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Independent Review into Victorian Racing Industry Victim Support and Complaint Processes

On Friday 25 March 2022, the Racing Integrity Commissioner announced an independent review (the Review) into Victorian racing industry workplaces.

The announcement follows a joint referral made on Friday 25 March 2022 by the three Victorian racing controlling bodies – Racing Victoria Limited, Harness Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing Victoria – requesting the Commissioner establish an independent opportunity for victims of sexual harassment and sexual or physical assault within the Victorian racing industry to report their experiences, and to review the industry’s current processes and systems for handling such complaints.

Read the Commissioner’s full media statement here

FAQs

Why is the Review being conducted?

Since commencing in his role 12 months ago, the Racing Integrity Commissioner has become aware of a number of historical abuse, harassment and physical or sexual assault complaints across the wider Victorian racing industry, including more recent matters and those that date back decades. These incidents are not confined to one racing code alone.

The Commissioner has been in dialogue with the Victorian racing controlling bodies about these issues to determine an industry-wide approach that ensures we have adequate and appropriate processes, systems, supports and referral pathways to respond to them.

The time is right for the industry to better understand our past, reach out to all who have been affected, listen to them, learn from their experiences, offer them support and improve how we respond to them – both individually and in the workplace.

What does the Review hope to achieve?

The Review will inquire into systemic issues and examine the industry’s processes and systems for identifying, preventing and handling issues of sexual harassment and physical or sexual assault, to ensure they represent best practice and provide safe and respectful workplaces for everyone who works in the Victorian racing industry.

The Review will allow the Victorian racing industry to gain a better understanding of the experiences and expectations of people who currently work, or have previously worked, within the Victorian thoroughbred, harness or greyhound racing codes.

It will also provide clear referral and access pathways to counselling and other supports for all who need it, including specialist trauma counselling, and to law enforcement and other agencies, for those who seek it and as appropriate.

What is not covered by the Review?

The Review’s focus is on systemic issues and not individual cases.  It will therefore not investigate or make findings about individual allegations.

Who will conduct the Review?

The Commissioner will engage a suitably qualified and experienced expert to lead the Review and ensure it is conducted with the required sensitivity, confidentiality and independence.

An announcement will be made about the expert once the appointment has been made.

What happens now?

The Racing Integrity Commissioner will consult with the Victorian racing industry about the next steps to conduct this important task, including the engagement of a suitably qualified and experienced expert to lead the Review, and determining the terms of reference for the Review.

An announcement about these matters will be made once they been decided.

How long will the Review take?

It is expected that the Review will formally commence in June 2022.

The Commissioner intends that an interim report will be provided to him by December 2022, with a final report due in the first half of 2023.

How do I participate in the Review?

The Racing Integrity Commissioner will shortly invite people who currently work, or have previously worked, in the Victorian racing industry to share their experiences, both positive and negative, including their expectations for achieving a safe and respectful workplace.

To register your interest to take part in the Review please click here, and provide your name, contact number, email address and indicate the Victorian racing code/s that you currently work, or have previously worked in.

Participation in the Review is voluntary and confidential.

ACCESSING SUPPORT

The Racing Integrity Commissioner acknowledges that discussing sexual harassment and sexual or physical assault can cause distress and discomfort.

The Commissioner has established an independent and confidential telephone support line for all current and former Victorian racing industry participants seeking referral to confidential, trauma-informed counselling services for people who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual or physical assault in a Victorian racing industry workplace.

The support line can also provide supported referrals to other specialist services and can be contacted by calling:
1300 896 049.

For a list of other services that provide counselling and others forms of support, please click here

Page last updated 25 Mar 2022