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SBD Global/October 9, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australia's Bonita Mersiades Calls For More Women In Sport Leadership Roles

Former Head of Corporate Affairs for Football Federation Australia Bonita Mersiades called for "more women to be involved at board and senior management level" during Monday's Asia Pacific World Sport and Women Conference in Melbourne, according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. Mersiades, one of Australia's "most respected sporting administrators," also called federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott a "pussycat" compared with the men who run world football. Once "one of the most powerful women in Australian sport," Mersiades, now a writer and consultant, believes governments "need to ensure qualified women have a bigger role to play at the top end of sports administration." Mersiades pointed out there were only two female members among the boards involved with the 10 A-League clubs, 2015 Asian Cup and FFA. Mersiades: "Amazingly, this ticks the box on gender diversity for the Australian government, which is a very disappointing standard" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/9).

NEW ZEALAND ENCOURAGES WOMEN: The AP reported that Sport New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Committee have created Development Scholarships to "help get more women onto the boards of sports organisations." The joint initiative is the first in a program to encourage "suitably qualified women to put themselves forward for sports governance roles." Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin said, "Improving the governance of sports organisations has been a focus for Sport NZ in recent years with progress being made in many areas, so the time is right to tackle gender balance on sports boards because it will further improve governance capability" (AP, 10/8).
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