My ancestral roots are in Punjab India. Punjab have always had great representation in field hockey, with the current bronze medal winning Indian Olympics team having 8 players from Punjab alone.
I was introduced to hockey in my school days. I used to watch my uncle play and then got involved myself, which I continued through to university. After starting my own business and migrating to Australia in 2007, hockey somehow got left behind – until recently. In 2019 I moved to the Atherstone village in Melton and I was delighted to see they have a hockey field as a part of the community facilities. I started communicating to people playing for other clubs and living in our locality with the aim being to create a community team. After approaching Caroline Springs Hockey Club we were able to enter our first team in the VL3 league and we have been unbeaten all season. Currently I am the team manager.
Sports always brings a positive change in one’s life. It helps children understand that winning and losing is a part of life, it brings a sense of belongingness, taches discipline, a positive approach, and community understanding. As adults sport helps maintain your fitness, manage stress, enables you to interact with people from all different walks of life. I feel a different level of happiness when I see families coming forward during match days, with young kids cheering on mum and dad and their siblings.
I see the Change Makers project as a way to bring community inclusion across all ages with no gender or cultural bias, and equal opportunity for all. We always see Australia as a great multicultural nation with inclusion for each and every one of us. As a club, under this project we can engage with people from different communities and encourage them to be involved with our club. Whether they manage a team, help with fund raisers, look after the BBQs, or whatever – their inclusion will help us build one big family among our community.
With assistance from the CSHC President, we have already approached children from the Punjabi/Indian community, provided them with hockey sticks from the club, and trained them one day a week. A number of these children have developed an interest in hockey and are now playing club matches. We need to extend this program to other communities.
I have spent my whole life around footy. My family and I live and breathe it and I believe it can be a great place to connect to the local community. I am involved in various other sports including tennis and have no doubt that sports individually can work together and learn from each other building inclusivity across the board. I spent some time living in New Zealand, India and Kuwait for work and faced some cultural and linguistical challenges. It was extremely challenging to fit into communities when often common language could not be spoken. With assistance, support and common love of sport allowed relationships to be built with trust and respect in understanding culture allowed for outstanding cultural change and embracing change both at work and in community. Those differences serve me well in understanding some of the challenges people in our community may have.
I want to see my club St Albans continue to progress and think outside of the square to achieve their goals of a well-balanced, family and diverse club which represents it community proudly.
I am currently the u18.5 head coach at St Albans FC, also head coach of Western Region Football League u15B Interleague team. I am also assisting with the juniors at St Albans FC, with a focus on development and learning in a safe environment. I have previously served as junior president, committee member positions in various sports, and advisory boards, etc.
I have been associated with Western Athletics since my daughter joined. I initially assisted as a club official and have since joined as an athlete. Athletics is a sport that the whole family can participate in regardless of age or level. As a child I did athletics however my family was limited with travel due to living in the country. After the age of 15 I stopped competing due to my studies. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed competing, I hope to break down barriers for current and future athletes when it comes to local clubs. I would love to make athletics more accessible for those who wish to compete.
The sporting realm is a fantastic setting to involve people from all walks of life. Sport should be for all regardless of age, background, gender, level, or ability. Sport provides people with friendship, support, and helps to build confidence. Our community sporting groups should aim to create a positive environment where people can feel that they belong.
I have a background in sports coaching ranging from foundation to elite level, as well as experience in sport education, workshops, committees and clubs. I am involved in the Kingsville Tennis Club where we run a range of programs including “Fun Tennis” for people with mental illness now running for over 20 years, where people come together to learn tennis and share a meal – helping to build skills, confidence, and creating a safe network of friendship where people come together through tennis.
Currently, I am a volunteer coach and committee member at the Footscray Youth Club where we use boxing and fitness as a basis for community classes with a mission of “fostering community through sport.”
I believe strongly that our experiences through sport should drive us to be willing to give back, helping to give other people opportunities to participate. CHANGE MAKERS presents a great opportunity to make our clubs better through inclusion and engagement. The Footscray Youth Club represents a diverse range of community members, and can learn greatly from the CHANGE MAKERS program ensuring that we continue to transform our club to meet community needs.
Growing up in a sporty family of all boys, sports has always been a part of my routine. I started playing street soccer at a really young age and being a coach’s daughter I got to train with the boys, but that came with a lot of brutal comments since there weren’t many girls playing football, and in the community, it was perceived as a boys sport. Nonetheless, that made me push harder and become the best I can be and prove a lot of people wrong.
