AFL releases guidelines for investigation into allegations of racism and bullying at Hawthorn
The AFL has released its terms of reference for the independent investigation into allegations of mistreatment of First Nations players and their families while at the Hawthorn Football Club.
Senior lawyer Bernard Quinn KC will lead the four-person panel, which also includes Palawa woman and barrister Jacqualyn Turfrey, barrister and member of the Yuin people Tim Goodwin as well as barrister and human rights specialist Julie Buxton.
“The terms of reference and process plan have been developed over the past three weeks, following extensive consultation with the investigation panel and lawyers representing First Nations former players and families, and former Hawthorn coaches, among others,” the AFL said.
The league’s statement said the investigation would start immediately, with the panel to release a report publicly once it had reached its findings, with a projected end date in December.
That investigation aimed to conclude “whether the inappropriate conduct occurred and, if so, the circumstances in which such conduct occurred”.
The report will also suggest disciplinary action if allegations, first revealed in an ABC report last month, are proven.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said it was important that the investigation would be conducted in a culturally safe environment that afforded “due process and natural justice to those who have made claims and those against whom allegations have been made”.
“This matter was brought to the AFL by the Hawthorn Football Club at the request of the families,” McLachlan said.
“We encourage those affected to take part so the panel can get to the bottom of the allegations.”
More to come.
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