Prof. Adam Shoemaker with Prof. Clare Hanlon

Episode 22: Prof. Adam Shoemaker with Prof. Clare Hanlon

When she was a primary school teacher, Professor Clare Hanlon observed a clear difference between girl and boy participation in sports. This set the stage for her transformative impact on the world of athletics

Show notes

Fast-forward to today, and Clare is spearheading change for women in sport. Clare’s research has prompted major sporting codes and peak bodies to rethink their uniform policies, helping women and girls optimise their levels of performance and comfort on the field.

Her research has gone global in eight nations with the support of PUMA — and the results are very impressive.

I discovered all this and more in a terrific discussion with Clare for the People of VU podcast. We ventured beyond the university sector, delving into personal insights and addressing a topic that is gripping the world today — the Women's World Cup.

Disclaimer: This episode was recorded before the USA lost to Sweden in penalties!



Adam Shoemaker

Adam Shoemaker

Professor Adam Shoemaker has extensive experience in the Australian University sector and is one of Australia's leading researchers in Indigenous literature and culture. He commenced as the Vice-Chancellor and President of Victoria University in December 2020 after four years as Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University. He spent his formative years in a diverse range of fields, such as reviewer and columnist for The Australian, an ABC Canberra Radio programmer, serving as chair of the Brisbane Writers Festival in the mid-1990s and spending three years with the Delegation of the Commission of the European Committees.

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Clare Hanlon

Clare Hanlon

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello and welcome. I'm here to provide acknowledgement of country. For those who don't know me, I'm kj Karen Jackson, director of Moon Balletic. My genealogy tracks back to Moira Lakes in Barma Forest and Mount Hope in Pyramid Hill. Giving me my connections to Yorta, Yorta, and Barra language groups. There's a couple of things I'd like you to take away from my acknowledgement. The first is to remember the hidden history of Aboriginal people since invasion, our loss of language removal from country, and our new extinction from massacres and pandemics. The second is our strong and inherent connection to community and country. These connections have given us the resilience and courage to rebuild our languages, gain access to country, regenerate our cultural practices in acknowledging the traditional owners of the country on which you are now on. I'd like to sincerely thank them for their generosity and kindness in welcoming people onto their lands. Lands never seeded and lands that run deep into their being and spirit. I wish to pay my deep respect to the ancestors, elders, communities, and families of the Ang Wri on whose land I stand and who create connection and share knowledge with all of us. Thank you.

Speaker 1 00:01:16 Hello, colleagues, and welcome to the People of VU podcast. Firstly, thank you again to KJ for providing her acknowledgement of country at the beginning of every episode. It is just as great and just as important to me and to all of us here at Victoria University. I too acknowledge and pay my deep respects not only to ancestors and elders, but families and the traditional owners on all of our campuses, wherever they might be, and extend that to wherever you might be listening now, today is a special treat. I'm delighted to introduce Professor Claire Hanlon, Victoria University's Susan Alberti, women in Sport chair, and a pioneer in her field. Claire, as you may know, is internationally recognized and renowned for her advocacy of career pathways for women in sport and research. That has really helped to break down some significant participation barriers. And most recently, thanks to your work on uniforms, Claire has spearheaded changing in the community too, and an elite level sport, including clubs like the Bulldogs, A F L W Team, Matildas, soccer, state Cricket, and Netball. Your goal, which is fantastic, is to increase opportunities for girls, for women to lead and participate in sport and physical activity. What a wonderful thing. This year alone, Claire has launched crucial new research with Puma, been selected as part of the Advanced Olympic Research grant program, and encouraged important conversations about mental health, menstruation and equity. Claire, there is so much to talk about. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you.

