THE CAPTAINS' FORUM
The Captains’ Forum is an initiative of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) in partnership with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).
The Captains Forum was designed to help develop national responses by Australia’s sporting leaders to some of the most significant challenges facing sport and the broader community. The initial intended value of the Forums were twofold; firstly to develop current Australian Sporting Leaders professionally in the area of leadership; and secondly to harness the potential of the collective group to support practical initiatives and public messages that influence positive behaviours in the broader sporting community. The 2011 Captains Forum focussed on promoting inclusive sporting environments for Indigenous Australians. The forum, first held in 2009, brought together the captains/leaders of Australia’s major sporting teams to discuss contemporary issues and opportunities facing Australian sport.
The 2011 Captains’ Forum was held at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern on Thursday 6 October. The Centre provided the perfect venue for the 31 captains and leaders from across 25 national sporting organisations to discuss their role as leaders and highlight how leadership on and off the field can be a key factor in making sport inclusive for all Australians.
The Captains’ Forum was preceded Welcome Dinner, held on Wednesday 5 October at the Novotel Darling Harbour, was attended by 75 Captains, CEOs of National Sporting Organisations, former Indigenous athletes; representatives from the: National Centre of Indigenous Excellence; Sport Australia Hall of Fame; and Booz and Company; Dr Helen Szoke, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission; and Charlie King, Local ABC radio sports broadcaster, Northern Territory. Mr John Eales AM, Director of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, was the Maters of Ceremonies for the evening.
The dinner was a success and guest speaker Kevin Sheedy was very well received providing some inspiring thoughts for the captains and leaders leading into the Forum workshop. It also provided a wonderful opportunity for captains and leaders to spend time with their CEOs.
The 2011 Captains’ Forum objectives were:
a. To harness the potential of the collective group of Australian sporting captains/leaders to share experiences and discuss positive values and behaviours that support safe, fair and inclusive sporting environments at all levels;
b. To explore and highlight how leadership on and off the field can be a key factor in making sport inclusive for all Australians, particularly for Indigenous Australians; and
c. For captains and leaders to identify and support practical initiatives that influence positive inclusive behaviours in the broader sporting community.
At the conclusion of the Captains’ Forum, two clear outcomes were identified: the development of a Captains’ Charter and the Captains’ Award. Whilst there is still work to be done in developing these initiatives further, the ASC is committed to working with SAHOF to ensure that the Captains’ Award becomes a permanent award within the SAHOF annual awards night and that the ASC will continue to work with national sporting organisations in relation to the implementation of the Captains’ Charter.