Code of conduct

The CAWA Code of Conduct establishes the standards that all climbers in the State of Western Australia are required to adopt in regard to their climbing activities​

Mar 2009


  • Climbers are to act only in areas of their knowledge, as accumulated by training and experience, and in a careful and diligent manner.
  • Climbers are to place the responsibility for the health, safety and good reputation of the climbing community before their own personal pursuits.
  • Climbers are to accept that personal safety is their own responsibility. If they are in any doubt as to their or their partner’s ability, experience, rock condition, weather or any other factor, climbing is not to be undertaken.
  • Climbers should support and encourage beginners to develop their skills, ensuring that they model safe practices in the process.
  • When climbing in remote areas, the appropriate authority or a responsible individual should be advised of details of the excursion and intended time of return.
  • Rock fall and dropped objects are significant dangers in climbing. Care should be taken to prevent these dangers and to alert any persons nearby to them. Helmets should be worn in high risk areas.
  • In the presence of other climbers, dogs should be controlled at crags to avoid disturbing other climbers. In particular, dogs distracting belayers is considered highly unsafe. No dogs are permitted in national parks or nature reserves.


  • Climbers are to show care for the natural environment surrounding crags and access paths and avoid wilful damage.
  • All rubbish is to be removed from climbing areas, regardless of who brought it.
  • Wherever toilet facilities are not provided, all toilet paper and human waste is to be buried below the surface at a distance of at least 50 metres from water and cliffs.
  • Climbers should consider erosion problems when deciding whether to use lower-off bolts or not.
  • Indiscriminate or excessive use of fixed and visually intrusive equipment is to be avoided.
  • Wherever safely possible, any observed acts of vandalism should be recorded and reported to the administering authority. This will likely minimise any future damage and promote cooperation with the authority.


  • Climbers are to act with courtesy, dignity and integrity in order to foster the trust of the general community and of other climbers. A friendly and outgoing attitude is most effective in fostering good will, resolving disagreements and maintaining access.
  • Existing access restrictions and agreements are to be observed. Finding out about these is the responsibility of the climber. Guidebooks, administering authorities and other climbers should be consulted for information.
  • Approval from owners or guardians of private property is to be obtained before entering or crossing over such property. All gates should be left in their original position and any disturbance to stock or crops minimised.
  • Sites of cultural, artistic, geological and historical significance are to be respected according to the applicable rules.
  • Bolted climbs that are not published in any form are considered closed projects. Climbers are to stay off such routes unless they have evidence that the first ascent has been completed. Contravening this item will likely result in the “first theft ascent” not being listed in the guidebook.

Code of Practice Regarding Aboriginal Cultural Heritage​

CAWA acknowledges and respects the Traditional Owners, including Elders, of land and waters throughout Western Australia, and recognises their continuing connection to such land and waters.

CAWA acknowledges that Aboriginal cultural heritage (ACH) may exist in places where climbing takes place in Western Australia and that climbers must comply with the laws of Western Australia that relate to ACH.

Nov 2020

For the purposes of this Code, ACH is defined as any object or place of cultural significance to Aboriginal people, including Aboriginal ancestral remains.

It is important for climbers to accept that climbing is a privilege and not a right, and that access to climbing areas can easily be taken away, even if laws concerning ACH are complied with.  This has happened at Walcliffe, and in Victoria (Grampians and Mt Arapiles).

With that in mind this Code of Practice sets out standards for all climbers in Western Australia in relation to ACH:

  1. Check whether ACH may exist in existing climbing areas where you intend to climb, and access route(s) to and from those areas.  This can be done via the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System ( which identifies the general location of registered Aboriginal sites and other cultural heritage.  CAWA is in the process of creating a table showing ACH in and around the main climbing areas throughout Western Australia, which will be posted on the website.
  2. If you intend to access, climb or develop a new climbing area, check to see whether any ACH exists in that area, and the access route(s) to and from that area.  This can also be done via the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System (
  3. If you become aware of ACH whilst accessing, climbing or developing a climbing area, cease all activity in that area, and report the find to the President of CAWA.  CAWA will then investigate and provide guidance on access to the area concerned.
  4. If you are confronted by Aboriginal people regarding the existence of ACH in an area you are accessing or climbing, be courteous, cease all activity in that area, and report to the President of CAWA.  CAWA will then investigate and provide guidance on access to the area concerned.
  5. Comply with the CAWA Code of Conduct and the Code of Bolting and New Route Development.

Code of Bolting

and new route development

The CAWA Code of Bolting establishes the standards required to be adopted in Western Australia in regard to developing and bolting rock climbing routes. This code applies to bolting and re-bolting, and the term ‘bolting’ includes re-bolting.