Speaker 0 00:02:48 Absolute pleasure to be here,

Speaker 1 00:02:49 Adam. It's, it's so good. It's so good. And look, I'm gonna start at the beginning because I wasn't born in this country. I wasn't born in this state, but you were. Tell us a bit about that and what was it like growing up in Victoria and where you were? Oh,

Speaker 2 00:03:03 I'm a country girl and a very proud country girl from Northeast, just outside of vanilla on a farm, and incredible supportive parents who encouraged us to play sport. But also we were outside all the time. We were on the farm. We were either on horses, rounding up cattle. Our driveway was like one and a half kilometers, so we had to ride down to the bus stop and catch two buses to get to school. So it just, for us, life outdoors was so important. And being in Melbourne, it's, I crave grass and trees and space and outdoors.

Speaker 1 00:03:43 And So let me ask about the horses. If you rode them to the corner, who rode them back?

Speaker 2 00:03:47 Oh, no. So we rode our horses. Yes. Rounding up cattle or sheep. Yes. And then, but we rode our bikes to the bus

Speaker 1 00:03:54 Stop. Oh, your bikes. I got it. Yes.

Speaker 2 00:03:55 Got it. So we had a bus shelter that dad built and we just left our bikes there and

Speaker 1 00:04:02 Never a worry in the country.

Speaker 2 00:04:03 Exactly. Winter, same thing. We just did it.

Speaker 1 00:04:07 Oh, I think that's great. Yeah,

Speaker 2 00:04:09 It was, life on, on the farm was brilliant. And I, I think it helped with what I'm doing now in the context of knowing how important it is to be outside and how it makes you feel. You just wanna do the same

Speaker 1 00:04:22 And so true. Yeah. So true.

Speaker 2 00:04:24 But to get out of the farm, if you wanted to get out of vanilla, back in those days, I sound as if I'm a hundred, but you either had to be a nurse or a become a nurse or a teacher. Ah. To get a qualification. In that context, there weren't any other career opportunities. Wow. Because we didn't know of any others. And so for me, it was a primary school teacher. And so I moved into being a primary school teacher.

Speaker 1 00:04:49 Where did you train for that? Where did you do that?

Speaker 2 00:04:51 Country? Ah, definitely. Again, I was too scared of the city. I trained in, in Ballarat, and it was at Aquinas College back then. And then, then I taught in Seymour again. I didn't wanna come to Melbourne. I was too scared. I the, I distinctly remember the first time I drove my car in Melbourne, I was called a bloody idiot by two different taxi drivers because I had to somehow do this U-turn that I had no idea what it was. And I had to somehow get across a tram line. Oh. So, and I had a Mel wave in on my lap trying to work out where I was meant to be going. So it was an interesting experience and it took me a couple more months to cite myself up to come back to, to Melbourne to do that. But here I am now. Oh,

Speaker 1 00:05:37 Look, it sounds like fear is never an obstacle, really, then it sounds like you just a, a stage you get through.

Speaker 2 00:05:43 It is, it's a stage you get through and you need to embrace it to then move further. The only, and I knew the only way I was going to move forward with what I wanted to do was be in the city. Yep. And you have to embrace things. It's like going overseas for the first time. Oh, yes. And you just need to take that challenge and know that you're going outside of your comfort zone, but you're increasing the square, your comfort zone at the same time.

Speaker 1 00:06:04 I think that's, that's brilliant. And tell me about the sports you played. What was your favorite sport? You know, there may, there may have been more than one, but what was your number one?

Speaker 2 00:06:12 Loved tennis and athletics. Oh,

Speaker 1 00:06:15 Okay. They're the two.

Speaker 2 00:06:16 Yes. I think athletics was an individual sport. Tennis was a social Yep. Aspect. So there was a mixture of both. And in the end, I dropped out of athletics because for me, friendship and fun were more important. I was getting too competitive for me for athletics. So I moved to tennis and loved it. Good. But that's not to say, I mean, I'm, I still run now socially, so I'm certainly one that enjoys that. But tennis really helped. I mean, when you move to a new community to join a tennis club, that's where you get to meet people. And it, it's fantastic.

Speaker 1 00:06:50 It's so true. And there's an era, and of course you can see it's still around Melbourne, where some people who were lucky enough to have large enough lots did have tennis courts next to their homes. Did you have a court in Benal?

