Member Regulations

 
  1. Introduction

  2. Purpose of these regulations

  3. Who these regulations apply to

  4. Extent of these regulations

  5. Club responsibilities

  6. Individual responsibilities

  7. Code of conduct

  8. Membership fees and exemption procedures​​​​

    1. Class fees​

    2. Exemption to possess swords

  9. Participant safety​

    1. General safety consideration​

    2. Participant injury and reporting

    3. Disciplinary actions and safety investigations

  10. Discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct

    1. Definitions of ​bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct

    2. Reporting of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct

    3. Procedures for handling allegations of sexual misconduct

  11. Protection of children​

    1. Instructors and officials working with children​

    2. Supervision of children

  12. Social media​

  13. Financial management procedures

  14. Complaints not specifically addressed above

  15. Appeals

1.      Introduction     

Fechtschule Victoria’s purpose is to facilitate the teaching and learning of Historical European Martial Arts (“HEMA”), in particular the Liechtenauer tradition of longsword.

 

Our core values are respect, integrity, humility, self-improvement and friendship.

2.      Purpose of these regulations

The main objective of the Fechtschule Victoria (“FSV”, “club”, “our”, “us” or “we”) Member Regulations (“regulations”) is to ensure responsible behaviour and safety of members and other participants in and around FSV events. It outlines our commitment to participant safety, a person’s right to be treated with respect and dignity, protected from discrimination, harassment and abuse, and the responsible conduct of club officials. These regulations inform everyone involved in our club of their responsibilities and the standards that are expected of the FSV community.

 

The FSV management committee (“the committee”) may update or amend these regulations at any time.

3.      Who these regulations apply to

These regulations apply to everyone involved in the activities of FSV and including:

  • club committee members, administrators and other club officials;

  • instructors and assistant instructors and other personnel officiating or administering events or classes;

  • club students and other participants in club events;

  • volunteer event staff, organisers and judges;

  • spectators; and

  • parents, friends and guests when interacting with the FSV and wider HEMA community.

 

4.      Extent of these regulations

These regulations cover all matters directly and indirectly related to Fechtschule Victoria and its activities. In particular, the regulations govern membership, participant safety and injury procedures, breaches of our code of conduct, and expected behaviour that occurs at FSV classes and events, including tournaments, workshops and social events organised or sanctioned by FSV, and to FSV members while participating in events organised by other HEMA organisations. It also covers private behaviour where that behaviour brings our club or HEMA into disrepute.

5.      Club Responsibilities

We will:

  • adopt, implement and comply with these regulations;

  • ensure that these regulations are enforceable;

  • publish, distribute and promote these regulations and the consequences of any breaches of these regulations;

  • promote and model appropriate standards of behaviour at all times;

  • deal with any complaints made under these regulations in an appropriate manner;

  • deal with any breaches of these regulations in an appropriate manner;

  • recognise and enforce any penalty imposed under these regulations;

  • ensure that a copy of these regulations is available or accessible to all people and organisations to whom these regulations apply;

  • review these regulations approximately every 12 months; and

  • seek advice from and refer unlawful behaviour to Victoria Police.

 

6.      Individual Responsibilities

Everyone associated with FSV must:

  • make themselves aware of the contents of these regulations;

  • comply with all relevant provisions of these regulations, including the standards of behaviour outlined;

  • always place the safety of fellow participants above other considerations;

  • treat other people with respect;

  • be responsible and accountable for their behaviour;

  • follow the guidelines outlined in these regulations if they wish to make a complaint or report a concern about possible inappropriate behaviour; and

  • comply with any decisions and/or disciplinary measures imposed under these regulations.

