• Droughts, bushfires, floods and pandemics: the fundamental cultural change for inclusion and diversity in a new era

    60m 48s

    The 2020 Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Forum was a livestreamed panel discussion conducted in October 2020 with Beau Newell, Moya Dodd, Dr Ben Gauntlett and Sam Turner considering the impact of COVID-19 on culture, diversity and inclusion in sport. 


Beau Newell [00:00:04] Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the 2020 Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Forum. My name is Beau Newell and I'm your host with today. And today, we're talking about droughts, bushfires, floods and pandemics. The fundamental cultural challenge for inclusion and diversity in a new era. To kick start today's session, I'd like to respectfully acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation who are the traditional owners and first people of the land in which we broadcast from today. I'd also like to pay my respect to elders past, present and emerging, and I would like to extend my respect to any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people or people of colour who may be joining us in today's session. A very warm welcome to you all.

Beau Newell [00:00:46] Before we dive into things today, I do just need to give everyone a quick content warning to know that some of the content we discuss in today's session may contain information about mental health, anxiety, suicide and suicidal ideation, and these may trigger personal emotions. So if this content in this session does raise any concerns for yourself, some numbers are on screen. And we encourage you to reach out to those where possible.

Beau Newell [00:01:11] So the Diversity Inclusion in Sport Forum is back for 2020 and we're coming to you via livestream. 2020 is natural disasters and the COVID-19 health crisis have had a significant impact on community sports across Australia. However, these events have only reinforced the importance of community clubs and associations connecting with and reflecting the diverse and vibrant local communities. Inclusion and diversity has never been more important. Community sports survival may depend on it. But there's also a danger in the rush to get back to playing and with fewer resources and greater restrictions. Much of the great work done in recent times could be lost. It could be a matter of two steps forward and two steps back. We've seen the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, yet more effort is needed to stamp out racial vilification in sport. Progress continues towards gender equality on and off the field. However, there are also fears of complacency. We've seen LGBTQ inclusion take centre stage in the biggest vilification court case in our history and with the hightened focus on transgender participation on the way, we must now combat the disproportionate impact on the LGBTQ community. And the growth of Paralympic and disability sports have been positive. Yet there is still a high risk of institutionalised discrimination that we must address.

Beau Newell [00:02:41] The lockdowns we've experienced have raised have seen a rise in job losses, domestic violence, poor mental health and the increased alcohol abuse. There will be greater economic divides in the community and fewer specialised positions in sports to drive to drive, rather, the inclusion, diversity and child safety aspects of our games. Will this be the priority in the months ahead? What cultural change is necessary to ensure that sport not only survives but thrives as leaders and champions of inclusion and diversity? To answer these questions and many more. I'd like to now introduce you to our amazing panel that will be joining today's discussion.

Beau Newell [00:03:22] First off, Moya Dodd, pronouns she/her. Moya is a partner at Gilbert and Tobin Lawyers and a former vice captain of Australians women's football team, the Matildas. She was once the first women first woman on FIFA's executive committee and on the board of FFA from 2007 to 2017. In FIFA, Moya took a lead role on gender reforms and became a driving force in recent push for women within FIFA. Welcome, Moya.

Beau Newell [00:03:51] I'd also like to welcome you to the commissioner, Dr. Ben Gauntlett, pronouns. he/him. Ben is the Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission and is working to remove barriers for people with disabilities in social and, of course, in sport. Ben sits on the Play by the Rules Committee. And joining us today. Welcome, Ben. Thank you.

Beau Newell [00:04:15] And last but certainly not least, I'd like to introduce you to Sam Turner, pronouns she/her. Sam is an expert in inclusion and diversity space, particularly in the corporate world. She is currently working alongside the CEOs of major global tech and media companies as a programme director for Male Champions of Change, rather. Amongst other roles in driving gender and equality and inclusion and also running an LGBTQ charity within Australia. Welcome to you all.

Beau Newell [00:04:45] Now we're gonna dive into things today. But before we jump into our first question, I need to let everybody know that today is an environment where we want you to be involved. So we want you to ask as many questions as possible. So to do this, I'd encourage you to use the blue hand icon at the top right hand side of your screen. Each question will be directed through to us here in the studio, and we'll do our very best to get to as many questions as possible.

Beau Newell [00:05:08] Now, without further ado, we're going to dive into the very first question. And we want to start with the impact of the experience that we've all faced over the last 12 months. So this has been an extraordinary year, certainly not one that we could have anticipated 12 months ago done about yourselves. But I certainly couldn't have fathomed where we would be right now. So when we talk about short term impacts and the fact that they're quite raw, invisible right now for community sport, what do we think of some of the long term impacts for inclusion and diversity from 2021 onwards? Moya, let's start with you.

Moya Dodd [00:05:44] Thank you. And thanks to everyone who's joining. You know, I think with all the challenges of the last 12 months, social and economic. The big worry is that diversity and inclusion becomes a kind of luxury that we can't afford anymore. And whenever money's tight and you look at where they go when the budget to cut. I think that's always the danger period that you feel for inclusion initiatives or for women's sport or for anything that's not the sort of dominant, mainstream elite sport. And, you know, there's this good cause for concern about that. I mean, in COVID, we saw very quickly that AFLW just got dropped like a hot rock. There's a grand final for the men tomorrow. So I'll be thinking of the women who had their season for shortened and it didn't even get to finish their finals. And that was the that's been the case across many sports across the world, is that, you know, men's elite sport. There was a huge urgency to get it back playing because there was a massive hole in the budget. Right. So they face these big budgetary challenges and nothing know if it was spared to get them that playing. We've seen that in Australia as well with Hub's and so on. But also, you know, the Olympics and the Paralympics this year, the most gender balanced major sporting events. And we're missing out, at least for this year. Hopefully we'll get the next year. So that was also a big loss in visibility and inclusion.

