Aish Ravi
Co-Founder WCA
Julia Hay
Co-Founder WCA

Aish Ravi and Julia Hay, both women who coach, founded the Women’s Coaching Association (WCA) to empower, support and encourage women and girls to participate in coaching sport. Both currently undertaking a PhD at Monash University (in women’s sport), in Melbourne, Australia, the duo began to investigate what supports were available for women and girls who coach sport. They found limited support was available to women and girls who coached sport in Australia. They soon realised there was a benefit in bringing women and girls who coach together from all sports, as they faced similar barriers, challenges and opportunities and hence WCA was born. Women and girls supporting each other across all sports and more broadly, across the globe!

Aish and Julia are extremely passionate individuals, who strive to make a social change, by seeing more women lead the way in sport. Women are consistently underrepresented in the majority of sports in coaching positions, often making up less than 10% of all coach registrations within sports, compared to men who coach. It is important to Aish and Julia to increase the number of women coaching from grassroots through to elite level, as sport is a mirror of one’s society. “Sport is one of the most visible and powerful social institutions in the world. Individuals who are seen and known in the world of sports, like coaches, communicate who and what is relevant and valued (and what is not), and the majority of the time in every country in the world, those coaches are men” (Nicole M. LaVoi, 2016). Aish and Julia believe women and girls need to be valued in sport as leaders, as they can bring unique skill sets and knowledge. By offering this network to women and girls to support each other, it hoped more women and girls will feel supported to coach sport, which hopefully will lead to greater respect for women and girls more broadly within our communities as leaders.

Aish Ravi
Co-Founder WCA

Aish started her career as a market analyst within the automotive industry, after completing a Commerce degree. She then decided to pursue a career in training and development, to fulfill her passion to work more closely with people. It was whilst completing her Master of Teaching, that she realised how much she enjoyed working with the youth of today. She went on to work in some of Melbourne's elite private schools as an Economics and Business Management teacher, which she thoroughly enjoyed. During her time as a teacher, Aish found a love for coaching Football. She has since pursued this interest both practically on the field as a coach, obtaining her B licence and also theoretically studying a Doctor of Philosophy, at Monash University around gender equity in sport.

Julia Hay
Co-Founder WCA

Julia has a background of 20 years working within the education sector as a leading teacher, facilitator and lecturer. She has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom, across the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of education, predominantly with physical & health education, sport development and teacher education. More recently, Julia moved into the research space, where she is currently completing a Doctor of Philosophy, at Monash University, in the area of gender equality in sport. It was through this research that Julia met Aish Ravi, who is also studying at Doctor of Philosophy.

Ruth Jeanes
Associate Professor Monash University

Dr Ruth Jeanes is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Her research examines equity, inclusion and social justice in community sport. Ruth is passionate about driving cultural change within community sport and increasing gender equity. She has coached cricket for many years and was responsible for the development of several sports coaching degree programs when working in the UK.

Kielly Ryan
Diverse Populations

I was born deaf and brought up in a hearing family. I communicate by using Auslan (Australian Sign Language) fluently and I could lip read very well. I have been involved in various sports in deaf and hearing community including National Deaf Netball Championships in 2009 when I represented Victoria. I have a huge passion for AFL and I joined Masters football (AFL) in 2019 also represented Victoria in Deaf Football in the same year. This year, I decided to jump on to a new journey as an assistant coach for girls junior football alongside Jules Hay. My goal is to ensure that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people also people with disabilities are to be inclusive in sports. It is dominant that they are not excluded from the sport they have the passion and desire to participate in. I am speaking from my previous experiences of being excluded in a sport that I was passionate about, as I did not play a role on the team and spent most of the time being on the sidelines. I am determined to provide support and break down the barriers in sports by educating communities.