The change-maker project is an opportunity to make football clubs more inclusive and to make a positive change in female participation of all ethnicities. I want to be able to get more young girls from ethnic backgrounds who aren’t introduced to this beautiful game involved and I’m hoping the change-makers project will help with that.
Basketball has been part of my sporting life from a young age. Born and bred in Werribee, I was fortunate enough to play for the St.Peters Basketball Club domestically from U8’s to U16’s and also played representative basketball for the then Werribee Devils from U12’s to U16’s. Both clubs fall under the banner of the Wyndham Basketball Association. After taking a break from Basketball in my late teens, I then played 3 seasons in a Men’s team with a bunch of old school mates.
Fast forward a few more years later when my kids came along, I enrolled my son Jake into a U10’s Boys Team with the Corpus Basketball Club and also became the
team’s coach. 2 years later my daughter Olivia joined the U10’s Girls Team within the club and I also coach her team. As our club grew and more and more teams joined I also took on a U14’s Boys team as coach too.
Recently I joined the Club Committee as a Club Registrar and continue in this role along with my coaching duties. Corpus Basketball Club now has 75+ teams that spans from U8’s to Senior Men/Women’s teams. We currently have over 500 registered players and are now the biggest domestic club in Wyndham. We are an inclusive club, open to everyone and anyone that shares a passion for the game, it’s community and offers a safe environment for all our club members to enjoy and flourish in.
We’ve joined the Change Makers program because we want to ensure that we remain a leader as an inclusive club for people of all cultural and language backgrounds. Inspiring other clubs to join us on this very exciting journey for today and tomorrow.
I have been involved in various sports for as long as I can remember. Organised sport as a child was cricket in the summer and football in the winter. I have two brothers and we seemed to find ways to run, throw and catch things for every spare minute of our busy childhoods.
All through school and university I was lucky enough to have multiple sports available to me. Team sports and individual sports were tried with varying levels of competence. I continued with team sports until injuries and hospitalizations suggested my body was no longer fit for contact sports. I then started running mostly for my own enjoyment although when I started running marathons I found a group of like-minded people and had regular runs with them. It made the long runs more enjoyable with a group of people to talk to.
Around 12 years ago I tried a rowing machine for the first time. My experience was one of delight. I found that the effect of a one-hour session was similar to the feeling after a 90 minute run. When it was suggested I try getting in a boat, to see what the rowing machine was trying to simulate, I took the chance and arrived for the learn to row session run by Footscray City Rowing Club. I worked my way into the club, joining the committee along the way. Watching the coaches, doing coaching courses and trying to be useful around the club was how I got really involved.
Getting involved in a sporting club gives you many advantages beyond the obvious wellbeing related benefits we all know about. Now that I’m retired these advantages seem to be multiplied. The pleasure of having time on the water whenever I feel like it is something that I value highly. The ability to share that with others in a club environment is an added joy. I can’t think how I could replicate the pleasure of rowing without a club environment available. I would love to see everybody in my community offered the chance to experience these things. I recognize my privilege but do not want to build a fence behind me. My focus is on building a gateway that all can pass through.
I am the current President of the Kensington Junior Soccer Club, starting my journey with Kensington when my daughter started playing in 2012, my journey with soccer started in 1975 and I’ve continued either playing (outdoor or indoor), coaching and/or on Committees every since. In 2018 I established the boys side of our club after being Girls only since 2008.
I am also currently playing (with my son 14) senior cricket and coaching at a junior level.
Sport provides a wonderful platform for all and allows for many wonderful social opportunities for kids and families creating lifelong friendships and memories. By joining change makers our goal is to further advance being truly reflective of the communities we represent within the City of Melbourne (and beyond) and a destination club for all.
I have always been involved in sporting clubs throughout all of my children’s childhoods. I have acted as Team Manager for both my sons in their junior footy days for Roxburgh Park Football Club.
About 5 years ago my youngest child was eager to join Little Athletics. I knew she could run so happily took her along to Craigieburn Little Athletics. In her first year of athletics she stunned us all by getting a bronze and silver medal in one of the regional events. I remember the team manager at the time was super excited for her. He parted ways with the club, and I took up the role of team manger for our athletes at the regional and state carnivals. I love doing this, I love watching our kids grow and taking what they learn from our club competition to the next level, and I love being a part of that with them.
Our club has grown in numbers over the last couple of years, and there has also been a great shift in different cultures. I really would love to see kids of all culturally diverse backgrounds moving through this journey, and this is why I wanted to be involved in the Change Makers Program.
