Collective Voices is our online book showcasing stories of individuals and organisations that are driving positive change for women and girls in sport. Featuring four themes: Design Shapers, Dream Makers, Ceiling Smashers and Game Changers, we will celebrate the many and varied voices that are contributing to the women’s sport landscape including initiatives we are undertaking to bring the Her Sport Her Way strategy to life.
The Office of Sport’s Her Sport Her Way strategy affirms the NSW Government’s commitment to empower women and girls to have full access to opportunity and choice, be valued for their diversity, be recognised for their contribution, and be able to participate. Her Sport Her Way provides a clear role for government to work with the sector and partners in innovative ways to shape the future of sport for women and girls in NSW.
Stories will be added throughout the year and we hope you find them inspiring. We look forward to having you on our collective journey as we shape the future of women’s sport in NSW.
The golden ribbon that makes Taylor unbreakableIt’s 5am and Taylor Walker-Lear’s mum is braiding her hair, carefully weaving a golden ribbon through the plait. Handwritten along the ribbon are the words: ‘Anything is possible when I set my mind to it’. Taylor is getting ready for one of her thrice weekly training sessions at Leichhardt Aquatic Centre. She’s a 14 year-old girl living with cerebral palsy and a paralympic swimmer in the making. “I wear the ribbon of strength to remind myself that strength is all in my head and, no matter how hard swimming seems some days, I am unbreakable,” she says.
She’s echoing the words of one of her idols, Paralympic gold medalist Ellie Cole, who starred in the Pantene ‘Ribbon of Strength’ campaign when it first launched in late 2018. Taylor is one of thousands of young female athletes who are now braiding their hair with the golden ribbons before partaking in sport. Read more
Smashing the grass ceiling as Australia’s first female super rugby referee
Amy swiftly summoned her inner voice, firmly saying “You got selected for a reason. Have confidence in your own ability.” A moment later, she went on to successfully referee her first major international game. Read more
Game changer: Empowering dads to empower their girls
When internationally renowned men’s health expert, Prof Phil Morgan, had his third daughter he was struck by comments people made, ranging from: “You’re going to have to lock your daughters up!” to: “Good luck at the ballet!” and: “Bad luck for not having a son.” As the comments sunk in, he wondered why people felt having a daughter meant less opportunities than having a son. Especially when it came to sport. As an academic, he started looking at the research which showed girls are dropping out of sport at a rate six times greater than boys. Read more