Courtney Hagen
Indigenous Perspectives

Courtney is a proud Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi woman from Queensland. Court’s been playing basketball and cricket since she was 8 in various competitions, whilst also coaching Miniball, Aussie Hoops and representative levels for both sports. Professionally, Courtney has worked in the following areas: · Indigenous Liaison roles in schools · University ambassador and tutor · Coaching, refereeing and school basketball program leader · Sport and Recreation team leader All before moving to Melbourne in October 2018 where she has been working with Cricket Australia in the role of ‘Indigenous Engagement Specialist’. Court’s passion is to create more opportunity for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to engage in sport at whatever capacity they want, and to educate/support sporting organisations from club to national organisation levels to be culturally safe and celebrative for participants of first nations culture. She’s also the co-founder of a social media channel and podcast named ‘Coming out, Blak’ which explores, celebrates and amplifies voices of the LGBTQIA+ community who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Kerry O'Sullivan
West Australian Football Commission

Kerry has 10 years’ strategy experience in the Sports and NFP sectors. Her professional strengths are in solving complex and difficult problems, relationship management and the delivery of measurable results. Kerry's most recent role has been in delivering key strategic projects at the West Australian Football Commission, establishing the inaugural West Australian Football League Women's Competition (WAFLW). Passionate about giving back to her community and empowering women, Kerry has taken up coaching AFL and is working towards her Level 2 qualification. Kerry is excited about collaborating with the Women's Coaching Association to empower women and girls who coach sport across Australia. Kerry started her career in management consulting in the UK and holds a Masters in Engineering from Cambridge University.

Eva Ellmer
Cricket Australia

Dr Eva Ellmer is the Coach Learning Specialist at Cricket Australia, where she provides specialist support in the evaluation, design and development of CA’s coaching framework and programs. This also includes the development of activities to increase both the quality and quantity of female coaches across all levels. Eva is also an Associate Lecturer at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences and the University of Queensland, and has been teaching in the post-graduate Sports Coaching program since 2016. Eva’s passion is to observe and contribute to sport participants’ learning and development opportunities, particularly in new and evolving environments (i.e. action sports).

Annabel Brebner
MCC Football Club

Annabel’s career spans the public, private and university sectors. With over 20 years’ experience in consulting, she is currently a director with ACIL Allen Consulting, an independent economic and public policy consulting firm. Annabel specialises in conducting reviews and evaluations across a range of social policy areas, providing independent assessment of complex issues that reflect robust analysis of available evidence. Her work includes projects requiring understanding of intersecting social policy objectives, and expertise in corporate governance, workforce development, and performance measurement, monitoring and reporting. Annabel represented her home state of South Australia in diving and gymnastics, and was an accredited coach and judge in both sports. She is currently a member of the MCC Committee, Chair of the MCC Football Club and director of MCC Foundation Ltd, MCC Sports Ltd and MCC Heritage Ltd.

Andrew Buckland
Human Resources

With a career spanning across senior Operational Leadership roles, Learning & Organisational Development, Consulting & Strategy and Change Management, Andrew has had a rich and varied career. Andrew brings his experience in these areas across highly regulated environments as well as a genuine passion to break down barriers for women in sports, coaching and business. Whilst only having coached in football for the last handful of years, Andrew has a strong background in foundational skill development brought about by a passion for learning & capability development as well as ascribing to the maxim that ‘learning is never done’. Andrew derives great pleasure in coaching development and foundational players in women’s football– particularly in the Master’s category assisting women who never thought they would play move from ‘never played’ to ‘loving the game’. Andrew looks forward to the Women’s Coaching Association being a true “Change Maker” in supporting women in coaching – from grassroots to the very elite levels of all games.

Julia Walsh

My role is to assist athletes to get to a place they could not get to by themselves. To get exponential reach I work with coaches as well as athletes. This drive has shaped my career direction and research. It is part of my social DNA and shapes my thinking and behaviour. Of interest is how we – as coaches- develop our tools to better mediate learning. As a practicing coach I work with junior girls to help them develop their potential through basketball. I am Head Coach of the Australian Boomerangs, the Men’s team for Athletes with an Intellectual Disability. Other commitments include being a board member at Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Club and an owner/director of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers. I am currently an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Latrobe University in Sports Coaching.