Speaker 2 00:07:02 We did on the farm. On the farm, absolutely. The, yes, it was important based on what we were doing. We, mum and dad, again, they were very supportive of us playing sport. They loved playing tennis themselves as well. And so they had friends over playing tennis. And so it was very respectful in that context where we'd go to another farm and they'd have a tennis court. It was just, hey, part of the property.

Speaker 1 00:07:24 It just was part of the mix. You know, interestingly, despite the climate difference, one of my grandfathers had a court in Canada, which you could only use really about four or five months of the year. But it was next to a pond. So the, the bowls often got wet and then we'd just go swimming to fetch them. Perfect. So, you know, it was a kind of ideal summer thing, you know, but there was just, again, part of the infrastructure that was just there, and it was a wonderful thing. So then back to Melbourne, you came for the first time. Mm. What were you doing?

Speaker 2 00:07:53 Well, when I came for the first time, you in, in the context of socially that was going well, nothing like having a party that you have to go to that made you force you to go to Melbourne and, and drive. But then I was also in the context of then the reason why I actually moved to Melbourne is having a partner of course. And so then that gave me the confidence to then move to Melbourne. Ah, okay. And then start work there. I also had a job in Ballarat, apart from university in Ballarat. I had a job there and there was that connection where I could transfer to Melbourne. And so that gave me the confidence as well. Again, it's a supportive environment that really helps you move to something beyond your square and something that's welcoming. And, and that was both welcoming, supportive, that gave me that edge to be able to make the jump.

Speaker 1 00:08:45 Okay. And so we've talked about sport as you and your family and participation in the social side. When did you start to get interested in sport as a thing, as a kind of phenomenon that you wanted to involve yourself in for the sake of others? Hmm.

Speaker 2 00:08:59 When I was a primary school teacher, I noticed very distinctly that after school girls would, can be involved in sedentary activities, boys would be involved in sport activities. That tended to be more so, that was in the back of my mind. And it was playing in the back of my mind. And when I left primary school teaching and, and moved a field, I, I was still concerned about that. And fast forward, when I was involved, when I was conducting my PhD and I was involved at basically interviewing senior leaders in sport, every person I interviewed was a man. Hmm. And I'm thinking, why is this case? So I dug deeper. And back in that time when it was 1998, when I was looking, there weren't any senior women who were leaders. And I'm thinking, okay. So all of a sudden participation, this brought back up in the front of my, in forehand ba on my, in the front of my mind in relation to lack of girls participating in sport.

Speaker 2 00:09:58 Then all of a sudden lack of women as leaders in sport. What's a story here? You know? Yeah. We've gotta address this. So that's where I just went full on. And that's from the external perspective. Yes. And, and give me a challenge. I love a challenge. Yeah. And so that's what I wanted to do. And Oh yeah. We, we were, it was, it wasn't much of a benchmark happening back there, but plugging and trying to get people involved was really important. Fast forward again. And from a personal perspective, Adam, when my son was three months old, I had a brain tumor. And what happened was my recovery was so quick though. Right. And that was because both the surgeons and the doctors said to me, my recovery was quick because I was fit. Wow. And wow. If, and that's a proactive stance, how many of us decide, right. We need to get fit, be because something's happened to us. Yes. Reactively. Yes. I'm so adamant to make sure, to help people become fit for life, preventatively. 'cause if we're going to try and help people, particularly when they get sick Yeah. To recover quickly, this is something that can be done.