I have also stepped into the role of Vice President of Craigieburn Little Athletics. One of our key driving factors is educating ourselves as a club on how to make the environment more inclusive and welcoming for these population groups. I want to see our committee structure embrace and encourage involvement from culturally diverse backgrounds, and my involvement in this program is a great step towards doing this.
I grew up in country Victoria. At the age of 11, I discovered long distance running. Competitively at that time, the only distance available for girls at school sports was 100 and 200 m- after much lobbying finally by the time I was 16, I could compete in interschool 1500 m. My school was a rowing school but despite best efforts from a small group of girls, we were not allowed to row as we were told it was un lady like and we would put our feet through the boats!
All through my adult life I have exercised- running and playing squash competitively. I found exercise necessary to my own mental health, and continues to be so.
As my daughter grew up I was involved on varying committees of the sports she was involved in. At the age of 16 she gave up competitive cycling and tried rowing. The club she joined had a lot of older new members. I waited until she was independent with her car license so it wasn’t Mum encroaching on her sport… so in my mid 50’s I learnt to row.
I fell in love with rowing and have competed for fun both nationally and internationally and made many friends along the way. I am on committee for the Footscray rowing club.
My professional back ground more recently is that of an educator for the University of Melbourne where we have many students of diverse back grounds. Having recently semi-retired, I feel the change makers program, will be a terrific and exciting initiative to be involved in. Coming from a back ground of where women were excluded in many sports, and a profession (Veterinary Science) that when I graduated was very male dominated. I hope that I can bring those experiences to the program-plus my absolute love of exercise, community and education to share and offer opportunities to everyone.
I have played sport from the moment I could walk as growing up in a small country town sport was a very big part of the community. I grew up playing netball, basketball, little athletics and tennis. During my teen years we moved to the city and I began to focus on basketball and netball, the latter of which I have been playing for the past 20 years.
Playing netball my whole life, I thought it would be great to divert my attention towards a new sport. I had been playing representative netball for the Melton Bloods Football Netball club, before embarking on a massive change at the age of 30, and switching to a sport I had never played before – field hockey. I currently play for the Caroline Springs Hockey Club.
Over the years I have been involved more and more with different facets of sports while still playing. I have been involved with coaching junior netball teams and I also found myself lucky enough to be a Community Coach for Netball Victoria. I have volunteered to coach all abilities netball on V4U day while studying at university, and also volunteered to run the HookIn2 Hockey program for Caroline Springs Hockey Club during my first year of playing.
I have since been part of the Social media and fundraising team, and this year I was appointed the Caroline Springs Hockey Club women’s team manager.
During the short time I have been with Caroline Springs Hockey Club, I have seen a drastic increase of players from all backgrounds and cultures. I am hoping my involvement in the Change Makers program will help me gain a better understanding of different cultures and how to make Caroline Springs Hockey Club a more culturally diverse and inclusive environment for culturally and linguistically diverse people, where they are represented in all facets of the club space. I want to be able to implement what I learn through the program at Caroline Springs Hockey Club to make it a welcoming and safe space for everyone who wants to learn and enjoy playing.
Sport is a great avenue to bring people together. Through sport, we build connections, develop key skills such as communication and leadership, build our health and fitness, and most importantly have fun.
Growing up as a Muslim Australian it was very difficult to access organised sports that made me feel included and didn’t compromise my core values. I joined the Newport Storm FC committee to create an inclusive club for the children and youth of our community, so they could enjoy team sport and keep their identity.
The Newport Storm FC is in its first year of operating and we are keen to build a solid foundation of diversity and inclusion and the Change Makers program greatly aligns with our club values and mission. We have many foundational members that faced discrimination and racism at their previous club due to their cultural and religious backgrounds, this made them feel excluded and pushed some away from wanting to play organised sport.
I look forward to working with the Change Makers mentor to help start our club on the right foot and ensuring our club is a reflection of our community.
As a child I always participated in team sports, my favourite being netball. Having two daughters I thought they may follow in my footsteps, but no, my eldest showed an interest in Athletics. From her first day of competition we were hooked. My youngest also enjoys athletics but both enjoy different events. One enjoys throwing the other running.
Inspired by the accomplishments of my daughter which led me to volunteering when she was in Little Athletics, I was intrigued and eager to become more involved in the club. This led to my progression from volunteer to On-Track Co Ordinator to President of the Craigieburn Little Athletics Club.
One of the core values of our centre is inclusion and diversity. It is beneficial to the centre when our membership reflects our local community. Welcoming all members of our community who wish to participate in our sport regardless of culture, religion, background, sexuality and ability levels.
