Clubs and Associations

Members or prospective members


Discrimination law applies to anyone who is currently a member or is seeking membership to a club or association. You have the right to be treated the same as any other member irrespective of your race, age, caring responsibilities, disability, intersex status, marital or domestic partnership status, pregnancy, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spouse or partner’s identity. It is also against the law to sexually harass or victimise a member of a club or association.

If you think you have been discriminated against based on these characteristics, you may be eligible to lodge a complaint under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) . However, sometimes taking direct action can solve the problem. Here are some things you can do:

  • Ask club and association managers for reasons as to why you have been treated differently.
  • Depending on the situation, you can check whether the club or association has a constitution and whether there are member protection officers (in the case of sporting clubs) or other relevant contact people for you to talk to.

If this does not resolve the matter, you can contact us with an enquiry or lodge a complaint.

Club exemptions

There are some situations where it is acceptable for a club or association to treat someone differently based on one of the personal characteristics listed above.

Associations can be formed specifically for people of a particular sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or domestic partnership status, or for people with particular caring responsibilities. In this case, a club may seek an exemption to equal opportunity law through the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. 

For further information please go to Exemptions to the Rules.

Resources for sport and recreation clubs

Online training and information is available for sport and recreation clubs and associations through the Play by the Rules website. This resource provides information on how to prevent and respond to inappropriate behaviour including discrimination, harassment, favouritism, bias and various forms of abuse.