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Last updated 6 Jun 2024
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Policies and Forms

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

Social Media Policy

Overview and Purpose

Social media has changed the way we communicate.

This policy has been developed to inform our members and community about using social media so people feel enabled to participate, while being mindful of their responsibilities and obligations. This policy provides practical guidance allowing all parties to benefit from the use of social media, while minimising potential risks and protecting those involved.

This policy assists to establish a culture of openness, trust and integrity in all online activities related to North Star Football Club.

This policy contains North Star Football Club guidelines for the North Star Football Club community to engage in social media use. It also includes details of breaches of the policy.

In circumstances where guidance about social media issues has not been given in this policy, we suggest you use common sense or seek out advice from those who have approved this policy.

Coverage

This policy applies to all persons who are involved with the activities of North Star Football Club including, but not limited to: 

·         members, including life members of North Star Club,

·         persons appointed or elected to North Star Football Club boards, committees and sub-committees;

·         employees or contractors of North Star Football Club;

·         supporters, support personnel, including managers, physiotherapists, psychologists, masseurs, sport trainers, parents/guardians and others;

·         coaches and assistant coaches;

·         players;

·         referees, umpires and other officials;

·         member associations

·         any official designated individual representing North Star Football Club on social media

Scope

Social mediarefers to any online tools or functions that allow people to communicate and/or share content via the internet.

This social media policy applies to platforms including, but not limited to:

·         Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ etc)

·         Video and photo sharing websites or apps (e.g. YouTube, TikTok, Vimeo, Flickr, Vine, etc)

·         Blogs and micro-blogging platforms (e.g. Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, etc)

·         Review sites (e.g. Yelp, Urban Spoon, etc)

·         Live broadcasting apps (e.g. Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Mentions, FQ TV, YouTube etc)

·         Podcasting (e.g. iTunes, Stitcher, Sound cloud, etc)

·         Geo-spatial tagging (e.g. Foursquare, etc)

·         Online encyclopaedias (e.g. Wikipedia, etc)

·         Instant messaging (e.g. Stack Team App, SMS, Skype, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Viber, etc)

·         Online multiplayer gaming platforms (e.g. World of Warcraft, Second life, Xbox Live, PlayStation etc)

·         Online voting or polls

·         Public and private online forums and discussion boards

·         Any other online technologies that allow individual users to upload and share content.

This policy is applicable when using social media as:

1.    an officially designated individual representing North Star Football Club on social media; and

2.    if you are posting content on social media in relation to North Star Football Club that might affect North Star Football Club’s business, products, services, events, sponsors, members or reputation.

3.    Personal use of social media and what is and is not acceptable as an affiliated member of North Star Football Club.

4.    Use of social media for team communication purposes, such as squad and/or team group chats.

NOTE: This policy does not apply to the personal use of social media where it is not related to or there is no reference to North Star Football Club or its business, competitions, teams, participants, players, products, services, events, sponsors, members or reputation.

However, any misuse by you of social media in a manner that does not directly refer to North Star Football Club may still be regulated by other policies, rules or regulations of North Star Football Club.

Any person who expresses their own personal opinions and views does so with the knowledge that they cannot bring North Star Football Club, or any of its members (Coaches, Players, Administrators, Managers, Committee, Volunteers etc) into disrepute.

Guidelines

You must adhere to the following guidelines when using social media related to North Star Football Club or its business, products, competitions, teams, participants, services, events, sponsors, members or reputation.

Use common sense

Remember, you are an ambassador for North Star Football Club. Avoid publishing personal opinions, stick to the facts.

Protecting your privacy

Refrain from posting content that is not intended to be publicly available.

Where possible, privacy settings on social media platforms should be set to limit access. You should also be cautious about disclosing your personal details.

Honesty

Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue or misleading. If you are unsure, check the source and the facts before uploading or posting anything. North Star Football Club recommends erring on the side of caution – if in doubt, do not post or upload.