Through my time at the club I’ve seen that it has evolved and become more culturally diverse. Becoming involved in a program such as Change Makers will allow me to have a better understanding of different cultures and learn how to make Craigieburn Little Athletics a more inclusive and supportive environment.
I completed my nursing training at the Alfred Hospital and am a perioperative nurse, mother of 3, lived in Ireland for 3 years and love watching any sport. I play tennis, golf and am looking forward to getting back to lawn bowls.
I have been involved in netball for 45+ years as a player, umpire, coach, committee member and mother of 2 players.
I believe team sport is a great way for people to connect and learn the skills of the sport, teamwork and leadership as well as supporting physical and mental health by having fun in an inclusive active environment.
Hi, my name is Michelle Risk, I’m a staff member at Volunteer West.
My role at Volunteer West is a Volunteer Support Service Officer (VSS) and a Project Officer, which consists of a referral service, data entry, contacting potential volunteering clients, screening, interviewing and placing them in suitable volunteering opportunities. Also, I’m the lead officer in our Outreach Projects, which consists in working with different organisations and the community
I became a volunteer and staff member to help in the community, assisting people find meaningful volunteering relating to their skills, background and knowledge.
I enjoy interacting within our diverse community because it expands my own horizon and gives me an insight into our different cultures and multilingual community.
I am also heavily involved in volunteering within my local community in the sporting sector as a Committee Member, Team Manager, Covid Officer and a Parent.
I have been involved in Greenvale Football and Cricket clubs for around 17 years now. Throughout this time; I have volunteered in many different roles which includes Team Manager and Canteen with Football and Coach of boys, girls and women’s teams along with being a member of our Cricket Committee for 15 years; in both General and Executive committee roles.
My love for sport gives me the passion to work towards supporting the growth of cricket at our club and within our community; which includes boys and girls from 5 years old through to men’s and women’s teams of all ages and abilities.
With the introduction of All Girls and Women’s cricket teams at our Club (4 years ago) and recently being accepted into the Women’s Premier Cricket competition in 2022/23 season; I made contact with Hume City Council to ask for their support in making contact with local ethnic groups to take steps to ask girls and women if they would like to come and give a cricket a try to see if they would like to look at playing with our club.
Cricket is a great sport for multicultural girls and women to consider for many reasons:
This is also an opportunity for our club to work towards being more inclusive and providing a place for girls and women to be part of our Community Club.
I have signed up for the Change Makers course to learn as much as l can so that l can take the necessary steps to welcome; specifically multicultural girls and women to our club so they will have a place in our community where they can come and make new friends, learn something new (play cricket), play in a team sport and feel a part of our community club.
I’m currently the Vice president for Hoppers Crossing Junior Basketball Club, based in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. I have been a member at the club for the last 6 years, with 3 of my daughters playing Basketball at domestic and representative level.
Born and raised in Griffith, NSW, sport was an essential part of my childhood from a very early age and has continued throughout my adult life. I was introduced to sport through school and searched out other sporting programs as I got older. No one in my family played sport. I was never discouraged to play, however I never had the ongoing support or direction with sport, especially from any community members. As a young girl, Athletics was my first love, both sprinting and cross country and everything else in between. I always challenged myself to give my absolute best to whatever sport came my way, as I just loved the challenge and being active. I also went onto play Netball, Soccer and Touch football, both at social and representative levels as a young girl. I also enjoyed swimming, gymnastics, aerobics, bike riding and playing squash, a sport you don’t hear about anymore. As an Adult, I continued to play netball and Basketball.
I am extremely passionate about female participation especially reaching out to the diverse community. Seeing the need for growth, I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering as Team Manager and Coach for numerous teams within our Basketball club, as well as for previous soccer Clubs in my local area. I strive to communicate and share valuable information around sports to local communities and I am very passionate about the wellbeing of all our young members and their family.
There is still a huge need for female recognition and guidance within local sporting associations, especially creating awareness around diversity and the importance of effective and continuous communication with all involved.
I look forward to being part of the Change Makers Program- this will allow our club to gain essential tools to make positive changes for all members to benefit from and most of all, be a role model within our local basketball (sporting) community.
I also look forward to the opportunity to learn new things, as life is all about developing.
My introduction to hockey was as an 8 year old, sidelined from playing netball with a broken arm. I tagged along to watch my brother’s training session and one of the coaches gave me a spare stick and told me to join in. I have never looked back!