Aug 2022
  1. Persons considering bolting or altering rock faces should ascertain who owns or manages the area ie a private landowner or government department (currently DBCA). For new crags, CAWA should be approached for advice.
  2. Bolts may only be used on new routes where there is no possibility of arranging any form of traditional protection, such as slings, nuts and cams. However, if traditional protection would only represent a small portion of the overall pitch eg less than 20%, and the intended bolting is consistent with the established ethic of the area, then bolts may be more suitable. If in doubt, contact CAWA.
  3. Bolting is to be carried out only by persons who have sufficient experience and competence in outdoor climbing, placing of traditional protection and bolt installation. Good judgement is required when placing bolts, and this can only be developed from long and diverse climbing experience. Practising placing bolts is not to be carried out at climbing areas or on natural rock features.
  4. Bolts for new routes are to be installed beyond reach from established routes.
  5. Bolts should be visually unobtrusive, especially in areas visited by the non-climbing public. The bolt installer should be discreet and use the least conspicuous method of bolting and installation and minimise the number of bolts, consistent with safe practice.
  6. Modifications to rock are not acceptable for the purpose of creating climbing holds, as they destroy the natural quality of the rock face. This includes, but is not limited to, gluing or bolting additional holds onto the rock, and drilling or chipping out holds in the rock.
  7. Only fixtures and materials of sufficient strength and durability are to be used:
    1. Deformation-installed (“bash-in”) carrot bolts (“carrots”) and pitons are not to be installed.
    2. Glued-in machine bolts (GIMBs) are only acceptable in areas that are frequented by the non-climbing public eg hikers, or on the tops of cliffs for route access due to their limited visual impact.
    3. All bolts placed within 5km of the coast or in areas with high exposure to salt or other corrosive effects eg Kalbarri National Park, are to be made of a minimum of stainless steel 316 or higher alloy grades. Bolts in other areas are to be made from stainless steel of 304 or higher alloy grades. Expansion bolts are not to be placed in areas exposed to high salinity, sea spray or waves unless specialty removable expansion bolts.
    4. Minimum bolt diameter is to be 10mm for threaded bar and 8mm for unthreaded bar.
    5. Expansion bolts are not to be placed in limestone or other rock deemed of insufficient strength (some WA Sandstone).
    6. Any carrots, pitons and old bolts deemed to be of insufficient strength can be replaced by new bolts. A reasonable effort should be made to contact the first ascensionist, however no permission from the first ascensionist need be obtained for this action.
    7. Purpose made and rated bolting materials for climbing (or equivalent) are to be used except where paragraph 7.2 applies.
  8. All glue must be pure epoxy type glue suitable for outdoor use and installation in a damp or wet substrate. Glue use and bolt installation is to be as per the manufacturer instructions including hole preparation (if applicable).
  9. All bolts must be checked by the installer after installation and prior to use to confirm successful installation. For glue-in bolts, attempts must be made at the site to prevent any person from using the bolts eg marking the route or bolts with ‘danger tape’, as a warning until glue setting is confirmed.
  10. Regarding bolt spacing
    1. Bolt spacing of indoor climbing routes is not to be used as a measurement to determine bolt spacing of outdoor climbing routes. The standards and requirements for artificial and commercial climbing walls does not apply to the ethics and values on natural rock and cliffs.
    2. The maximum bolt spacing on any new routes is to be such that the climb is considered safe by most climbers competent at the grade and style of the route. Bolt spacing is to be consistent with the ethic of the area and the route description is to be adequate to inform climbers. The route developer is to take into consideration other climbers’ abilities, statures and experience.
    3. Where an existing bolted route does not comply with paragraph 10.2 and there is a risk of a serious ground fall, bolts may be added to the climb to prevent that risk. Additional bolts may only be installed once approval has been granted by the first ascensionist or the CAWA committee. Due consideration is to be given to the nature of established routes and ethic of the area, and any warnings or route descriptions should be considered as alternatives to additional bolts.
  11. Wherever the cliff top or descent path is subject to erosion, new routes are to be equipped with lower-offs
  12. Bolts are not to be added to existing climbs or to boulder problems. Existing routes should not be interfered with in any way without the permission of the first ascensionist. However, items 2 to 11 have priority over this item.
  13. Arguments about bolting by referring to past practices are not considered valid. For example, areas with existing carrot bolts are not to have more of them added.
  14. No new bolts are to be placed:
    1. Anywhere on Bluff Knoll and Coyanarup peak (the peak adjacent to Bluff Knoll) in the Stirling Ranges National Park.
    2. The Gap, Natural Bridge and the Blowholes near Albany and cliffs directly adjacent to the Z-bend lookout at Kalbarri.
    3. Any area designated by CAWA, climbing guidebooks or management authorities.
    4. Without the permission of any private landowners.
  15. In addition to paragraphs 1 – 14, where applicable, the following paragraphs apply to re-bolting (the replacement of existing bolts) on rock climbing routes:
    1. Prior to re-bolting, the bolt replacer should inform CAWA of intentions including the route name and bolting materials to be used. If applicable / available, CAWA may be able to provide bolting materials and / or approve reimbursement of some costs through the re-bolting fund.
    2. Old bolts, should be extracted from the rock so existing holes can be used for new bolts thereby minimising further damage to the rock. Serious damage to the rock or drilling of more holes specifically to remove bolts is not to occur.
    3. In accordance with paragraphs 1 – 14, the bolt replacer should assess if existing bolt positions are suitable, existing rock is secure and existing anchors or lower-offs are practical. If existing holes or rock are not suitable for new bolts, then a new hole can be drilled in the near vicinity which retains the original nature of the route.
    4. In accordance with paragraph 2, bolts should not be replaced if traditional protection is available.
    5. Once the re-bolting is complete, the bolt replacer is to provide CAWA with the details including if successful or not, any issues and an updated description. If prior approval was granted, the bolt replacer should provide CAWA with receipts and bank details for reimbursement of associated costs.

Member Protection Policy

Mar 2023

1. Purpose

CAWA is committed to ensuring that everyone involved with climbing is treated with respect and dignity and is protected from abuse, bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct, unlawful discrimination, victimisation, and vilification.

This Policy seeks to ensure that everyone involved in climbing is aware of their rights and responsibilities. This Policy sets out the standards of behaviour expected of those involved in climbing and the behaviours that are not acceptable (Prohibited Conduct).

2. Scope

This Policy applies to members of CAWA, and CAWA in all its functions, activities and operations.

3. Definitions

In this Policy:

Abuse means any type of abuse (including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and inappropriate use of power) that has caused, is causing or is likely to cause harm to a person’s wellbeing, whether in person or as the result of a publication viewable by any other person by any means.

Bullying means a person or group of people repeatedly and intentionally using words or actions, or the inappropriate use of power, against someone or a group of people to cause distress and risk to their wellbeing.

Harassment means any type of behaviour towards a person that they do not want and that is offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening and is reasonably likely to cause harm to the person who is the subject of the harassment.

Policy means this Member Protection Policy including Schedule 1.

Sexual Misconduct means:
  1. Sexual Harassment, which is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour where a reasonable person would anticipate the possibility that the person being harassed would feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated; and
  2. Sexual Offences, which include any criminal offence involving sexual activity or actions of indecency.
Unlawful Discrimination includes:
  1. Direct Discrimination, when a person or group of people is treated less favourably than another person or group, because of a personal characteristic; and
  2. Indirect Discrimination, when an unreasonable rule or policy applies to everyone but has the effect of disadvantaging some people because of a personal characteristic they share, where such personal characteristic is protected by applicable anti-discrimination legislation.

