Trailblazer Set To Lead The Way For Women In Sport

The Andrews Labor 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 leading 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 Labor 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 Labor 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.

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

Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren

“Women’s sport is more popular than ever – and we can’t wait to see Bridie lead from the front to change our game.” 

“Her extensive experience in elite sport makes her the perfect leader to improve gender equality and make sure the next generation of women and girls are free to play on an equal field.” 

Quotes attributable to Head of the Office for Women in Sport Dr Bridie O’Donnell MBBS

“I cannot wait to get on with changing the face of sport and recreation so that woman and girls can see a future in sport that welcomes their skills, passion and participation.” 

“We are going to do everything we can to support women in leadership roles, in both elite and grassroots sport, on and off the field, to ensure sport welcomes every Victorian no matter their gender.”