Philip Rowell is the Chair of the DPC and District Protection Officer. The role of the DPC is to:
• Assist Clubs and the relevant District committees to enforce the District Protection Policies.
• Provide appropriate training for Club Protection Officers and other Club leaders.
• Provide advice on the interpretation of Rotary Organised Activities (ROAs).
• Be aware of protection issues in Victoria and assess impacts for D9800.
• Maintain liaison with the relevant protection authorities in Victoria.
• Review the District Protection Policies regularly to ensure they remain current.
The District has two Protection Policies:
The major difference in the DYEPP policy from the DPP relates to police checks for all adult members of host families, a reference check and a home visit prior to placing a student in the home.
Thus there are now two District policies, one that applies only to the youth exchange program and the other that applies to all other Club and District programs.
It is imperative that all Rotarians in the District comply with the policies as they are in place for a very good reason – to protect children, youth and vulnerable adults participating in Rotary programs.
Any concern for the safety and wellbeing of a child, young person or vulnerable adult taking part in a Rotary organised activity or program (ROP) is required to be reported immediately.
In the event of a complaint of suspected sexual abuse:
Step 1: Club Protection Officer, or Youth Programs non-Youth Exchange (non- YEX) Protection Officer, must immediately report to Police – Phone 000 – ask for D24 Sexual Abuse officer for your area.
Step 2: If the ROP is a District Managed Youth Program (non YEX), then report without delay to Youth Program Committee Chair, District Youth Services Chair and District Protection Officer.
If the ROP is a club program, then report without delay to Club President and District Protection Officer.
Step 3: Club Protection Officer or Youth Programs (non YEX) Protection Officer must complete a Protection Incident Report and forward to District Protection Officer. The form of the report is Schedule B to the District Protection Policy and can be downloaded from the District website.
Step 4: District Protection Officer must inform the District Governor and the District Governance Director.
Step 5: Actions by District after Police (Sexual Abuse Squad) has been contacted, District Protection Officer to ensure:
• Safety of alleged victim is preserved
• Appropriate agency or professional support is made available
• Contact with parents/carer/guardian has been made and support offered
• Alleged victim is in a safe environment
• Ensure privacy is respected
Disclosure of compaint of suspected harassment:
Step 1: Club Protection Officer, or Youth Programs (non-YEX) Protection Officer, immediately -
• Listen without pre-judgment
• Propose actions to resolve
• Maintain confidentiality
• Notify the Club President or Youth Program Committee Chair.
IF NOT RESOLVED:
Step 2: The Club Protection Officer, or Youth Programs (non YEX) Protection Officer, complete a Protection Incident Report and forward to District Protection Officer.
Step 3: The District Protection Officer will advise the District Governor and District Governance Director.
Step 4: Actions by District Protection Officer to ensure:
• Interviews of witnesses to be arranged
• Due process is followed
• Record of grievance(s) noted.