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Leadership program to help women in high performance sport level up

05 February 2024

Applications have opened for the AIS Talent Program - Women in Executive, for women leaders in high performance sport.

A photo of the 2022 cohort from the AIS Talent Program, Women in Executive
The 2022 cohort of the AIS Talent Program for women in Executive.

The six-month course empowers women by fostering a sense of belonging and building a supportive community to enhance their leadership roles.

The course boasts an impressive alumni, including Ian Thorpe's coach Tracey Menzies Stegbauer and inclusion and belonging leader and media professional Rana Hussain.

Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement Manager at Athletics Australia Melanie Purkiss completed the program in 2022 and credits it as a turning point in her working life.

“I was holding myself back in lots of ways and the program helped me unlock a pathway forward. It was a monumental shift for me in a personal and professional capacity,” she said.

Skateboarding High Performance Manager Debbie Savage, who completed the course alongside Purkiss, still refers back to her notes and workbooks.

"Over the length of the program you have time to go away, apply what you have learned, then come back and ask more questions," Savage said.

“The diversity of sports, roles and backgrounds in the group created an incredible learning environment and we’re still catching up and supporting one another.”

The course includes three in-person sessions, along with online executive coaching and access to peer support to help participants hone decision-making, strategy and leadership skills.

The program is supported by the Australian Government’s Office for Women, with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and AIS together delivering several initiatives aimed at helping women in sport reach their full potential.

“I would absolutely recommend this program to others,” Purkiss said.

“I will always be grateful for the amazing connections I developed throughout this program.”

Expressions of interest for the 2024 course close on Monday 19 February.

Visit Talent Programs (Women Executives) for further information.

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