Supporting Women to Thrive Behind the Mic

Fifteen women who dream of succeeding as sports broadcasters are a step closer to achieving their goal, having been chosen to take part in the first round of the Victorian Government’s 2021-22 Change Our Game Women in Sports Broadcasting Program.

Following a successful pilot program last year, the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, through its Change Our Game initiative, has partnered with Making the Call and developed the program to address a lack of gender diversity in sports broadcasting.

Office of Women for Sport and Recreation Director Sarah Styles said that, "Supporting more women achieve their goals of being on screen and behind the microphone will help ensure women’s voices are heard and respected in one of the most visible elements of the sports sector.”

The successful applicants include an AFLW premiership player, Australian representatives across baseball, lawn bowls and soccer, an elite coach, as well as sports journalists, podcasters, presenters and  physiotherapists.

Notwithstanding their varied backgrounds, they all share a dream of building a successful career behind the microphone. Many of the applicants were part of the introductory pilot last year, and the course will help further progress their broadcasting goals.

Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence was on hand to announce the successful women who will join the program, taking place at the newly redeveloped Melbourne Sports Centres in Parkville later this month.

“Over the last decade we’ve seen an explosion in women’s sport – with increased participation in community sport on and off the field, increased opportunities for women in professional sport, and increased media coverage.”

“The Change Our Game Women in Sports Broadcasting Program is making sure that the growth for women in sport is happening in the commentary box as well,” said Minister Spence.

The Minister was joined by three of the program participants for the announcement - former Matilda’s captain and Olympian Melissa Barbieri, Melbourne’s AFLW All-Australian defender Libby Birch and AFLW expert analyst, Gemma Bastiani, who was a participant in the previous pilot program.

“The Making the Call pilot program quite literally changed my life. Because of the pilot program, the world of sport—specifically footy—broadcasting became more than just a pipe dream for me, but a realistic career opportunity. I learned from some of the best in the business, was assured that my career aspirations weren't just possible but important to the current and future landscape of footy broadcasting and was put in touch with several people with whom I have been working closely since,” said Bastiani.

Participants will learn from experts in the broadcasting industry, led by Making the Call which is the brainchild of Emma and Lucy Race, co-hosts of the award-winning podcast The Outer Sanctum.

“Women’s sport in Australia is finally being seen and supported on the big stage. We want the opportunities for women on the field to be matched in the sports departments of all the major media outlets. Making the Call upskills, supports and connects women to those opportunities,” said Race.

The course will focus on enhancing and refining broadcasting skills including research and preparation, play-by-play, delivering courtside/ground updates, presenting opinion pieces, and job seeking.

It will include personalised sessions before and after the course to help participants identify their area of growth, and set clear and concise goals to progress their broadcasting career.

The programs participants in the 2021-22 Change Our Game Women in Sports Broadcasting Program are:

Melissa Barbieri

Gemma Bastiani

Elizabeth Birch

Lauren Bordin

Lori Chizik

Brihony Dawson

Erin Delahunty

Laura Jolly

Carla Krizanic

Hannah Kuhar

Amy McCann

Chelsea Ryan

Marnie Vinall

Lucy Watkin

Lowana Williams

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