Victoria

Trailblazer set to lead the way for women in sport

The Victorian Government has appointed Dr Bridie O’Donnell MBBS as Head of Victoria’s first Office for Women in Sport and Recreation.

Dr O’Donnell is a world-record breaking cyclist who took up full-time riding at age 35, quickly rising through the ranks to represent Australia at three World Championships.

She then went on to manage and race in a top women’s national cycling team and is also a seven-time national rowing champion.

As a physician at the Epworth Hospital, Dr O’Donnell is also a voice in the medical community, using her unique background in medicine and sport to empower and inspire female cancer patients to improve their health and wellbeing through motivational behaviour change and exercise.

The new Office for Women in Sport and Recreation is part of the Government’s strategy to deliver an equal playing field for women and girls at every level of our sport and in recreation organisations and clubs.

The office was created to implement the nine recommendations from the Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation and deliver further Change Our Game initiatives to boost participation and create more leadership opportunities in sport for women.

It will also focus on identifying the policies and infrastructure needed to create female and family-friendly environments across the state.

The Government has invested $7.2 million to level the playing field for women, both on and off the field, including education and cultural change initiatives, events and forums, leadership scholarships, and supporting female friendly coaching efforts.

The appointment builds on a record $14 million to build more female-friendly changes rooms at grassroots clubs right across Victoria.

Source: Vic Government