Member v Coach (with Australian Weightlifting Federation)

Allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination by a coach.


Member v Coach (with Australian Weightlifting Federation)

Matter number:
Date of decision:
Dispute type:
Disciplinary dispute
Dispute resolution method:

The Applicant is a member of the Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF). The Respondent is also a member of AWF and is a coach. The Applicant complained to AWF that the conduct of the Respondent during two incidents in January 2022 constituted bullying, harassment and discrimination in breach of AWF’s Member Protection Policy (MPP). The Respondent denied the conduct and that he breached the MPP.

The dispute was referred to the NST by AWF, with the agreement of the parties. The Tribunal process was conducted substantially in accordance with AWF’s Grievance, Discipline and Appeals By-Law (the By-Law) and with a level of informality provided for under the NST legislation.

The Tribunal heard evidence from the Applicant and Respondent and considered whether the Respondent’s conduct amounted to a breach of the By-Law or the MPP. In doing so, the Tribunal considered the application of the By-Law and the MPP and noted that there may be some overlap of breaches. The Tribunal determined that the Applicant’s evidence was to be preferred and, on the balance of probabilities, the conduct amounted to a breach of the MPP as it constituted bullying and harassment on one occasion, bullying, harassment and discrimination on the second occasion, and a failure to respect the Applicant’s rights, dignity and worth on both occasions. Having determined a breach, the Tribunal imposed sanctions on the Respondent, again noting the application of the By-Law and MPP in this regard.

The Respondent appealed the decision to the NST Appeals Division: Coach v Member (with Australian Weightlifting Federation) NST-E23-32204.