National Intergity Framework Update

Published Mon 05 Jun 2023

Dear Club Presidents/Secretaries,


Further to previous information about the National Integrity Framework (NIF), please be advised of significant new changes to the role of Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) in complaints and discipline.



Please refer to the SIA Fact Sheet for a detailed explanation of these changes, which SIA states are necessary to ensure it is operating within its statutory functions.  In short:

  • SIA will only manage complaints related to Child Safeguarding and Discrimination* under the NIF. 
  • Complaints about other Prohibited Conduct under the NIF will be managed by the sport at the level at which they arise.  Accordingly, issues at the club level will generally be managed by the relevant club, unless there is a significant conflict of interest which cannot be appropriately managed (eg where the Complaint is made against a club executive or committee member) in which case it will be managed by the relevant State Association.
  • SIA will no longer be involved in the imposition of provisional action (ie protective interim measures) and sanctions.

* Discrimination is unfair treatment based on a person's: (a) age; (b) disability; (c) race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, or migrant status; (d) sex, pregnancy, marital or relationship status, family responsibilities or breastfeeding; or (e) sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

SIA has affirmed the following process for reporting NIF matters:

  • All NIF matters (ie any allegation of Prohibited Conduct under the NIF) may be submitted, in the first instance, via the AusDBF online reporting tool.  AusDBF will triage and confirm next steps with the person who submitted the report, including the appropriate body to manage the matter.  
  • Alternatively, if preferable, a complaint about Child Safeguarding and/or Discrimination may be submitted directly to SIA via the SIA online reporting tool.  Other issues or concerns may be reported to SIA (which can be done anonymously), however, SIA may not be able to act on them.


Next steps

AusDBF will soon adopt a revised version of the NIF Complaints, Disputes and Discipline Policy to reflect these changes.

Liam Bourke, AusDBF National Integrity Manager who was introduced to club representatives during the training sessions delivered in-person and online in late 2022, remains available to provide subject-matter expertise and practical guidance to any person within the dragon boat community including, and in particular, club leaders who become aware of concerns or poor behaviour.  Liam can be contacted on 0426 363 302 or

Once the new policy is adopted, Liam will schedule an online training session to provide the opportunity for club representatives to fully understand the changes and new processes.


Helpful resources

SIA’s Step by Step Guide to Complaints outlines the process by which SIA or the sport will manage complaints.

SIA has provided the following resources to assist dragon boat organisations with managing NIF complaints:

  • Case Categorisation and Sanctions Guidelines.  The 3-tier case categorisation system looks at the nature of the alleged conduct, perceived level of harm, and complexity, and is designed to provide flexibility and efficiency with greater focus on preventative strategies.  The sanctions model provides relevant factors and a range of potential sanctions for consideration.

Thank you for your assistance and understanding as we transition to this new environment.  If you require additional information please don’t hesitate to contact Liam Bourke, National Integrity Manager on 0426 363 302 or


Kind regards,