Let’s talk sport: Working to help Aussie sport get diversity & inclusion right

October 10, 2017

Olympic Parks: Building on the success of the 2016 Diversity & Inclusion in Sport national forum, this year’s event saw over 170 participants engage with the theme – Forward thinking in diversity and inclusion in sport.

“John Cranwell’s presentation on NDIS was fantastic,” said a participant, “Simple, but quiet scary due to the limited funding available for sport (under the scheme).”

ABC sports broadcaster Paul Kennedy was the emcee for the day and kicked off proceedings with a sports update in his characteristic style.

ABC news sports broadcaster Paul Kennedy

“Being an avid coach and sports journalist, this work is important to me,” he said, “The work that everyone in this room does is what ensures that sport continues to do what it does best for my children.”

Sessions were led by the country’s top practitioners, policy makers, administrators and academics. Some of the short, sharp ideas that were presented included:

“Sports’ role is to facilitate and, where possible, lead the conversation,” summarized Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner and one of the keynote speakers for the day.

“Leaders of sport should speak out on issues that implicate their values.”

“Immerse yourself in the disability sector, value contributions of and roles fulfilled by people with disability,” emphasized Jenny Frowd, Community Engagement Manager at Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, in her session on ‘This Business Called Inclusion: Moving Beyond Passion for the Cause’.

“Ask not what the sport can do for the person, but what the person can do for the sport.”

Danielle Warby from Sporting Sheilas urged the sector to “get on the front foot and take inclusion policy further.”

She shared her experience of setting up a gender diverse registration policy for The Flying Bats Women’s Soccer Club, and urged participants to “read, share and use the gender diverse inclusion policy available on theflyingbats.com.”

Speaker at Diversity and Inclusion in Sport National Forum

Morgan Lander from Morgan Lander Advisory gave the audience insightful advice on setting up Child Safe and Inclusive Environments at sporting clubs and organisations.

“Empower young people to participate, legally plagiarise stuff that’s working for other organisations. Play By The Rules has resources that can help,” he said.

“Kids want to be heard and love to know what expected behavior is for adults, so it is a good idea to setup a Child Focused Complaints Policy if you don’t already have one.”

Finally, the day ended with a round up of the strategies and practices discussed over the day and participants went home feeling a renewed confidence.

“Some of the valuable takeaways for me from the inspiring sessions today are around ‘leading with the heart and not just the head’ when it comes to driving inclusion in sport,” shared a forum participant.

“And making sure you have the right people in the room when talking about diversity and inclusion.”

For the full speaker list and program from the day, visit the Forum website here. For all the videos and presentations from the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion in Sport form, visit the PBTR website here.

Carmel Guerra CEO CMY Dr Tim Soutphommasane Kate Palmer

Watch this space for more on the 2018 forum! 

Partners of Diversity and Inclusion National Forum