Victimisation means subjecting a person, or threatening to subject a person, to any unfair treatment because the person has made, or intends to pursue their right to make, a complaint or lawful disclosure, including under applicable legislation or this Policy, or for supporting another person to take such action.<.p>

Vilification means a public act, conduct or behaviour that incites hatred, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of, a person or group of people because of a particular characteristic they hold, as covered by applicable legislation, including their race or religion, or homosexuality, transgender, or HIV/AIDS status.

See Schedule 1 below for examples of the above definitions.

4. Prohibited Conduct

CAWA and its members must not engage in Prohibited Conduct, namely:

  1. Abuse;
  2. Bullying;
  3. Harassment;
  4. Sexual Misconduct;
  5. Unlawful Discrimination;
  6. Victimisation; or
  7. Vilification.
See Schedule 1 for examples of Prohibited Conduct under this Policy.


Any disputes concerning an alleged breach of this Policy, or alleged Prohibited Conduct shall be resolved in accordance with Rule 10 [Resolving Disputes] of CAWA’s Rules, as if Rule 10 applied to a dispute arising under this Policy.

Schedule 1 – Examples of Prohibited Conduct

Abuse must be behaviour of a nature and level of seriousness which includes, but is not limited to:
  1. physical abuse and assault including hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, destroying property, sleep, and food deprivation, forced feeding, unreasonable physical restraint, spitting at another person or biting;
  2. sexual abuse including rape and assault, using sexually degrading insults, forced sex or sexual acts, deliberately causing pain during sex, unwanted touching or exposure to pornography, sexual jokes, using sex to coerce compliance;
  3. emotional abuse such as repeated and intentional embarrassment in public, preventing or excluding someone from participating in sport activities, stalking, humiliation, or intimidation;
  4. verbal abuse such as repeated or severe insults, name calling, criticism, swearing and humiliation, attacks on someone’s intelligence, body shaming, or aggressive yelling;
  5. financial abuse such as restricting access to bank accounts, taking control of finances and money, forbidding someone from working, taking someone’s pay and not allowing them to access it;
  6. neglect of a person’s needs.
Bullying must be behaviour of a nature and level of seriousness which includes, but is not limited to, repeatedly:
  1. keeping someone out of a group (online or offline);
  2. acting in an unpleasant way near or towards someone;
  3. giving nasty looks, making rude gestures, calling names, being rude and impolite, constantly negative and teasing;
  4. spreading rumours or lies, or misrepresenting someone (i.e., using their social media account to post messages as if it were them);
  5. ‘fooling around’, ‘messing about’ or other random or supposedly playful conduct that goes too far;
  6. harassing someone based on their race, sex, religion, gender, or a disability;
  7. intentionally and repeatedly hurting someone physically;
  8. intentionally stalking someone; and
  9. taking advantage of any power over someone else, but does not include legitimate and reasonable:
    1. management action;
    2. management processes;
    3. disciplinary action; or
    4. allocation of activities in compliance with agreed systems.
Harassment must be behaviour of a nature and level of seriousness which includes, but is not limited to:
  1. telling insulting jokes about racial groups;
  2. sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails or text messages;
  3. displaying racially offensive or pornographic images or screen savers;
  4. making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race;
  5. asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including his or her sex life;
  6. sexual harassment or any of the above conduct in the workplace by employers, coworkers, and other workplace participants;
  7. any of the above conduct in the workplace, based on or linked to a person’s disability or the disability of an associate; and
  8. offensive behaviour based on race or racial hatred, such as something done in public that offends, insults, or humiliates a person or group of people because of their race, colour or nationality or ethnicity.
Sexual Misconduct is behaviour including, but not limited to:
  1. unwelcome touching;
  2. staring or leering;
  3. suggestive comments or jokes;
  4. showing or sharing sexually explicit images or pictures;
  5. unwanted invitations to go out on dates;
  6. requests for sex;
  7. intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body;
  8. unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person;
  9. insults or taunts based on sex;
  10. sexually explicit physical contact;
  11. sending sexually explicit or suggestive emails, texts, or other electronic/social media messages;
  12. displaying pornographic images or screen savers;
  13. asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including about his or her sex life; and
  14. criminal offences such as rape, indecent or sexual assault, sexual penetration, or relationship with a child under the age of 16 and possession of child pornography.
Unlawful Discrimination is unfair treatment based on a person’s:
  1. age;
  2. disability;
  3. race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, or migrant status;
  4. sex, pregnancy, marital or relationship status, family responsibilities or breastfeeding; and
  5. sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.
Victimisation is behaviour including, but not limited to:
  1. dismissal of an employee/volunteer or disadvantage to their employment/involvement in sport;
  2. alteration of an employee’s position or duties to his or her disadvantage;
  3. discrimination between an employee and other employees;
  4. repeated failure to select an individual on merit;
  5. a reduction in future contract value; and
  6. removal of coaching and other financial and non-financial support.
Vilification is behaviour including, but not limited to:
  1. speaking about a person’s race or religion in a way that could make other people dislike, hate, or ridicule them;
  2. publishing claims that a racial or religious group is involved in serious crimes without any evidence in support;
  3. repeated and serious verbal or physical abuse about the race or religion of another person;
  4. encouraging violence against people who belong to a particular race or religion, or damaging their property; and
  5. encouraging people to hate a racial or religious group using flyers, stickers, posters, a speech, or publication, or using websites or email.

Child Protection Policy

Feb 2023

1. Objectives and Context

The objectives of this policy are to:

  • create a Child Safe environment for all Youth Members.
  • protect all Youth Members in the care of CAWA.
  • ensure that allegations of Child Abuse or suspected Child Abuse are dealt with in a timely, consistent, confidential and sympathetic manner by CAWA.
  • provide a clear framework for the recruitment, training and management of Adults concerning Child Protection.
  • prevent Adults placing themselves at risk, and, to educate Youth Members about their right to safety and ways they can help protect themselves.

This Policy provides overarching Child Protection direction for CAWA and represents the minimum standard required.

In this Policy:

Adult” means any person who is 18 years of age or older, who is a Member of CAWA or other person who, from time to time, assists CAWA in some way.