Moya Dodd [00:07:05] But, you know, it's been interesting that we sort of got to see inside athletes lives and homes during all this. So you saw people juggling toilet paper rolls and or they would be there with your partner. So, you know, I think that kind of athlete activism has had a kicker in a strange way out of COVID. And, of course, the Black Lives Matter movement in it in a tragic way was re energised in the US, in sport, became very much a part of that. But I think, you know, I'm generally an optimist, I think in all these kinds of situations. There are nooks and crannies. There are there are ways when that particularly now what we're seeing is that habits are being broken. So any incumbent, if you have big incumbent revenue streams or assets or or businesses, then you're the one who's actually hurting the most because your incumbency is lost by habits being broken. And that gives opportunities for new habits to be formed. As an example, you know, we couldn't have crowds at sport. And I'd always been told by very intelligent people for many years that that was the problem with women's sport. Right.

Moya Dodd [00:08:13] It didn't have big crowds. So there's no atmosphere. So nobody wants to watch it. So we're not putting you on TV or if we do, it's going to be in a lousy timeslot. And that's just how it is. So along comes COVID and suddenly you can't have people in the stadium. So within a New York minute, there were all kinds of solutions for no crowd broadcasts. And now you can turn on and watch the Champions League or whatever. And there's there's all manner of solutions for making that broadcast interesting. So I think there are opportunities there for greater inclusion in sport out of all of this. But, you know, won't happen by itself. We're going to have to think about and we don't have to be on to it.

Beau Newell [00:08:50] Absolutely. And I think you raise a really good point in the idea of of the innovation that can come with what's coming ahead. And so, Ben, I want to hand to you now and following on from Moya's point, she raises some great points when it comes to women in sport. How does that compare with disability and sport? More broadly.

Ben Gauntlett [00:09:10] I think it's important to acknowledge that maybe we're at a different starting point when we look at women in sport relative to people with disability in sport in Australia at the moment, we really do have a segregated model for the treatment of people with disability. We unfortunately have segregated education. We often have segregated workplaces where we often have segregated sports clubs. And what that can mean is that we don't have that integration between people with disabilities and people who do not have a disability. And so that lack of visibility can be, in a sense, exacerbated by COVID. We know that COVID- 19 exacerbates disadvantage in the community. And when they're looking at the funding of programmes or the funding of particular participation or means participation, unfortunately, the effect of COVID-19 is that though those forms of participation may not exist. But in looking at disability, it's also really important to acknowledge intersectionality. Women have disabilities so that LGBTQ and trans people have disabilities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have disabilities and they need to be included as well. In terms of going forward, I think, though, that there is both a danger that people with disabilities will not be included in programmes or the design of sporting ideas. But there is also maybe an opportunity. Well, we've all been sitting at home in lockdown and we've all been unable to play sport. We've all been unable to get into the community. We've actually felt like potentially one of the 4.4 Australians who live with disability every day. We felt lonely. We felt we wanted to have a sense of community. And in Australia, the way how we generally do that is sport. So hopefully in the long term, it may make people think is we need to have inclusive and accepting sporting programmes so that everyone can participate. Because I also know how demeaning and how concerning it was not to be had to participate in the lockdown occurred.

Beau Newell [00:11:13] Yes, absolutely. And I can say from a personal level, too. I have two kids. They're three years old and they both have a disability. And one of the things that I recognise straight away with the impacts of COVID was the fact that they even at the age of three years old, they they felt displaced because they couldn't go out and play some of their favourite sports and couldn't be involved with some of their friends in this space. And to go back to one of your early points to in terms of some of the the disproportionate effects on different communities, because of COVID I've got a few notes here and this came out from news gate excuse me, news gate market research recently that showed that for the LGBTQ community specifically, it showed that 50 percent more LGBTQ people have felt more socially isolated compared to the general population. In addition to 53 percent of the LGBTQ community have experienced more mental health issues, compared to only 34 percent of the general population. Now, this isn't unique by any means, and it's something that unfortunately we're seeing in a lot of cross across a lot of areas of diversity, inclusion in this space. But, Sam, I suppose I want to bring you into this part here now, because we talk quite a lot about these impacts that it's having on sport. How does this come out from your experience from a corporate level? And how does that engage with sport in terms of how can corporates assist in this space?

Sam Turner [00:12:34] I think I mean, so much so much positivity, but then also obviously so much challenge as Moya and Ben alluded, too, I think from a from a workplace perspective, from a corporate perspective, we're seeing obviously people work in a much more flexible way than we've ever we've ever had to work. And I think diversity and inclusion practitioners have been banging on about the benefits of flexible work in terms of work life balance for years. And then all of a sudden, you know, we have a pandemic. And it was literally all of a sudden we had workplaces having to move into flex environments. And I think one of the benefits in terms of, you know, that sport piece is, you know, as we move forward and as we kind of have a longer term view, people really valuing their non-work time. So whether it is an opportunity to play sport, whether it's because they're caring for, you know, small humans or elder humans, or whether it's because, you know, they have some other passion, really, I guess. And it's brought that conversation about work life balance much more to the front.

Sam Turner [00:13:36] And I think the other thing it's done in the corporate space is very much brought back the conversation around mental health. So you're seeing leaders, you're seeing team colleagues have conversations about how you feeling as opposed to, you know, whereas this piece of work up to and I think we know that sport and participation has a positive impact on mental health. And when you when you couple that with any other type of intersection of an underrepresented group, you know that the benefits are even greater. So I think bringing that conversation into into into a workplace, I think the one thing in terms of a direct impact, though, we know that the economies, you know, going to struggle and it's going to struggle for for quite a long time, just being really clear with businesses that are still profitable that they're directing their money still into community sport, into local communities. And to your point, Moya, that that just doesn't dry up and that inclusion and diversity piece around, that doesn't just become a nice to have. It's actually essential and that that representation piece is essential.

