In March, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that a former child star on the 90's hit show Hey Dad! was allegedly sexually assaulted by an adult cast member. This incident reminds us of the risks for organisations where adults are working with or supervising children. This has implications for children's sport and in venues or facilities in which children are not in the care of their parent or guardian.
Working with children clearance
Background clearance checks for people working with children fall under the jurisdiction of Australian states and territories, and as a result, if you work with children in a community or elite sport context, it is vital to understand the framework that is in place in your state.
In New South Wales, for example, it is compulsory for employers to carry out background checks on prospective employees who will work around children. In Queensland, there is a "blue card" system, with prospective employees needing to apply for clearance before their card is issued.
For more information
If you are unsure about the legislation in your state or territory, the Federal Government's "Australian Institute of Family Studies" website has comprehensive information about what is required: http://www.aifs.gov.au/nch/pubs/sheets/rs13/rs13.html
In addition, the Australian Sports Commission website has a wealth of information about laws and strategies to help sporting organisations protect children under their duty of care: http://www.ausport.gov.au/supporting/ethics/child_protection