The West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) has completed its investigation on behalf of the WA Country Football League (WACFL) and the South West Football League (SWFL). The findings and recommendations were presented at a meeting with the SWFL in Bunbury, Thursday evening.
The investigation established that a number of incidences impacted the South Bunbury Football Club women’s team, the South Bunbury FC (SBFC), the South West Football League (SWFL) and associated parties. It has concluded that all parties at some point contributed to, or inadvertently contributed to events that unfolded.
The WAFC has made 10 recommendations from the findings, all with a high intent to create a unified culture and enhance diversity within the SWFL.
These recommendations include an independent audit to identify inadequacies in women’s football, as well as different forms of education for diversity, inclusivity, and cultural awareness.
Governance also underpins several of the recommendations, with the necessity of female representation and Indigenous welfare at the forefront, the WAFC has recommended women be enlisted onto the SWFL board to ensure women’s voices are heard, as well as an Indigenous Welfare – Mentor Officer to support all associated SWFL clubs.
The WAFC wishes to commend the SWFL for their cooperation and early adoption of some recommendations throughout the investigation process.
SWFL President, Barry Tate said the process was a learning experience and will take a proactive approach with clubs based on the recommendations.
“The South West Football League are committed to working with all of our clubs and stakeholders to adopt the recommendations outlined in the report to ensure we provide the best environment for men and women,” Tate said.
“South Bunbury has shown through this process that they aren’t a racist or sexist club. We can all learn from this as a collective as this could happen to any club in the future so we need to be very proactive and work with our clubs.”
The South Bunbury Football Club stated “The South Bunbury Football Club accepts the findings of the WAFC Integrity report handed down,”
“We proudly stand by our club ethos and are in no way a Racist or Sexist club, which we are also accepting of the report findings of this nature,”
Our club will continue on its path of cultural awareness education and also continue to create an inclusive environment for all who play their part at our club.”
The WAFC wishes to confirm the entire report is confidential. The full report contains sensitive material, as such, the WAFC has a responsibility and is bound by a duty of care to ensure the personal health and wellbeing of individuals are protected as we provide our findings and recommendations.
The release of information regarding the report is now at the discretion of the SWFL.