Vilification and Discrimination Policy

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The VAFA would like to share that we have spent the off-season working and consulting with the AFL and all Metropolitan Leagues on how to best manage vilification and discrimination complaints in our competition. This liaison with the AFL has included providing direct feedback from VAFA Clubs, players and officials involved in such matters in 2022.

For the 2023 season and beyond, the VAFA will adopt the Vilification and Discrimination Policy within the National Community Football Policy Handbook.

Changes to how the VAFA will approach vilification and discrimination allegations this year in line with the National Community Football Policy Handbook include:

  1. Requiring clubs to complete a Notice of Complaint – Prohibited Conduct in the event they wish to make a discrimination or vilification complaint. This form is provided by the AFL and will be available on the VAFA Portal and must be submitted to the VAFA by 12pm, Monday as per VAFA Rules
  2. There will no longer be an initial requirement for clubs to try and resolve vilification and discrimination matters informally. The VAFA will proceed straight to undertaking all reasonable measures to establish the facts of the complaint.
  3. The VAFA will be supported by a range of templates and guidelines to assist in assessing and gathering information about the complaint and sending notifications to the parties involved.
  4. To progress to Conciliation, the VAFA needs to be reasonably satisfied that a Prohibited Conduct breach may have occurred. To meet this threshold, there should be some direct evidence that supports the occurrence of the alleged Prohibited Conduct.
  5. AFL Victoria have gathered a core group of appropriately skilled conciliators that Leagues can draw upon in an online environment to provide expert assistance to the VAFA in respect of the conciliation process and to assist with greater efficiency of complaints.

In addition, every coach (including all VAFA coaches) completing their CoachAFL accreditation for this season are required to complete a Discrimination and Vilification module.