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Photographing and filming of children and young people at the AIS

06 December 2019

Sport Australia recognises that photographing and filming children in the sport and recreation setting is usually performed in an appropriate manner and for good reasons. However, the inappropriate recording (photography, video or audio) of children can occur which puts children at risk.

Background and the law

It is a legitimate pursuit to film and take photos at sporting events. A common sense approach therefore needs to be taken to ensure everyone can record their child’s achievements whilst also keeping children safe.

In Australia, there are no laws specifically prohibiting photographing and filming people (including children) in public places. However, there are Commonwealth, State and Territory laws that safeguard the privacy and safety of people (including children) from exploitation and inappropriate use of their image.

For example, it is unlawful for images and video to be taken that is:

  • indecent (such as 'up skirt' or 'down blouse' photographs taken covertly);
  • in change rooms, toilets or other designated private areas;
  • for the purposes of voyeurism or to record a person's genital or anal region, or in an otherwise provocative or sexual manner;
  • of persons protected by a court order (e.g. children subject to court orders or other legal  protection); or
  • used for commercial purposes without the consent of the subject (person's likeness is used to endorse a product).

Note that Sport Australia will seek to support and enable criminal prosecution of people acting unlawfully on AIS premises.

Guidelines for photographing or filming at the AIS

For all legal purposes AIS premises are private property and no recording (photography, video, audio) may take place except that which is permitted by Sport Australia.

Sport Australia does not impose a blanket ban on photography or filming of children at the AIS campus and encourages families and people of all ages to enjoy the AIS campus, and to capture their memories and share them with friends.

In granting this use, Sport Australia applies the following conditions:

  • All images or video taken must be for private (non-commercial) use only, unless otherwise approved by Sport Australia management;
  • Permission should be obtained from the child's parent/guardian prior to taking any images or video of a child or young person, particularly if they can be identified and you intend to post the images or video on to social media;
  • Sport Australia, from time to time, consents to  parents and guardians, taking images or video of children participating in its programs for use in print, digital and electronic media for the purpose of promoting the AIS, Sport Australia and the sport;
  • Photographers (professional photographers, spectators, fans, coaches or members of the media) are not permitted unsupervised access to children;
  • Any coach or team leader must inform any athlete and parent(s) if they want to video the athlete as a tool to analyse and improve performance; and
  • Members of the media and professional photographers must be clearly identifiable for any events held on the AIS campus.

Think before you post

As social media users, we should all be vigilant about what we share. Once posted online any photo or video can be shared, copied and/or manipulated. You may not be able to control how a photo or video is used by others. Before posting a photo or video, think about:

  • Who might be able to see these images?
    • When uploading images and video check your privacy settings on the social media services you use as well as on the device to control who sees your images.
  • Is there anyone else in this photo?
    • Be mindful that some people may not want their image to be published.
  • Will this image offend anyone?
  • Are there any identifying details in the image? Do not include personal information such as children's names.
  • Avoid images and video that:
    • are indecent, offensive or demeaning to any person
    • harm or injure someone’s reputation and/or open them to public ridicule and embarrassment
    • contain personal details for example full names, personal contact information or uniforms that identify location
    • show a child who is clearly upset or distressed.

Complaints process

If you believe a person is taking images or video inappropriately on site, then please approach a staff member of Sport Australia immediately. Sport Australia staff member will then assess the situation and may request the person to stop taking images. If the person refuses, the police or security may be called to escort them off the property.

If there are reasonable concerns that a person (adult or child) is taking photographs that are indecent or in areas like toilets/change rooms, then Sport Australia staff will contact the police immediately.

If an image or video of your child has been posted online without your permission and you wish it to be removed, then in the first instance you should ask the person who posted the photo or video to remove it. If the person refuses or you don’t know who posted it, you should contact or report your concern directly to the social media site.

Should you wish to raise any other complaint or provide feedback following your attendance at the AIS campus, then please refer to

Please note that it is best to raise any concerns you have whilst you are at the AIS campus immediately with Sport Australia staff so that the matter can be followed up and dealt with promptly.

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