint;

  • ensure that Rise & Shine Debating students and volunteers are given information about the complaints procedure as part of their first class or induction and are aware of procedures for managing feedback and complaints;

  • ensure all students are aware of the complaints policy and procedures;

  • ensure that a complainant is not penalised in any way or prevented from participating in activities during the progress of an issue; and

  • ensure that feedback data (both positive and negative) is considered in organisational reviews and in planning improvements.




All students and volunteers will be informed of their rights and responsibilities with regards to complaints and appeals at the earliest possible stage of their involvement with the group.

The Lodging Complaints document will contain information on the following:

  • how to make a complaint or lodge an appeal;

  • the contact person for lodging a complaint or appeal;

  • how the group will deal with the complaint or appeal, the steps involved and the timelines;

  • the rights of the complainant to an advocate, support person or interpreter;

  • how the person will be informed about the outcome of their complaint or appeal;


Making a complaint

A person wishing to make a complaint may do so in writing or verbally to the group organiser(s).

If the complaint is about:

  • a student, instructor or volunteer, the complaint will normally be dealt with by the organiser; or

  • an organiser, the complaint will normally be dealt with by Rise & Shine Debating’s owner.

Written complaints may be sent to the group organiser who will be responsible for responding to the complaint.


Procedure for complaints and appeals management

The person managing the complaint will:

     1. Process the complaint or appeal:

  • register the complaint or appeal in the Complaints Folder; and

  • inform the complainant that their complaint has been received and provide them with information about the process and time frame. 
    2. Investigate the complaint or appeal:

  • examine the complaint within 14 days of the complaint being received;

  • investigate the complaint and decide how to respond; and

  • inform the complainant by letter within 21 days of the complaint being received of what is being done to investigate and resolve it, and the expected time frame for resolution.

As far as possible, complaints or appeals will be investigated and resolved within 30 days of being received. If this time frame cannot be met, the complainant will be informed of the reasons why and of the alternative time frame for resolution.

     1. Resolve the complaint:

  • make a decision or refer to the appropriate people for a decision within 30 days of the complaint being received;

  • inform the complainant of the outcome:

    • upheld (and if so what will be done to resolve it);

    • resolved (and how this has been achieved); or

    • if no further action can be taken, the reasons for this.

  • inform the complainant of any options for further action if required.

    Review the complaint:

  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the investigation and proposed resolution of their complaint or appeal they can seek a further review of the matter by Rise & Shine Debating’s owner.

    3. Refer to external procedure:

  • A formal external complaints procedure may follow Step 4 if the complainant is still not satisfied with the outcome. The dispute shall be referred to a mutually agreed upon neutral organisation that specialises in outside mediation, the process to be followed until a resolution is secured at the complainant’s own expense.


Lodging an appeal

Students or their advocates may lodge an appeal if they disagree with a decision made by the group organiser(s) related to access to classes or events, or withdrawal from the same. An appeal should be made in writing and submitted to the group Organiser(s).


Record keeping

A register of complaints and appeals will be kept in the Complaints Folder. The register will be maintained by the organiser(s) and will record the following for each complaint or appeal:

  • details of the complainant and the nature of the complaint;

  • date lodged;

  • action taken;

  • date of resolution and reason for decision;

  • indication of complainant being notified of outcome; and

  • complainant response and any further action.

Copies of all correspondence will be kept in the Complaints Folder.

The complaints register and files will be confidential and access is restricted to organiser(s).

The Complaints Folder will be reviewed 6 monthly by the organiser with the results used to inform activity planning by including a review of complaints and appeals in all group planning, monitoring and evaluation activities.


Complaints involving organiser(s)

Complaints made against an organiser will be managed by Rise & Shine Debating’s owner, who will:

  • notify the organiser of the compliant and its nature;

  • investigate the complaint and provide the organiser with an opportunity to respond to any issues raised;

  • attempt to mediate the dispute (if appropriate) and/or attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant; and

  • take any other action necessary to resolve the issue.



To ensure the health and well-being of all who attend Rise & Shine Debating classes or events, parents have a duty of care to ensure that they and their children do not attend if they or any of their children are unwell. Every effort should be made to minimise the spread of infection by:

  • students staying at home in the early stages of illness when they are most likely to be shedding the virus or bacteria through coughing and sneezing; and

  • parents seeking medical advice if their child has ongoing symptoms of illness.

If you discover that you and/or your children are unwell with any transmissible ailment, including nits, you must advise the organiser via email (or telephone if and where necessary) as soon as possible, so that others may be informed so they can take the necessary precautions and actions to satisfy themselves.

An outline of preventative strategies for preventing transmission of disease and recommendations for cleaning the environment can be obtained from “Staying healthy in Child Care”, a government publication that provides comprehensive information about the management of a range of common childhood diseases:

Many of the childhood infectious diseases require children/adults to be excluded from organized activities for a recommended period of time. For common symptoms and signs of infections in young children see Communicable Diseases Guide - Appendix 2. For more information on Communicable Diseases and safe practices see




A critical incident is any event or series of events that is sudden, traumatic, overwhelming, threatening or protracted. It may cause extreme stress, fear or injury.

Critical incidents may include, but are not limited to:

  • serious injury, illness, or death;

  • severe verbal or psychological aggression;

  • physical assault;

  • worker/user witnessing a serious accident or incidence of violence;

  • natural disaster e.g. earthquake, flood, windstorm, hailstorm, or extremes of temperature;

  • fire, bomb-threat, explosion, gas or chemical hazard;

  • social issues e.g. sexual assault, drug use, alcohol abuse.



Rise & Shine Debating will provide an effective and coordinated response to critical incidents affecting instructors and/or volunteers. If an instructor or volunteer becomes aware of a critical incident they are required to inform the organiser(s).



