women in sport summit 2021

Exclusive: Natalie Cook and Kerry Petersen Discuss the 2032 Brisbane Olympics

he Ministry of Sport Women in Sport Summit 2021 took place on Friday, June 25 at USC Stadium, delivered in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and Tourism and Events Queensland.

Five-time Olympian and gold medallist, Natalie Cook and Deputy Director General 2032 taskforce, Kerry Petersen joined master of ceremonies Kate Jones, to discuss what hosting the 2032 Olympic Games would mean to Brisbane.

Speaking with Ministry of Sport after the discussion panel, Petersen noted how important federal and state government’s funding commitment was to helping Brisbane become the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) preferred bid.

“[It’s] very important we definitely need that support and we’re working very closely with the federal government and our colleagues and they’re involved in everything we do,” Petersen said.

“The Premier and the Prime Minister are also working closely and there’s been some high-level commitments.

“Now we have to get to the detail of what those mean, but it’s great that they’ve provided that public commitment,” she said.

Previous Olympics have not received the same funding commitments from federal, state and local governments, but Petersen said it is still important to get private investors.

“That will be more the role of the organising committee to get that private sector investment and there’s definitely opportunity for that, but there are certain things that our local government, state government and federal government will need to manage like our services and our police, and our immigration,” Petersen said.

“There’s certain things that are services that governments are responsible for but there’s definitely opportunity for private sector involvement in other areas,” she said.

Thinking about the athletes’ pathway to the 2032 Olympic Games, Natalie Cook reflected on how far Australia has come in achieving a balance between its male and female athletes but said there are other areas where improvement is needed.

“Clearly seeing numbers balanced, now with the Tokyo Olympics, in medals so I don’t think you can go further in that – we’ve elevated that space to point where it’s now equal,” Cook said.

“Now how do we look at other areas of sport where women aren’t present enough, and start to lift those numbers.

“One of the obvious ones is coaching, we do not have we have nine male coaches on the swim team and half of the team is women.

“We need to start looking at creating environments so that the women can flourish in those areas, and there are series of reasons why they don’t: families and travel and the high-performance environment is unique, but we need to create environments where they can come into it because it’s really important.

“Board roles, administrative roles… we saw a lot elevated to CEOs and positional roles in admin last year and it seems like we’ve lost quite a few.

“So, we need to investigate what’s going on there, but elevating the whole playing field is something that is really important,” she said.

Petersen also said: “[It’s important] across all sectors, across the organising committee board just getting a really good gender representation.”

“And not only gender but diversity whether its first nations involvement… it’s all sectors that we need to make sure that we’ve got representation from and across all areas not just the winning athletes but the administrators, the coaches and through the organising side as well,” Petersen said.

Over the coming weeks, Ministry of Sport will be releasing video footage from the Women in Sport Summit 2021, including the Olympic Discussion Panel with Natalie Cook, Kerry Petersen and Kate Jones.