Child” or “Children” means Youth Member(s), and any other person who is under 18 years of age.

Child Abuse” means an act or omission that endangers a Child’s physical or emotional health, well-being or development and can occur as a single incident or multiple incidents over time. See section 4 for Child Abuse types, indicators and behaviours.

Child Safe” means an environment that has an open and aware culture, which understands what Child Abuse and risks look like, is bound by a well-known Child Protection policy and framework, gives a voice to Children, manages risks associated with Child Abuse, and where everyone is encouraged to report all allegations, disclosures or concerns.

Youth Member” means any Member of CAWA who is under 18 years of age (as per Rule 4.6(a)).

2. Statement of Policy

CAWA has a duty of care to Youth Members to provide a safe environment and protection from harm, including Child Abuse. All Adults are required to fulfil this responsibility on behalf of CAWA at all times.

CAWA is committed to an environment of ZERO TOLERANCE toward bullying, neglect and emotional, physical, psychological or sexual abuse of any kind. Abuse takes many forms and can be perpetrated in many ways, as such CAWA requires all Adults and Youth Members to be aware of Child Abuse as outlined in this Policy and comply with the requirements of this Policy at all times. When an incident does occur, CAWA’s priority is to ensure the immediate safety and welfare of the Youth Member.

All Adults must report any conduct directly seen or suspected that does not comply with this Policy. Without fail, Adults must immediately report any disclosure, allegation or suspicion of abuse of Children in accordance with this Policy.

Children are also to be encouraged to report any conduct that does not comply with this Policy and are to be regularly reminded/informed of their rights to feel safe and what action they can take if they do not feel safe.

Responding to allegations of Child Abuse must be undertaken with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality. The welfare of Children is of paramount importance. Accordingly, CAWA is to terminate the Membership of (or the contract/ employment of) any Adult where an allegation or suspicion of abuse has been proven through a court of law. CAWA may also terminate the Membership of any Adult even if a Child Protection matter is not concluded or ultimately resolved with certainty. Additionally, CAWA is to automatically suspend the membership of an alleged abuser until the matter is resolved by the appropriate authority. CAWA is not to proceed with an application for Membership if there is any doubt concerning suitability.


3. Scope

This Policy applies to all Adult and Youth Members of CAWA, staff, other employees and consultants/contractors, in addition to any Adults who may assist CAWA from time to time.

Regardless of ‘Membership status’ in CAWA, this policy applies to any person who may have contact with Youth Members (or has access to their records).

4. Child Abuse types, indicators and behaviours

4.1. Types of Child Abuse

The following types of Child Abuse are not exhaustive and do not limit the types of abusive behaviour covered by this Policy.

  1. Physical abuse: occurs when a person intentionally injures or threatens to injure a Child. The abuse includes but is not limited to slapping, punching, shaking, kicking, throwing, burning, biting, poisoning, shoving, pushing, holding or grabbing. An injury may take the form of bruises, cuts, burns or fractures. However, physical abuse may leave no physical injury. This abuse can also be the result of ‘hazing’ (the practice of rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group). Additionally, physical abuse can be a single incident or a number of different incidents that take place over time. The ‘level of harm’ is not necessarily relevant to determining that physical abuse has occurred, rather, that harm has or has not occurred. For harm to be ‘significant’ the detrimental effect on a child’s wellbeing must be substantial or serious and be demonstrated through the child’s presentation, functioning or behaviour.
  2. Emotional abuse: occurs when a Child is repeatedly rejected or frightened by threats. The abuse can involve name calling, being put down or continual coldness from a person to the extent that the behaviour of the Child is disturbed or their emotional development is at serious risk of impairment (this can include the effects of bullying). It also includes exclusion or bullying through social media.
  3. Sexual abuse: occurs when a Child is used by a person (either an Adult, or another Child) for his or her own sexual stimulation or gratification. This can be contact or non-contact acts, including grooming by perpetrators, inappropriate touching, penetrative abuse, and exposure to pornography, accessing pornography, the retention of pornography or involving a child in the making or sending of child pornography.
  4. Grooming: occurs when an Adult manipulates a Child to provide opportunities to abuse and reduce the likelihood of being reported or discovered. Children are particularly accessible through ‘social media’. Indicators of ‘grooming’ include but are not limited to:
      • Developing special relationships with, favouring or giving gifts to a Child.
      • Inappropriate interactions with Children either in person or via forms of media and electronic devices.
      • Asking a Child to keep secret any aspect of their relationship.
      • Testing of or ignoring professional boundaries or rules.
      • The coercive use of social media, texting and on-line forums to groom, or directly abuse.
  5. Neglect: occurs when there is a failure to provide the Child with the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter, supervision, medical attention or care to the extent that the health, safety, or development of the Child is significantly impaired or placed at risk.
  6. Exposure to domestic violence: occurs when Children witness or experience the chronic domination, coercion, intimidation and victimisation of one person by another by physical, sexual or emotional means within a domestic relationship.

4.2. Indicators of Child Abuse

The following indicators of Child Abuse are not exhaustive and do not limit the indicators of abusive behaviour covered by this Policy:

  1. Any expression of concern by a Child regarding their personal safety, or remarks or testimony from a Child that a responsible Adult could interpret as a threat to the Child’s safety. This should lead to direct and immediate attention.
  2. Any report by a Member who has formed a reasonable suspicion that Child Abuse has, is or is likely to occur.
  3. Suspicious physical injuries, bruising, cuts, fractures, burns or marks.
  4. Lack of food, clothing, place to sleep, which is impacting the Child’s ongoing health or wellbeing and the parents/guardians are unwilling or unable to provide for the Child.
  5. Regular and/or severe negative self-talk, unusually aggressive, overly compliant and fearful, overly anxious, regressive behaviour.
  6. Persistent or significantly inappropriate discussion or writing about sexual activities, particularly sexual interest or information that is age inappropriate.
  7. Ongoing and unexplained health or wellbeing concerns such as stomach aches, headaches, crying and/or heightened sensitivity.
  8. Disclosure of suicidal thoughts or plans made by a Child.
  9. Observations or disclosures relating to the grooming behaviour of any Adult in contact with Children, including any combination of special gifts, secrets, time alone together, special names, online contact.
  10. Concerns about the actions or behaviour of any Adult.