Do not post anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. Be transparent and honest. Use your real name, be clear about who you are and identify any affiliations you have.

If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. If you make an endorsement or recommendation about something you are affiliated with, or have a close relationship with, you must disclose that affiliation.

The web is not anonymous. You should assume that all information posted online can be traced back to you. You are accountable for your actions both on and offline, including the information you post via your personal social media accounts.

Use of disclaimers

Wherever practical, include a prominent disclaimer stating who you work for or are affiliated with (e.g. member of North Star Football Club) and that anything you publish is your personal opinion and that you are not speaking officially. This is good practice and is encouraged, but don’t count on it to avoid trouble -– it may not have legal effect.

Reasonable use

If you are an employee or contractor of North Star Football Club, you must ensure that your personal use of social media does not interfere with your work commitments or productivity.

Respect confidentiality and sensitivity

When using social media, you must maintain the privacy of North Star Football Club’s confidential information. This includes information that is not publicly accessible, widely known, or not expected to be shared outside of North Star Football Club.

Confidential information includes things such as details about litigation, unreleased product information and unpublished details about our organisation, personal details of members e.g. team, coaching practices, financial information and trade secrets.

When using social media you should be considerate to others and should not post information when you have been asked not to, or where consent has not been sought and given. You must also remove information about another person if that person asks you to do so.

Permission should always be sought if the use or publication of information is not incidental, but directly related to an individual. This is particularly relevant to publishing any information regarding minors. In such circumstances, parental or guardian consent is mandatory.

Gaining permission when publishing a person’s identifiable image

You must obtain express permission from an individual to use a direct, clearly identifiable image of that person.

You should also refrain from posting any information or photos of a sensitive nature. This could include accidents, incidents or controversial behaviour.

In every instance, you need to have consent of the owner of copyright in the image.

Complying with applicable laws

Do not post or link to content that contains illegal or indecent content, including defamatory, vilifying or misleading and deceptive content.

Abiding by copyright laws

It is critical that you comply with the laws governing copyright in relation to material owned by others and North Star Football Club’s own copyrights and brands.

You should never quote or use more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, and you should always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.

Discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying

You must not post any material that is offensive, harassing, discriminatory, embarrassing, intimidating, sexually explicit, bullying, hateful, racist, sexist or otherwise inappropriate.

When using social media you are also bound by North Star Football Club’s values and Code of Conduct and Member Protection Policies.

Dealing with mistakes

If an error is made while posting on social media, be up front about the mistake and address it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so.

Conscientious behaviour and awareness of the consequences

Keep in mind that what you write is your responsibility, and failure to abide by these guidelines could put your membership/employment at risk.

You should always follow the terms and conditions for any third-party sites in which you participate.

Branding and intellectual property ofNorth Star Football Club

You must not use any of North Star Football Club’s intellectual property or imagery on your personal social media without prior approval North Star Football Club.

North Star Football Club’s intellectual property includes but is not limited to:

·         trademarks

·         logos

·         training programs

·         slogans

·         imagery which has been posted on North Star Football Club official social media sites or website.

You must not create either an official or unofficial North Star Football Club presence using the organisation’s trademarks or name without prior approval from North Star Football Club.

You must not imply that you are authorised to speak on behalf of North Star Football Club unless you have been given official authorisation to do so by North Star Football Club.

Coaches

As a coach you will be in a unique situation where you will be connected to players, officials, referees, club members and parents of players. Coaches are also often in the role of an influencer to the many different groups. It is important how you as the coach, use social media but also how you liaise, interact and observe all members of North Star Football Club, both on the field and off the field.

·         Be familiar with and uphold North Star Football Club policies in relation to social media

·         Understand expected conduct and appropriate use

·         Understand what to do if issues arise

·         Understand how to report concerns

·         Coach Code of Conduct applies online as it would “on the field”;

·         As you would outline to players/athletes expected “on the field” behaviour, talk to them about respectful and appropriate conduct on social media;

·         Model good online behaviour, and

·         Inform players and/or parents if you want to video the athlete as a tool to analyse and improve performance.

