When working with children in any capacity, employers and employees must complete relevant courses and obtain correct qualifications and checks. At any point, such checks can be taken away if the individual is found to pose a threat to children or has committed a crime.
This was evident in a recent case brought before the Civil and Administrative Tribunal where a sport’s coach submitted an application to have his Working with Children Check Clearance reinstated.
Summary of the case
At the time of the hearing, the applicant was a 58-year-old man who had a nine-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old stepson. He had been a sports’ coach for both adults and children for more than 40 years. On June 29, 2018, his Working with Children Check Clearance was cancelled after his then 11-year-old stepson was assaulted by his mother. When cancelling the check, the Children’s Guardian (the respondent) also discovered that the man had other discrepancies, including:
- Convictions for drink driving in 1995 and 2001.
- Allegations that the applicant had sexually assaulted a woman in 1998.
- Complaints made to the police in 1995 in relation to inappropriate behaviour in his capacity as a sporting coach.
In the most recent hearing, the applicant sought a review of the decision made by the Children’s Guardian to cancel his Working with Children Check Clearance.
Background of the allegations and complaints
In regards to the applicant’s involvement in the assault of his stepson, the Tribunal learned the man had tried his best to separate the mother from the child. The woman had pled guilty to her crimes but no charges were laid against the applicant.
The applicant denied ever sexually assaulting the woman who made complaints in 1998 and that all sexual activity was consensual. The Tribunal could find no evidence to suggest that the man was guilty of any such act.
When assessing the complaints made towards the applicant in his capacity as a sporting coach, the Tribunal found that the comments made by the man were of a joking nature and were not taken seriously.
Furthermore, it had been a significant amount of time since the complaints were made, and in that time, the applicant had shown improvements in his behaviour and had no other allegations made against him.
As such, the Tribunal felt satisfied that the man did not pose a risk to children in his care and the order to cancel his Working with Children Check Clearance was set aside.
If you believe that you have experienced some form of sexual assault, it’s important to come forward no matter how unsure you are. Here at Gerard Malouf & Partners, we’re well trained to deal with all sorts of sexual assault cases and can work through yours to determine the best course of action. For more information, get in touch with us today.