Why we're consulting

The City has drafted a Fair Access Policy to provide a consistent framework to support women, girls, and others in community sport.

The new policy is in response to the Fair Access Policy Roadmap, released by the Office for Women in Sport in partnership with Sport and Recreation Victoria and VicHealth, and aims to develop a state-wide foundation to improve the access to, and use of, community sports infrastructure for women, girls and others.

From July 1, 2024, all Victorian councils will need to have a Fair Access Policy in place to be considered eligible to receive infrastructure funding.

This policy will ensure that women, girls and others can fully participate in and enjoy the benefits of community sport, with fair opportunity and equitable access to their local facilities.

The Fair Access Policy is defined by six principles as developed by the Victorian Government.

  1. Community sports infrastructure and environments are genuinely welcoming, safe, and inclusive.
  2. Women and girls can fully participate in all aspects of community sport and active recreation, including as a player, coach, administrator, official, volunteer and spectator.
  3. Women and girls will have equitable access to and use community infrastructure.
  4. Women and girls should be equitably represented in leadership and governance roles.
  5. Encourage and support all user groups who access and use community sport infrastructure to understand, adopt and implement gender equitable access and use principles.
  6. Prioritise access, use and support to all user groups who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to gender equitable access and use of allocated community sport infrastructure.

The policy will establish our commitment that gender equality be considered and prioritised in all current and future Council planning, policy, service delivery, facility allocations and practice as they relate to community sports infrastructure.

The community is now invited to have its say on the City's draft Fair Access Policy. Take our quick poll or complete our online survey below.

Hard copies of the survey are available by contacting the officer listed in the 'Who's Listening' section of this page.

What has happened so far

The City has consulted throughout the development of this policy with the following groups:

  • City’s Sport and Recreation Network (this is made up of all the local Sporting Associations)
  • Health and Wellbeing Network
  • Community Women in Life Advisory Group
  • Disability Advisory Group
  • LGBTIQA+ Advisory Group.

The valuable insights and input from these groups have been instrumental in helping us understand the current situation for women and girls and others in our region. This feedback helped shape the principles, commitments, and actions in this policy.

The City also completed a Sport and Recreation Census in 2023 to gather annual utilisation and participation data on Sporting Clubs. Learn more below.

Use the drop down arrows below to expand.

The City completed a Sport and Recreation Census in 2023 to gather annual utilisation and participation data on Sporting Clubs to:

- Understand the constraints on pavilions and reserves

- Identify gaps, opportunities and address challenges

- Understand sport and recreation trends

- Understand who, when and how our people are using council facilities and reserves

- Obtain data to support our strategic planning for our clever and creative future.

Other indicators from the Census indicate more support is needed to reverse the lower levels of participation and barriers experienced by women and girls, trans and gender diverse people:

  • Sports participation rates among girls (22 per cent) are lower than boys (37 per cent).
  • Sports participation rates among women (16 per cent) are lower than men (24 per cent).

We would love to hear what you think of our draft policy

Your feedback is a vital part of our planning. It helps us make decisions to ensure we can increase and improve opportunities for women, girls and diverse groups in sport and recreation within the Geelong region.

We'd love you to read the City's draft Fair Access policy here, or in the document library section of this page, and share your thoughts with us.

Your feedback is important, please use one of these options to have your say:

  • By quick poll to show if you do/don't support the draft policy and/or,
  • By online survey to provide more detailed feedback.
  • By hard copy survey - request this to be mailed to you via comrec@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
  • Share your thoughts by email to comrec@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Your feedback is valued as it ensures the policy reflects the diverse perspectives, needs and experiences of our community members.