the Y’s Latest News

The YMCA in Australia is committed to ensuring that all children and young people can feel safe and be safe at the Y

August 12, 2020 Safeguarding children

The YMCA in Australia is committed to ensuring that all children and young people can feel safe and be safe at the Y, in their families and in their communities.

To achieve this vision, we have been on an extensive journey in implementing a safeguarding framework that holds the Y to the highest possible standards in keeping children and young people safe. Our framework has children and young people at its core and incorporates the 10 National Child Safe Principles, child safety legislative requirements and international best practice.

We consistently work to embed contemporary and robust systems and procedures to enable children and young people to speak up if they feel unsafe or concerned and ensure they are taken seriously.

We actively encourage our staff, children, young people or their carers to be aware of any behaviours that make children or young people feel unsafe and to report any concern or behaviour through to their local Y. We also have an anonymous National Online Safeguarding Reporting System that can be accessed  here .

As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring children and young people are safe at the Y we are always improving the quality and agility of our safeguarding initiatives and as such have just released the new ‘Stay Safe, Tell Someone’ program.  This is a child-informed program that will empower children and young people to say something if they see something, hearing something or simply feel unsafe, particularly timely with the recent revelations across the gymnastics community worldwide and the need to find solutions to help survivors to speak out about abuse in shorter timeframes.

The recent release of the Netflix documentary “Athlete A” and the story behind the abhorrent culture of high performance gymnastics programs in the USA and UK has triggered emotions in many past and present gymnasts. It has also provided a necessary platform that has enabled Australian gymnasts to now feel comfortable to say something and share their stories.

The Y in Australia supports the approach being led by Gymnastics Australia to listen to and act on the concerns raised by young people to ensure Gymnastics is a safe and a trusted sport in our community allowing athletes to thrive, physically, mentally and emotionally.

We also support the decision by Gymnastics Australia to engage the Australian Human Rights Commission to conduct an independent review of the sport of gymnastics in Australia. More information can be found here.

As part of the review, the Commission will be consulting with former and current athletes and their families, coaches, officials, administrators, and former and current staff at all levels of the sport. There will be a number of ways to engage in the review. All details will be updated on the Commission’s website over the coming weeks as the review is established.

If you would like to register your interest in being kept up to date on the Gymnastics in Australia Review, please email the Commission at

At the Y we will continue to do everything we can to support children and young people’s voices to be heard and to ensure they feel safe, are safe and receive support in all they do.

If children or young people need support to find their voice they can also reach to the following organisations:

Lifeline 13 11 14 National number for people in crisis or risk of dying by suicide.
1800 Respect 1800 737 732 24 hour sexual assault and domestic violence counselling service.
Blue Knot 1300 657 380 Helpline for people who have experienced childhood trauma and abuse.
E Safety Commissioner
Kidsline 1800 551 800 Specific counselling support for children and young people aged 5-25 y/o.
Australian Childhood Foundation 1800 176 453 Counselling specifically for children and young people experiencing abuse.
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 Information, counselling and resources for mental health concerns and worries.
QLife 1800 184 527 Dedicated helpline for LGBTIQ+ community.
Aboriginal Family Domestic Violence Hotline 1800 019 123
Mensline 1300 789 978 Service that specifically supports men and boys who are experiencing difficult home life situations.
National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1800 880 052 A number that can be called to report abuse and neglect of people with a disability.
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 Free counselling service, whether a person is suicidal themselves or concerned about someone else who is suicidal.
Translating & Interpreting Service (TIS) 131 450 TIS is available 24 hours a day if you or someone you know needs something translated via phone.

Melinda Crole
YMCA Australia CEO

© Copyright YMCA 2020. All Rights Reserved.