 

7.       Code of conduct

 While at FSV classes or HEMA events everyone associated with FSV are expected to:

  • be kind and respectful to other students, staff, members of the HEMA community and the community at large;

  • listen when instruction is being provided;

  • ask for assistance when something is not understood, either from an instructor or assistant instructor;

  • wait until the end of formal class to discuss an interpretation or seek detailed instruction, so as not to interfere with the learning experience of other students; 

  • be respectful of the fact that the weapons we use can be dangerous if used incorrectly and ensure that their partner is aware of and consenting to engage in any intended exercise or free play;

  • be conscious of where their weapon (whether it is a personal weapon or that of the club) is at all times, and ensure that it is not easily accessible by the general public. When their weapon is not in use, students are expected to ensure that it is stored safely;

  • be considerate to their partner when training or sparring with another student. This includes respecting any requests that their partner might have that they go slower and/or with less intensity;

  • alert their training partner and/or the instructor of the class if they are uncomfortable in a given situation;

  • while students are invited to engage in sparring at any point, no student is expected to engage in free sparring if they feel uncomfortable doing so;

  • respect the decision of another student who declines to train or spar with them for any reason;

  • compete with the intent of overcoming the challenge that their opponent presents when competing internally or externally; winning and losing are secondary to self-improvement; and

  • be free of alcohol or other intoxicating substances while training and/or competing at FSV classes and events.

 

8.      Membership fees and exemption procedures

8.1    Class fees

Individuals wishing to attend regular FSV classes must be financial members of FSV. A free ‘trial period’ of up to one month may be offered to new class participants. At the completion of this trial period, any individual wishing to continue attending classes must ensure that:

8.2    Exemption to possess swords

The use of steel swords in Victoria is restricted under the Control of Weapons Act 1990. This act prohibits possession, use, ownership, purchase or sale of a steel sword, unless an exemption under the act has been obtained. As a member school of the Western Martial Academies of Australia (WMAA), financial members of FSV are granted an exemption from this act to possess swords for the purposes of martial arts training, unless otherwise prohibited.

 

While not all members of FSV will use or own steel swords immediately, we require that all financial members are able to obtain an exemption and are aware of their obligations under the act.

 

Links to up to date versions of the Order in Council granting this exemption are provided on the FSV Financial Member Form.

 

Members must be aware that:

  • if they become a prohibited person this exemption no longer applies, and they must inform FSV immediately;

  • the exemption provided through WMAA only applies while they are a current member of FSV, which will lapse after three calendar months of non-attendance, regardless of payment status; and

  • eligibility for exemption must be confirmed annually, prior to 31 March, via re-completion of the Financial Member Form.

 

Periodically, interstate or international guests may attend FSV events within Victoria and will require a temporary exemption to possess and use steel swords for the purposes of attending the event. Such individuals may be provided a temporary letter of exemption, following the completion of a modified version of the FSV Financial Membership Form and provided they are not otherwise ineligible for exemption.

 

9.     Participant safety

9.1    General safety considerations

All members and students of FSV are to be constantly mindful of all other participants, and must maintain self-control and care in the application of all techniques at all times.

Participants must be respectful of the fact that the weapons we use can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Participants must:

  • ask for assistance if instructions are not understood;

  • ensure that their partner is aware of and consenting to the proposed activity;

  • comply with all reasonable requests made by their training partner, including those for reductions in speed or intensity;

  • alert their training partner and/or the instructor of the class if they are uncomfortable at any time; and

  • respect the decision of another student who declines to train or spar with them for any reason.

 

Participants should advise their instructor if suffering from any injury or medical condition, either permanent or temporary, which may be adversely affected by certain types of training.

 

Instructors and participants will ensure that the sparring area is clear of any dangerous objects that may provide a risk of injury, and will have access to a fully-stocked first aid kit at all times.

 

All participants must ensure that they have access to sufficient protective equipment for a given activity and that it is free from known defects. An instructor should be alerted if any additional equipment is required.

 

No one may participate in any training or sparring activities while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 

Unnecessary roughness, displays of ill-temper or intimidation will not be tolerated, and any physical contact while training must be appropriate to the situation and necessary for the skill development of the participants.

 

Anyone who exhibits behaviour that is deemed by an instructor to be dangerous during training or sparring must cease their participation until the instructor determines the danger is no longer present.

9.2   Participant injury and reporting

All potential and realised injuries are to be treated with the utmost seriousness and all reasonable steps must always be taken to ensure the safety of all participants.

Our members and students must always take full responsibility for their actions and behaviour and always show compassion, courtesy and respect to others in our community. 

