Australian Sailing’s commitment to providing safe, welcoming, and inclusive sailing environments will be guided by a newly formed Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advisory Group.
Sailing is a part of Australia’s culture; it contributes to the social cohesiveness of our communities. To help make sailing welcoming, respectful, and a safe place for all parts of our community Australian Sailing has established an Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, Advisory Group. The Advisory Group’s scope is broad, aiming to enhance the culture and quality of the experience for those participating, especially prioritising equity and choice to ensure all Australians can access sailing; including women, young people, indigenous populations, diverse sexes and sexualities, individuals with disabilities, and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Selected following a highly competitive field, the eight Advisory Group members will focus on strengthening diversity and inclusion in all forms across all communities throughout Australia and advising on the development of a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Framework for the sport of sailing.
The Advisory Group will also assist Australian Sailing in strengthening and advocating for the representation and inclusion of people from under-represented groups in sailing across Australia.
We have formed an incredibly diverse group of talented and highly skilled people who are champions of this cause. The sailing community is well represented with World Champion Para Sailor, Alison Weatherly and David Staley, the Vice Chair of the World Sailing Para Forum and Sarah Ross a National and International Classifier for Para Sailors, who was the Australian Sailing Team physiotherapist for the Para classes from 2009- 2017. Class Associations are also represented on the group through Paddy Butler as President of the NSW Hobie Cat Association.
Furthermore, it encompasses club members with expertise in the government, education, and corporate sectors, including Naby Mariyam, a respected global leader in fintech and advocate for women in technology and finance. The Advisory Group had its first meeting this month to kick off the development of the Framework.
Sarah Ogilvie, Head of Sport Development and Growth, emphasises the importance of amplifying voices beyond those represented within the Advisory Group. She states, “We are very pleased to have such a wealth of experience and knowledge amongst the Advisory Group members. We recognise that these voices do not represent everyone, so we will actively seek further insights and undertake wider consultation within the sailing and wider community to craft a strategy aimed at fostering a diverse, inclusive, safe, and welcoming sailing community”.
The overarching goal of ensuring every community across Australia feels welcomed into the sailing community will steer the Advisory Group as they develop the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework over the next 6 months.