This Code of Conduct is designed to clarify Melbourne French Theatre Inc. [MFT]’s expectation of how contractors, associates, actors, members, subscribers, performers, administration and production staff and all paid and volunteer personnel [“Participant/s”] must conduct themselves whilst involved in the activities of the company. By following this Code of Conduct, your reputation and the brand and reputation of MFT, will be upheld and protected and enhanced.
MFT was founded on 23 March 1977 and has endured due to adherence to an historical code and principles before this Code was introduced.
The Code also seeks to provide a safe, enjoyable and equitable environment for all, in undertaking their roles within MFT.
MFT is committed to ensuring the integrity and highest ethical standards in respect of Participants. Underlying this commitment is the need for MFT to ensure that all persons contributing to the success of MFT act with dignity, honesty, integrity and with respect towards others.
As an extension to MFT’s “Statement of Purposes” this Code seeks to improve the theatrical skills of Participants by making the theatrical experience attractive, safe and enjoyable for all.
How Does the Code of Conduct Apply To You?
Every Participant in MFT activities of any nature is expected to perform his/her role in accordance with this Code of Conduct. Participants are asked to adhere to MFT objectives to cross-fertilise Australian and French-speaking cultures through theatre and present, promote and produce French drama in whatever form and by whatever means and media. This may range from professional, semi-professional and amateur events in a range of settings including agency assignments and workshop theatre classes whether monolingual [French alone] or bilingual [French and English or French and another language or languages] providing the opportunity for actors, directors, stage designers and technicians, production and administrative staff and any other participants to participate and partake therein and thereof.
Performers and production staff are encouraged to:
- participate, for the enjoyment you will receive through theatrical performance and French language and culture,
- work equally for yourself and the production, the production will benefit and so will you,
- abide by the principles of theatre etiquette,
- abide by the policies and practices of MFT as they apply,
- co-operate with the director, all Participants and members of the production team and fellow cast members,
- commit wholeheartedly to the production, rehearsals and activities.
You have the responsibility to MFT and the Producer for your cast and production team – exercise it.
Be reasonable in your demands on performers’ and Participants’ time, energy and enthusiasm. Remember that they have other interests and demands on their time.
Teach your cast the principles of theatre etiquette, professionalism and discipline and stagecraft and encourage gratification through achievement.
Make cast and production staff aware of MFT Code of Conduct, policies, principles and history and respect for MFT and all Participants.
MFT will refer every Participant to this Code on its website or by other means and brief Participants, where requested. If anyone has a question on the Code they should consult the Executive Director, Director or Stage or Production Manager in the first instance.
This Code may be amended from time to time, where necessary. MFT will post up on its website updated copies and changes of the Code will be expected to be adhered to.
This document is not designed to be exhaustive, but all Participants involved in MFT activities will be expected to uphold both the letter and spirit of the Code.
Incorporation of Other Standards
MFT requires that all Participants comply with all laws, regulations and policies governing its activities and the terms of any charters relevant to their duties.
Photography or video by any means of all MFT activities is prohibited unless authorised by MFT management.
MFT requires that all production staff and volunteers will have passed a Department of Justice, Victoria, “Working with Children Check.”
In addition to complying with the above, all are expected to:
• treat everyone with dignity and courtesy;
• be fair, considerate and honest in all dealings with others;
• refrain from any behaviour which may bring MFT into disrepute;
• display control, respect and professionalism in all activities;
• observe proper meeting conduct and protocols;
• be courteous in dealings with other MFT people and never swear or use expletives as a professional rule;
• control their temper: aggressive action and verbal abuse of others in the course of MFT activities is unacceptable; and not behave in any manner, or engage in any activity, whilst on MFT business which is likely to impair positive public and internal perception of MFT works and its Participants.
• Abide with the code of conduct or conditions of use, of the theatre or event or rehearsal venue being used.
Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Bullying
Participants are expected to respect the rights, dignity and worth of others regardless of their gender, race, ability, cultural background or religion or of their physical or psychological disabilities.
MFT will not tolerate discrimination. Discrimination is any behaviour or practice which reflects an assumption of superiority of one group (or individual) over another or disadvantages people on the basis of their real or perceived membership of a particular group and includes such behaviour as less favourable treatment, unfair exclusion and asking discriminatory questions.
MFT will not tolerate sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature which makes a person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended.
Equally, MFT will not tolerate bullying. Bullying is behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades, isolates, ostracises, insults or humiliates another person. Bullying can be physical or psychological. Examples of bullying include:
• aggressive, intimidating, obstructive or frightening or even isolating behaviour,
• threats of any type against a Participant or damage to their property or equipment;
• rudeness and expletives/bad language.
If anyone feels they have been discriminated against, bullied or harassed in any way they should immediately contact the Executive Director, Director or Stage or Production Manager in the first instance for immediate and confidential assistance.
Health and Safety
Everyone has the right to participate in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe. Participants are asked to take responsibility for their own health and safety, ensuring that their actions do not risk the health and safety of others. All persons are required to take reasonable care at all times by following all lawful instructions from those in authority at MFT in its efforts towards providing a healthy and safe environment. All hazards, accidents or injuries must be reported to the MFT representative in charge of the activity. Incident report forms are required to be completed and forwarded to the Executive Director or Committee of management.
Alcohol and Drug consumption
Illegal or prohibited drugs are not to be consumed by Participants while performing duties with MFT at any time. Alcohol may be consumed to the extent it does not affect the comfort, safety or performance of any member, performer, production staff or volunteer or Participant, nor harm the reputation of MFT.
In the case of activities associated with a “Junior or Primary and Secondary School Production” no Alcohol is to be consumed by Participants.
In the context of this provision, anyone exhibiting signs of being intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol, or an illegal or prohibited drug will be prevented from commencing, recommencing or continuing their activity.
If anyone has a grievance or feels that they have been unfairly treated they are encouraged to raise this issue with the Executive Director or any member of the Committee of management for immediate and confidential assistance. The management of MFT is committed to uphold both the letter and spirit of this Code and the mediation and resolution of any grievance in an expeditious manner.
This Code was inspired by the excellent Code of the Bendigo Theatre Company which is gratefully acknowledged.