Coaches and online connection with players/parents

·         Avoid connecting with players and parents online through personal social media accounts. It is recommended to communicate and connect on a professional account.

·         If you have set up a specific online communications tool, such as group app, then it must be monitored by at least one other staff/committee/ team manager (WhatsApp group chats etc)

·         Set guidelines for use of the group app

·         Do not bully, and/or post negative content, words, images or emojis that may be misconstrued as bullying or abusive behaviour by a player and/or individual within the chat/app.

·         Identify who is the moderator(s)

·         Establish consequences for a breach of appropriate use

·         Try to limit group chat use to reasonable hours. A suggested time use is between 8am-10pm for a chat with minors in it. Senior team chats may change from this.

Policy breaches

Breaches of this policy include but are not limited to:

·         Using North Star Football Club’s name, motto, crest and/or logo in a way that would result in a negative impact for the organisation, clubs and/or its members.

·         Posting or sharing any content that is abusive, harassing, threatening, demeaning, defamatory or libellous.

·         Posting or sharing any content that includes insulting, obscene, offensive, provocative or hateful language.

·         Posting or sharing any content, which, if it was said in person during the playing of the game would result in a breach of the rules of the game.

·         Posting or sharing any content in breach of North Star Football Club’s anti-discrimination, racial discrimination, sexual harassment or other similar policy.

·         Posting or sharing any content that is a breach of any state or Commonwealth law.

·         Posting or sharing any material to our social media channels that infringes the intellectual property rights of others.

·         Posting or sharing material that brings, or risks bringing North Star Football Club, its affiliates, its sport, its officials, members or sponsors into disrepute. In this context, bringing a person or organisation into disrepute is to lower the reputation of that person or organisation in the eyes of the ordinary members of the public.

Reporting a breach

If you notice inappropriate or unlawful content online relating to North Star Football Club or any of its members, or content that may otherwise have been published in breach of this policy, you should report the circumstances immediately.

This can be done via email to the club secretary on secretary@northstarfc.com.au

Please take screenshots where possible of the alleged content/communications and include this in an email, outlining the details and any possible background lead-up/surrounding story to the alleged incident.

Investigation

Alleged breaches of this social media policy may be investigated according to North Star Football Club’s Member Protection Policy.

Where it is considered necessary, North Star Football Club may report a breach of this social media policy to police.

Disciplinary process, consequences and appeals

Depending on the circumstances breaches of this policy may be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary procedure contained in the North Star Football Club’s Member Protection Policy.

Employees & Contractors of North Star Football Club who breach this policy may face disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment in accordance with North Star Football Club Member Protection Policy or any other relevant policy.

Related policies

·         Code of Conduct

·         Member Protection Policy

·         Child Protection Policy

Other legal considerations that may be applicable include but are not limited to:

·         Defamation

·         Intellectual property laws, including copyright and Trademark laws, Privacy, confidentiality and information security laws

·         Anti-discrimination laws

·         Employment laws

·         Advertising standards

·         Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

·         Information Privacy Act 2000

·         Equal opportunity laws

·         Contempt of Court

·         Gaming laws

REFUND POLICY & PROCEDURE

Refund Policy and Procedure

Intent

A club member may decide to leave North Star Football Club (NSFC) or cease playing football and therefore seek to have their registration fees refunded. Accordingly, the club has adopted this Refund Policy and Procedure to manage Member refund requests.

NSFC relies on the fees collected from player registrations to contribute to costs associated with operating a Non-Profit Sporting Club which include insurances, utilities, field & facility maintenance, purchase of essential items, purchase of football equipment, end of year events, playing kits, administration fees, development & education of coaches and the development & implementation of football programs.

To keep Club registration fees as low as possible for our members, the Club relies on our volunteers to help administer the Club as well sponsorship, grants, fundraising and income from Club canteens and uniform shops.