Immediately following an injury occurring, participants involved are expected to:

 

  1. ask the injured party if they require any assistance, medical or otherwise; 

  2. in cases requiring medical assistance, no matter how trivial, bring this to the supervising instructors attention immediately; 

  3. apologise to the injured party, whether or not they believe themselves to be at fault in the causation of the injury; 

  4. identify and acknowledge their role in the injury occurring, understanding that everyone involved has some role in any injury occurring; and

  5. in cases not requiring medical assistance, ask the injured party if they are happy and comfortable to continue and if not, respect this decision.

 

Participants with an injury where blood is visible must cease training immediately and receive appropriate first aid. Rejoining the training session will not be allowed until the instructor or safety officer has deemed that is safe to do so.

 

An injury report form must be completed for any injury sustained while participating in any FSV activity which requires treatment by a medical or allied health practitioner, and any other injury at the discretion of the injured party.

 

The injury report form can be found at www.fechtschulevictoria.org.au/injury.

 

9.3   Disciplinary actions and safety investigations

Injury reports will be reviewed by the committee at the next available opportunity, who will then take appropriate action in order to minimise, and prevent, repeat occurrences.

 

Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed against anyone found to be in serious breach of these regulations or to have made false or malicious allegations.

 

Disciplinary measures imposed under these regulations will be based on the evidence and information presented and the seriousness of the breach; applied consistently, fairly and reasonably.

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;

  • withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by FSV;

  • suspension or termination of membership, participation or engagement in a role or activity;

  • temporary or permanent cancellation of membership; or

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

 

In addition, FSV recognises that monitoring and early intervention is key to maintaining a safe environment for all in the FSV community.

 

Any member or student involved (as any party) in two or more reported incidents within a two-year period will be temporarily suspended from sparring while an investigation is completed, and, if required, a remedial action plan formulated between the student, their instructor and the FSV safety officer. A remedial action plan will focus on improving any technical or behavioural habits that may be contributing to risk of injury in themselves or their opponent. 

 

Investigation and (where necessary) the formulation of a remedial action plan, should occur within 21 days of receiving an injury report, so as to limit disruption to the affected members’ training.

 

If any member is involved in a reported incident in the two years following the completion of a remedial action plan, additional action, including further remedial action or any of the sanctions listed above, may be taken.

10.   Discrimination, harassment, bullying and sexual misconduct

FSV acknowledges the valuable contribution made by our instructors, students and wider community and we encourage their active participation in providing a safe, fair and inclusive environment for all participants.

 

FSV is committed to providing an environment in which people are treated fairly and equitably and that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment and bullying.

 

10.1  Definitions of discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct

Unlawful discrimination involves the less favourable treatment of a person on the basis of one or more of the personal characteristics protected by State or Federal anti-discrimination laws.

 

Discrimination includes both direct and indirect discrimination:

  • direct discrimination occurs if a person treats, or proposes to treat, a person with a protected personal characteristic unfavourably because of that personal characteristic.

  • indirect discrimination occurs if a person imposes, or proposes to impose, a requirement, condition or practice that will disadvantage a person with a protected personal characteristic and that requirement, condition or practice is not reasonable.

 

For the purpose of determining discrimination, the offender’s awareness and motive are irrelevant.

Bullying is characterised by repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed at a person, or group of persons, that creates a risk to health and safety.  Bullying behaviour is that which a reasonable person in the circumstances would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine, threaten, degrade, offend or intimidate a person.  Bullying behaviour can include actions of an individual or group.

 

The following types of behaviour, where repeated or occurring as part of a pattern of behaviour, would be considered bullying:

  • verbal abuse including shouting, swearing, teasing, making belittling remarks or persistent unjustified criticism;

  • excluding or isolating a group or person;

  • spreading malicious rumours; or

  • psychological harassment such as intimidation.

 

Harassment is any unwelcome conduct, verbal or physical, that intimidates, offends or humiliates another person. Sexual harassment is defined as being where a person is subjected to unwanted or uninvited sexual behaviour, or in which sexual behaviour is used to intimidate, humiliate or offend. Sexual misconduct, including but not limited to sexual harassment, will also not be tolerated.

