Kelly Mann v Australian Powerlifting Union
The Applicant is a Powerlifting coach and member of the Respondent, Australian Powerlifting Union (APU). Following a coaching course in January 2023, APU received complaints about the conduct of the Applicant and a number of her employees alleging that they exhibited disrespectful behaviour during the course. APU discussed the complaints with the Applicant shortly after the course and she apologised for her conduct.
APU determined that the Applicant’s behaviour constituted a relevant breach of the APU’s Code of Behaviour in the ‘APU Member Protection Policy’ (MPP) and imposed sanctions on the Applicant. Before the NST, the Applicant disputed this and argued that APU had failed to establish that the behaviour constituted a breach or, in the alternative, should APU have the power to impose sanctions in these circumstances, the Applicant’s penalty was manifestly excessive.
The Tribunal considered the Applicant’s conduct in the context of the course and the recent history of the sport in Australia, as well as her contrition. The Tribunal found that the Applicant had not been given sufficient detail prior to APU discussing the complaints with her but, notwithstanding that, the conduct did amount to a breach of the APU MPP. Accordingly, the Tribunal found that the disciplinary action against the Applicant by APU was a valid exercise of power under the APU constitution for breaches of the APU MPP, and the sanctions imposed on the Applicant are not manifestly excessive.