Speaker 1 00:11:06 Isn't that something? So, and it was diagnosed just as a normal run of affairs? Or did you have pain? Or how

Speaker 2 00:11:11 Did it work? Oh, incredible pain. Yes. Wow. I had the midwife say that it was postnatal depression. Oh. And I was hitting the side of the wall. And I thought it was tiredness, where in fact it was me. It was a cerebellum area in relation to balance. Yep. And I was hitting the wall. Oh. And it was because of this tumor. Yep. And so, yeah, mum, I never cry out for help for mum and Mother's Day, my very first Mother's Day, mum came up to see me and she said, you need to, you need to go to the doctor's. 'cause I'd lost so much weight. And it was incredible. So that's the diagnosis. Yep. And it wasn't a head headache. It was a brain ache. It was a brain ache. It was incredible. It was so, so tough. And the midwife said, and it goes, it's interesting.

Speaker 2 00:11:55 But the midwife said, no, you can't, you always have to breastfeed. You can't feed milk. So you, you know, you, you can't feed from a bottle. Yes. So, my poor son, he was starving because of this brain tumor, which wasn't developing the milk. And so as soon as I went to the hospital, the first drink that mum gave him from a bottle, he slept that whole day. 'cause he was so tired. Oh, I can imagine. Because tired. And he hadn't had a good feed. Sure. So it was incredible. Oh. But again, it was just making sure. Yep. You know, we are talking about good health. Anything can happen and we just have to appreciate life now. For sure. But we have to make the most of life

Speaker 1 00:12:36 Too. Well, you seem to be, you know, the ultimate car diem person. You know, like grab that moment, accentuate the moment. Live the moment. Cherish the moment. Relish the moment. So how many moments was it before you felt like you had recovered from this?

Speaker 2 00:12:51 Honestly, it was about two years. Two years. Because I was sleeping during the day. The, it was exhaustion. It still took that time I was working. But it, it, it, it took a while for me to get over it. Yes. I must admit, I still do love my weekend sleeps. And my nana always got offended when I said, I'm going for Nana nap for an hour. But you know what? I think it's the best thing. It's

Speaker 1 00:13:13 A tribute. It's, it's a tribute comment.

Speaker 2 00:13:16 Yeah. But look, all is all is well now last year was my first year where I haven't had an M R I. Oh. And so it's taken up until then for me to feel confident that it won't be coming back or anything. Yeah. So, you know, that that's, that's outstanding. That's

Speaker 1 00:13:31 Pretty good's outstanding. Thank you for sharing that. Honestly, it's just, you know, adversity of different sorts is always, perhaps unbidden, but it's how one, you know, reacts and, and the support you get. It sounds like that was really exemplary and people were there with you.

Speaker 2 00:13:45 Absolutely. And it goes back to continuing to be fit. Yep. Indeed. And it, that's just, we need to, for our family. Mm. We need to for those around us and we need to for ourselves.

Speaker 1 00:13:56 Gosh, you know, when I grew up in Ontario, it was an interesting program in school called Participation. What? In a name? What A name. It didn't stick for that long, but it was, you know, the school-based fitness programs. And we used to have tests every sort of couple of weeks, you know, running around and, you know, different exercises. Was there something like that in your schooling or beyond as far as a fitness regime? Or was it just because you and your family and everyone, everyone were so involved?

Speaker 2 00:14:21 I think we were family. Yeah. It goes back, we were on a farm. It's outdoors, the love of it. Yep. How you feel. You know, I, I was just energized. Yes. And just wanted to keep that feeling going. Yeah. And look, it's so hard, particularly now trying to juggle, you're try and juggle work, family, other things around it. And it also makes it really hard to try and do all those things. Oh yeah. But we all have time. We prioritize time. What do we put in our time? Yeah. And it's gotta be movement. It's gotta be exercise for us to be able to cope with everything else.

Speaker 1 00:14:57 I think you're, so right now, let's talk about exercise and everything else. Namely Victoria University, the Susan Alberti chair. Hmm. Now just walk us through, you know, when did you first meet Susan?

Speaker 2 00:15:09 Oh gosh. Susan's been on stage many a times. And I was certainly in admiration of what Susan was doing. And then it really came to fruition when Susan donated to Victoria University. A wonderful donation to encourage girls and women in sport and wanted, and was keen for me to be involved. Okay. Which was fantastic.

