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Clubs and associations

Equal opportunity law applies to membership, rights and benefits of clubs and associations.

Bipolar episode leads to sacking from committee

Rodney had bipolar disorder and was a life member of a foundation. At a management committee meeting, Rodney claimed the foundation had humiliated him after he had an episode. They asked him to resign or be forced to resign, on the basis that he couldn't guarantee he would not suffer another episode in a meeting. He claimed disability discrimination on the basis of his bipolar disorder, and complained to the Commission.

Outcome: 
A conciliation conference was held and the complaint was settled for $4,355, as a refund of Rodney's donations to the foundation. The foundation agreed to do this on the basis that he resign his life membership. The foundation also agreed to amend their constitution to reflect current equal opportunity legislative requirements.

Richard unable to vote at AGM because of physical impairment

Richard felt he was denied the opportunity to vote at the Annual General Meeting of the metropolitan community service association of which he was a member, because of his physical impairment. He asked if there was any way that he could vote on matters before the AGM without physically attending, but was told he couldn't. 

Outcome: 
At conciliation, the association assurred changes would be made to the constitution regarding postal voting. Richard was satisfied with this outcome.

International Day against Homophobia

Speaking about Silence - Homophobia in the Sports World

 - Kylie O’Connell, Acting Commissioner for Equal Opportunity

SANFL Plea for Respect

Article from the Portside Messenger, 27 May 09

BY Reece Homfray

THE SANFL has ordered every footballer in its under-18 competition to undergo training to improve attitudes towards women.

And the SA Amateur Football League is working on a "member protection policy", which includes the importance of respecting women.

It's discrimination - but you still can't join

On 28 February 2008, the Equal Opportunity Tribunal awarded Trish Colquhoun $10 000 and a public apology from the boat club that refused to let her join because she is a woman.

However, the Tribunal stated it did not have the power to compel the club to change its constitution or membership.

Equal Opportunity Commissioner, Ms Linda Matthews, said "this is the first time a case like this has been tested, we are breaking new ground".

Colquhoun v SA Trailer Boat Club [2007] SAEOT 1

In 1979 Ms Colquhoun applied for membership of the SA Trailer Boat Club. Ms Colquhoun had been involved with the club since she was a child and her father was a life member. Ms Colquhoun was advised that the club was not accepting applications for female members when she applied at various times. She was told that if this policy changed she would be invited to fill the next vacancy.

In 2006 Ms Colquhoun again applied for membership and her application was unsuccessful. Ms Colquhoun understood that she had again been refused membership because of her sex.

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