WSA runs a number of programs to help support the development of women in the sports sector. These programs aim to inspire, attract, retain and develop women in and to the sporting roles, be that as a coach, team member, manager or executive.
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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.
Carol Fox GAICD
Public speaking, Training, Facilitation, Health, Business, Sport, HR management, Author
Carol Fox & Co. – Confident Communication for LeadersCountry Fire Authority - Training Consultant specialising in leadership programs for volunteers and paid staff
Director Life Performance Pty Ltd Training and Coaching CompanyVictoria University
Lecturer & Subject Co-ordinator in Sports Administration degree
Lecturer & Subject Co-ordinator in Human Movement DegreeVictorian Waterpolo - Executive Director
Australian Institute of Company Directors - GraduateMA - Victoria University - Masters Research Degree, “Women’s perceived barriers to elite coaching positions in Australian Sport”
Hawthorn Institute of Education - Graduate Diploma in Education
Footscray Institute of Technology - Bachelor Applied Science – Phys Ed
Previous Board Experience:
Delegate -Council of Lifesaving Clubs – Life Saving VictoriaAustralian Board of NLP – founding member
Chair Victorian Chapter of ABNLP
Executive Director Victorian Water Polo Association
Secretary and Merchandise officer Lorne SLSC
Based in: Melbourne
Skills:Strategy development, Business development/sponsorship and alliance development, Financial management, Quality and governance and People management
Board Experience:GLOBE – Gays and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise – Vice President and Chair – Strategy & Governance Committee
Vic ICT for Women – Board Member
Vic ICT for Women – Chair of Marketing, Brand and Communications Advisory Committee
Current Employment:Chief Executive Officer – Accuteque
Former Employment:Chief Operations Officer and Program & Relationship Manager, Accuteque
Program Manager TC&C - Testing; Planning Manager and Integration Manager, Telstra
UAT Test & Implementation Manager, AXA.
Test Manager, TruEnergy Group
Test Coordinator, National Foods
Education:Board Orientation Series, Leadership Victoria
Executive Leadership Program, Melbourne University - Melbourne Business School
Management Accounting, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology [RMIT]
Bachelor of Arts – Political Science & Philosophy, Australian National University
Based in: Melbourne
Skills:Strategic expertise – Skilled in driving the implementation of strategic and operational plans. Willingness to embrace change and new ideas. Ability to combine vision and attention to detail.
Knowledge – Sound understanding of State Sporting Organisation structures and athlete development, coaching and official’s pathways having worked in sport for the past 4 years.
Financial acumen – Comprehensive experience in managing financials including budgets, forecasts, cash flow and P&L management. Managing Director of own finance business for 12 years.
Organisation – Proven ability to operate with a high level of organisational skills, attention to detail and problem solving. Effective partnerships with industry leaders in sport.
Communication – Proven ability to communicate with and influence people at all levels, with a demonstrated track record in driving strategic growth and building strong relationships with a broad range of stakeholders from the small state public schools to high end private schools, aquatic centres and members.
Memberships – Tennis Australia Business member, Level 2 Talent Coach Qualification in Volleyball, Office for Rec and Sport women’s leadership mentoring program, FIT for Leadership Adelaide Crows Women of Adelaide.
Other – Scholarship winner at the Australian Institute of Company Directors to attend a Reporting to the Board workshop, applied for a grant through the Australian Sports Commission to complete the Foundations of Directorship through the AICD. Diploma of sports development and a Diploma in Accounting, having worked as an Accountant for 15 years.
Chief Executive Officer - Water Polo SA
Tennis Coach - Totally Tennis Coaching, own business
Netball and Volleyball Coach - Netball SA and Volleyball SA
Former Employment:Accountant, Savvy Financial Services, own business Accountant, Rexco Pty LtdSenior Account Clerk, Bank One
Based in: Adelaide
Sandie Angus GAICD
Skills:Corporate governance, legal advice, leadership, company secretarial, contract negotiation, enterprise-wide risk management, strategic planning, ethical conduct
General Counsel and Company Secretary, Energy Queensland Ltd
Executive General Manager, Business Services/General Counsel and Company Secretary, Queensland Treasury Corporation
Bachelor of Laws - University of Queensland
Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors
Leadership for Senior Executive Women – University of Queensland
Finance and Risk Management Committee, Australian University Sport
House with No Steps
Based in: Brisbane
Alison Buxton GAICD
SkillsStrategic Leadership, Brand Marketing, Stakeholder Engagement, Driving Change, Managing Complexity, Supply Chain Optimisation , Governance
Current EmploymentProfessional Director
EducationGraduate, Company Directors Course, AICD Corporate Directors 3-Day Seminar, UNE Certificate, Effective Logistics Management - Centre of Applied Marketing, AGSM Diploma, Fashion Design - KVB College of Visual Communication Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) - University of N.S.W.