Please note that a member request for processing of a refund may incur a $75 administration fee.

Refund Policy Principles

A registered Club member may submit a request for partial refund of registration fees.

NSFC may choose to make a one-off payment after considering the following principles in determining whether a partial refund will be provided to the member:

1.    Where a player has registered but does not take part in any training activities (including pre-season training), player grading or selection processes or sanctioned matches, then fees paid will be refunded less all Governing Body costs (if the Club has registered the player with FQ) and administration fee.

2.    A request for refund will be considered where it relates to a member choosing to permanently leave NSFC because of either no longer playing football in a Football Queensland (FQ) competition or moving residence away from the area.

3.    A request for refund will not be considered where it relates to a member choosing to leave the Club and continue to play Football at another Club within a 100km radius to NSFC.

4.    A request for a refund will be considered where it relates to a member leaving the Club resulting from a serious or season ending illness or injury. The request must be supported by medical evidence of illness/injury and the period of illness injury, for which the claim is made, must be greater than 8 weeks in total.

5.    Refund requests may also be considered for exceptional circumstances and will be considered by the Club on a case-by-case basis.

6.    Refunds will not be provided for the following:

·         Non-refundable deposit.

·         Coach payments.

·         Match-day or referee payments levied for some competitions.

·         Reimbursement for purchase of training and playing equipment and uniforms purchased for the individual.

·         any outstanding registration fees. 

7.    Where a player's registration is withdrawn by the Club for breaches of the FFA Code of Conduct, no refund, regardless of the number of matches participated in, will be paid.

Procedure

All requests for refund of NSFC fees must be submitted consistent with the following process.

The Nominated Contact person will:

1.      Complete the attached form (Appendix 1 – Request for Refund) providing required information and including all relevant detail.

2.      Forward the completed form to the following Committee person.

U6-U18                        Vice President Junior

U19 & over Vice President Senior


The Club will:

3.      Review the members application, considering matters outlined in the relevant policy and principles, any exceptional circumstances, and provide a decision to the Club Member consistent with application of the refund Policy and Procedure within 14 days of receipt of the application.

4.      Provide advice on the Clubs decision to the Nominated Contact Person and processes the refund amount decided by the Club within 7 days of the Treasurer receiving advice from the relevant Committee member. Where a refund is supported, the refund will be made to the nominated bank account.

Please note that a decision can only be reached by the Club once all requested information has been submitted to them by the Nominated Contact Person.

Decision challenge

Should the Nominated Contact Person/Member believe that the decision made by the Club is inconsistent with the Refund Policy and Procedure, they may request that the matter be referred to the Club Management Committee for final review, consistent with this policy.

The Nominated Contact Person must provide their reasons in writing to the Club Secretary 14 days of advice being forwarded to the member.

COMPLAINT & DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE POLICY

COMPLAINT AND DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE POLICY

Purpose of Our Policy

The main objective of North Star Football Club (“our”, “us” or “we”) Complaint and Discipline Procedure Policy (“policy”) is to ensure that our club responds to complaints and feedback fairly, promptly, confidentially and without retribution.

North Star Football Club welcomes information and feedback from members and the wider community, which will enable us to continually strive to achieve values of respect, unity, leadership, pride, and inclusivity.

Cross References

This policy is to be read in conjunction with the following documents:

·         Club Constitution

·         Member Protection Policy

·         Code of Conduct

·         Diversity & Inclusion Policy

·         Social Media Policy

·         Academy Selection Acceptance Terms & Conditions

·         Refund Policy

Confidentiality of Complaints

Club officials, members and committee members will treat all complaints lodged as confidential and will only discuss the complaint or outcome with those involved in the complaint handling process.

The individual’s permission must be obtained prior to any information being given to other parties. This need may arise when it is desirable to involve other parties to satisfactorily resolve the complaint.

Documents used in the process of resolving any complaints are distributed on a need-to-know basis only. The club committee will determine who needs to know.