Beau Newell [00:14:43] Yeah, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. And I know I've spoken about it on many occasions, and I'm sure the three of you have as well. And the fact that I mentioned in my opening piece, we've taken so many steps forward over recent years across all areas of diversity, inclusion, there've been amazing achievements that we've seen. But it's it's scary to think in a way that we could lose some of that because of the impacts of COVID. So it's not all doom and gloom, though. So let's now talk about some of the opportunities, because we are seeing a lot more innovation. So more you go back to your original point and the idea that corporates are actually thinking differently, quite a lot of national sporting bodies are also trying to think differently. What are some of the opportunities that we can see in this space and the positivity that comes out of them that we can see and if we can think about this through potentially the lens of community sports, so. The people at the community level wanting to know how they can improve their diversity inclusion initiatives. What are some of the opportunities that we see? And Ben I might start with you on this one.

Ben Gauntlett [00:15:43] I think when we think of community sport, what we want it to be is that it's available for everyone, no matter what your background, no matter what your level of ability. If you want to play, you can. And for that to occur, it needs to be accessible. And accessibility is not just about ramps and people in wheelchairs for people for disability. 80 percent of disability is unseen in the community. And so when we think about how we include people, we have to start off by, I think. Communicating in an accessible way. And that communication accessible way. I think what we've learnt is, is that if we communicate excessively about what are the opportunities for playing sport, people will come forward and they'll understand what exists. Within that framework, then we can fund the built environment, the online environment, to give people with disability opportunities throughout the community sporting landscape. And we can have a really mature and thought provoking discussion about what is their role in clubs or associations and organisations to ensure they're not just included, but they're included in a meaningful way. Mm hmm. And then what can happen is by building upon that and having that mature discussion, what it's hoped can occur is that in the long term, we can use sport to create a social fabric where everyone is accepted in Australia. Sport is a wonderful thing and it's wonderful that it's really part of our Australian ethos, but it needs to include all. And that's the opportunity we have going forward.

Beau Newell [00:17:18] I think that's a really good point. And I know it's been spoken about in the media quite a lot recently. And the fact that sport is a fundamental human right, regardless of anything, whether it's your background, your sexuality, your gender identity, your race, your religion, ethnicity, whatever it may be. And I think that's the part where we need to remember in this space. Moya, what about you? Opportunities for community sports in this space? What can we see?

Moya Dodd [00:17:45] I mean, I'd I'd like to agree and reiterate a lot of what Ben said. I think there's this fundamental tension in sport between the elite and the non elite. And, you know, we often talk about sport in the rhetoric of being something that is a great leveller, that it doesn't matter, you know, class, creed or colour, etc. You know, you can all play and they need you know, you turn on the television, they'll be great demonstrative things happening at half time during the World Cup that reinforce all of this. But but actually, a lot of the time, it's not really saying that we're making it as inclusive for every person on the planet. What it's really saying is that we're replacing one set of privilege criteria, which might be your social status or your wealth or your position, your positional authority. And we're replacing that with another set of criteria, which is how good are you at kicking a goal or or playing the sport? How high can you jump? How fast can you jump? And that that just replaces one set of privilege criteria with another. It's disruptive and it's you know, it's refreshing because, yes, you can make it from the poorest favela in Brazil and become, you know, a top football player and win the Champions League final.

Moya Dodd [00:18:55] But that's not that's not inclusion because it if we're going to say everybody, we've got to talk about total inclusion. And I think the way the way I would think about it is to flip the currencies that we think of elitism. It's very connected with professionalism or, you know, winning gold medals at an Olympics. And that's a currency that everybody understands because you can earn a lot of money if you're a top sports person or you can win a gold medal if you're a top sportsperson. But actually, let's not look at what you can win or what you can gain in those kind of external currencies. But if you look at the internal currency, what you gain as a benefit from participating in sport, COVID has brought that out big time because, you know, after lockdown and thoughts with people in Melbourne and elsewhere in the world who are still suffering lockdown. But, you know, when we came out of it in Sydney and I went out and ran around with my over age football team for the first week and the kids got to go out and run around, you thought, my God, how much have I missed this? And this is gold, right? Just the ability go out, go to training on a Wednesday night and, you know, on a scrappy field somewhere, you realise just how much it gave you. So if instead of looking at how much you can make in hard currency that you can put in a bank and you look at how much you gain in your personal wellbeing, then you start to see sport in a whole different way and you realise that this currency can be generated at low cost in a very widespread way, that serving the mental health needs, the social needs and the personal development needs of of the entire community. So, you know, if you're playing in an all abilities competition and you score the winning goal in the last minute, I'm pretty sure the feeling is the same. As you get if you score the winning goal in a World Cup final at any level of any sport, right.

Moya Dodd [00:20:50] It's the same feeling. And it does the same kind of sense of good and an uplifting feeling for whoever's playing it. So, you know, with that, I think the opportunities are, as Sam said, cities are being redesigned, companies are being redesigned, and all of those create opportunities for thoughtful redirection of our resources. I mean, if we're decentralising and people spending more time in the burbs, you know, is there a local place where you can go and play. The time you're not spending travelling in the office? Can you be doing something more useful with it? And where are you going to do it? Have you got somewhere local? Should they be built these pop up bike lanes, you know? And can you travel on any bike? It's probably going to be safer than being in a crowded train right. All of those things, I think beyond what you call the sports industry, I think there's a broader opportunity to embed a more active way of life into our everyday lives. And that should extend thoughtfully and in a measured and deliberate way across every part of the community.