Previous Board Experience
Former Managing Director & Public Officer Australia & New Zealand, The Martin-Brower Company Former member of the Pacific Management Board, Johnson & Johnson Former Board Director Foodbank N.S.W.
Based in: Melbourne
SkillsJournalist, Editor, Manager, Author. Louise has 30-years experience as a communications and media expert. She has worked around Australia and the world as a journalist, foreign correspondent, national deputy chief of staff, managing editor and commercial editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian the ABC and AAP. Louise was the first female sports reporter hired by The Sydney Morning Herald and the first female sports editor hired by The Australian. Louise has also worked at numerous major world sporting championships, five Commonwealth Games and six Olympic Games in a variety of communications and media roles. Louise is the author of the non-fiction book Passage to Pusan www.passagetopusan.com. She also works as a conference moderator and presenter.
Current EmploymentCommunications Consultant Quay Advisers www.quayadvisers.com
Former EmploymentSupervisor: Olympic and Paralympic News Service, Sochi 2014 Organising Committee Manager and Producer: RN (Radio National), ABC Radio Night Manager Communications: London 2012 Olympic Games Organising Committee Commercial and Managing Editor: The Australian, News Corp National deputy chief of staff, Sports Editor and Features Editor, The Australian, News Corp Foreign correspondent London and Beijing: Australian Associated Press Journalist and Columnist: The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax
Education:BA, Journalism, University of QueenslandLeading with Impact, News Corp Leadership Development Program
Board Experience2012 onwards, Board Director, Australian Womensport and Recreation AssocBased in: Sydney
Skills:Community Development, Business Administration, Project Management, Marketing, Communications, Research, Policy and Advocacy, Quality Frameworks
Current Employment:Quality Manager, Prestige Inhome Services
Education:Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors Doctorate of Philosophy, Swinburne University Master of International and Community Development, Deakin University Graduate Diploma of Development Studies, Deakin University Executive Certificate of Business Administration, Swinburne University of Technology Bachelor of Arts, Monash University
Board Experience:Committee Member and Secretary – ANZSTR (Australian and New Zealand Third Sector Research) Board Director – Alpha Autism State Representative – AACASA (Australian African Children’s Aid & Support Association) Social Secretary - VWSKFA (Victorian Water Skiing and Kite Flying Association) Committee Member and Vice-President - MAPS (Monash University Mature and Part-time Students Association) Based in: Melbourne
Digital Portfolio and Delivery Management, Governance, Coaching agile, SCRUM, SAFe, and Lean principles and practices, Public speaking, Photography and Website management
Delivery Manager, ANZ
Graduate Diploma of Marketing
Bachelor of Business Systems
Based in: Melbourne
Communications: journalism, media relations, strategic communications, social media, speech writing, copy editing, website management
Marketing and Communications Manager, Gymnastics Victoria
Senior Associate of Marketing and Communications, Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union
Social Media Strategist, Racing.com (Racing Victoria)
Digital Communications Manager, Netball Australia & the ANZ Championship
Bachelor of Communications (Professional Communication) - RMIT University
Based in: Melbourne
Extensive experience in advising, coaching and mentoring leadership teams and boards in HR policy and practice across a range of specialised professions and industriesDeveloping and implementing strategic business planning processes aligned to organisation goals and objectivesCareer development and career transitionOrganisation design and transformationManaging large and complex budgets and Risk ManagementExperienced Board of Governance Director in the NFP Health Sector
HR Consultant, Rae Turner & Associates
Manager People and Culture, Etihad StadiumDirector Human Resources, Tennis AustraliaNational Manager Human Resources, Royal Australasian College of General PractitionersHuman Resources Manager, Nine Network Melbourne
Graduate Diploma of Business Human Resource Management, Swinburne University
Advanced Program in Human Resource Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education
Board of Governance member – Inner East Mental Health Services Association
Board of Governance member – Victorian Mental Health Carers Network - Tandem
Based in: Melbourne