The behaviours above do not have to take place a number of times, a single incident can constitute discrimination, bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct. Similarly, instances of discrimination, bullying and harassment may occur online or in person.

 

All instances of discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct involving members of the FSV community are covered by these regulations, regardless of if the incident(s) took place at an FSV event, online or elsewhere.

Discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated at FSV, and may result in membership cancellation. 

10.2 Reporting of discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct

If any person believes they are being, or have been, discriminated against, bullied, harassed or sexually harassed by another person or organisation bound by these regulations, he or she may make a complaint informally to an instructor or committee member, or formally using the complaint report form.

 

Members and students of FSV who are aware or possible discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct, must immediately report such misconduct.

FSV will treat all allegations of discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct seriously and with a high degree of sensitivity.

 

All allegations involving any FSV student, member or event will be promptly investigated by the committee and, if necessary, may be forwarded to Victoria Police.

 

Members of the committee must deal expeditiously and fairly with allegations of discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct within FSV whether or not there has been a written or formal complaint. They must:

  • take all complaints or concerns of alleged or discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct seriously no matter how minor or who is involved;

  • ensure that instances of discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct are immediately reported so that a prompt investigation may occur; and

  • take any appropriate action to prevent retaliation or prohibited conduct from recurring during and after any investigations or complaints.

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;

  • withdrawal of any awards, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by FSV;

  • suspension or termination of membership, participation or engagement in a role or activity;

  • temporary or permanent cancellation of membership; or

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

 

Members and students of FSV (including the committee) who knowingly allow or tolerate discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct, including the failure to immediately report such misconduct, are in violation of these regulations and may also be subject to disciplinary sanctions.

Allegations of serious misconduct will be handled by the committee, following the procedure outlined below.

 

10.3 Procedure for handling allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct  

Step 1: Receive the allegation

If anyone raises with you an allegation of bullying, harassment, sexual abuse or misconduct that relates to them or anyone else, it is important that you listen, stay calm and be supportive.

 

Do

  • Make sure you are clear about what the informant has told you

  • Do not challenge or undermine the informant

  • Reassure the informant that what has occurred is not their fault

 

Do not

  • Seek detailed information, ask leading questions or offer an opinion.

  • Explain that other people may need to be told in order to an investigation to proceed.

  • Do not discuss the details with any person other than those detailed in these procedures.

  • Promptly and accurately record the discussion in writing.

 

Do not contact the alleged offender.

Step 2: Report the allegation

If the allegation is of a criminal nature and if—and only if—you have the permission of the informant, immediately report the allegation to Victoria Police.

 

If there is any doubt about whether the allegation should be reported, contact Victoria Police or the Centre Against Sexual Assault (1800 806 292) for advice.

 

If the allegation involves a member of the committee or any other person to whom these regulations applies, then also report the allegation directly to the President.

 

Step 3: Protect the informant and manage the situation

The committee will assess the immediate risks to the informant and take immediate steps to ensure the informant’s safety and the safety of anyone else. This may include supervising the alleged offender or removing/suspending them until the investigation has concluded.

 

The committee will consider what services may be most appropriate to support the informant and what support services may be appropriate for the alleged offender.

 

The committee will seek to put in place measures to protect the informant and the alleged offender from possible gossip and victimisation.

 

Step 4: Take internal action

The committee will assess the allegations and determine what action should be taken in the circumstances. Depending on the situation, action may include considering whether the alleged offender should retain their membership, be dismissed, banned, suspended or face other disciplinary sanctions.

 

Where required the committee will provide the relevant government agency with a report of any disciplinary action taken.

 

11.     Protection of children

FSV is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who participate in our clubs activities or use our services.  We support the rights of the child and will act at all times to ensure that a child safe environment is maintained.  We also support the rights and wellbeing of our instructors and officials and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure and safe environment for all participants.

 

11.1    Instructors and officials working with children

FSV will take all reasonable steps to ensure Working with Children Checks are conducted for instructors and other club officials, where unsupervised contact with children may occur.

