Media release: Diversity and inclusion needs to be a part of every level of sport

The organisers of Pride Cup are calling on Australian sporting codes, at every level to take on the challenge of diversity and inclusion in their sport.

Celebrating its third year, Pride Cup’s founder Jason Ball says that strong progress has been made in the AFL but more work needs to be done by sporting codes at every level.

“Pride Cup has made strong progress in netball and the AFL, has inspired a national Pride Cup match between St Kilda and Sydney Swans, as well as events in other leagues but more needs to be done at every level,” says Jason.

“A lack of diversity in sport has a severe impact on young Australians, and sees them self-select themselves out of the wonderful range of sports that are available in our communities. The other negative of this equation is that Australian sports end up missing out on great talent.”

“As we go into the Rio Olympics, it is a perfect time for anyone who runs a sporting club or code, to think about how they are making their sport inclusive for everyone.

Pride Cup, now in its third year, celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI). Played as part of the AFL Yarra Ranges league, the event has been embraced by teams, the local community and the AFL.

The event is supported by a range of community, corporate and government organisations, including Yarra Ranges Council, NAB, Cyber Risk Advisors, Eastern Health, Sherwood Sportswear and De Bortoli Wines.

This year’s match sees Kinglake take on 2015 Pride Cup Champions Yarra Glen at the Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve – with the ground featuring a rainbow 50m line, the international symbol of gay pride.

The Rainbow Network supports Pride Cup by providing pre-match diversity and inclusion training to players from both teams.

A Pride Cup luncheon for junior league coaches will further spread the message of inclusion with speakers including Victoria’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Rowena Allen and openly gay Channel 9 News Presenter Peter Hitchener.

The Yarra Ranges Council, a major supporter of the event will be continuing the message of education follow Pride Cup, with all clubs in the AFL Yarra Ranges league sending two champions for diversity and inclusion training.

Commissioner Rowena Allen says that sporting clubs still present a major barrier for many people who identify as LGBTI.

“There are many young Victorians who are missing out on the benefits that sport can provide because of their sexuality or gender,” says Rowena.

“We know that the attitudes of the Victorian community have changed, and as a community we are more supportive of LGBTI people. I would encourage anyone who runs a sporting club to access some of the great materials, training and education that will help them understand some of the issues that young people face.”

Newsreader Peter Hitchener applauded the work of the Yarra Glen football club and the local community in the Yarra Ranges.

“It is amazing to see a whole community rally together in a show of support for LGBTI people. The Pride Cup is a great initiative, not just for sport, but for communities who want to improve the outcomes for young people,” says Peter.

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Media opportunities

Saturday 16 April 2016

What:                      Pride Cup

Where:                    Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve, Yarra Glen

When:                     12pm – Pride Cup Match Day Lunch featuring Peter Hitchener and Rowena Allen

2.00pm – Pre-game ceremony

2.10pm – Senior Football Pride Cup and A Grade Netball Pride Cup

4.30pm – Presentation of Pride Cup to winning football and netball teams

Opportunities:   Interview opportunities and filming at pre-game lunch

Match day filming and photo opportunities

Pride Cup winner photos and interviews

There are a number of interview and filming opportunities available around Pride Cup. If you wish to arrange interviews and filming please contact:

David Micallef, Says David Communications,

Media release: LGBTI Business Groups Call On Community To Remove Support From Telstra

LGBTI business organisations across Australia have slammed news that the organisation has bowed to pressure from the Catholic Church over the equal marriage debate.

The Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise (GLOBE) in Melbourne, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association (SGLBA) and the Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Business Network (GLBN) represent LGBTI small and medium business owners and professionals working in some of Australia’s biggest companies.

They say Telstra’s removal of support for equal marriage goes against the equality message that the company has trumpeted to the LGBTI community, and does a disservice to its LGBTI employees and the community members who have supported the telecommunications company.

President of GLOBE, David Micallef says: “The messages to big business should be clear. If you do not support our community, then we do not support you.”

“I have been concerned by the hate filled discussion that this news from Telstra has generated and the negative impact it has already had on LGBTI people in the community. GLOBE will not accept any sponsorship or financial support from Telstra, and have already taken steps to cancel the organisation’s phone account.

“Supporting the LGBTI community is more than marching in Mardi Gras or having a stall at Midsumma and then jumping ship when things get hard – it shows an utter disrespect for the community and what it stands for.

President of the GLBN Brendan Heck says: “I believe this is a backward step from Telstra and it sends a message that it is out-of-touch with greater society values – and the ongoing positive progression to become more inclusive and accepting.”

“I’m also concerned about the message this sends to  its employees and the view of their basic human rights.  Has Telstrathought about the consequences this may have on its staff and how they will now feel about going to work?”

“Is Telstra’s actions are purely based on money and who it perceives as having the biggest contracts with it.  Has Teltsra effectively been bought by the Catholic Church?”

GLBN, GLOBE and the SGLBA all have Telstra employees who are active members of their networks and the organisations are concerned about the impact that this will have on their staff.

President of the SGLBA Mark Haines says: “Telstra says its workplace demonstrates the importance placed on diversity, and for standing against all forms of discrimination.

However, bowing to commercial threats from the Catholic Church and shying away from its once prominent public support for marriage equality, is an affront to such values and community standards.

It ignores the fact that the majority of the population, indeed the majority of Catholics, including many people in business, supports Marriage Equality.

Telstra needs to get the courage of its convictions. It does its many LGBTI and ally employees a disservice if it won’t stand up and be counted in the public arena where it makes all the difference.”