Speaker 1 00:15:35 So you had met already?

Speaker 2 00:15:39 I, I had met Sue indirectly. Yes. And, and so Sue and I knew each other. Yes. But not a lot. Not a lot. Now. It's amazing.

Speaker 1 00:15:46 It's fantastic. Know

Speaker 2 00:15:47 I know each other well. Yeah, we do. And so much because we meet all the time. And Sue is, is hungry. She's hungry for change. Yes. And when we talk about projects or when we talk about things, Sue wants it yesterday of course, because of the drive for change. And so we, we are both good for each other. And, and to do that, it, it's like we've got a careers forum for young women in sport coming at the end of this month. Yes. And I had a meeting with, 'cause Sue's on the panel, one of the panel members, and Sue said, you know, how many have you got? And I said, oh, 130 at the moment. She said, what's capacity? And I said, 180. She said. Right. So you got that much to go. Yes. So, okay. Yep. Not a problem.

Speaker 1 00:16:28 She's very measured about this, isn't

Speaker 2 00:16:30 It? Absolutely. You know, how can we really hit the capacity? Yeah. What else can we be doing? So

Speaker 1 00:16:34 Well, look, I I absolutely want to honor her generosity, her leadership, not just with the Bulldogs, but in general. Like all the different things she's done charitably. So in the community. And of course we're so grateful here, and I'm sure you are too. Tell me this. If you are setting about to make a big change, do you check with her first? Or do you just have a list of two or three things and come up with a priority? How does that work?

Speaker 2 00:16:57 Sue and I, we talk through different journeys. We talk through trends, what's happening. And also there's, it works both ways. 'cause there's areas and grants that I might submit and then I'll tell Sue about what's happening. Yes. Sue will also say, Hey, what about this and this? And, and so we, we work on that as well. So it's a mixture. It's not, Sue doesn't say You must do this. And either do I say, well, this is what we're doing. We actually work together and we compliment each other in. That

Speaker 1 00:17:26 Sounds like a fantastic partnering approach. Teamwork. Yep. Really great. Well it all come, you come by that honestly, both of you. And so tell us about, a little more about the young women in secondary school, because that's a, a clear focus for you. But do you feel that there is something very special about what's, what's happening now? Like for example, we are speaking at, during the middle of the Women's World Cup in both Australia and New Zealand. I mean there's a focus on women's sport as never before in this nation, perhaps except for the Olympics, you know, in Sydney. And to be, you know, looking forward to Brisbane. But really now, are you finding that there is more interest in the school level now because of such, such world events?

Speaker 2 00:18:06 There's certainly opportunity. There's increased visibility. Yeah. And that certainly helps in both the media, social media, but also there's increased visibility of women as leaders. Yeah. We need more visibility. But at the, they've certainly it's increased. So that needs to be recognized secondary. It's an exciting time. The World Cup is an incredibly exciting time. I was there for the first match. Oh, Australia versus Ireland. In, in Sydney. Yes. Massive. Yeah. And it was just electric. And gosh, if that doesn't encourage girls in sport, I don't know what doesn't. And particularly moving from a fan to then become a player. And I think that's the thing is moving them to that stage. Yeah.

Speaker 2 00:18:48 The football Australia have made a big commitment. And I think that's a really big thing in relation to events. What's your legacy? What are you gonna leave? This has to not be one-off events. Yeah. And so for them to commit by 2027 to have 50 gender participation in the context where both men and women, boys and girls, they have to, between now and 2027 have an additional 400,000 girls and women playing, oh no, sorry, 40,000 girls. 40,000 playing soccer. Yes. And so that's something where it's like, well bring it on. Yeah. You know, the more that we can have with sports and girls and women and that being secondary school girls feeling confident within themselves, that they can play one sport. Social reasons, mental reasons, physical reasons. They might then think, hey, they might continue and start running or they might do another sport. It's, it's just a matter of that confidence. Yeah. What do they get out of it? And we need to promote that to a greater capacity.