Hockey has been a huge part of my life both on and off the pitch. I’ve played at the state representative level through to U/21s and currently captain our Altona Hockey Club Women’s Premier League side. But by far the most rewarding part of playing hockey has been contributing to the incredible community that is the Altona Hockey Club.
Growing up with the club, the adage of “it takes a village to raise a child” absolutely rings true to me. The guidance and support I have received from the club and its amazing people, is something I will always be grateful for. I really enjoy giving back to the community in many ways, one of which is as the Inclusion Ambassador.
Myself and the club are always looking for ways to learn about how we can make our community more accessible to more people. Proudly a family club, we are committed to creating inclusive, welcoming atmospheres where people feel comfortable to be their true selves. I’m looking forward to this program providing some tools for implementing meaningful changes within our club, enabling us to further share the incredible benefits of being an AHC family member. Hopefully Change Makers can lead to a few more kids, of all backgrounds, identities and abilities, to be given a stick and told to “get out there and have a crack”.
Both of my parents are hockey players, so I picked up a hockey stick at the age of 1 and have never looked back. I have played at Footscray Hockey Club since the age of 7 and recently became the Club Secretary.
Footscray Hockey Club has a juniors, seniors and a masters section and aims to cater for everyone in our community. Through the Change Makers program, I am hoping to gather tools to allow our Club to become more inclusive.
I am particularly keen to have better systems in place to make our Club more reflective of our local community and to acknowledge the over 100 volunteers that allow us to run our Club.
I grew up in New Zealand, the youngest of six kids to migrant parents. As a kid, I loved to play tennis and netball, swim and ride horses.
When I look back, I have always been involved in community volunteering. Some of my memories as a young teen are organising fundraising activities to assist with the building of our local community netball facility where I was involved as both a player and umpire.
I travelled extensively for a couple of years after leaving school and never participated in any organised sport. I eventually settled in Australia and once again became involved in sport through my four children playing a variety of sports. After signing my daughter up to play netball in the local competition, my love for netball was once again rekindled. Whilst spectating one of my daughter’s games, I did not like how the players were being treated, so I decided to abide by my motto “put up or shut up”.
The following year I was coaching and had joined the committee to facilitate change. I spent the next ten years as treasurer, overseeing the club grow from three to sixteen teams and the rebranding of the club in both name & uniform. I also served as a committee member for the Essendon District Netball Association to facilitate the introduction of representative teams. Over my twelve years involved in the club, I have participated in Netball Victoria’s “Head of the Game” program and the City Of Moonee Valley Portfolio Advisory Committee for Sport.
I am currently the Vice President of the Keilor East Netball Club and am super excited to participate in the Change Maker Project to hopefully make a difference and to influence change.
I have a long history in basketball expanding over 44 years, I’m currently both the President of Hoppers Crossing Basketball Club and the Vice-President of Wyndham Basketball Association.
My first experience started when I joined a local domestic club with my brothers, playing my first game in U11’s as an 8 year old. As we reach the ages of 11 and 12 we ventured into the world of representative basketball. Then a year later we took a leap forward joining a bigger and stronger club for both domestic and representative programs where I continued playing until aging out as a 16 year old.
After aging out of junior basketball, I had the opportunity of participating with a group of school friends in a mixed netball team that was instigated by our teacher. This lead to me continuing on playing mixed netball for the next ten years as well as resuming senior domestic basketball across various competitions in Melbourne.
In 2008 I became a basketball parent / spectator when my son joined Hoppers Basketball at the age of 10. Within 18 months I step in as the coach of my son’s team and continued in that position for the next 6 years. Along the way I ended up coaching multiple teams in both genders spanning the age groups from U12s to U23s. This ignited my passion to play again so I joined a senior team playing for a further 6 years, which led to our team competing in the 2009 Australian Masters in Geelong. I’m currently coaching 5 boys’ teams in the Winter 2021 domestic competition – U12s, U14s, U16s and two U18s due to a shortage of coaches.
My coaching has expanded into the representative program with Wyndham Basketball, firstly as a U14 Assistant Coach then stepping into Head Coaching roles for U16 and U18 boys. I’m currently in my second year of coaching the U18 boys in the 2020/21 season.
Since 2009, I have volunteered in many aspects of running a club to allow children in our local community the same opportunities I had. Becoming a committee member and taking on the leadership roles has allowed me to make a difference to the lives of young people in our community through sport, as well as contribute the ongoing requirements that support the growth and cultural changes of our community.
