Tuesday 29 June 2021 – This event was made possible through the support of the Victorian Government’s Global Victoria Women initiative.
ACBC Victoria would like to sincerely thank speakers Sarah Styles, Anne Pang, Gronya Sommerville and Jasmine Lim for their contribution to a meaningful and substantial conversation at the intersection of female participation and multicultural inclusion in sport.
The wider theme of the day was the multifaceted value of sport. With networks, friendships, and cross-cultural communication, pairing with career and personal growth opportunities, all contributing to the tremendous value of sport.
Tom Parker, China Business Lead at the AFL and Vice-President of the ACBC Victoria, moderated the session, bringing his unique cross-cultural and sporting expertise to the discussion.
Sarah Styles, the Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation (OWSR), was our first speaker on the day and addressed bridging the cultural divide, detailing her own non-English-speaking grandparents’ experience in building community through sport when they came to Australia.
Sarah highlighted the Victorian Government’s Change our Game initiative, and how important it is to remove barriers to participation for young women, emphasising the link between team sport in teenage years and leadership in adult years.
Gronya Somerville has just been officially announced as an Australian Olympic athlete, and she graced us with her presence before the Tokyo Olympics goes ahead in just over 3 weeks. Noting her personal journey with her Chinese heritage, Gronya detailed the hard work and dedication that has gone into her badminton career and the ways in which she has gone to great lengths to learn Mandarin, as well as the experiences she had learning she was a descendant of the famous revolutionary figure Kang Youwei.
Anne Pang is a martial arts expert with over 40 years of training, shared her incredible dedication, wealth of knowledge, and discernible passion to give a uniquely insightful perspective on women in sport. Noting that Australians who come to learn Kung Fu often already have an interest in Chinese culture and a desire to learn more, she relishes the opportunity to teach martial art to the wider community.
Jasmine Lim, The Victoria Racing Club’s Senior Manager of Tourism and International highlighted her experiences with racing, wider sport, and the Australian-Chinese relationship. Remembering one of the first questions asked to her when landing in Australia, “what club do you support?”, Jasmine states that the strong culture surrounding sport in this country allows for a fun day out, highlighting mateship and other values Australians hold dear, demonstrating a concept known as Sports Diplomacy.
Australia and China are both strong sporting nations with historical and contemporary connections in the sector. ACBC Victoria aims to continue this discussion into the future to address avenues for dialogue, collaboration, and mutual growth to do our part in supporting the broader Australia/China relationship.
All speakers brought a great depth of insight to the event, by discussing their personal experiences. From feedback, we know those who attended were richer for the experience and we would like to thank all of those who made this event such a success.
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