Speaker 1 00:19:51 I mean, people do talk about, you know, the image of roles and the image of role models and the image of leadership. Sometimes these come together. It seems that this moment there's a an incredible sense of more than one leader on that team on the Matildas. It's not just the captain. No. You know, it's fascinating to see, even when the captain's on the bench for in injury reasons things happened where people stepped up. It was really fascinating to watch the last game against Canada. What was your take on that?

Speaker 2 00:20:15 It's a, it's a team approach. Yeah. This is a team approach. You need to work as a team to move forward. And that was reinforced and don't rely on one person. Yeah.

Speaker 1 00:20:23 He was so creative too. Yeah. Really great.

Speaker 2 00:20:27 Blew a lot of people away and, and good on them. I, I think that's just a credit, it's a credit to the team and credit to the coach, credit to the supporters, but also those in the background that don't get enough recognition. And I think we need to recognize that as well. It's, it's a, i i, Ash Barty was a prime example where she always said in her speeches, you know, it's not just her and a coach, it's the whole team, the whole community that makes her who she is. And that's the same thing with the Matildas.

Speaker 1 00:20:54 So true, so true. I, I love the fact that they spend so much time looking at the audience afterwards and not just rushing off. You know, the, there's a really careful connection drawn and you know, it's almost like a girl's school with 40,000 people in the school. You know, that's the, the sense of the audience. You

Speaker 2 00:21:11 Know, I find that with women's cricket as well. Yeah. Afterwards, they have time. They go over, they spend that correspondent communicating time with families. It's just a, a great aspect with women in sport and the recognition that they have to the fans, to the attendees. Yeah. And I think that's a, that's a great connection.

Speaker 1 00:21:31 Super. I mean it's incredibly full of pride. Let's just push it a little little bit further. One of the things that you notice was what they were wearing different color, different sort of style of, of uniform, but also your verys in what people wear and how it enhances how they feel, how they operate, how they play. Were you impressed with that choice and that, you know, 'cause you're doing a lot of work on, on uniforms. Tell me a little bit more about that.

Speaker 2 00:21:55 I think it's great. They also had two layers. They had the option for two layers Yes. For shorts underneath. Interesting. And that provides comfort and confidence. Yes. And that's really important because girls and women want to feel comfortable and confident in what they wear. Yes. In order for them to feel ready to play sport. New Zealand ferns, they changed from white to black. Yep. And so it's a matter of then something simple. It's a no brainer, but it has an incredible impact. And totally we probably found that, or we did find that through the study that we conducted with Puma. And it was interesting because the Victorian and national research that we conducted, my team who are brilliant, who that conducted, we found key ie. No white, they want a breathable material that fits well. Yep. And Puma approached us and said, this is great, but we wanna encourage girls globally to play more sport. Yep. How can we help them? And this is looks like one example where we can, and so we went global and so across eight countries in six different languages, Puma and Vic Uni conducted a survey. Findings were really key. And again, the influence of sport uniforms, if, if girls can wear their preferred sport uniform rather than the official sport uniform. Yep. They can wear their preferred sport uniform. Active girls, 69% of active girls said that they will continue playing. They would continue playing sport if they could wear their preferred uniform. Wow. So

Speaker 1 00:23:30 That's significant. That's

Speaker 2 00:23:31 Significant. 46% of girls currently who are active was self-conscious about what they were wearing because of the uniform. Yes. But a really great finding was inactive girls now try and get inactive girls to play sport. It's hard enough as it is. 25% of inactive girls across eight countries said that if they could wear their preferred uniform, they would start playing sport.

Speaker 1 00:23:57 Wow. So it's such a, it seems you said like a simple barrier, but it was a barrier honestly,

Speaker 2 00:24:02 Adam. And, and it's just a matter of, if you give them a choice, give them the right choice rather than a choice that you think's Right. Yeah. Ask the girls what they want. Yes. Or get them, give them the flexibility of uniforms so that they could actually wear what they want. Providing it's the same color as the team or the club. Sure. Netball Australia prime example, because of our research, they've changed their sport uniform policy. Excellent. And they now have an inclusive sportswear policy where players can wear leggings, shorts, skirts. It. It is incredible that what they're doing is to understand or their understanding the importance of allowing girls and women and boys and men who play to wear what they want for comfort.

