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Office of Sport

Join us for this series of online forums to explore how to create welcoming, inclusive environments that consider the full range of human diversity:  ability, language, culture, gender, age and other difference.

Upcoming Forum

Forum 5: Design and Deliver - Policy to Practice

Date TBC

Past Forums

Forum 1: Designing for Place - Wednesday 23 February 2022

Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of their community. By strengthening the connection between people and the places they use, we can shape our public spaces to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

Susannah Le Bron CEO, Y NSW
Kylie Legge Founder & CEO, Place Score
Michael Mossman Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning Associate Dean Indigenous

Forum 2: Designing Thinking - Wednesday 23 March 2022

Design Thinking is a non-linear iterative process that design teams use to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test.  It’s a process of creative and critical thinking that allows information and ideas to be shared, organised and approved. Design Thinking solves problems by prioritising consumer needs.

Key experts in their respective fields of architecture, design and stakeholder engagement will share tips on the theory of Design Thinking, what’s in their designer’s toolkit that works, case studies and shared learnings.

Host, Karen Jones, Chief Executive, Office of Sport

Belinda Goh, Principal Architect – Populous 

Barnaby Hartford-Davis, Associate Architect – COX 

Dion Gosling, Principal Architect and Director - 106 Architects + Third Place Thinking

Türkan Aksoy, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Consultant

Sarah Reilly, Founder & Director - Cred Consulting

Forum Focus

  • What is Design Thinking and why it is important?
  • How to incorporate Design Thinking into the design and delivery of sport facilities 
  • What is Third Placing Thinking and how does it relate to sport facilities
  • The importance of prioritising relationships and building capacity in others through design engagement
  • How to challenge the imbalance of power when designing and how to utilise participatory engagement

Forum 3: Designing for Women and Girls - Wednesday 27 April 2022

Well designed and inclusive sport infrastructure enables women and girls to participate in sport. Increasing the availability, accessibility or quantity of inclusive facilities enables growth in women’s and girls’ participation, improves high performance sport outcomes, drives sport related tourism and fosters sector sustainability and business outcomes. 

As participation trends have changed and female sport has grown exponentially, change in facility design and provision has been required to meet the needs of women and girls.   Facilities now need to provide welcoming, inclusive, fit-for-purpose places to provide women and girls equal opportunity to participate as players, officials, spectators and administrators. 


HostKerry Turner, Manager Partnerships and Participation, Office of Sport
Belinda Goh, Principal Architect, Populous
Matthew Green, Project Principal, Home of Matildas, Six Pillars Consulting
Karen Penrose, President, Old Barker Rugby Club, Director Rugby Australia
Carla Stacey Coordinator, Sporting Partnerships, Inner West Council


Sarah Stewart, Paralympian, Director, Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT 
Libby Sadler, Strategic Project Manager, Sport NSW, Former AFLW Operations Manager, GWS Giants
Belinda Sharpe, NRL Referee
Sarah Walsh, Former Matilda, Head of Women’s Football, Football Australia

Forum focus 

  • The importance of inclusive and accessible sports infrastructure in increasing women’s and girl’s participation 
  • Understanding what a female friendly facility looks and feels like for diverse groups of women
  • The needs and expectations of female officials in shared spaces
  • How the new Home of Matildas will set the benchmark for inclusive sport facilities in Australia
  • Providing equitable programs and scheduling at sport facilities

Forum 4: Design Innovation - Wednesday 25 May 2022

Inclusive design is all about making our differences invisible and accepted as part of who we are, a ‘community spectrum’. Great design should be invisible.  Great design is seamless and frictionless. But for anyone who has experienced poor design, the frustration and hardship are all too evident. This forum is about ‘lived experience’  and ‘design innovation’ increasing the availability, accessibility, and quantity of inclusive facilities to enable growth in sport and active recreation at community participation level, improvements in high performance sport outcomes, and sport related tourism for all.

Every design decision has the potential to include or exclude people. Inclusive design is used when you want infrastructure, a program, or a service to incorporate the needs of the widest number of people, regardless of age, gender and diverse ability, or culture. This approach is not just important for reasons of social equality; it also makes good business sense.   Facilities now need to provide welcoming, inclusive, fit-for-purpose places to provide equal opportunity to participate as players, officials, spectators and administrators. 


Jane BringolfCentre for Universal Design
Murray Elbourn, Disability Sports Australia
June Boxsell, Street Furniture Australia
Claire Cherrington, Giant Steps
Mark Liberatore, Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Forum focus 

  • What Universal Design and Designing for Dignity are compared to the various Australian Disability Standards and Guidelines
  • Understanding what an inclusive facility looks and feels like for diverse groups of people
  • How active recreation, sport facilities, services & programs can be created and or adapted to be inclusive
  • What innovative product design for sport and active recreation facilities looks like including the communication needs
  • How 'Lived Experience' – can / has impacted positively on Design

Forum 1

Designing for Place:  11am– 12:30pm Wednesday 23 February 2022

Forum 2

Designing Thinking:  11am– 12:30pm Wednesday 23 March 2022

Forum 3

Designing for Women and Girls: 11am– 12:30pm, Wednesday 27 April 2022

Forum 4

Design Innovation: 11am– 12:30pm Wednesday 25 May 2022

Forum 5

Design and Deliver - Policy to Practice Date TBC

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Contact the Infrastructure Strategy, Planning and Delivery team at
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