     1. Designated officer

  • Designated officers will be appointed for classes/events.

    2. Assessing the situation

  • Where the designated officer considers a critical incident to be apparent or likely, he/she must alert the instructors and the organiser(s).

  • The designated officer will assess the situation and consider any apparent risks to their own safety.

    3. Immediate steps

  • Ensure the safety of instructors/volunteers/students, including activate evacuation procedures if required.

  • Ensure the provision of first aid if required.

  • Contact emergency services if necessary and if not already done.

  • Provided there is no threat to personal safety in doing so, the designated officer is to take steps to minimise further damage or injury. This may involve organising willing bystanders to provide support.

  • The designated officer will review the situation, set priorities, allocate tasks/responsibilities and coordinate an immediate response including communications to relevant individuals.

  • The designated officer will organise ongoing response/follow up (including staff/volunteer/user briefing, counselling, review and reporting)


  • As soon as practical the designated officer is to complete the Critical Incident Initial Report Form.

    5. De-brief and follow up

  • The designated officer will organise de-briefing to evaluate response procedures and make recommendations for handling future critical incidents.

  • The designated officer will prepare advice for the organiser(s), outlining steps required to prevent future related critical incidents.

  • The organiser(s) will incorporate lessons into the risk management plan.




Who is required to report abuse?

In Western Australia, mandatory reporting requirements do not apply to everyone. It is a legal requirement in Western Australia for doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers and police officers to report all reasonable beliefs of child sexual abuse to the Department for Child Protection.

However, anyone who has reasonable grounds for suspecting a child or young person is at risk of being neglected or physically, sexually or emotionally abused, should also report their concerns to the Department for Child Protection.

You should contact the Department for Child Protection immediately if you have a suspicion of neglect or abuse. You don’t have to have proof.

If you believe a child or young person is in need of immediate assistance contact the Western Australia Police on 131 444 or 000 for life-threatening emergencies.


When should you report?

When a mandatory reporter forms a belief, on reasonable grounds, that child sexual abuse has occurred or is occurring; they must make a report to the Department for Child Protection’s Mandatory Reporting ServiceA verbal report can be made, but must be followed by a written report (within 24hrs). The earlier a report is received, the faster action can be taken to protect a child, where this is necessary.


What do I need to do to make a report?

If you are a mandatory reporter, go to the Department for Child Protection mandatory reporting website or phone 1800 708 704.

If you are not a mandatory reporter but you have concerns or suspicions about a child’s well being, contact the Department for Child Protection. This website has the phones numbers for the local offices. Notify and provide written detail (within 24hrs) of your concerns to the Organiser(s).





Rise & Shine Debating is committed to protecting and upholding the right to privacy of students. In particular, Rise & Shine Debating is committed to protecting and upholding the rights of our students to privacy in the way we collect, store and use information about them, their needs and the services we provide to them.

Rise & Shine Debating requires instructors, volunteers and students to be consistent and careful in the way they manage what is written and said about individuals and how they decide who can see or hear this information.

The group will follow the guidelines of the National Privacy Principles in its information management practices.

Rise & Shine Debating will ensure that:

  • it meets its legal and ethical obligations in relation to protecting the privacy of members;

  • instructors, volunteers and students are provided with information about their rights regarding privacy;

  • instructors, volunteers and students are provided with privacy when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature;

  • all instructors, volunteers and students understand what is required in meeting these obligations.

This policy conforms to the Federal Privacy Act (1988) and the National Privacy Principles which govern the collection, use and storage of personal information. This policy will apply to all records, whether hard copy or electronic, containing personal information about individuals, and to interviews or discussions of a sensitive personal nature.



Dealing with personal information

In dealing with personal information, Rise & Shine Debating organiser(s) will:

  • ensure privacy for instructors, volunteers and students when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature;

  • only collect and store personal information that is necessary for the functioning of the group and its activities;

  • use fair and lawful ways to collect personal information;

  • collect personal information only by consent from an individual;

  • ensure that people know what sort of personal information is held, what purposes it is held it for and how it is collected, used, disclosed and who will have access to it;

  • ensure that personal information collected or disclosed is accurate, complete and up-to-date, and provide access to any individual to review information or correct wrong information about themselves;

  • take reasonable steps to protect all personal information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure;

  • destroy or permanently de-identify personal information no longer needed and/or after legal requirements for retaining documents have expired.


Responsibilities for managing privacy

  • All instructors, volunteers and students are responsible for the management of personal information to which they have access;

  • The organiser(s) will be responsible for:

    • content in any Rise & Shine Debating publications, and ensuring that appropriate consent is obtained for the inclusion of any personal information about any students;

    • safeguarding personal information relating to Rise & Shine Debating instructors, volunteers and students;

    • ensuring that all instructors, volunteers and students are familiar with the Privacy Policy; and

    • handling any queries or complaints about privacy issues.


Privacy information for instructors, volunteers and students

At enrolment, parents will be told what information is being collected, how their privacy will be protected and their rights in relation to this information. As part of the induction process, instructors and volunteers will be told what information is being collected, how their privacy will be protected and their rights in relation to this information.


Privacy for interviews and personal discussions

To ensure privacy for instructors, volunteers and students when discussing sensitive or personal matters, the organiser(s) will arrange a private interview space. Where the interview takes place over the telephone, the conversation will take place out of hearing of others.

Child Protection Policy
Guidelines for Managing Complaints
First Aid Policy
Guidelines for Managing Illness in Children
Guidelines for Reporting Critical Incidents
Guidelines for Reporting Child Abuse
Privacy Policy Guidelines
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