Beau Newell [00:21:54] No, I agree. I think there's two parts to this, though. And I want to I want to get you to have another look at this question for us in the idea that we're probably looking through two lenses at the moment. So one of which is the participation arm in terms of an individual wanting to get involved in a sport. And then we have the other arm of the administrators, the people actually running the sports. Do you find that there's additional barriers in place for individuals wanting to get involved in the sport because of the attitudes of administrators? And if we're looking specifically through the lens of inclusion, I want to give you an example where quite often I have conversations with leaders and decision makers in sports that look up to what some of the other sports are doing really well in that particular space, being LGBTQ inclusion, disability, inclusion, whatever it may be. And the conversation generally goes along the lines of, well, of course, we're inclusive. We've always been inclusive. Yet they have no meat on the bones. They can't actually prove that they are doing well in this particular space. And I know for me sometimes. And this comes into the barriers point in the idea that I'd have a conversation with an individual that's a decision maker. And I'd say, well, how do you know that you're inclusive? How do you know that you're inclusive to women? How do you know they are inclusive to the LGBTQ community? And one of their responses quite often is, well, we've never had any complaints. To me, that's I mean, it's really difficult not to laugh in their face sometimes because I think that shows a level of naivety and even probably ignorance to a degree as well for people who are administering and running sports, whether it be at the national level, whether it be at community level, that truly believe that they have an inclusive environment for people to participate. But the reality is, if it's a if it's a woman, if it's a child, if it's someone with a disability that wants to get involved in that particular sport or that particular club, they're less likely to get involved because that club isn't actually proving that they're inclusive. So I guess Moya do you have anything extra in terms of the barriers that we can fight that people are facing in this base? And what could administrators do to improve that?

Moya Dodd [00:24:02] That's a great question. I mean, administrators at the moment are under a huge amount of pressure because money's drying up. They've got people out of the office and was stood down. And they're trying to do, fulfil a lot of expectations with less staff and less resources. And they're also, I think, caught up very often in the currency of high performance success. So you might say year look, I'd like to do more for this or that, you know, cause or whatever. But, you know, if we don't qualify for the Olympics or if we don't get a medal or if we don't get to the World Cup, then I'm gonna lose my job. Or if we don't get a big crowd and big ratings or if I don't get this next deal on the TV rights, then, you know, I'm going to be seen as a failure and lose my job. So, you know, quite often the resourcing of the function to even think about it is pretty minimal. And and COVID's may be given an opportunity to reflect on what are the true currencies of your sport. You're a non-profit. What are you trying to achieve? I'm trying to build your top line revenue that people can see in a financial report. Or are you trying to build your participation numbers? Is that the currency you're trying to do? And if you talk to a parent like you and you say, what's the most valuable thing that could happen out of sport for you, it would probably say that my kids can play it and I can see the thrill in their eyes just from participating in, you know. Do you care whether we how many people are at the grand final on the weekend? More than that. I bet you don't.

Moya Dodd [00:25:36] And and I think it's that currency to sort of surface and make that maybe, you know, you've got to measure it in some way. I think governments can play a big part in this. I think the realisation that being successful at sport is in development. Coaches should know this, right? I mean, at all. All the moms and dads and helpful people who volunteer on weekends to coach kids, teams to play whatever sport they play. You know, everybody looks at the game, your kid's playing and I think they're going to win. All my kid won. That's great. My kid scored a goal. My kid is doing great. Well, that's in the moment. Of course it's like that. But when you stand back and say, why, why do we love it? That our kids go out and play sport every weekend. It's because they're getting all of these less visible, less measured benefits that, you know, are making them better prepared to face the world. They're learning how to be good team-mates. They're learning how to train and get better at something incrementally. They're learning just the sheer fun of being outside and exercising and hopefully making that a lifelong habit. Then they're getting life skills that you can't teach in a classroom, but you can easily absorb when you're out playing sport.

Moya Dodd [00:26:50] So those currencies, I think in this COVID time, administrators can reflect upon them and realise that, you know, like all those volunteer coaches are out on the weekend, one of our most important jobs is to let every child, every adult in Australia play sport under the best conditions possible.

Sam Turner [00:27:15] Can I add something to that? I think because it does bring in that when you talk about administrators, when you talk about, you know, boards, I think it's also about who's having those conversations and how diverse is that group. And so, you know, if you've got a homogenous group of people around the table saying where inclusive, well, of course you feel inclusive of everybody else around you, looks and sounds and acts the same as you. So I think it's also about, you know, when you're talking about at that level of sport or those types of organisations, what are the boards look like? What? What is the actual makeup look like? And being unapologetic about increasing representation at that level as well?

Beau Newell [00:27:55] Yeah, absolutely. And I think going back into the to draw into the opportunities, I mean, there's so many of them on here. But one of them, which has been pointed out to us in the chat function, who is around? And you talk about currency. Moya and let's talk about a different currency in terms of the money currency for a moment. And it's interesting, some of the examples people are sharing with us in terms of the idea that, you know, some traditional grants, for example, in terms of equipment and facilities that have been around for years and years, they may not be the same. Moving forward from this COVID pandemic. And so in in terms of ideas that people can think about to operate differently and to try and think outside the box a little bit. We've had some examples of people saying that, you know, rather than applying or trying to find those traditional equipment grants, look for mental health grants, look for health department grants, I suppose, as opposed to sport grants. Specifically, you partner with external organisations that can help build that truly inclusive space. I mean, these are some of the tangible opportunities that I think are on the table right now for community support across the country.

Moya Dodd [00:29:04] If I could add too, I think of the digital environment that we have. We're all in and which has, I think, come to the fore in during COVID. That also gives opportunities for people to connect and play sports. So, you know, instead of just playing in a traditional weekend team where you train on a Wednesday and you play on the weekend. What about more localised games? What about having an app where you can just pick up a game and say, well, I want to play out looking for the seven o'clock game of walking football in my local park? I mean, I'd love to see some more of those really grassroots initiatives come in that make sport very accessible to people where they are. And we have all the tools there and we all have these things in our pocket or on our desk. So to apply them to sport and to stretch the boundaries of accessibility and make it in a way less elite. Right. It's a club that you have to join. This is the thing you can turn up to do. It's like walking on the street.

Beau Newell [00:29:57] Absolutely. Now, I'm going to bring in some of the questioners which have been flooding through on the chat function. And just a reminder to anyone, if you do want to ask any questions to our panellist today, please use the blue hand icon at the top right hand corner of your screen. Our first question today comes from Dave. And this one's speaking to a comment that you made earlier, Ben. And it goes interesting to hear Dr. Ben's points around segregation in my sport of rugby union in Australia. There's been some amazing work done around creating inclusive rugby clubs and competitions like the Purchase cup. However, we are we have arrived at a point in time whereby we need to step away from these obvious segregation's to put more work into raising awareness and helping out individuals who are on on the sexual sexuality spectrum participating in established Rugby Clubs Australia wide. What do you got to say about that one?

