Arts South Australia: Leading change in respectful behaviours policies

Heralding a new era against all forms of victimisation, bullying and harassment, Arts South Australia has introduced a policy requiring funding and grant recipients to implement a Respectful Behaviours policy and procedure.

From today, funding will be contingent on adopting the zero tolerance policy, which will be written into funding agreements or grants. 

Arts South Australia is the first jurisdiction in Australia to introduce the policy, which stipulates organisations and individuals receiving funding must include a statement certifying compliance with the new requirements in their acquittal reports.

Arts South Australia has written to all funded organisations and has collated information and resources to help them with this process. 

Options are also being looked at for face-to-face and online training to be delivered to funded organisations and the wider arts and cultural sector.

The safety and wellbeing of everyone working in, and engaging with, the South Australian arts and cultural sector is of paramount importance. 

Arts South Australia plays a pivotal role in agenda setting, support and advocacy for the sector and helping drive the creative economy - so our artists, our organisations and our region all thrive.

As the funding body for 20 major arts organisations and cultural institutions, plus more than 20 smaller organisations and hundreds of independent artists, Arts South Australia is a sector leader and takes its advocacy role seriously.

Arts South Australia has taken a proactive, leadership approach to issues of all forms of bullying and harassment and has worked to compile information and resources to help support the sector in adopting these new measures.

Arts South Australia, our statutory authorities, State institutions and public corporations are already bound by statutory requirements or policies including: the State Government Code of Ethics; Child Safe Environments; Protocols for Working with Children in the Arts; Disability Access and Inclusion Plan; Increasing Participation of Older People in the Arts; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols and is a division of the Department of State Development, an accredited workplace under the White Ribbon Workplace to stop violence against women.

This re-writing of funding agreements goes one step further, and Arts South Australia is keen to see the sector adopt a similar zero tolerance approach. 

Arts South Australia Executive Director Peter Louca said: "Taking a proactive approach to the adoption of respectful behaviours policies is an important step in the right direction for our sector.

"While it is already a legal obligation to prevent discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in all areas of employment and public life, this re-writing of funding agreements goes one step further. By casting sunlight on this issue, there will be no shadows in which to hide.

"It brings to the fore an issue that affects too many in our sector and puts in place steps to help make certain people are protected wherever possible from the outset. We’re pleased to be leading by example and will be with our organisations and artists every step of the way as they make these changes."

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