 

11.2   Supervision

Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied to classes or events, and supervised at all times by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult. Children between the ages of 13 and 18 may attend classes independently and will be supervised by the instructor(s) or other member with a valid Working with Children Check. If a member finds a child under the age of 18 is unsupervised, they should assume responsibility for the child’s safety until the child’s parent/guardian or an instructor is located.

 

For reasons of courtesy and safety, parents must collect their children on time. If it appears a member will be left alone with just one child at the end of any club activity, they will ask another member to stay until the child is collected.

12.    Social media

FSV members must be aware that, what you say on social media can reflect not only on yourself, but the club and broader HEMA community.

We encourage our members to engage with the broader Australian and International HEMA community online, but please be aware that both what you say and how it is said reflect back upon your local communities.

 

Behaviour on social media that breaches the regulations of Fechtschule Victoria are no different to breaching them in other arenas, and will be dealt with in accordance with the procedures outlined above.

Uses of the Fechtschule Victoria social media accounts are as follows:

  • engaging with the Fechtschule Victoria community; sharing class & event information, sharing news and articles relevant to the goals of Fechtschule Victoria (the teaching & practice of Germanic fencing; and

  • engaging with the broader HEMA community for the purposes of supporting other organisations & promoting our events ○ Sharing class & event photographs and recordings for instructional, promotional or historical purposes.

13.    Financial management

As an incorporated association, FSV. is governed by a management committee who have overall responsibility for club finances. The Treasurer, a member of this committee, has direct responsibility for looking after the Club’s financial affairs.

The club will abide by the standard procedures listed below, for all financial matters:

  • FSV’s financial year operates from 1 July to 30 June;

  • accrual based accounting will be used;

  • club Executive, namely the President, Secretary and Treasurer, will be signatories on the Club bank account and have access to other financial accounts;

  • two signatures are required on all cheques. No cheques are to be pre-signed. Similarly, two approvals are required for the processing of electronic payments; and

  • club Executive are authorised to operate the Clubs bank accounts and pay normal operating expenses of the club. Other expenditure up to a limit of $200 may be authorised by two of the Treasurer, Secretary or President without approval from the committee.

 

  • The clubs financial recording will include the following;

    • use of a cash receipt book;

    • Bank deposit book;

    • Cheque book;

    • Petty cash book; and

    • Online and electronic records of financial accounts.

 

  • A petty cash system will be used for the payment of small cash expenses. A petty cash book will be kept to record all payments and money will only be provided where the expenditure has been authorised. A receipt must be provided within seven days.

  • At the end of each month, a bank reconciliation will take place, ensuring the total of all receipts and payments equals all bank deposits and withdrawals. All money received during the month, and related records, must be provided to the Treasurer by this date.

  • A copy of the current bank statement is to be made available at each committee meeting.

  • The Treasurer will provide a profit-loss statement and balance sheet for the annual general meeting each year.

  • At each annual general meeting The Treasurer will provide a forecasted earnings and budget for the following year.

  • The club will ensure that all requirements of the Australian Taxation Office in relation to GST are met, if applicable.

  • The club will lodge an annual return with Consumer Affairs Victoria by the specified date each year

  • The funds of the club shall be derived from member subscriptions, event fees, donations, sponsorships and such other sources as The Committee determines.

14.    Complaints not specifically addressed above

If any person would like to report any behaviour or incident they feel is in breach of these regulations, and is not covered by specific reporting procedures above, they may do so using the complaint report form.

FSV takes all complaints about in and out of class behaviour seriously. Our club will handle complaints based on the principles of procedural fairness, and ensure:

  • all complaints will be taken seriously;

  • the alleged offender will be given full details of what is being alleged against them and have the opportunity to respond to those allegations;

  • irrelevant matters will not be taken into account;

  • decisions will be unbiased; and

  • any penalties imposed will be reasonable.

15.    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 FSV) within 28 days, or in other cases with exceptional circumstances. All reports and documentation regarding the incident will be reviewed by an external panel of three head instructors of other Australian HEMA schools, invited by the committee. All appeals must be requested in writing to info@fechtschulevictoria.org.au.