Lauren Jackson AO - Retired International Basketball Player
Ambassador Lauren Jackson encourages women and girls to get off the couch and help make a difference.
As Australia’s most successful and decorated basketball player, Jackson began her role as an AWRA Ambassador in February 2013.
Jackson said, “Australia needs more strong, healthy women and girls participating in all levels of sport and recreation and taking leadership roles in all levels of life from government to business, sport, schools and social groups.”
“Getting started is sometimes the hard part. But it can also be as easy as getting off the couch, or making a commitment to help make a difference, and following through.”
Jackson’s energy, drive and commitment are an inspiration to her many fans and supporters, including her 100,000 plus followers on Twitter.
Lauren Jackson is one of Australia’s highest profile female athletes and was a key member of the Australian Women's National Basketball Team, The Opals,
Jackson has won three Olympic silver medals (2000, 2004, 2008) one Olympic bronze (London 2012), the 2006 world championships and Commonwealth Games gold in Melbourne 2006.
Jackson was also considered one of the best players in the US WNBA league, where she played for the Seattle Storm from 2001 to 2016.
During that time she’s won two WNBA Championships, 3 WNBA MVP awards, a WNBA Finals MVP and made the All-Star team seven times.
When in Australia, Jackson played in the WNBL for seven-time champions the Canberra Capitals.
More recently, Jackson helped Heilongjiang qualify for the playoffs the Women's Chinese Basketball Association.
In 2014, Jackson became a national Champion for the United Nations Women National Committee Australia and was quoted in the press as saying, "“I hope to be able to be a role model for women, promoting gender equality amongst Australians and around the world.”
Heather Reid AM - Football Pioneer and Sports Administrator
Award-winning football (soccer) pioneer Heather Reid joined Lauren Jackson as an AWRA Ambassador in October 2013.
Reid has campaigned for increased participation of females in sport throughout her career.
"I am happy to champion AWRA’s vision of a strong and healthy Australia by encouraging more women and girls to participate in sport, physical activity and recreation," Reid said.
Her vision and leadership have been recognised in growing female participation in football (soccer), which is the fastest growing sport for females in Australia.
She was a foundation member of the ANU Women’s Soccer Club, and later as ACT Women’s Soccer Association CEO pioneered women's football competitions in 1978.
In the 1980’s, Reid helped establish a women’s World Cup and successfully lobbied for women’s soccer to be admitted into the Olympic Games.
More recently, she became the first female to be appointed as CEO of a State Football Federation and is the only Australian woman to manage a senior men’s professional football (soccer) team.
Her campaigning for women in football has been recognised with entry to the Football Federation Australia Hall of Fame in 2007, the Australian Sports Commission’s Margaret Pewtress Memorial Award for contribution to women in sport in 2006 and an Australian Sports Medal for contribution to soccer and community sport in 2001.
Read more about Heather's journey and listen to an interview by Nikki Henningham recorded on 16 January 2013 at the National Library of Australia as part of the "Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia".
Ric Charlesworth AM - Award Winning Coach
Ric Charlesworth is a strong advocate for women in sport.
“Despite the phenomenal success of Australia’s female sports champions on the world stage, women in sport are paid a token by their sports federations compared to their male counterparts and they have to make enormous personal sacrifices to represent their clubs and country,” Charlesworth said.
“They also get a tiny slice of the media coverage and sponsorship pool compared to the men and this needs to change as a matter of priority to give female role models a greater profile that will inspire more women and girls to be active.“
Ric Charlesworth has excelled both on and off the sporting field. He played hockey at five Olympics and coached the men's hockey teams to an Olympic bronze medal and two World Cup golds. He coached the women’s hockey team, the Hockeyroos to two Olympic gold medals, two World Hockey Cups as well as a Commonwealth Games gold medal.
He’s also been a member of Cricket New Zealand's high-performance staff and worked as a consultant for the West Australian AFL team the Fremantle Dockers. In his busy non-sporting life, Charlesworth is also a medical general practitioner and was a former Federal Member of Parliament.