Ben Gauntlett [00:30:51] I think we do have to work at understanding that diversity is part of the human condition and we accept the whole of someone coming to a sporting club and we make a very safe environment so that that person can say this is me and that this is me. Might be I've got some mental health challenges that really affect me. And I want to be included because it's good for me and it's good for my mental health. Can I apply? And the most important thing is we need to sort of give the training to the organisation so that those safe spaces and those dignified and respectful conversations can take place. And we can also advertise as to that they will take place and that the training has occurred and that you can say to people if you want to go and play a particular sport because you've always wanted to please go on, approach the club and you'll be treated with respect. And once you have that real mutual respect to acknowledge the full nature of the person we're dealing with, then that's when we can create really properly inclusive sporting clubs. Disability is interesting, diversity characteristic because there's no pride movement. People will often in filling out an employment form, the one area that they will just not tick in terms of what is the disability box? They'll fill out the entirety of the rest of the form, but not the disability box. We need to change that. We need to make the whole of Australia realise that disability is just part of the human condition. And if you want to reveal it, that's great. And we will accommodate respectfully treat you in a dignified way to ensure there's meaningful inclusion.

Beau Newell [00:32:31] Absolutely.

Sam Turner [00:32:33] I think is I think there's also the enablers for inclusion. So, you know, we talk a lot about culture and we talk a lot about creating inclusive environments and safe spaces. And absolutely, there's an imperative there. But I also think, you know, particularly around things like women's participation in sport. What are the enablers to actually help women participate, for example? So we already know that in Australia, women do 80 percent more unpaid work than men. So whether that's care whether that's running people to sport. And we also know in the pend in a in a pandemic that everyone's doing more. So all genders are doing more. But women are doing more of more. And so I think there's got to be a discussion as well and more around society about how do we enable that more sharing of unpaid work to enable men, women, carers, you know, everyone to participate in in a much more inclusive way.

Beau Newell [00:33:35] And that's a really good point. This actually comes to one of our questions that we've got in here that talks about the champions of change, for example. And it states that while champions and leaders are important this space, how do we embed that culture change in our organisations and systems in the future? So to this point, Sam, you know, there's going to be fewer resources. We've spoken about that in terms of grants changing. People are generally resistant to change. That's just in a lot of people's nature. Do our champions in this space have to adapt to take a different approach in the end to take a different approach in the future?

Sam Turner [00:34:07] Yes, I think it's always interesting when people like when we talk about being resistant to change. And I think because actually I think what you're seeing increasingly now, particularly with Black Lives Matter and a much greater online presence, you know, increased accessibility, I think, to dialogue, to awareness or that kind of stuff, you are seeing an increased groundswell around representation. So whether it's representation in sport or whether it's representation from the companies that we buy stuff from or, you know, the supply chain that we use, I think there's definitely a groundswell for that.

Sam Turner [00:34:43] So, you know, do do champions have to change? Absolutely. But I would also say that everyone has to change. You know, if we're talking about system change, which we do talk about a lot, you know, that's that's about everybody as an individual and often say that, you know, we think of organisations or clubs as as having a particular culture, whereas actually we need to remember that, you know, each club, each organisation is made up of individuals and it's the individuals that actually make that make that culture. So I think the challenge is not just for champions, it's for it's for every single human to to educate themselves and to not necessarily rely on the underrepresented group to teach or to create awareness or to fight the good fight, if you like. And so I think as individuals, for us, it's about, you know, how do we educate ourselves about indigenous issues, about disability issues that, you know, who do you talk to that's not like you?

Sam Turner [00:35:46] Who do you employ? That is not like you. And how are you you driving that as an individual to help create change? Because I think this is the one thing as well as where as soon as you start to slow down, as soon as you literally take your foot off the accelerator and around inclusion, it goes backwards because we are human, like we're inherently bias that. But that is not an excuse. If anything, it is a reason to get better.

Beau Newell [00:36:13] Yeah, absolutely. And look, this actually brings into the point to where I'm sure you've all heard this phrase before and the fact that if you can't see it, you can't be it. And I think this goes to pretty much all areas of diversity, inclusion. So Moya on on that point. On. On the point of visibility, how do these two things connect and what is it that we can see that, you know, sports or individuals can do in this place to be a bit more proactive?

Moya Dodd [00:36:37] I think, as Sam said, it's all about adaptation now. And a good friend of mine explained to me the concept of the fugitive species, which apparently is a species that when there's some kind of disaster, like a bushfire or something like that, then the species, which might not normally be a dominant species, but it's the one that is able to regenerate quickly. And, you know, re-establish itself in the post sort of traumatic environment. They are the species that that often pop up first post trauma. So, you know, I really like that analogy. And I thought, yeah, we need to be the fugitive species. We need to adapt quickly and and be seen. I mean, as an example, the Women's Football League in the US, the womens soccer league was the first pro league to come back and be on television. And, you know, in a in a hub in I think around August. So that was the first time when Americans could switch on their television and see live sport. It was women playing soccer. Also great athlete activists, you know, like Megan Rapinoe in the US player who was taking a knee and getting in trouble for a few years ago. So, you know, the climate has changed so much. It's like these sort of trauma events, a big bushfire or flood, and the species of plant or or animal that are able to regenerate quickly are the ones that get seen early on andit's interesting there I saw a graph of all the sports in the US and how they'd lost viewers. And it's some of the big ones have lost viewers in recent months and they end up anyway still had increased like four hundred and ninety something percent. It was like miles to the right. And there were other big ones, like baseball and NBA had kind of drifted to the left. So that really that's why I kind of have hope in all of this, I think. And it's not without a huge amount of work and effort to make sure that those things happen. If you're going to be that fugitive species, you you need to work harder and smarter and quicker then than others. But, you know, the opportunities are there in and hopefully the people who are watching today are the ones who can help make that happen.