4.3. Characteristic Behaviours of Child Abusers

The list below sets out behaviour and characteristics that often apply to a person who is engaging in, or who intends to engage in, Child Abuse. Child Abuse can be intra-familial (perpetrated by a family member) or extra-familial (perpetrated by another known person).

Note that perpetrators can be of any social group or behavioural type (eg. extrovert, introvert, married, single, old, young, rich or poor). While the majority of abusers (95%) are male, females also perpetrate abuse against Children.

Note also that one or two of these behavioural characteristics on their own do not necessarily indicate that a person is an abuser or a potential abuser. Behaviour that involves several characteristics together or ongoing behaviour might provide reason for concern. Such a person should be observed closely, but discreetly, for a brief period before reporting the concern, if the concern remains.

Behavioural Indicators
Extra familial abuse (perpetrated by a non-family member)
  • Displays low self-esteem, poor self-image or poor impulse control due to possible abuse as a Child
  • Displays withdrawn or placid demeanour
  • Pays special attention to sad, vulnerable, isolated or lonely Children or those in single parent families
  • Over emphasis upon morality
  • Acts in a legalistic and inflexible manner
  • Displays inappropriate affection to Children eg. front on hugging, touching or flirting
  • Has favourite Children to whom gifts are given
  • Strong denial or show of disgust of offence or any intention to offend
  • Avoids screening processes, or attempts to do so
  • Dislikes submission to authority, prefers to work alone, and is negative (or dismissive) when sexual abuse topics are raised
  • Spends considerable time with a Child or Children, outside of normal interactions
  • Flatters Children to boost their egos
  • Overly friendly/familiar with Children
  • Describes Children in inappropriate ways for example, angelic or pure
  • May remove himself/herself midway through an activity to have time with Children who may be in the toilet or other secluded area
  • Gives articles of his/her clothing to a Child as gifts, eg. a cap, a jacket, footy-shirt etc
  • Convincing in protests of innocence displaying a defence mechanism
  • May be very outspoken and outraged about Child sex offenders
  • Carries photos of Children other than his/her own, often indicating that these Children love him/her
  • Attempts to engineer opportunities to be alone with a Child, eg. babysitting, car rides, Child minding
  • Offers to take or takes Child home, shopping or on an outing
  • Offers to collect Child from school or activities. Engages with single parents to access the Children
Intra familial abuse (perpetrated by a family member)
  • Shows improper behaviour
  • Showers with Children
  • Expects an open-door policy in the bathroom
  • Attempts to sit Children on lap, even when Child resists
  • Exhibits inappropriate hugging and/or kissing
  • Attempts to shut down spouse/Child communications
  • Children don’t want to be home alone with the person
  • Is jealous of Child’s friends, boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Child is treated like a spouse in conversation or decisions

5. Procedural Requirements

5.1. Working with Children Card

  1. All Adult Members who are nominated by CAWA to climb with, guide or be responsible for Youth Members on CAWA trips, workshops or other eventsmust apply for a Working with Children (WWC) Check and hold a current WWC Card under the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004.
  2. CAWA will pay for the application for WWC Check if successful.

5.2. TWO DEEP leadership

‘TWO DEEP’ leadership means that when Adults are supervising and conducting climbing activities involving Youth Members, at least two Adults must be present, except in unexpected, unusual and unforeseen circumstances such as an emergency.

While the ratio of Adults to Youth Members will vary from activity to activity, a minimum of two Adults is always required, and is to be the first consideration when planning any climbing activity. The failure to achieve this standard should not preclude the climbing from occurring but, every effort must be made to achieve the standard before commencement.

Note that in light of the ‘burden of proof’ for legal proceedings involving Child Abuse, this mandated TWO DEEP policy may be the primary, and could be the only, method of proving that Child Abuse could not have occurred. Accordingly, TWO DEEP is a vital precaution against any misconceived conduct on behalf of Adults, and for protecting the legal position of CAWA.

5.3. Additional procedures

  1. Overnight activities: For every camp or overnight activity, each person must sleep in a separate bed. Adults are not to sleep in a room or camp with a Youth Member alone.
  2. Changing and bathing (washing) arrangements: Provision is to be made for private changing facilities and separate showers for male and female Youth Members and Adults involved in overnight activities. Only Adults of the same gender as the Youth Member can supervise bathing. In these circumstances, the guiding principle is that the Youth Member feels safe and has a sense of privacy. Adults are to avoid placing themselves in a situation where Youth Members feel uncomfortable or compromised or where Adult actions could be misinterpreted.
  3. Travel: On certain occasions (for example transporting a Youth Member from location to location) it is likely that only one Adult will be supervising. In these circumstances, prior informed consent (this may be verbal) is to be obtained from the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the Youth Member concerned. In this situation, care should be taken that the Adult is not alone with only one Youth Member (that is, the Youth Member is in the company of another Youth Member). Additionally:
    1. Under no circumstance should any Adult accept a third party into travel arrangements without the prior informed written consent of parents (unless the third party is another Member). A Youth Member must feel safe and comfortable with the arrangements. Adults are to avoid placing themselves in a situation where Youth Members feel uncomfortable or compromised or where an Adult’s actions could be misinterpreted.
    2. Other than for the Youth Member of a parent/guardian or in a clear emergency, Adults must not travel alone with one Youth Member without the prior approval of the parent/guardian.
  4. Contact by external parties: It is the responsibility of all Adults to ensure, as best as practicable, that while engaged in climbing activities, Youth Members are protected from unauthorised contact by external parties.
  5. Social media and electronic communication: Child Abuse and grooming, can and does occur on-line. It is important that Adults do not place themselves in situations where their actions and communications could be misinterpreted. Adults should always include another Adult (or indeed a parent of the Youth Member) when communicating with Youth Members on-line. This includes all forms of social media and emails.
  6. Further to the TWO DEEP requirement above, ‘private’ messaging between an Adult and a Youth Member (unless family) must be avoided. This provides not only a higher level of protection for Youth Members, importantly, it serves to protect an Adult from misinterpretation. ‘Privately messaging’ a Youth Member is considered the equivalent of going into a room alone with that Youth Member. It is contrary to the requirement of never placing oneself in a position where your words or actions could be misinterpreted.
    In addition, Adults must not befriend Youth Members on social media, nor respond to requests to befriend (except family). Adults should not interact privately with Youth Members in any form of social media. Where social media is used to organise climbing trips and events a publicly ‘open group’ or event/activity network involving more than one Adult and more than one Youth Member is to be used. However, this does not mean that an Adult cannot be a friend of a Youth Member, nor does it mean that an Adult cannot provide mentoring and support to individual Youth Members, in a climbing context.
  7. Photographs and recording: Adults should refrain from taking photographs and recordings of Youth Members unless they are intended for use by CAWA. Adults and Youth Members should not use photographic or recording devices of any kind in sleeping, changing or bathing (washing) areas.
  8. Media access: Where possible planned media access to Youth Members must be authorised by the parent(s)/guardian(s) in advance of any event. Where this is not possible (because the media is unplanned) every effort is to be made to contact parents/guardians to seek permission by the fastest means possible. If permission cannot be obtained, media access is not to be given.
  9. Youth to youth behaviour: Child Abuse can occur through youth interaction ranging from harassment and bullying to sexual contact. Social media can also be a vehicle for such abuse. CAWA requires that all Adults and parents be vigilant for this abuse.
  10. Social Media: Youth Members are to be regularly reminded of the importance of respectful communications when using social media. Importantly, Youth Members are to be reminded about the dangers of befriending strangers and sharing details about themselves on-line.
  11. Youth Member Child Protection education: The Child Protection practices contained in this section are to be regularly communicated to all Youth Members (as appropriate for age) together with a clear message that it is their right to feel safe at all times, and that if they do not, they are encouraged to share that feeling with an Adult immediately.

