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Information about the Restorative Engagement Program

"I am incredibly confident that the REP is a step in the right direction.  I do not believe it is the ultimate 'fix' - I believe that lies with SAPOL themselves.  I view the REP as a means of educating the respective members of SAPOL on the impact (and repercussions) of sexual harassment/discrimination on its members" - REP Participant.


Information about the program

Here you’ll find some information on how the Restorative Engagement Program works, and the steps taken to ensure you are supported through the process.

o Will my story be accepted?

Your account will not be disputed or questioned, if it is accepted for the REP process.

However, before the REP process begins, your application will be assessed to ensure it meets the program criteria. This will include consideration of whether the complaint is plausible.

o How will I benefit from taking part?

People who have taken part in a similar program implemented for Australian Defence Force have found the Restorative Engagement Program beneficial to their healing process.

What you wish to achieve from the process can be discussed with the REP Facilitator. This may include an apology, or some form of acknowledgement from a senior SAPOL member of the impact that the incidents have had on the participant.

o Can a support person accompany me?

Yes. A friend or family member can accompany you if this will help. In addition, you can also seek support from one of many external services.

o I’ve been asked to act as a support person, what do I need to do?

When a complaint is accepted, participants in the Restorative Engagement Program (REP) will receive an information pack that contains more information about how the process works. This information pack includes material specifically for any support people that will help answer your questions.

o Will you take into account my cultural background?

Yes. We understand that some people may not feel culturally safe in telling their story or taking part in this process.

o Do I have to discuss my experience in front of the SAPOL representative?

No. This process will be led by you and your preferences, and there is no expectation you talk about the incident any more than you wish to.

At the Restorative Engagement Conference, the SAPOL representative will already have some information about your matter that you have approved for them to see (see "Privacy Protection" page for more information). You can discuss more if you feel you want to, but there is no obligation to. You may also ask your support person to read a statement on your behalf if you wish.

o Will the perpetrator be involved in the process?

No. This process is to support complainants, not alleged perpetrators. They will not be involved in the process and they will not be notified or contacted at any stage.

o Will the Restorative Engagement team give me legal advice?

No. This program is not a legal process, and does not make any findings in relation to your complaint. The program also will not offer legal advice on matters.

Should your complaint involve criminal or other conduct, it may be reported through the appropriate mechanisms. Please contact us to discuss how you can still participate in the Restorative Engagement Program.

o Can I change my mind about taking part in the REP?

Yes. This is a voluntary process and you can withdraw at any stage.

Your facilitator will be working closely with you through this process, and if you have any concerns about your ability to continue, you can raise it with them. They are there to support you, and if they are concerned about your readiness to take part, they’ll discuss this with you, and provide you with options – including support services – to help your health and wellbeing.

o How does the REP differ from other SAPOL-led programs, like SAFE SPACE?

The REP is an opportunity for you to tell your story and have your experiences acknowledged by a senior member of South Australia Police. It is not designed to be a counselling service or a formal complaints mechanism.

The SAFE SPACE program is independent of SAPOL and offers confidential advice and support to SAPOL employees who have experienced or are experiencing sexual harassment, sex discrimination or predatory behaviour.

The SAFE SPACE program is free, and will:

o Ensure the immediate safety/wellbeing of the victim

o Provide telephone or face to face sessions with skilled specialists

o Provide advice and advocacy on options including support and redress

o Enable victims to report workplace harm informally and confidentially if they choose to do so

o Provide advice and support to victims on making a formal complaint to SAPOL if they choose to do so.

Witnesses and supervisors can also contact SAFE SPACE for advice.

You can contact SAFE SPACE on 1300 727 656.

o What support services are available?

We appreciate that recounting your experience may be distressing. If you feel you need support, you can contact the EOC to discuss your support needs on 08 8207 1977 or by emailing RestorativeEngagement@sa.gov.au

Alternatively, you can directly contact any of these support services for assistance.