Beau Newell [00:38:45] So speaking of harder, faster and quicker, we're now going to do a bit of a rapid fire with a bunch of questions, because we are flooded with questions from our audience at the moment. And we've got about fifteen minutes left before we can, we have to wrap things up. So I'm going to fire this one yourself. Ben, first, in this in this case, this one comes from Liesl. How can we influence the government to prioritise funding for participation in sport for everyone as a means to keep people active and and physically and mentally healthy?

Ben Gauntlett [00:39:15] I think when you look at why we create a policy in Australia, we often create it for economic reasons, we create it for non-economic reasons in terms of our values of diversity, inclusion. And we also probably recognised human rights of individuals in terms of what they seek to do. Having accessible sporting organisations is good from a physical health and a mental health standpoint. It's good from keeping people connected and preventing people falling in the cracks in society. When we as a community get together in a way where everyone is accepted, we learn subconsciously of the diversity of the human condition. And that's why it's so important that sporting clubs are as successful as possible. And then finally, in terms of the human rights element of it, is recognising that each of us has an equality of opportunity to do things is just so fundamental in times of COVID. Because for those people who have been locked up for eleven weeks, some people have been locked up for the last 20 years in their houses, getting out once or twice a day. Think of the benefit that people in that situation have of being part of a club or association and how their life will blossom. It's not about money. It's about attitude.

Beau Newell [00:40:40] Absolutely. And I think it goes to the point that this really will save lives if we can get work done more and more in this space. It will save lives. Moya, a question for you now, this one comes from Anne, Anne works in a major Australian Football League club. There's a buy in from their leadership to increase it with excuse me, awareness and the importance of diversity, inclusion. Unfortunately, the nature of football departments is that it has to be predominantly male dominated area and can be difficult to engage to encourage change, particularly with the within the gender equality space. How do you suggest we can create a buy in from everyone at that club rather than just preaching to the converted, so to speak?

Moya Dodd [00:41:22] Well, that's a big question and. So there's a range of this whole repertoire of tools that you can use. I think building your own presence and influence is part of what is important. And I know I don't say that's flippantly because it's it takes time to do that. And, you know, women are often dismissed in the workplace, their views or they're talked over in meetings or whatever. So, you know, understand that all of that is present. I think in being bold enough to express your view and call out discrimination or ask the question, just the nudge often is enough. And what I found is that a lot of people who think are, you know, really good on inclusion issues or gender issues might not be anywhere near as as comprehending as what they think they are because they just don't know what they don't know. So what it can be one of the most powerful things is to ask a question at the right moment, in the right way that causes them to just stop and think. Yeah, maybe I haven't thought about that enough. They they don't miss. They don't want to be biased. They don't think they're biased. And then I realise they're biased because there's a saying that first Michael Kimmel offences privilege is invisible to those who have it. So are all of these invisible forces are kind of their tail winds that they've had all their lives and they don't even know that they're living in the world of the tailwind because you've never had to to walk into it. So, you know, one suggestion I'd make is ask the right question at the right time and simply point out what the differences are. I mean, do they accept that it that it was a kind of an outrageous discrimination to just stop the AFLW with no further thought? Apparently, while sparing no effort to get the AFL mens back on the field. I mean, I know there are all kinds of challenges with AFLW, but.

Beau Newell [00:43:28] I think at some point they've got to share the story too, because even if you look back a couple of months when I think it was Dylan Alcott with the U.S. Open tennis open and the fact that they just completely canned, you know, the wheelchair tennis competition and without any further information or advice as to the reason why they did that. So, yes, I think that's a really good point.

Beau Newell [00:43:48] I'm gonna move on to the next one now. Sam, I'll bring into this one, this one from Alison do the sporting codes to sporting codes, game rules. So the rules or sporting codes need to be modified to allow more inclusion. It goes on to say we we know sports codes change their rules to improve things like player safety. But what? To what appetite for change is to allow more inclusion while accounting for pressures and performance and those sorts of things.

Sam Turner [00:44:17] Yeah. I mean, I think I mean, the short answer is obviously yes. The longer answer is, I guess, you know, we really have, I guess had the opportunity in some ways to turn the world a little bit on its head, you know, and I think, you know, we've we've proven throughout the last sort of nine months that we can do things differently, we can change stuff. And so, you know, as part of rewriting rewriting rules or rewriting codes and rewriting scripts, you know, there is absolutely the opportunity to do that. I think I think the key to doing that, though, is the consultation piece. So, you know, rather than rewriting rules, et cetera, you know, in the current homogenous vacuum that they probably exist in. And I'm making an assumption that there's consultation, you know. So what is true? Disability, inclusion look like what is true trans in sport inclusion look like as opposed to just, you know, doing that in isolation. So I think absolutely it is. There's the opportunity to rewrite.

Beau Newell [00:45:18] So this kind of goes into our next question, which is a really interesting one. So this one comes from Emily and Moya. I might get you to respond to this one first. Emily says that I've found I've also found it challenging to break through the agnostic position taken by their sport with regards to diversity, inclusion. Members don't think that they are being a roadblock and therefore harder to convince. Emily would be interested to hear if anyone has found a successful method to break through this Moya. Have you had any success?

Moya Dodd [00:45:48] Well, I have one crack at it. You know, if if you look at who's in inside the circle and you're you're seeing a very, very skewed set of people on a range of characteristics so that they don't represent the general population in any way, then you have to say there's a lot of filters at work. Unless you actually believe that inherently these people are better at it or more qualified or more meritorious than the general population, then you have to accept that there are filters at work. And if those filters are at work, then they're not just filtering out, you know, bad people or incapable people. They filtering had all sorts of people. And you are not catching the whole talent pool as an example, if you're only seeing men on your board, I think everybody now recognises that you're not catching the whole talent pool. And you've got some filters at work. And unless you believe that men are actually better directors inherently, that they're more qualified inherently to be directors than you have to accept that you've got filters and you need to address them.