Speaker 1 00:24:47 Yeah. And look at, as you say, across any gender, it's very relevant. Absolutely. It's very relevant. Absolutely. And I mean, I was looking at the Hawthorne pool recently, you know, in Glen Ferry Road. And as they had some pi hi historical pictures up for the 1920s when people were swimming, you know, a you notice there's no lanes and there's like hundreds of people bobbing up and down in the pool. But the uniforms were that they were, were just ridiculous. Like it was, you know, nothing practical, completely sort of decorative, but nothing related to actually the sport itself. It was almost as if people were just standing on dry land, but in the water. Yes. You know, and it just shows how much that has changed as well. You know? Absolutely. No matter what code, whatever area. It's really significant. Tell me this, Puma, how are they going forward now? What's the next step of this research? Because it is global research. It's what's the next step? Yeah,

Speaker 2 00:25:32 Well they're now changing their training kit design based on the needs of girls and women. Well in, in this case with girls. And that was adolescent girls. Yes. Which is fantastic. They are also raising awareness about this research too globally. Yep. To help increase the knowledge and encourage sports to change their uniform regulations or policy to encourage more girls and women to play sport. Okay. And they're also wanting to create that impact with that policy change for, and celebrate in the context of what girls really want.

Speaker 1 00:26:05 And and you'd think it would have to be a commercial advantage too, because they're actually listening to the people, you know, they're,

Speaker 2 00:26:11 They're having, it shows that they wanna know Yeah. That, that it shows that they want to understand what girls want. They're, they're prepared to change their training kit. Yes. And they also wanna help educate others. Now this report that we wrote, that the findings could have purely been just for them, but they then have produced a public report to go out to help educate and to raise awareness to sports and good on 'em for doing that. Oh,

Speaker 1 00:26:37 That's great. So in other words, it's not restricted just to one quote brand. Others may well pick it up. And so that's excellent. Anyone

Speaker 2 00:26:43 Can pick it up from a commercial perspective, from a sport perspective, an education perspective for schools. Anyone can pick this up. They can look online and they can download it. Yes.

Speaker 1 00:26:53 Are there still obstructions though? Are there still codes or types of sport where they're kind of fighting against this stuff? They're,

Speaker 2 00:26:59 They're still sports that have not, are still using traditional sport uniform regulations. Put it that way. What we've done this year moving forward, which is really exciting, is our team received a io, international Olympic Committee Advanced research grant. Yes. And that's to analyze the uniform regulations of international federations of summer Olympic sports. And then also athletes. Yes. And then women. Yes. And identify what do athletes want for the summer Olympic Games in relation to their uniforms across sports that will make them feel comfortable and confident and ready Yep. To participate. I mean, they're already psychologically they're ready. But what will make them feel comfortable? What will enhance what they're doing

Speaker 1 00:27:44 Even more so. Absolutely. And what about Paralympic sports? Is that also included

Speaker 2 00:27:48 Paralympics? This was the summer Olympic Games Yes. Where the grant was provided. Yes, yes. However, I'm so conscious about the Paralympics because it's a vital, vital sport. Uniforms is, is a vital need. One of our projects that we're doing at the moment is focusing on women who have a disability, but they are leaders in sport. They're well recognized. They've got an incredibly strong skillset and most of them are Paralympians and they are very much leading a building inclusive club program that we are rolling out nationally. Yeah. And we've also, I haven't launched it yet or we haven't launched it yet, but it's gonna be in the next couple of weeks. So we may as well say it on air now. Yes. Where we, for the first in Australia, there's going to be a women leaders network for women with disability. And that's in sport. And that I'm so conscious of needing to make sure that we have, our uniforms are diverse and they cater for, whether that's people with disability, whether it's people from culturally diverse backgrounds, we've gotta make sure we have diverse uniforms. Yep. And not just the traditional Western uniforms. Sure.

