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The changing landscape of Sports Boards

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Release Date: 01/08/2021

Architect Helen Lochhead AO - Building a career with purpose - Women on Honour series show art Architect Helen Lochhead AO - Building a career with purpose - Women on Honour series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Make every day count. That’s the advice from architect and urbanist , who was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2024 Australia Day Honours for distinguished service to architecture and urban design, to building regulation reform, to tertiary education, and to professional organisations.   A graduate of both the University of Sydney and Columbia University in New York, Helen is a woman who has certainly made every day count. A recipient of many prestigious travel scholarships and Fellowships including Fulbright, Bogliasco and the Harvard Lincoln/Loeb...

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Georgina Gubbins OAM, ‘The accidental farmer’ - Women of Honour Series show art Georgina Gubbins OAM, ‘The accidental farmer’ - Women of Honour Series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

In this Women on Boards Honours series, WOB Executive Director talks to the 12 WOB members who were recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours. In this episode Claire speaks to Warrnambool cattle and sheep producer and founding member and chair of , , who was awarded an OAM for service to primary industry, and to the community. As she tells Claire “I wouldn't probably be sitting here having received this award if it hadn't been for Women on Boards!.” Georgina started her career as a nurse then moved to Victoria’s Western District in the mid-90s to help on the family farm with husband....

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Professor Ngaire Elwood AM, Beating the Odds - Women of Honour Series show art Professor Ngaire Elwood AM, Beating the Odds - Women of Honour Series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood AM is driven by a strong sense of purpose that grew out of a life-changing experience that inspired her, as an inquisitive science-loving teenager, to dedicate her life to improving therapies for kids with cancer.  As a teenager, she was treated for osteosarcoma, a common form of bone cancer that had a survival rate of about five per cent prior to the advent of chemotherapy. After her bone cancer diagnosis, her treatment involved an above-knee amputation, followed by 18 months of high-dose chemotherapy. Even with this ‘aggressive therapy’ the survival...

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Emerita Professor Lesley Hitchens AM - Women of Honour Series show art Emerita Professor Lesley Hitchens AM - Women of Honour Series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

In this first episode of the new Women on Boards Honours Podcast Series - featuring the 12 WOB members recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours - WOB co-founder and Executive Director, , chats with . Lesley was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to tertiary education, and to the law. This is only the second year that the majority of honours were awarded to women since the national system formally began on 14 February 1975 – nearly 50 years ago. Lesley had a long and distinguished legal career, starting in Sydney at Allens before she headed overseas...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Lisa Carlin - Transformational change and the importance of community show art Claire Braund in conversation with Lisa Carlin - Transformational change and the importance of community

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Growing up in South Africa Lisa Carlin experienced apartheid in its truest form.  “I just felt this complete sense of unfairness of it all, and that's really carried with me today” she says.  Through this she has become extremely passionate about transformation to give a voice to those who don’t have one. Lisa is the cofounder and CEO of global advisory FutureBuilders Group and author of . Her portfolio includes mentoring founders and CEOs in the HRTech, EdTech and workplace talent sector, she is on the Advisory board for Rebelliuz and Chair of the University of Cape Town...

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Optus blame game: Do we treat male and female CEOs the same? show art Optus blame game: Do we treat male and female CEOs the same?

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Is there less of a tolerance for failure for women at the top than there is for men? In the wake of former Optus CEO’s Kelly Bayer Rosmarin’s resignation from the telco following a nationwide outage that took down phone and internet services for 14 hours, Women on Boards Executive Director Claire Braund spoke with ABC Canberra Radio’s  about the blame culture around CEOs following a crisis and asks, do we treat our male and female CEOs differently? Find out more about  Visit our   Women on Boards Follow us on 

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Claire Braund in conversation with Tom Elliot on 3AW show art Claire Braund in conversation with Tom Elliot on 3AW