Beau Newell [00:46:50] Yes, absolutely. Ben, next question for you. This one comes from Tim. Tim asks, How does a passionate minority make a real impact on an entrenched organisational leadership? So if we're talking about non-government funded, for example, if we can't be what we can't see who can raise the profile of sporting associations that are being progressive in this space?

Ben Gauntlett [00:47:17] I think when we look at raising a profile now with social media and other means, we can raise profile online. And we also have to learn, particularly amongst diversity characteristics that have struggled to be heard. The need to attract allies to have the discussion to assist us. What people often don't realise about disability is 80 percent disability is acquired. So in a sense, in any conversation, that person who you are speaking to next year may have quite a significant disability. And the changes you're making may help them. When advocating when trying to influence I'm a great believer in the importance of data, the importance of objective information, the importance of being able to show the benefit of just not just to a small group, to multiple groups. And to do that, you have to be quite organised and how you advocate. But if you can't get allies to assist you who may have been through the same thing, then I think it's much more powerful because if three diversity characteristics come forward to a board and they say, we don't think you're treating people of particular diversity backgrounds appropriately, you need to change, then you can see when they're like, yeah, we actually do need to change. And when they change, they change in a better way because they change in a way that acknowledges the whole person, not just an individual, a diversity characteristic, which they associate with certain characteristics.

Beau Newell [00:48:50] So I couldn't agree more. And this actually, ironically, taps into our next question here, which comes from Penny and Penny is actually asksf this one of me. But I want to actually open this one up to yourselves as well. So Penny's asks, what help can we get from key organisations and people to assist us at local community sporting association level? So when we're talking about allies, for example, to really start building effective diversity inclusion programmes, it goes on. But that's the key point of this particular question here. And I know from my perspective, and I can only speak for the realm that I work within in terms of LGBTQ inclusion.

Beau Newell [00:49:28] I think it's it's a given every organisation, every sporting organisation, every level should be reaching out to partners and collaborators that they can engage with to help them in this space, because the reality is no one is the one single expert in this area. And to go to your point, Ben, to I completely agree. And the fact that we need allies in all areas of diversity, inclusion, otherwise we just won't achieve what we want to achieve. So to direct Penny's question a little bit more from my sense, if it's LGBTQ inclusion that people want to be a part of. I would encourage them to reach out to organisations like Pride in Sport where they can participate very freely in what we have, our national benchmarking tool, which allows sports to measure exactly how inclusive they are for the LGBTQ community. I'm unaware of anything, anything similar to that. That is in the other areas of diversity, inclusion. But I could be wrong. But certainly from the LGBTQ inclusion space, a very free simple to like that for community sporting clubs in particular is the quickest and easiest way that not only you can start to be more proactive and work in this space, but to go back to one of the previous questions, if you're facing any barriers with individuals within your organisation that are being that roadblock. It's actually a really good tool for you to be able to go through, get a complete analysis of it, and then be able to present that to your board or your executive and say, well, use your saying that we're inclusive. But the reality. As we're in the bottom third or whatever it may be. So that is a really tangible tool that everyone could recommend that I'd recommend for everyone to use.

Beau Newell [00:51:00] That's my space. And I'm not talking about this old social media platform, but Moya what are your thoughts about this space in terms of what can community organisations do? Can they reach out to or who can they reach out in the space of? And in your realm, you know, in terms of women's inclusion, who can they reach out to?

Moya Dodd [00:51:20] Well, you know, there's actually loads of resources online. I mean, I love the idea of gender audits, because if you if you particularly gender issues, just just look around. Who's there? Who's getting paid the most money. So those sorts of measures, if you look online, you find a lot of resources around that kind of thing. You know, the Women's Sports Foundation has loads of resources on things like women in coaching. There is loads of stuff online and there is also community groups. I mean, in football in Australia, these Women Onside, which is like a network of women working in football or in football with loads of different interest groups, and they become advocates as well as sharing information off-line. So I'd start online. That's where I go. Yep. Athlete Allies and other great ones. I mean, globally, they've done fantastic work in the area of homohobia and transphobia in sport.

Beau Newell [00:52:13] Absolutely.

Beau Newell [00:52:14] And I think that's the best thing they can do for anyone who is wanting to know why I'm seeing the time and I know where we're getting close to the very end. So to that point where people want to find out more information. The first place I'd encourage people to go to is look at the Play by the Rules website, where there is a number of links on there, or at the very least, if you can't find what you're looking for in the Play by the Rules Web site, engage with Play by the Rules manager Peter Downs. Send me an email and you can put you in touch with the people that work in that specific space that you wanted to get support with. We've got time for one more question online here, and then I want to do a quick whip around for some final comments. And this one actually goes to a point where I was going to wrap up with today in acknowledging the fact that, you know, we've had an hour.

Beau Newell [00:52:56] We haven't been able to talk about everything, in diversity and inclusion. We haven't really gone into the idea of young people, mature age people, indigenous people, culturally and linguistically diverse. There's just so much more that we can work on. And I know on behalf of the steering committee that are organising these forums, we are planning to have some which speak more to those topics in the future.

Beau Newell [00:53:18] However, this last question here comes from Linette and the question goes, how do we remove barriers in the way of young people and their families from multicultural backgrounds to join in a sports club and playing sports. Sam, I might start with you?

Sam Turner [00:53:34] I think it comes back to the points that my friend Ben made earlier about at that community community groups. And so I think, you know, and particularly with the advent of literally you're saying that localisation people, you know, working, living, playing within one community now, now more than ever. I think what it does is that it takes away this necessity to be in a major city to be able to participate. So I think, you know, what is that local grassroots organisation, you know, actually look and feel like. And if those lack of local grassroots organisations are people in those communities, then that the barriers to inclusion are a lot less, particularly from people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Beau Newell [00:54:19] Yeah, definitely. Look, that is all the time we have for in terms of questions on here. But I want to give each of you an opportunity to give your your final pitch for what I call your final elevator pitch. This can be anything you like in terms of the diversity, inclusion, space in sport. But I want to hear from you even just a quick 30 seconds, a few lines, sharing it with our audience here today to say what can they do and go away at what the call tonight? What can I leave today with in terms of going back to the club? And the first thing that they would do when they get back to that boardroom, Moya, we might start with you.

