The Victorian Government’s Balance the Board policy aims to increase the representation of women on boards across Victoria’s sport and active recreation sector.
Gender diversity helps boards to perform better and meet the needs of our diverse Victorian community.
Balance the Board came into effect in July 2019. Under Balance the Board, all recognised sport and active recreation bodies (see list of recognised bodies here) must have a minimum of 40% women directors on their board to be eligible for Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) Community Sport funding programs.
This includes Community Sport funding programs for state sporting associations (SSAs), state sport and active recreation bodies (SSARBs) and/or their affiliated community sport and active recreation associations, leagues or clubs.
If a recognised state sport and active recreation body falls below the minimum 40% requirement, the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation (OWSR) works with them to agree to an action plan to meet the minimum 40% benchmark once again.
Since Balance the Board was introduced in 2017, before coming into effect in 2019, the number of sport and active recreation bodies with gender balance boards has increased from 45% to 97% (as at 1 September 2023) across more than 100 funded organisations.
Balance the Board responds to Recommendation 3 of the 2015 Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation, which recommended mandating a 40% minimum quota for all funded sport and active recreation organisations.
Recognised SSAs or SSARBs that are also Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) or incorporated Aboriginal associations are exempt from Balance the Board in accordance with self determination principles.
If you would like more information, you can contact the sport and active recreation body relevant to your association, league or club. You can also contact OWSR at ChangeOurGame@sport.vic.gov.au.