Change Our Game Ambassadors
We’re delighted to announce the 2023-24 Change Our Game Ambassadors. This year’s Ambassadors are:
These eight inspiring, passionate women will promote the Change Our Game movement and shine a light on the issues that matter the most to them – ranging from accessibility of sport for women with a disability, to more opportunities for First Nations and culturally diverse women in sport, and beyond.
Gender inequality continues to be widely recognised by both men and women as an issue in sport, with the new Change Our Game State of Play Survey showing people feel that fair and equal participation opportunities is the second biggest issue in sport.
The survey revealed that overall, while there are increasingly positive attitudes towards women and girls in sport and their right to equal opportunities and access, change is still required in terms of underlying attitudes and behaviours.
Between now and International Women’s Day 2024, Ambassadors will use their platform to help drive this change, raising awareness and action on key issues and barriers for women in sport – be sure to follow their journey as Ambassadors through @ChangeOurGame on socials!
Carol Cooke AM PLY
Carol is a 3-time Gold Medal Paralympian and 9-time World Champion in Para-Cycling. Carol was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, and used the sporting community to keep her engaged, healthy and active.
Carol is a self-proclaimed sports fanatic, and a Multiple Sclerosis and Disability advocate. As someone with lived experience, Carol wants to help girls and women living with a disability to understand that you can participate in sport too, you just might have to do it a bit differently.
Carol has also written two books, “The Force Within” and “Finding Your Inner Gold”.
Elle Steele PLY
Elle is a 5-time Australian Swimming representative, Paralympian, Gold medalist and TEDx Speaker, who works in the personal development space as The Self Belief Agent and as a motivational speaker.
Elle is currently the Project Manager for the ‘Building Inclusive Sport Clubs’ program to promote the access and inclusion of people with disabilities in sporting clubs across Australia, working with Disability Sport Australia.
Her life experiences have given her deep insights and innovative ways to work in advocacy, strategy planning and change. Elle is passionate about creating equitable change for all people with disabilities and has also recently run access and inclusion programs with Sport and Recreation Victoria, Victoria University and Disability Sport and Recreation.
Gabby is a current AFLW player at Richmond Football Club. She was one of six player delegates involved in the negotiatory committee for the Season 7 AFLW CBA; which saw a 94% increase in player wages and progress in employment terms.
She also works at Richmond Institute, the education arm of the Richmond Football Club, where she designs a Women in Leadership course to provide women at a grassroots level essential skills to be leaders in the sporting industry. Outside of football, she works as a physiotherapist.
Gabby wants to positively impact the quality of opportunity offered to women in sport at both the elite and community levels.
Hailing from Mildura, Jacara is a proud Muthi Muthi/Gunditjmara athlete and coach who is currently coaching women at the AFL and VFLW level. She is also a mental health social worker, working as National Manager of First Nations Healing and Wellbeing with Headspace.
Jacara aims to create culturally safe environments to increase First Nations women's participation in sport as athletes and coaches. She also wants non-Aboriginal people to gain access and grow from Aboriginal knowledge and ways of being.
Melissa is a proud Deaf woman who is driving change through Deaf cricket. She supports Deaf men’s cricket across the country and set up the first Deaf women’s cricket competition in Australia.
Sport was pivotal in the formation of pride in Melissa’s identity as a Deaf person, and her sense of belonging in community.
Melissa’s purpose is to influence change in society to become more disability inclusive so that people with disability have more spaces and communities to feel a sense of belonging. She believes sport is a powerful driving force in achieving this level of inclusion.
Molina is the Founder of Multicultural Women in Sport, is the current Chair of Gymnastics Victoria, and serves on numerous other boards and advisory committees, including for Table Tennis Victoria, AFL South East Commission and the Australian Sports Commission.
Being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background herself, Molina would love to see more women of diverse backgrounds participating and represented in sport, including in senior leadership positions.
Molina hopes to use her lived experience to be a champion for more women of diverse backgrounds to participate in sport as a means of empowerment, for their wellbeing and to achieve a sense of belonging.
Rana has worked in the sports sector for over ten years as an inclusion and diversity expert. A respected media commentator, Rana often speaks to organisations and community groups, sharing her experiences in the sport sector as a Muslim-Indian woman.
Rana is currently the Program Director at the Champions of Change Coalition and is a Board Member at the Victoria Women’s Trust.
Rana’s vision is an inclusive and gender equal sporting landscape. Fostering belonging through sport and media, and specifically connecting with culturally and linguistically diverse women, is her passion.
Rita is a social impact, sustainability, and governance professional working at the intersection of sports and social change. She is currently the Social Impact and Sustainability Manager at Richmond Football Club. Rita has worked on a range of social innovation, sustainability, and sport initiatives in Australia, Lebanon, India, Jordan, and the USA.
Rita aims to use her lived experience, knowledge, and expertise to drive inclusion, diversity, and equity for culturally and linguistically diverse and LGBTQIA+ women in and through sport. Her goal is for women to fully contribute, participate, and advance sport at all levels as decision-makers, administrators, spectators, players, and business collaborators.
Thursday 29 June, 2023