VicHealth has welcomed former professional athlete and dual Olympian Tracey Gaudry to the position of Hawthorn Football Club Chief Executive Officer, an historic move for Hawthorn and a positive sign of big changes to come for women’s involvement in the AFL.
Ms Gaudry’s highly-accomplished career spans national and international roles in sport. Following a hugely successful career as a professional cyclist for seven years, ranked 3rd in the World at her peak, Ms Gaudry has undertaken several executive roles including Chief Executive Officer at the Amy Gillett Foundation for five years.
As the current General Manager of Commercial and Growth at Athletics Australia, Vice President of the world governing body for the sport of cycling, Ms Gaudry has a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge to bring to the league.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the health promotion organisation was thrilled to see a woman appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer for the first time in AFL club history.
“Tracey Gaudry will be a ground-breaking addition to Hawthorn Football Club and the AFL. Appointing the first ever female CEO to an AFL club is a pivotal moment for women in sport,” Ms Rechter said.
“Women right across Victoria play vital roles in sports leadership, in the media and as athletes. If we want to raise strong, empowered, independent women and girls, then we have to better promote female role models – not just on field but in senior administration, governance and media roles.
“Crucially most Victorians want to see change as well. Over half of respondents to our VicHealth Community Attitudes survey agreed that women should be in leadership positions in typically male dominated sports.
“Ms Gaudry’s appointment is a significant step closer to improving gender equality in AFL and changing the game for women and girls in Victoria, and Australia.
“We look forward to working with Ms Gaudry and the AFL on promoting gender equality in sport and making AFL more accessible to all Victorian women and girls.”
The announcement coincides with global gender equality expert and economist Dr Jeni Klugman’s tour of Victoria this week as part of her work commissioned by VicHealth under its Leading Thinkers program. Dr Klugman will develop a series of behaviour change research trials tackling gender inequality in Australia to improve health and wellbeing among women and girls, including a ‘big data’ analysis of women’s sport coverage in the media.
For info on VicHealth’s #ChangeOurGame campaign encouraging female participation in sport, visit: https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/programs-and-projects/change-our-game