Suzanne Henderson
Hockey Victoria

Suzanne has worked with sports at the international, national, state and local level for over 25 years. She is currently the General Manager of Strategic Projects at Hockey Victoria where she sits on the Executive team and helps steer the direction of the sport. She is responsible for leading and managing key government funded projects that aim to increase the participation and capability of under-represented groups such as women & girls, people with a disability (PWD) and those from the LGBTIQ community. She is passionate about creating opportunities for women & girls and has led the organization to develop its first Gender Equity and Diversity Strategy with a measurement index that ensures accountability across the organization. She has created the “Seeing is Believing” video campaign that raises the profile of the key roles women play in hockey as board members, coaches, umpires, officials and executives. She has paved the way for young girls by establishing a girls player pathway starting from U10’s and implemented women’s only coaching and umpiring accreditation courses. Suzanne has also introduced Women’s Round, Men’s Health Round and Pride Round to the sport. In addition she has worked with HV staff to introduce hockey as an interschool sport at Specialist schools and supported the implementation of Victoria’s first State team competition for people with a disability. She has also worked with partners such as Proud 2 Play to facilitate the Stand Out Cup which is a fun, inclusive pre-season hockey event aimed to attract members of the LGBTIQ community and allies. Suzanne is also a keen hockey player that has been involved in the sport since the age of eight. She continues to play, mentor and coach at the local level now. She has been involved in coaching junior girls teams for the past six years. She is passionate about getting more women and girls actively participating in sport as board members (decision makers), coaches and officials.

Sarah Stone
Women’s Tennis Coaching Association

Sarah Stone is the founder and CEO of The Women's Tennis Coaching Association and is the former the chairperson of the Women's Tennis board at the Professional Tennis Registry. Sarah is extremely passionate about using sports for social change. She is an Internationally experienced high-performance tennis coach, who has spent extensive time working with the world's best juniors and WTA tour players. Sarah’s coaching accolades include Grand Slam-winning coach as the coach of Samantha Stosur who won three Grand Slam titles while under her tutelage, tour coach of six WTA tour top 100 players, and private coach of over 20 athletes who have achieved division one NCAA athletic scholarships. USPTA and Tennis Australia registered coach, Sarah is the former director of tennis at the Columbine Country Club in Colorado and Volunteer Assistant coach at Pac 12 school the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has built her coach philosophy through her years of vast experience, believing that the art of teaching is the most critical skill when it comes to helping a beginner level player get started or creating a Grand Slam champion. Stone has proven success in leadership, operational excellence, and organizational development with a keen understanding of what it takes to develop champion tennis players. Sarah is recognized for having exceptional ability when it comes to the technical development of players' strokes and being an industry leader who has inspired significant change in women's tennis.

Penny Cula-Reid
High performance coaching - VFLW

Penny began her journey at just 6 years old, playing football with the boys. It wasn't until the age of 14 after a training session one day, that she realised she might be different. She was tapped on the shoulder and told she couldn't play football anymore "because she was a girl" - but instead of listening, Penny asked "why?" Alongside her peers Helen Taylor and Emily Stanya, Penny took Football Victoria to VCAT (Victorian Civil Administrations Tribunal), and the case was a landmark moment for sexual discrimination in Australian sport. Girls could now play in mixed competition football up to the age of 14 (originally 12), and a girls competition for U/17's was introduced, effectively creating a pathway for girls and women in Australian Rules Football that previously did not exist. With the birth of the AFLW (Australian Football League for Women) in 2017, Penny was drafted to play for her beloved Collingwood Football Club. Penny quickly realised that her passion lay in supporting other women, and helping to build them up in their own sporting journeys. Penny began coaching the Collingwood VFLW team, and in just her first year led the team to become minor premiers and took out the Coach of the Year award for the VFLW. In 2019 she coached the team to back-to-back minor premierships, and finished the season winning the 2019 VFLW Grand Final. Despite having achieved so much so early on, Penny continues to work hard and develop her coaching skills, currently with Williamstown Football Club. Hoping to spread her message to as many young women as possible, and with a passion for empowering women to work together, Penny inspires many through her speaking events across Australia. She engages audiences as she talks about her experiences with facing adversity, and shines a light on how women can effectively work together. Penny's latest achievement is being a part of the new Australian Sports Museum exhibition, where she is a feature piece in the creation of the AFLW. It hasn't been smooth sailing for this young ambitious woman throughout her journey, overcoming many obstacles along the way, but that's what makes Penny determined, focused, and unstoppable.

Martin Doulton
Director Team Monash

Have a Day job as Director Team MONASH and a love job at FISU on the Executive Committee. With a career spanning over 40 years of working across a broad cross section of the sport and recreation sector I have been on a few Committees , led a few organisations , run a few programs, travelled to a few places , met heaps of awesome people and had way too much fun doing it. Over the journey I think I have learnt something about The Customer Experience, the power of Community Development through Sport, the Business of Management, Dual Career Education , Campus Development, Sport Management, Crisis Management, Inclusion and Government Relations that others might find valuable. Other times I just get a kick out of being on the team and doing stuff that might make a positive difference or even save a life!

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