Pint of Science will not often engage minors as volunteers, but in some rare cases this may occur. Regardless of the volunteer involvement of a guardian, Pint of Science should ensure the protection and support of the minor.
With ultimate legal responsibility for Pint of Science Australia, the Chief Executive/s and any ‘board members’ (should a board be established) are accountable for ensuring this policy is followed. Responsibility for ensuring the policy is actioned will be handled by the Executive Support Office and handed over to Human Resources should that capability be established in the future.
Key factors include:
- Minimising risk of general public having easy access to the personal details of a minor
- Minimising risk of volunteer or presenters having one-on-one access to the minor to limit possibility of online grooming
- Multiple direct contacts are made available to the minor to ensure issues can be reported
- Explicit permission to engage from the minor’s legal guardian/s, with acknowledgement that at no time do Pint of Science volunteers take a duty of care responsibility for the minor.
- All volunteers, regardless of their age, should register with the appropriate form. This is a requirement for public liability coverage and insurance.
- Details from minors entered into the form that are inappropriate to store (including personal phone and email contact information) should be removed from the national records after the volunteer has been given their email access, etc. Only the executive team, and the volunteer contacts (below) should have access to this personal information. This information should be destroyed at the end of each festival period.
- The minor’s last name should be removed from any public detail, to reduce the chance of the minor being searchable online.
- A consent form signed by the minor’s legal guardian should be stored by Pint of Science.
Minor's volunteer contact
- A primary volunteer contact should be identified for each minor volunteering with Pint of Science. This volunteer will act as the minor's supervisor and will likely be working on similar projects or activities.
- Even if state legislation doesn’t require a working with vulnerable people check, the primary volunteer contact should acquire one in the minor’s state regardless. Costs for acquiring the check should be borne by Pint of Science.
- Two secondary volunteer contacts should also be identified (in the first instance these would be someone senior in the national team).
- The secondary volunteer contacts should be different genders from each other.
- At least one of the secondary volunteer contacts should be located in a different state to the primary volunteer contact.
- The legal guardian should be provided with the direct personal contact details for the primary and secondary contacts.
- At no point does Pint of Science Australia accept the primary or secondary volunteer contacts as having a ‘duty of care’ of the minor.
- Should the minor’s legal guardian also be a volunteer, then primary and secondary contact roles are not required, as the legal guardian will play this role. They are still required to sign a consent form.
Working with vulnerable people check
- Pint of Science should ensure that any volunteer working with a minor follows the relevant legislation for the minor’s state. If this requires a ‘working with vulnerable-people check’, then this should be facilitated by Pint of Science. In the first instance, coordination will be handled by the Executive or ESO team.
- Regardless of legislative requirement, any volunteer who is unwilling to undergo a working with vulnerable people check for any reason if/when requested should not work or engage with the minor.
Digital communication and website
- Minors should be given a Pint of Science email address but it should only have [email protected] or [email protected] etc. The minor’s last name shouldn’t be used in emails or email signatures. Email communications should carbon the volunteer primary contact, and delegated access provided to all volunteer contacts.
- Minors should refrain from using their personal email or contact details for any contact with Pint of Science volunteers, presenters or other stakeholders.
- Minors should be given access to volunteer communication tools (e.g. Slack) but given clear instruction that their communications may be monitored by ICT, and that they should ONLY use channels where at least the minor’s volunteer contact and secondary contacts are included.
- The minor can be listed on the website, but should not be listed with their last name or personal contact information (such as Twitter handles etc). A photo can be listed.
I, __________, as the parent or legal guardian of _________ do hereby consent to the above named minor applying and participating as a volunteer for Pint of Science Australia.
I have read and agree on behalf of the minor to the obligations and responsibilities set out in the Under-18 policy and the terms and conditions stated upon registration.
I also acknowledge that Pint of Science Australia or associated organisations do not accept duty of care of the minor at any time and duty of care still remains the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.
Signature of Parent/Legal Guardian & Date
Patent/Legal Guardian contact details:
Please return a signed copy of this form to the primary contact.
This document was last updated on Friday 26 March 2021