Informal Complaints

The Club Official receiving the initial contact will take steps to resolve the issue promptly in the first instance. If this does not resolve the issue for the client, the process will proceed to a formal complaint and be referred to the Management Committee.

Formal Complaints Procedure

·         Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

·         The complaint is recorded using the Record of Complaint Form and will be stored in the Clubs secure online data storage. Only Club Management Committee & authorised persons will have access to this file.

·         All complaints will be treated seriously and with confidentiality.

·         All complaint will be managed by the Management Committee with the aim to resolving the complaint promptly.

·         Person(s) affected by the complaint should be fully informed of all facts and given the opportunity to put forward their response to the complaint.

·         Complaints may be made in person, over the telephone or in writing to any Club Official as determined by the complainant.

·         Management Committee will investigate the complaint and speak in person to all parties involved in the complaint.

·         Management Committee may decide to involve the Member Protection Officer, Player Welfare Officer, and Technical Director.

·         Management Committee will determine if any disciplinary action is required.

·         Management Committee will attempt to resolve the matter within 14 days of receipt of the complaint.

·         The Complainant will be informed the matter has been reviewed and dealt with however the disciplinary outcome will be kept confidential between Management Committee and the offending parties.

·         If after Club Management Committee investigation has been completed the complainant is still dissatisfied, they may refer the matter to Football Queensland, the Governing Body of Football in Queensland.

Club Responsibilities

The Management Committee has a responsibility to ensure that any complaints are dealt with in a fair, confidential, and impartial manner.

Disciplinary Actions

Our club may take disciplinary action against anyone found to have breached our policies or made false and malicious allegations. Any disciplinary measure imposed under our policy must:

·         be applied consistent with any contractual and/or employment or volunteer rules and requirements.

·         be fair and reasonable.

·         be based on the evidence and information presented and the seriousness of the breach.

·         be determined by our policy and procedure documents, by Laws and the rules of the game.

Possible sanctions that may be taken include:

·         a direction that the individual make verbal and/or written apology.

·         counselling of the individual to address behaviour (Club Player Welfare Officer available).

·         withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by our club.

·         suspension or termination of membership, participation or engagement in a role or activity.

·         de-registration of accreditation for a period of time or permanently

·         a fine

·         any other form of discipline that our club considers reasonable and appropriate.

Appeals

The complainant or respondent may be entitled to lodge an appeal against a decision made in relation to a complaint (including a decision where disciplinary sanctions are imposed by our club) to our association and/or governing body (Football Queensland or Football Federation of Australia). Appeals must be based specifically on any right of appeal provided for in the relevant constituent documents, rules, regulations or by laws.

Attachment 1: Record of Complaint Form

Name of Person

Receiving the Complaint

Date:

Complainant’s Name

Is Complainant Over 18 Years of Age

Yes   or   No

Complainants Contact Details

Mobile:

Email:

Complainant’s Role/Status in Club

Ο  Committee

Ο  Parent

Ο  Volunteer

Ο  Player

Ο  Coach/Assistant Coach

Ο  Spectator

Ο  Manager

Ο  Referee

Ο  Ground Official

Ο  Groundskeeper

Ο  Technical Director

Ο  Other

Is Complaint about an Individual or the Club

Name of Person Complained About

Is Person Complained about over 18 Years of Age?

Yes   or   No

Person Complained About Role/Status in Club

Ο  Committee

Ο  Parent

Ο  Volunteer

Ο  Player

Ο  Coach/Assistant Coach

Ο  Spectator

Ο  Manager

Ο  Referee

Ο  Ground Official

Ο  Groundskeeper

Ο  Technical Director

Ο  Other

Location/Event of Alleged Issue

Description of Alleged Issue

Nature of Complaint (Category/basis/grounds)

Can tick more than one box

Ο Harassment         Ο Discrimination                Ο Verbal Abuse

Ο Sexual/Sexist       Ο Selection Dispute         Ο Physical Abuse

Ο Sexuality                Ο Personality Clash          Ο Victimisation

Ο Race                        Ο Bullying                              Ο Coaching Methods