Moya Dodd [00:54:58] You know, out of crisis, there's always opportunity. So COVID and bushfires and the many challenges we've had in the last 12 months have set us back relative to where we thought we were in 19. But I would say there's a lot of things, about 2019 that were not great for a lot of people. So don't go about recreating 2019. That shouldn't be the ambition. The ambition should be to create a sort of roaring 20s where and let's remember, in the 1920s, they had a pandemic just before they had a pandemic in 1918, and they had the Spanish flu that went all the way around. They had a world war and they came out of it into one of the most progressive periods in history where women got the vote. And people in music and arts and culture. So, you know, there's there's a lot that we can recreate out of this disruption of the hierarchy, disruption of the incumbency. And look for the opportunities in your local club or your local environment to try and recreate the world that you want to live in and not 2019, because we can do better than 2019.

Beau Newell [00:55:58] Absolutely. Very well said. Thanks, Ben.

Ben Gauntlett [00:56:02] I think when you consider people with disability, the most important thing you can do as a management group is to understand the importance of working with people with disability. Not for people with disability. The inclusion of people with disabilities throughout society is something that Australia has to work on. We've got a National Disability Strategy, which is a 10 year long policy document across Commonwealth, state and local government where there are some different issues which need to be corrected. We also have a national disability data asset where we we're again trying to correct this lack of information and data that exists in the community. Only 10 percent of people with disability in Australia are eligible or on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. There are four point four million Australians who live disability and often they want to play sport and they want to be involved in the club. And the person you're speaking to may have a disability and you don't realise it. So if you open the door for people with disability to join or to participate, that means that you can hopefully co design outcomes that are good for everyone. But we think that people with disabilities also, I think, have to realise that sometimes when you're dealing with management boards, they don't know about the issues. And so you're at least trying to educate to stop. It is really important.

Beau Newell [00:57:19] Yeah, really good point. I think education is the key for a lot of this, what we're doing. Sam.

Sam Turner [00:57:25] I think when we're talking is thinking is it there's a saying which I really dislike in diversity, inclusion, which is that, you know, diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance. Not only is it so ablest, but it's also an exclusionary privilege. And I think to build on Moya's point, 2021 is an opportunity for us to to co-design, to build new depths, for us to have new music, to have new all and all the new things that we want that are truly inclusive into a truly representative. And then I think the second piece of that in terms of that redesign and that systemic change is what you know, how can you as an individual contribute? How can you be aware of the privilege if you have privilege? How are you opening doors? How are you enabling other people's voices? And I always just kind of say, you know, if we could get just a little bit more curious about difference and a little bit less judgemental, inclusion would skyrocket. Yeah, absolutely.

Beau Newell [00:58:25] And if I can add from my side, I've already kind of touched on a little bit a tangible piece that anyone can go away from today and start to implement at their level if it's anything to do with LGBTQ inclusion is use the resources that around you, reach out, participate in the Pride in Sport Index. It's a world first in this space. There's no benchmarking tool like it anywhere else in the world when it comes to LGBTQ inclusion in sport. But the good thing is it does take into account all the best practise that happens globally. So we find out what works well in other countries like America, Canada and the UK, for example, as well as what we know works quite well in this space.

Beau Newell [00:59:05] And I think every area of diversity and inclusion is broad. And I could be biased when I say this, but I definitely think that's the case for the LGBTQ community, because the work that we do in terms of stamping out homophobia is very different to the work in terms of stamping out bi phobia or transphobia, for example, to this so many different layers within the layers that we've already discussed today that reach out, collaborate.

Beau Newell [00:59:33] I mean, I'm sure many people on today's session, if you've been a part of these forums in the past, you know that we always talk about collaboration and reaching out and partnering with organisations in this space. And I can't underestimate that enough understate that enough, because it's just so important for everyone to not go along this journey by themselves. And to bring on your point earlier, Ben, and you talk about allies. You know, if we look back to when we had the marriage equality campaign in Australia, we couldn't achieve the yes votes yes vote if it wasn't for our allies in this country. And I think the same can be said for any area of diversity, inclusion.

Beau Newell [01:00:10] So that pretty much wraps up our forum for today. It was very quick hour. And I'm sorry we didn't get all of the questions today, but a very warm thank you to everyone who submitted questions. I can safely say we achieved over 100 different questions. So we definitely didn't get to all of them.

Beau Newell [01:00:26] But we will do our very best to try and answer as many of those off-line. And we'll try and put those answers on the Play by the Rules website in due course. But to wrap things up today, it's really important that I acknowledge a few key people in organisations in this space, and in particular are key partners that have helped put that today together. And those being the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Pride in Sport, Play by the Rules. Monash University, Victoria University, the New South Wales Office of Sport and Red Consulting. In addition to my co planning committee members in Peter, Shannon, Ruth, Ramon, Cassie and Damien were very think very big thank you to each of you for the work that you've put into this particular event. And finally, if you can give us a virtual round of applause from your homes or your offices, wherever you out today for our amazing panellists in Moya Dodd, Dr. Ben Gauntlett and Sam Turner. Thank you so much for the three of you for being here today. And I really look forward to the next sort of conversations we have in this space. If you'd like to find out any more information about any of the topics we've spoken about today, I've said it before. Please visit the Play by the Rules website that's playbytherules.net.au and after today's session, you'll be taken directly to the page where you can watch many of the recordings from previous previous inclusion and diversity forums over the last few years.

Beau Newell [01:01:42] So that's all for now. Thank you very much for joining us and enjoy the rest of your day.