Haslam urges fellow athletes to apply for AIS women leadership program

Over the past year, a group of Olympians, Paralympians and world champion women athletes, including Juliet Haslam, have been taking part in the inaugural AIS Accelerate program, an initiative aimed at increasing the career pathway options in sport for women athletes. With applications now open for the second year of AIS Accelerate, Juliet is sharing her experience and why she thinks all women athletes should consider applying.

Supporting and increasing the number of women in sport has always been a key focus for dual Olympic gold medallist Juliet Haslam, who has recently been appointed as Port Adelaide’s first Head of AFLW.

The new role caps off a busy year for Juliet, who has been one of the 18 current and former women athletes taking part in the Australian Institute of Sport Accelerate Program.

AIS Accelerate focuses on identifying and enhancing the leadership skills that already exist in our high performance women athletes and providing them with the professional development to take the next step in becoming future leaders in sport.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the AIS Accelerate Program. Listening to everyone’s unbelievable stories and the camaraderie between us all has been something very special,” Juliet said.

“The facilitators have been exceptional and have helped us to understand the importance of reflective practice, defining our values, understanding different learning styles and how we relate to others, leadership, vulnerability and just so much more.”

The AIS Accelerate Program is funded by the Australian Government’s Office for Women and supported by Sport Australia as part of the Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) Program. WLIS is focused on helping women reach their leadership potential in sport, with $3.4m over four years provided by the Australian Government.

Juliet said it can only benefit sport by leveraging the experience and talent of women athletes in leadership roles.

“Our female athletes across all sports have so much to offer. The lessons learnt and knowledge and skills gained from being involved in competing at the highest level should never be taken for granted.

“It’s great to see the AIS provide this excellent program and to give the opportunity for women to pursue a career in HP. I highly recommend both current and retired athletes to get involved.”

Juliet came into the AIS Accelerate Program with a highly impressive resume, both on and off the hockey field. After retiring from a sporting career which saw her win gold at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, Juliet has served on the boards of Hockey Australia, Hockey SA, SASI and the SA Hall of Fame and has built an impressive corporate, marketing and consultancy career.

Her new role as Head of AFLW at Port Adelaide will be a homecoming of sorts, with her father Ross playing over a hundred games, while husband Andrew Obst won four premierships with the club.

“I’m excited to have been recently appointed to the role of Head of AFLW at Port Adelaide and can’t wait to get started in building a women’s program with the support of the fantastic people at the Port Adelaide Football Club.

“I just love to see any opportunity to grow and promote women’s sport. It’s incredible to see how AFLW has grown in participation numbers in just the past five years – they have done an amazing job. There are so many positives, for more young girls and women to become involved in any sport, improving their confidence and self-esteem, creating new friendships, ensuring more wonderful role models, and hopefully creating a love of sport for life.”

/Sport Australia Public Release. View in full here.