After 20 years working at Victoria University, opportunities have led me to bring both my passion and my workplace together through research initiatives. I’m currently leading a sub-committee to improve the Gender Inclusion gap within Wyndham Basketball and see the Change Makers project an opportunity to increase female participation through the inclusion of young females from within the local cultural and diverse communities.
Lastly, I’m currently on a path to regain my fitness to get back onto the court and play basketball; before I have no options left but to take up Walking Basketball.
My passion for sports begun when my mum offered to take me to Swimming, Gymnastics or Athletics and 5-year-old me said ‘All of them’. I am currently representing Western Athletics, one of Victoria’s most prominent clubs in Melbourne’s West. I have competed for Western Athletics for over 10 years and have been involved in athletics and cross country since I was 5. Whilst I love competing for my club, my love for sport stems from the social aspect. Throughout my years I have delved into an array of sports including Swimming, Gymnastics and Surf Life Saving.
My love of sport has influenced what I have done later in life as I have completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science majoring in Exercise Physiology and a Master of Applied Sport Science (Research). I am currently in my final year of studying a Master of Physiotherapy at Flinders University in SA. I am passionate about my sport and continue to promote health and fitness through exercise and sport.
I am currently the Junior Coordinator at the St Albans Football Club based in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. I have been a part of this great club for 12 years with both my boys playing, one in Juniors and one in Seniors.
Sport for me is a great place to tap into the local community and immerse in the culture of sport within that community. Growing up in a sporty family, my dad was heavily involved with the Club and my brother played all his juniors at the Club before being drafted to AFL and my sister is the current Team Manager for our Seniors.
The St Albans community is a little older than most suburbs surrounding it so it’s crucial we aim to build up our junior teams with girls’ and boys’ teams and create opportunities and pathways for our players. Since 2009, I have volunteered in most team and club roles which lead me to my current role as Junior Coordinator and am now part of the Exec Committee which I am really excited about. I am passionate about junior sports and the aim of building strong junior teams across all ages, genders, and abilities. We will be basing our values around being a family club, having a team first mentality and creating a safe and social environment for all. Being involved in the change makers program will enable me to gain the knowledge and confidence to make change happen, to work with our boys and girls of all ethnicities and I would love to increase more female participation within the local cultural and diverse communities to experience my club and grow a passion for AFL like I have.
I am a finance professional that stepped away from the corporate environment about 5 years ago and now work in the not-for-profit sector as a way of maintaining my professional career and caring for the community. I have a Masters in Economics and a Grad Dip in Corporate Governance.
My journey to sport is different in that I rarely played sport when I was at school, preferring the academic route; but since leaving school after year 12 I have rarely had a year when I have not played sport. Sport is important to me in maintaining physical health, mental health and community connections. I want to be healthy and live in a healthy community – that is a community that is not just physically healthy but also mentally healthy, socially healthy, economically healthy and supportive. Netball is my sport of choice these days as I am President of the Wyndham Victory Netball Club, coach and play.
In 2018, I took on a new role as Girls’ Program Manager at Glen Eira FC, after realising the Club wasn’t offering its girls anything close to the same opportunities as the boys in the Club. With 2 daughters and 2 sons who played for Glen Eira FC, and were having very different experiences, this wasn’t acceptable to me! Working alongside the inaugural Girls’ Technical Director, John Sugunananthan (a visionary coach and leader in girls and women’s football), we introduced a host of new programs (most of them free), established a leadership team, gathered sponsors, and created an elite pathway for girls in the Club, to match the elite boys’ pathway that had existed for nearly 10 years.
A year later our girls’ participation rate had increased by 40%, our social media was saturated with our new girls’ program, and we were off and away! Despite the enormous progress we have made, we still have a very long way to go in many areas before reaching the target of 50/50 – for example our Club’s Committee is severely lacking in its representation of girls and women.
Whilst I am a lawyer by background, I am passionate about advancing girls and women in football, and I was a lucky participant in FV’s inaugural Female Administrator Leadership Program in 2019. I was also grateful to receive a Change Our Game Scholarship from the Victorian Government, which will allow me to further my study in community sports management and leadership.
I have hopeful leadership aspirations for the future, and would especially like to see Club governance reformed and overhauled, to ensure equality in participation and experience in Clubs. I am thrilled that Australia is co-hosting the Women’s World Cup in 2023. What a time to be an Australian woman involved in the beautiful game! I doubt there will be a better opportunity to advance women and girls in football in Australia, and to reach the target of 50/50 participation. We have much to do on many fronts, but this is our time – oh the places we will go!