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 Leaders
Country Fire Authority - Training Consultant specialising in leadership programs for volunteers and paid staff
Director Life Performance Pty Ltd Training and Coaching Company
Lecturer & Subject Co-ordinator in Sports Administration degree
Lecturer & Subject Co-ordinator in Human Movement Degree
Victorian Waterpolo - Executive Director
Australian Institute of Company Directors - Graduate
MA - 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 Victoria
Australian 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
Strategy development, Business development/sponsorship and alliance development, Financial management, Quality and governance and People management
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
Chief Executive Officer – Accuteque
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
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
Financial management and budgeting; project and event management; strategic and operational planning and reporting; HR generalist; governance and administration; stakeholder relationship management; process improvement.
Senior Manager – Finance & Business Operations, Gymnastics Australia
Acting CEO, Gymnastics Australia
Cricket Operations Project Manager and Team Operations Manager, Cricket Australia
Event Coordinator, Ford Tickford Racing / Ford Performance Racing
Office Manager, Gymnastics Victoria
Sporting and community involvement:
Administration Officer – Team Headquarters, Australian Commonwealth Games Team, Glasgow, 2014.
Bachelor of Economics - Monash University
Graduate Certificate of Management - Australian Institute of Management
Decision Making for Leaders - AIS / Mt Eliza Melbourne Business School
Based in: Melbourne
Alison Buxton GAICD
Strategic Leadership, Brand Marketing, Stakeholder Engagement, Driving Change, Managing Complexity, Supply Chain Optimisation , Governance
Graduate, 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: Sydney
General insurance advice, litigation, legal advice, contract interpretation, legal document drafting and interpretation, advocacy, public speaking.
Secretary, Bondi Running and Triathlon Club, January 2015 to date
Vice-President/Member, Coogee Triathlon Club, 2008-2013
Partner, Hall & Wilcox Lawyers
Solicitor, Associate, Senior Associate, Principal, McCabes Lawyers
Paralegal, Solicitor, JJ Lees & Associates
Sporting and community involvement:
School and university volleyball, including representing NSW (Country) and Newcastle University
2nd - Australian Age Group Triathlon Championships – Sprint 30-34 age group
6th - representing Australia – ITU World Age Group Championships, Beijing (Sprint) 30-34
3rd - presenting Australia – Ironman Japan
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Laws
Diploma of Legal Practice
Based in: Sydney
Stakeholder and community engagement, government relations and lobbying, Strategic communications, Issues management, Campaign management , Media relations and training including media spokesperson, Strategic and business planning, Social impact assessment
Current Director – Huntlee Academy; established to facilitate employment for disadvantaged and unemployed people in the construction of a new town for
20 000 people in the lower Hunter Valley.
Former Director – Tantrum Theatre Company
Managing Director, Kath Elliott
Communications Development and implementation of high level community risk management projects for corporate clients in rail infrastructure, urban renewal, renewable.
Clients: AGL, Power Generation Division, Urban Growth NSW, Aecom, KMH Environmental, Australian Rail Track Corporation, Ecoult Ultra Battery.
Principal, Stakeholder engagement, GHD, Sydney consulting role
Director Communications, Australian Coal Association
Executive Manager and shareholder, Manidis Roberts
CEO, The Newcastle Alliance
Executive Officer, Hunter Area Consultative Committee (Federal Government)
Manager, Corporate and Community Relations, Port Waratah Coal Services
Bachelor of Arts (Communication) -Charles Sturt University, Bathurst
Advanced Diploma of Business Management - Australian Federation University
Based in: Newcastle
Journalist, 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.
Communications Consultant Quay Advisers www.quayadvisers.com
Supervisor: 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
BA, Journalism, University of Queensland
Leading with Impact, News Corp Leadership Development Program
2012 onwards, Board Director, Australian Womensport and Recreation Assoc
Based in: Sydney
Communications: journalism, media relations, strategic communications, social media, speech writing, copy editing, website management
Digital Producer, The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media)
University of Technology, Sydney — M.Arts (Journalism)
Charles Sturt University, Bathurst — B.Arts (Public Relations and Organisational Communication)
Committee member, Eastlake Cricket Club
Based in: Canberra
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
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
Based in: Brisbane
Community Development, Business Administration, Project Management, Marketing, Communications, Research, Policy and Advocacy, Quality Frameworks
Quality Manager, Prestige Inhome Services
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
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
Management and Strategy Consultant
Chief Executive Officer of the professional association representing practitioners from Australia’s dental and oral health industries
Chief Executive Officer of the national professional association representing law practitioners from across all Australian legal jurisdictions
Chief Financial Officer for the Australian operations of the world’s leading sports management companies, international interests and marketing organisations
National Head of Corporate Affairs for the Australian operations of a China-based global group of companies with interests in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, mining and mineral resources, and property investment
Ministerial Advisor to Australian Minister for Sport, Minister for Tourism and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games
Bachelor of Arts, Macquarie University, Sydney
Diploma of Education, Macquarie University, Sydney
Speech and Drama Diploma, Trinity College, London, United Kingdom
Director, Special Olympics Australia, since 2016
Director, Anywhere Theatre Festival, since 2016
Trustee, Gosford Showground Crown Lands Trust, since 2015
Director, Australian Ice Racing, since 2015
Director, Children’s Book Council of Australia, since 2015
Director, Swimming NSW Aquatic Management, since 2015
Director, Boots For All, since 2015
Board Member, Ministry of Health Centre for Health Record Linkage, since 2014
Director, Royal Automobile Club of Australia, since 2012
Director, Bankstown Harness Racing Club, since 2008
Director, Friends of First Government House Site, since 2008
Based in: Sydney