The AFL will this week provide a briefing for all 18 clubs on the need to ensure club environments are safe workplaces as it expressed its concerns over recent match day footage showing various players engaging in inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the events of last week showed that the AFL needed to do more to ensure our clubs and football programs are respectful and inclusive workplaces for everyone including our players and officials.
"We condemn the behaviour and need to learn from what happened and ensure that everyone across the AFL understands that we must have working environments that are free from any form of inappropriate conduct or sexual harassment," Mr McLachlan said.
"Where we fall below the standards expected of us, we need to acknowledge that and take the appropriate steps to learn and improve.
"The AFL and our clubs have made a strong commitment to gender equality and respect and responsibility and as part of this ongoing cultural change in our industry we need to ensure inappropriate conduct is not acceptable, whether it is the office or the changeroom. This is an ongoing journey and we are committed to change.
"What we saw in recent times with players from a number of clubs touching each other inappropriately is clearly not the standard of high performance in the workplace that we could - or should - accept."
Mr McLachlan said that following discussions with industry partners including Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly, the AFL would initially conduct briefings with Club CEOs, Coaches and Club General Managers of Football to discuss the issue of inappropriate conduct including leadership, equality and respect in our workplaces.
The AFL's Respect and Responsibility Policy currently provides the platform for players and officials to report complaints.
He said the AFL would also draw on the expertise of Ms Jenkins, Ms Kinnersly and other authorities ahead of working closely with the clubs at the end of the season on a longer-term approach including the development of an educational program aimed at ensuring more respectful and inclusive high performance workplaces, with a specific focus on players and sexual harassment.
"It's important we work together to ensure our entire industry is really clear about the standards we must set in order to deliver the safest environment possible for everyone working in our game." Mr McLachlan said.
"We already have policies in place but where there is scope to improve them, we will improve them."