SAFE SPACE: an independent service that is free to all SAPOL employees that provides support, advice and advocacy, and enables people to report harm informally and confidentially if they choose to do so. Ph: 1300 727 656.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): an external professional counselling service available to all SAPOL employees and immediate family members. It is available for up to six sessions over a two-year period. You can seek a referral through the Employee Assistance Section in Health Safety and Welfare Branch on 7322 3141, or you can self-refer by contacting 1300 469 327.

SAPOL Employee Assistance Section: Ph: 08 7322 3152 or email DLSAPOLEAS@police.sa.gov.au

Crisis Care: for mental health emergencies please ring 13 14 65. This line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Beyondblue: a support service for depression and anxiety. Ph: 1300 224 636.

Yarrow Place: an inclusive service for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. Ph: 08 8226 8777 or 1800 817 421 (for country callers) or email info@yarrowplace.sa.gov.au

1800 Respect: a counselling helpline, information and support service for victims of sexual assault or domestic and family violence. Ph: 1800 737 732.

Life Line: provides access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Ph: 13 11 14.

Living Well: online counselling to assist men who have experienced sexual assault. Ph: 07 3028 4648 or 1300 114 397 or email livingwell@anglicaresq.org.au

Victim Support Service: a non-government service that provides, help, information and counselling to people who have experienced crime and abuse, Ph. 1800 842 846 or visit www.victimsa.org

Nunkuwarrin Yunti: free and confidential counseling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals. Call 08 8406 1600.

Relationships Australia (SA): personal counseling in various locations across South Australia, Ph. 1300 364 277 or 1800 182 325.

You may also wish to talk to your GP about a supported mental health plan that entitles you to Medicare rebates. More information is available at www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/mental-ba-fact-pat

o How can I make a formal complaint about sexual harassment, sex discrimination or predatory behaviour in SAPOL?

The Restorative Engagement Program isn’t a formal complaints mechanism. It’s a program that enables you to tell your story and have your experiences acknowledged by a specially-trained senior member of SAPOL and to share your ideas for strategic change for the organisation.

If you wish to make a complaint relating to sexual harassment, sex discrimination or predatory behaviour within SAPOL, contact any of the following:

SAPOL’s internal complaints process through the Equity and Diversity Section. Ph 08 7322 3259 or email SAPOLEquity&Diversity@police.sa.gov.au

SAPOL’s Internal Investigations Section: investigates conduct and criminal matters in relation to SAPOL employees. Ph 08 7322 3366. or email SAPOLIIS@police.sa.gov.au

The Equal Opportunity Commission can consider discrimination complaints. Ph 08 8207 1977 or 1800 188 163 (country callers) or 08 8207 1911 (TTY) or email eoc@agd.sa.gov.au

Safe Work SA Ph 1800 777 209

Police Ombudsman Ph 08 8226 8677


What happens during the program

If your complaint is accepted for the Restorative Engagement Program, you can expect the following to occur:

1. A facilitator will contact you to discuss the process and ask you some questions about how you would like the conferencing process to occur.

2. You can meet the facilitator (with or without your support person) for a pre-conference meeting to discuss any matters, including:

• What you’re hoping to get out of the Restorative Engagement Conference?

• If you have any preferences for the SAPOL representative (for example:

i. whether they are in uniform or in plain clothes

ii. their gender

iii. their role (how they act during the conference, if they ask you questions or just listen).

• If you have any preferences (for example where the conference is held)

• Any cultural considerations or adaptions that you are concerned about

• If you need assistance with travel or any other matters

• How you would like your story acknowledged.

3. The facilitator will discuss your preferences with the SAPOL representative to ensure you will be appropriately supported during the Restorative Engagement Conference.

4. A time and location for the Restorative Engagement Conference will be booked.

5. The Restorative Engagement Conference will take place, and may include:

• An opportunity for you to tell your story and talk about how it affected you

• Discussion with the SAPOL representative about the broader issues and feelings which have arisen from the incident

• An acknowledgement and/or apology from the SAPOL representative on behalf of the organisation

• Discussion of any ideas you may have on preventing this type of incident from occurring in future.


"(It) strengthened (my) resolve to achieve cultural change and deliver an enhanced workplace for all SAPOL employees." - SAPOL Representative.

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