Ο Religion                  Ο Disability                           Ο Unfair Decision

Ο Pregnancy             Ο Child Abuse     

Ο Other              

What the Complainant wants to Happen to Resolve the Issue 

Information Provided to Person Receiving the Complaint

Follow Up Action 

Signature of Complainant: _______________________________________________________________

Signature of Club Person Receiving the Complaint: _________________________________________

Diversity & Inclusion Policy

NORTH STAR FOOTBALL CLUB – DIVERSITY & INCLUSION POLICY

Diversity and Inclusion Policy

This Diversity and Inclusion Policy outlines North Star Football Clubs commitment to fostering an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and bias.

North Star Football Club are committed to delivering an inclusive and diverse football club to our community that celebrates and values all our members. We believe that diversity in all forms, including but not limited to age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and socio-economic status, enhances the quality of our club and the experience of all participants.

1. Respect: We expect all members of North Star Football Club to treat each other with respect, courtesy, and dignity. Discriminatory language, gestures, or actions will not be tolerated.

2. Non-Discrimination: North Star Football Club will not tolerate discrimination against any individual based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, or socio-economic status. Discrimination in any form, including but not limited to verbal, physical, or online harassment, will not be tolerated.

3. Inclusive Practices: North Star Football Club are dedicated to promoting inclusivity in all aspects of our club, including but not limited to team selection, coaching, leadership roles, and program participation. We strive to provide equal opportunities for all members to access and enjoy football.

4. Accessibility: North Star Football Club is committed to providing accessible facilities, equipment, and programming to accommodate individuals with disabilities. We will make reasonable accommodations to ensure everyone can participate fully in football & football related activities.

5. Community Engagement: North Star Football Club will actively engage with the broader community to promote diversity and inclusion.

6. Education and Awareness: North Star Football Club is committed to providing diversity and inclusion training and resources to all members, including players, coaches, and volunteers, to promote understanding and awareness of these issues.

7. Reporting and Accountability: If a member of our club experiences or is witness to discrimination, harassment, or bias, they are encouraged to report it to the Club Management Committee or Club Official. North Star Football Club will take all reports seriously and will respond promptly and appropriately to address any issues.

Any Member, Player, Committee Member, Supporter or Club Official who is determined to have breached our Club Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary review by the Management Committee with appropriate action taken against offending person.

Implementation:

This Diversity and Inclusion Policy will be communicated to all members of North Star Football Club, including players, coaches, volunteers, parents, and supporters. We will regularly review and update this policy to reflect changes in best practices and legal requirements.

Conclusion:

By adopting this Diversity and Inclusion Policy, North Star Football Club is committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels welcome and valued. We believe that diversity and inclusion enrich our members and our communities football experience and make us a welcoming, friendly and supportive club.

Football Australia Safeguarding Policy

Football Australia and its affiliated Football Entities aims to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all Members participating in football. Everyone involved in our sport should be treated with respect and dignity and be free to participate without being discriminated against, harassed, bullied or abused.

Click here to download the full Football Australia Safeguarding Policy

All Children and Adults at Risk should be able to enjoy participating in football in a safe, supportive and empowering environment. Football Entities recognise that it is the responsibility of every Member to safeguard the welfare and wellbeing of all Children and Adults at Risk and Football Entities aim to ensure that our sport has an environment where everyone is empowered to protect themselves and one another.

All Members, in particular a Child or Adult at Risk, should feel comfortable, and be encouraged to, speak up and report any concerns they may have or be aware of in relation to the safeguarding of Children and Adults at Risk in football.

The Governing Bodies acknowledge that staff, members and volunteers provide a valuable contribution to the experiences of Children and Adults at Risk involved in football. The Governing Bodies aim to continue this and to take measures to protect the safety and wellbeing of all Children and Adults at Risk participating in football.

Official partners of North Star Football Club