6. Sexual activity

There are numerous situations involving sexual relations with Youth Members and each must be dealt with differently as follows:

  1. Any form of sexual activity between a Youth Member and an Adult is not permitted (whether or not the Youth Member has reached the age of consent (16 years of age)) and must immediately be reported to the President of CAWA, the Department of Communities and the WA Police. The individuals concerned should be advised of the breach of law (where this is alleged) and the Adult in charge of the activity or event must remove the Adult from the event or activity.
  2. Sexual activity involving consenting Youth Members who have reached the legal age of consent (16) is not unlawful and therefore is not reportable. However, such activity is not condoned during climbing activities or events. The Youth Members concerned should be counselled to desist from such behaviour and, at the discretion of the Adult in charge of the activity or event, may be removed from the climbing event or activity and returned to their home (or other nominated place of residence), the cost of which will be met by the parent(s)/guardian(s).
  3. Any form of sexual activity between Youth Members in which one or both have not reached the legal age of consent (16) is a criminal offence and must be reported to the President of CAWA, the Department of Communities and the WA Police. The Youth Members concerned are to be counselled to desist from such behaviour and, at the discretion of the Adult in charge of the activity or event, may be removed from the event or activity and returned to their home (or other nominated place of residence), the cost of which will be met by the parent(s)/guardian(s).

7. Disclosure and reporting Child Abuse

7.1. Disclosure of Child Abuse

  1. Children are to be encouraged to bring any matter regarding their (or a peer’s) safety to an Adult directly.
  2. If a Child tells you they have been abused, respond positively and quickly:
    1. Believe them.
    2. Thank them for telling you.
    3. Let the Child know that:
      1. It’s not their fault.
      2. Telling you is the right thing to do.
      3. You will need to tell the authorities to stop the abuse.
    4. Let them use their own words. You may need to ask open questions (what? when? who? etc) to work out if they need immediate protection. Avoid asking questions that may lead or influence their response or that provide more details than you need.
    5. Do not make promises to the child that you may not be able to keep.
    6. Only discuss the Child’s situation with people dealing with the matter.
    7. Report the Child Abuse in accordance with section

7.2. Reporting Child Abuse

  1. Child Abuse, and a reasonable suspicion of Child Abuse, must be reported despite the wishes of the Child concerned or any other person.
  2. An investigation must not precede the making of a report. The most important consideration is the immediate safety and welfare of the Child.
  3. When Child Abuse has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur, or a reasonable suspicion has been formed that Child Abuse has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur, a report must immediately be made to:
    1. the President or another member of CAWA’s Committee. Once a report has been made the Committee will convene as soon as possible to determine the next steps. However, if necessary, the President may act immediately;
    2. the Department of Communities, or Crisis Helpline if outside business hours; and
      Department of Communities: Central Intake Team on 1800 273 889 or email
      Crisis Helpline (24 Hour telephone service):(08) 9223 1111 or free call 1800 199 008
    3. the WA Police, if there is an immediate concern about the Child’s safety or criminal acts have occurred.
      WA Police: 131 444, or 000 (emergencies only)
  4. A report must be made, even if there is no known or identifiable victim or suspected victim, such as where there is a concern about someone based on the behavioural characteristics outlined in this Policy or where there is a suspicion that a person’s behaviour is inappropriate.
  5. The receiver of a report of Child Abuse must not confront the person(s) named in the report, but should take necessary, common-sense action if the Child is in immediate danger.

Privacy Policy

Feb 2023

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information about CAWA Members.

2. Scope

This Policy applies to CAWA in all its functions, activities and operations. 

3. Statement of policy

Your privacy is important to us 

CAWA is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals, including members and customers. CAWA abides by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). The APPs regulate the way certain entities handle personal information. Privacy of your personal information is important to us and we conduct our organisation with the highest standards of personal and corporate integrity. We aim to provide the best possible service, whilst ensuring you are aware of how your personal information is used within CAWA. By providing your personal information to us, you agree to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information (including sensitive information such as health information) in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

What is personal information?

Personal information is information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable: 

(a) whether the information or opinion is true or not; and 
(b) whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

What personal information do we collect and hold? 