Speaker 1 00:29:00 I couldn't agree more honestly. I think it's so exciting and I'm just delighted to hear that the, the scope of what you're doing is expanding each time we speak. Right. So let's say we're at this moment here, 2023, think forward a decade and think forward. Well, we'll be, we'll let's say even nine years. 'cause we'll talk about the Brisbane Olympics. Yes. What would you like to see in terms of sports participation and leadership over the next decade?

Speaker 2 00:29:25 Well, I'd love us not to be talking about this topic because it's embedded in the system. Yep. Full stop. Yep. Honestly, and we need to make sure that happens. And so based on that, we having women who are leaders, having women who are playing sport and girls and women, it's not an issue. It's not a trend anymore. It's embedded. And in fact, it's the women who are leading and the women who are playing, they're the ones that are embracing other issues that are actually issues of the time.

Speaker 1 00:29:52 And there are many others.

Speaker 2 00:29:53 Absolutely. Yeah. And so let's, and and we've already changed over time, Adam, I'd even say in the last five years we at the focus was on women in sport. Now it's on diverse groups of women and moving and ensuring that they're embraced as leaders, as well as players in sport. So it's, it's, we've changed our conversation. We've created a more inclusive conversation, which is what we should have. I mean we, there's still certainly sport clubs and local clubs that have older whites, stale males they're referred to. And I don't mean to say that in a, in an awful way. Yeah. But we need to make sure that we also don't have white women who are also in the local clubs. And that's all we have. We need diverse groups. Sure. We, we want more members. Yes. We need to make sure that we have diverse leaders because they come from such important lenses. Yes. That you and I don't have based on our background. Well look, we need

Speaker 1 00:30:53 It next time we have the graduation. I promise you this, we did this a couple of times. We asked the members of the audience how many languages they spoke. You know, we went from two 80% of the audience, three languages, 50% of the audience, three or more languages, 25% of the audience. And even some spoke five, you know, that is the west of Melbourne. That is our backyard and that is the front yard and the playing field, if you like, for what you're talking about. Absolutely. And that's so interesting. Right. That is the modern Australia. And that's what we're seeing in the Matildas too, let's face it.

Speaker 2 00:31:27 Absolutely. And that's what we need to embrace. So bring on the visibility. Yep. Bring on the stance where we understand and, and, and realize the importance and the benefits that it is for the community, for sport. It will happen. Whether

Speaker 1 00:31:43 It's the vixens, whether it's the Bulldogs, whether it's the Matildas, whatever team name. I think you're transforming the future of women as they can see it themselves. And that's so exciting. Finally, who are you tipping to win the Women's World Cup and why?

Speaker 2 00:31:58 Oh gosh. I'd love to say with my heart to the Matildas. But look, honestly, I think us have a chance. It'll be, if they do, that's their third consecutive win. It will break history both men and women. 'cause neither si neither men or women have, you know, two is, is, is, is is what

Speaker 1 00:32:20 The, the, I guess the record, the standing, the

Speaker 2 00:32:21 Record. Yeah, yeah. The standing record. And so bring that on, on Australian turf. Yes. Because

Speaker 1 00:32:25 But certainly the final would be

Speaker 2 00:32:27 Amazing. Absolutely. I'll be there. Oh, okay. So absolutely. So I, I will, I look forward. Wouldn't it be great if it was a Matilda US match?

Speaker 1 00:32:35 Well, that's entirely possible and I'm not gonna predict, but we will say if it happens, we will be delighted. Absolutely. You know, it's so good. But can I just, thank you Claire, leader, colleague, sports analyst, researcher extraordinaire, and someone who is really changing the face of what we do at Victoria University. It's been an absolute delight. Thank you. Thank you, Adam. Loved our conversation.

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