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Sport integrity forum draws stellar line up

Hot button issues of sport governance, integrity, culture and the capacity for sport to police itself were fiercely debated at Victoria University’s 2016 sports integrity forum.

About 200 sporting leaders packed the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne for the Integrity in Sport – In Governance We Trust forum hosted in conjunction with Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

A stellar line-up of sporting leaders, administrators, journalists, academics and athletes debated the big issues facing the sporting sector – from Australia’s role in the global integrity crisis to bribery, corruption and cheating at the highest levels.

Opening address

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Dawkins, opened the forum by pointing to the stream of governance failures at both national and international levels in sport including corruption within FIFA and the recent betting scandal in international tennis.

"In Australia in addition to the continuing Essendon football club saga and recent NRL transgressions we’ve had major problems with greyhound racing and horse racing," Professor Dawkins said.

"This is a cause of deep sadness and concern. What has led to these failures? How can we address them? How can we prevent them from occurring again? We have assembled a panel of experts well placed to address these issues."

Professor Dawkins said the partnership between the University and SAHOF used shared resources and expertise to provide thought leadership and actively promote the very best of what sport should be.

"If there are unpleasant issues to be addressed we should do so, we should be a catalyst for generating debate by critically examining issues of governance in sport we become better prepared to make informed judgements."

Forum highlights

Led by Australia’s most experienced sports administrator, Kevan Gosper AO, the forum showcased a diverse range of opinions on key topics - peppered with lively debate and measured analysis on what can be done to ensure greater integrity in sport.

One of the highlights was the release of the Australian Sports Commission’s new practical guidelines for every sport and professional club in Australia to assist leaders with the management and oversight of integrity issues.

ASC chief executive Simon Hollingsworth said:

"Laws can be strengthened, sanctions increased or stricter compliance introduced, but the most effective tool in the fight to protect sporting integrity is for every leader to be more proactive in identifying and reducing threats to the integrity of sport."

Victoria University sport ethics expert Dennis Hemphill said there is mounting evidence of illegal betting markets operating in junior and community sport.

"Community sport is vulnerable as it is staffed by thousands and thousands of parent volunteers. Some of the other research we are doing is showing that those at the community sport level are aware of these integrity issues but don’t know how to properly deal with it."

Victoria University’s Professor Hans Westerbeek, Dean of the College of Sport and Exercise Science and the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living said comparing sport to other industries is fraught with danger.

"Banking or other industries have similar issues and practices but sport is such an important value system for our kids and for the way we behave in communities and on the sporting field." 

Key elements of the forum discussions are available as a downloadable file.

Related media

Opinion pieces

Four experts provide commentary on topics relevant to integrity in sport:

Media experts

Contact our leading academics with expertise in topics related to integrity in sport.

Hans Westerbeek, Dean, College of Sport and Exercise Science

Professor in Sport Business
Phone: +61 3 9919 9473
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @westerbeekHANS
Hans' biography

  • Business of football (soccer)
  • Commercial development of sport
  • Destination marketing/branding through major sport events
  • Social value of sport
  • Sport business and sport marketing
  • Strategic management of sport and sport organisations.

Elisabeth Wilson-Evered, Professor in Business

Phone: +61 3 9919 9264
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @DoctorEWE
Elisabeth's biography

  • Authentic and ethical leadership in sport
  • Transformational leadership in sport
  • Organisational change and sport.

Dennis Hemphill, Associate Professor in Sport Ethics

Phone: +61 3 9919 4486
Mobile: 0410 844 714
Email: [email protected]
Dennis' biography

  • Anti-doping policy and human rights
  • Performance enhancement, health and integrity in sport
  • Player rights, safety and welfare
  • Professional ethics in sport/exercise science
  • Research integrity and ethics.

Bob Stewart, Professor in Sport Policy

  • Australian Rules Football
  • Barriers to participation in organised sport
  • Cultural drivers of sport practice
  • Hyper-modernism and sport policy
  • Sport policy
  • Sport regulation
  • The ideological drivers of supplement and drug use in sport.

Ramon Spaaij, Associate Professor in Sport Sociology

Phone: +61 3 9919 4683
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Ramon_Spaaij
Ramon's biography

  • Exclusion and inclusion in sport
  • Sport and community development
  • Anti-terrorism and major sporting events.

Ian Fullager, Sessional Staff member & Lander & Rogers  Lawyers | Corporate

P/G Unit: Sport, Law and Regulation Lander & Rogers  Lawyers | Corporate
Mobile: 0439 800 031
Email: [email protected]

  • Doping
  • Governance
  • Role of Ethics and Integrity Committees.

Clare Hanlon, Associate Professor in Sport Management

Phone: +61 3 9919 4383
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @hanlonclare
Clare's biography

  • Women in sport
  • Gender and sport
  • Encouraging sport and physical activity
  • Active living.

Jonathan Robertson, PhD student

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @jfrobertson_85

  • Sport and social entrepreneurship
  • Sport and triple bottom line.

Camilla Brockett, Senior Fellow – Sports Partnership

Phone: +61 3 9919 5526
Email: [email protected]
Camilla's biography

High performance sport management and policy development

  • Athlete development pathways
  • Sport management systems for sporting organisations.

Craig Fry, NHMRC Career Development Fellow & Associate Professor

The Centre for Cultural Diversity & Wellbeing
Phone: +61 3 9919 5315
Email: [email protected]
Craig's biography

  • Health ethics
  • Drugs in society
  • Doping in sport
  • Anti-doping policy in sport.

Caroline Symons, Associate Professor in Sport History & Sociology

Phone: +61 3 9919 4389
Email: [email protected]
Caroline's biography

  • Active living
  • Australian Rules Football (AFL)
  • Event management in sport and recreation
  • Gender
  • Girls and sport
  • Sexualities and sports studies
  • Sport and physical activity.

Michael Burke, Senior Lecturer in Sport Ethics

Phone: +61 3 9919 4238
Email: [email protected]
Michael's biography

  • Abuse and harassment in sport
  • Drug use by athletes
  • Equal opportunity legislation and sport
  • Ethics and sociology of sport
  • Ethics of coaching
  • Sexual consent.

Leaders in sport

Victoria University is a leader in sport education, knowledge exchange and research through our Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL).

We have many ongoing collaborations and relationships with Australian sporting bodies including:

  • Australian Sports Commission
  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • SAHOF.

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