We will always be open and honest in our dealings with you and will only collect information about you that we believe is necessary to undertake our legitimate activities. The nature of the personal information we collect will be dependent upon your chosen level of interaction with CAWA, and the degree to which you utilise the broad range of CAWA benefits, products and services. Generally, the personal information is comprised of your name, gender, address, date of birth, and telephone and email contact details. Further specific details may be required for different types of transactions and membership interactions (i.e., attendance at events/activities that require medical/contact information). CAWA also retains transactional histories of your usage of CAWA services for audit purposes and to assist in understanding your circumstances, preferences and service needs. 

For employment applications, we collect your name, address, contact details, current and past employment information, educational qualifications and professional associations. We also collect information about and proof of your residency status, the name and contact details of your referees and other information required for recruitment purposes. Where we seek your consent to conduct a background check, we also collect details of your proof of identity from you.

How do we hold your personal information? 

We may hold your personal information in a number of ways, including:

  • on our IT systems and databases, which may include storing your data on a third party supplier’s system; 
  • in hard copies (paper files). 

We may combine personal information we receive about you with other information we hold about you. This includes information collected for different products and services. We may hold your personal information as long as we need it for any purpose for which we may use or disclose it, or longer if required by law.

Why is the information collected and how is it used? 

Generally, we collect personal information necessary to validate your identity and to ensure your request or enquiry can be actioned efficiently and effectively. Collection of personal information is necessary to undertake many of the broad range of transactions offered by CAWA, including: 

  • to process an application or renewal for CAWA Membership; 
  • to process a request for another CAWA product or service; 
  • to register you to attend events or activities conducted by CAWA or a third party provider; 
  • to respond to any query sent to us by you; 
  • to handle complaints and disputes; 
  • to use in accordance with any other purpose which is stated to you at the time of collection or that you otherwise authorise; 
  • to detect, investigate and prevent fraud; 
  • to train our employees; 
  • to assess and process employment applications; and
  • to satisfy legal requirements.

How do we collect your personal information? 

In most cases, we only collect information about you directly from you either in person, in writing, email, through our online services and by telephone. However, there are circumstances where this is impractical such as a parent providing information on behalf of a Youth Member. In some circumstances, we may also collect your personal information from:

  • third parties who you have asked to provide your personal information to us, including your referees; 
  • our agents and service providers; 
  • people who are involved in a claim or assist us in assessing, investigating, processing or settling claims, including third parties claiming under your policy, witnesses, external claims data collectors and verifiers, and your employer; 
  • law enforcement, dispute resolution, statutory and regulatory bodies; 
  • industry databases; 
  • publicly available sources such as the Internet and telephone directories; 
  • the general public when it is unsolicited and may be relevant to a particular policy or fraud investigation. 

Unless we are required or permitted by law to collect sensitive information about you, we will only do so after obtaining your consent. If you provide personal information about a third party individual to us you need to ensure that the individual is aware of, understands and agrees to the collection, use and disclosure of his or her personal information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

What if you don’t want to provide certain personal information? 

We only collect information that we believe is necessary to undertake a specific transaction or function. Therefore, refusal to supply requested details may delay or prevent us from satisfying your request, be it a Member application, or application for one of our other services.

Disclosure of personal information 

Any personal information collected, held or used by CAWA is kept strictly confidential and is only accessed by authorised CAWA members, agents, contractors or service providers in the course of them undertaking their legitimate duties in providing a given product or service and managing our organisation. Only information necessary for the particular function is shared with the relevant service provider. Member or customer information will not be given, rented, sold or traded to any external third party organisation and will only be made available to a third party:

  • where CAWA has contracted an external service provider to assist in the execution of CAWA’s legitimate activities, including IT service providers, providers of consultancy services and professional advisors; 
  • if disclosure is required by or authorised by law; or 
  • if you consent to the disclosure of specific information to third parties.

How we protect your personal information 

Reasonable steps are taken by us to protect personal information we hold from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

Contacting CAWA about access to and/or correction of your personal information 

CAWA aims to ensure the personal information it collects, uses and discloses, including the personal information of its Members, is accurate, up to date, complete and relevant. If you would like to access your personal information or feel that the information we currently have on record is inaccurate, irrelevant, out of date of incomplete, please contact us on We will need to verify your identity before giving you access. We will comply with any such request except where the Privacy Act 1988 or Australian Privacy Principles allow us to refuse to do so. There is no fee for making such a request. We will endeavour to respond to such a request within 14 days.

Comments and complaints regarding Privacy 

If you have a problem with how CAWA has used your personal information or are concerned about any aspects of CAWA’s Privacy Policy, we want to hear from you. The Secretary of CAWA has authority to deal with any privacy matter and will be able to explain your rights and any referral that may be necessary in order to resolve the matter. Any formal privacy complaint will be dealt with by the CAWA Secretary, or if necessary, may be referred to the President, who has the appropriate authority to deal with disputes. Privacy-related comments and complaints may be lodged online. Our contact details are as follows:


In the unlikely event that your complaint is unresolved, you are unhappy with the resolution of your complaint or with the way CAWA has handled your complaint, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner which may investigate your complaint further. However, they will only become involved when all internal avenues have been exhausted. Their contact details are as follows:

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001
phone: 1300 363 992 

Changes to this Privacy Policy 

This Privacy Policy may change from time to time. Any revised version will be posted on the CAWA website.

4. Responsibilities

CAWA’s Secretary is responsible for establishing the governance accountabilities for the privacy and security of data held by CAWA. 

The Secretary is responsible for: 

  1. Overseeing security of data and information held by CAWA;
  2. If necessary, provision of guidelines to support the implementation of this Policy; and 
  3. Monitoring and reviewing this Policy. 

Inclusion and Diversity Policy

Feb 2023

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out a framework outlining CAWA’s commitment and approach to inclusion and diversity in climbing.

In this Policy:

“Inclusion” and “inclusive” refers to ensuring that individuals have equality of opportunity in climbing without any barriers or obstacles as a result of their race, colour, physical features, sex, sexual preference, lawful sexual activity, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, breast feeding, carer responsibilities, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

“Diversity” refers to the visible and invisible differences that exist between individuals including (but not limited to) race, colour, physical features, sex, sexual preference, lawful sexual activity, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, breastfeeding, carer responsibilities, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin. 