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Claire Braund spoke to 3AW Drive Host, Tom Elliot on 23 Sept 2023 about a decision by HESTA that they will vote against select director re-elections of ASX300 companies where the board has less than 30 per cent of female representation. Claire says HESTA and other investment firms are taking a stance on “merit”, “We like to think of merit as something objective … but it’s actually defined by culture, values and expectations … which means only some parts of merit are to do with how hard one works,” she told Tom Elliott. Read HESTA's four key expectations for ASX300 companies in...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Amber Tan show art Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Amber Tan

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

You may well think Dr Amber Tan has the world at her feet and job offers flowing in. A former Malaysian national who was born and raised in Ipoh (the gateway to the Cameron Highlands hill station), Amber migrated to Melbourne in 2011 with her partner and received an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship in 2013 to complete her PhD at Monash University. A feat she accomplished in 2017 with no amendments.  Her thesis critically examined national security and public order laws in Malaysia and their impact on constitutionalism and the rule of law and Amber has also conducted extensive...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Monique Beedles show art Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Monique Beedles

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Dr Monique Beedles was not your average teenager. At 15, as well as having posters of Murph Hughes and the Adelaide Oval on her bedroom wall, it was her dream to be CEO of Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche. To this end, she went on to study German and chemistry at school. “I was always interested in medical research from a very young age. But I didn’t know back then that to be the CEO of Roche, your name has to be Roche,” she tells Claire in this podcast. Undeterred, Monique went on to study pharmacy and gained her first board role with the Australasian College of Pharmacy....

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Connection Content: Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy with Karen Tisdell show art Connection Content: Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy with Karen Tisdell

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

When it comes to getting the most out of your LinkedIn page, content is great but it’s no match for connection. That’s the message from LinkedIn expert Karen Tisdell, who talks to Claire Braund about how LinkedIn has changed over the years and the importance of content AND connection when it comes to directors putting themselves out there”.  As she says, “if you have a really great profile and you’re putting out content but you haven’t made the effort to connect with people to build your network, then you’re just shouting into the wind”. With a long background in the...

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In this podcast, Margot Foster AM OLY talks to Claire Braund about the very real challenges that face sports boards today from corporate governance, to best practice, to competing state and national interests, to the evolving responsibilities of directors.

Margot is the Director of The Lyceum Club, NST Member Selection Advisory Committee member of National Sports Tribunal Australia, Governance and Integrity Consultant at SIGPA and inaugural Chair of the World Athletes Election Oversight Panel (formerly IAAF), among her many roles.

A former Olympian and a lawyer, Margot has a finely honed understanding of team dynamics, high performance, attention to detail and excellence.

She won Gold in rowing at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland, and holds the title till this day. Her rowing profession came to a brutal end in 1988 when a panel of male selectors unilaterally decided they wouldn’t send any female contesters to the Seoul Olympics.

While the doors closed on her professional sporting career, Margot has remained at the strategic heart of countless sports boards since she was 18 and hasn’t looked back.

In 1989, Margot was appointed to the Melbourne Olympic Bid Committee for 1996 Games, which exposed her to power brokers lobbying to host the Olympics. It was at the time when no one talked about governance and Margot had to find her way autonomously. It taught her invaluable lessons and equipped her with the grit and determination needed to navigate the terrain of sport boards.

The challenges have been vast and varied, Margot admits, and governance remains at the peak of the list. Sports boards are driven by peoples’ passion and love for the game, but this is deeply rivaled by shifting government requirements, increasing risks, professionalization across the sector and changing television rights. Margot explains this is why the type of director required for sports boards is evolving amidst the inevitable and persistent challenges of member-based bodies, the federated model, and the fraught field of integrity.

In this podcast, Margot cautions sporting organisations that if you ignore history, you peril. 

Margot Foster - AM, OLY, Non-Executive Director

  • Director of The Lyceum Club
  • NST Member Selection Advisory Committee member of National Sports Tribunal Australia
  • Governance and Integrity Consultant at SIGPA
    Inaugural Chairman of World Athletes Election Oversight Panel (formerly IAAF)
  • Director and Vice President of Motorsport Australia
  • Founder and Director of Talk the Talk Consulting
  • Committee Member and Former President of Olympians Club of Victoria

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