The Wheeler Centre
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The Long Game: Women in Sport Today
How are ideas, and our expectations, around gender and sport evolving? And how does sport inform our sense of self? Who gets to play, and who gets to win, in the field of sports?
In an outstanding new essay collection, Balancing Acts: Women in Sport, a dream-team of Australia’s finest writers, including Ellen van Neerven, Tegan Higginbotham, Nicole Hayes and Kate Doak, wrestle with these questions and more. The essays explore the ways women and non-binary people negotiate a traditionally male-dominated space, with topics ranging from sexualisation in surf culture to marginalisation in boxing, and the vast power imbalance between athletes and coaches.
At the Wheeler Centre, these contributors discuss shifting perspectives and shifting goal-posts in gender and sport.
Nicole Hayes is an award winning author and podcaster, and part of the The Outer Sanctum podcast. She has written non-fiction and fiction about footy, including The Whole of My World, a Young Adult #MeToo AFL novel; and both From the Outer: Footy Like You’ve Never Heard It (2016) and A Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017, in collaboration with Alicia Sometimes. This year, Nicole and co-writer Adrian Beck will launch a new kids’ footy fiction series, called Little Legends. She spends way too much time shouting at the Hawks on the telly, but you’d know that if you followed her on Twitter.
Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer of Mununjali Yugambeh (South East Queensland) and Dutch heritage. They write fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction. Ellen’s first book, Heat and Light, was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize. Ellen’s second book, a collection of poetry, Comfort Food, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize and highly commended for the 2016 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. Throat is Ellen’s highly anticipated second poetry collection.
Tegan Higginbotham is a writer, actress and comedian.
For the past four years, she’s been a regular columnist for the Sunday Age Sport. Tegan’s writing credits also include Open Slather (Comedy Channel), Little Lunch (ABC), whimn.com.au, and Fernwood Magazine.
Her acting credits include Oddball, Holding the Man, It’s A Date, Nowhere Boys and the tv series Molly. Tegan is also known for making regular appearances on The Project, Whose Line is it Anyway?, Have You Been Paying Attention?, Show Me The Movie, Whovians and ABC News Breakfast.
Kate Doak is a freelance investigative journalist and documentary producer, who is based in Sydney, Australia. Often described as a 'policy wonkette' and an 'old school newshound' as a result of her journalistic endeavours, Kate is also highly regarded within Australian politics as an advocate of both mental health and LGBTI rights.