2. Scope

This Policy applies to CAWA in all its functions, activities and operations. 

3. Statement of policy

People are at the heart of climbing and CAWA’s aim is to ensure safe, respectful, and inclusive climbing events and activities where diversity is valued, providing a foundation where people can fully participate in and contribute to the climbing community, realise their climbing potential, and succeed in their climbing goals.

Accordingly CAWA will:

  • Provide safe and inclusive climbing activities and events where every person can participate and develop regardless of age, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, marital or family status, religious belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, perspective and experience.
  • Provide climbing activities and events where people feel welcome and are respected, connected, supported, and valued.
  • Have zero tolerance towards discrimination, harassment, and bullying.
  • Ensure that policies, practices, systems, and processes are free from biases, providing a fair and equitable climbing culture for all participants.
  • Promote a Committee whose composition reflects a diversity of backgrounds, knowledge, experience, and abilities.

4. Responsibilities

The Committee is responsible for: 

  • Establishing policies, practices, systems and processes to support the implementation of this Policy; 
  • Monitoring and reviewing the implementation of this Policy. 


Every incorporated association must, amongst other things, have a set of rules, often known as a constitution.

May 2017

The rules largely govern how an association operates. The committee and members of an incorporated association should comply with these rules unless they are inconsistent with the law.

Members decide the rules that will apply to their incorporated association, its committee of management and themselves. The Associations Incorporation Act (1987) sets out some basic requirements with which all associations incorporated in WA must comply.

The current version of the CAWA Constitution, approved at AGM on the 21st of Jun 2017, can be viewed here.

Environment Policy

August 2023


This Environment Policy is a statement of CAWA’s commitment to help reduce the impact of climbing activities on the environment.

As climbers we often practise our sport on relatively untouched summits and cliffs. We have the potential to adversely affect those environments that are so valuable to our experience. We need to be aware of, and to protect, the special features of the environment we use.

CAWA acknowledges responsibility to take reasonable measures to safeguard the environment for both present and future generations. CAWA will improve its own environmental performance and provide assistance and advice to climbers on environmental issues relating to their activities.


This policy applies to CAWA and its members, guests, volunteers, staff, and anyone else involved in CAWA activities, events or functions, or who represents CAWA in any capacity.

Administration and Operations

CAWA’s administration and operations can have a significant impact on the environment through the resources it uses, such as paper, power, fuel and emissions.

CAWA will implement measures to ensure its administration and operations have as small an impact on the environment as reasonably possible.

Transport & Travel

Climbers often rely on their cars to travel to and from crags. However, the use of internal combustion engine cars is having an adverse effect on the environment, being a major contributor to CO2 emissions. CAWA will encourage its members to:

  • Reduce the need for travel, for example by promoting the use of closer crags
  • Car share where possible
  • Use public transport where possible

Energy use

CAWA recognises that climate change will increasingly lead to environmental changes that threaten to significantly affect its members’ recreational interests. CAWA will help climbers to understand how their activities contribute to climate change and provide practical advice and support to help them reduce their impact.

Enhance & Protect the Environment

Protected flora and fauna species are often found on crags and the surrounding environment. CAWA supports the protection of these species and will seek to work with government agencies to ensure that any proposed restrictions are designed to have the least possible impact on climbing activities. CAWA will promote adherence by its members to such access restrictions. On particularly sensitive sites, CAWA will support research and monitoring to ensure conservation programmes are effective. CAWA will promote good practice to climbers in relation to the protection of protected flora and fauna species.

Reducing the Impact of Climbers – Leave No Trace Principles

CAWA aims to minimise the impact of climbers on the environment. CAWA will promote this message to its members and work with relevant landowners and government agencies to ensure the quality of the environment is not degraded through climbing activities, advocating the Leave No Trace Principles.


The CAWA Committee is responsible for implementing this Environment Policy and will provide leadership through its programmes and the way it conducts its affairs. CAWA will ensure that climbers understand, and are enabled to take responsibility for their environmental impact through the provision of information and publications.

Drug & Alcohol Policy

August 2023


The Climbers Association of Western Australia (CAWA) is committed to providing a safe and respFonsible environment for all members and other participants. This Drug & Alcohol Policy outlines CAWA’s stance on the use and possession of drugs and alcohol during any CAWA activities, events, or functions.

Compliance with this policy helps to maintain the integrity, safety, and enjoyment of CAWA activities, events and functions and represents the values and responsibilities of our association.


This policy applies to all CAWA members, guests, volunteers, staff, and anyone else involved in CAWA activities, events or functions or represents CAWA in any capacity.



1. Avoiding Impairment of Performance and Safety

  • Climbing and related activities require concentration, coordination, and judgement. Any impairment due to drugs or alcohol can seriously affect these abilities and compromise safety.
  • Members must not climb or engage in any safety-sensitive activities if their ability to perform such tasks is impaired due to the use of drugs or alcohol.

2. Alcohol

  • Responsible consumption of alcohol is permitted at CAWA activities, events and functions.
  • If applicable, CAWA must obtain appropriate alcohol licensing and permissions.
  • Individuals must adhere to the legal drinking age and all relevant laws and regulations concerning the consumption and service of alcohol.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol, which leads to irresponsible behaviour, will not be tolerated.

3. Illegal Drugs

  • Possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited at CAWA activities, events and functions.
  • Any person found to be in possession of, using, or distributing illegal drugs will be asked to cease immediately and may be reported to the relevant authorities.

4. Prescription Medication

  • Members taking prescription medications that may impair their ability to climb safely must inform appropriate CAWA representatives, such as event organisers or trip leaders.


  • The CAWA committee is responsible for enforcing this policy.
  • Members are responsible for their conduct and must adhere to this policy at all times.

Enforcement and Sanctions

  • Violation of this policy may result in immediate removal from an activity, event or function and may lead to further disciplinary action.
  • CAWA may report breaches of the law to law enforcement authorities where appropriate.


  • This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure it continues to comply with all relevant legal requirements and aligns with CAWA’s objectives and values.
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