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Ahead of the Game: Sport, Storytelling and Symbolism


Event Status

This panel conversation originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday 1 June was postponed in response to current health advice and the restrictions on public events. 

Find out more about our response to Covid-19 here.

Please note Joanna Lester will be appearing via video link.

Australians love our sport: playing it, watching it, discussing it, and analysing it in passionate, exhaustive detail. 

To better understand the sports we love, we turn to journalists, commentators and experts who explain not only who won, but how – and why it matters. At their most powerful, sports narratives go beyond the game, to help us make sense of major social, political and personal stories. 

But whose stories are we hearing, and whose remain untold? Who holds the mic, and who is kept on the sidelines? What would it mean to approach sporting stories through a truly intersectional and inclusive feminist lens? How can we go beyond merely symbolic representation, to embrace the power of visibility?

We’ll unpack these questions and more with Outer Sanctum co-host and AFL inclusion consultant Rana Hussain; filmmaker and recipient of the 2020 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media Joanna Lester; journalist and Cricket Australia First Nations & Social Inclusion Specialist Courtney Hagen; and our host, documentary-maker and author Angela Pippos. Siren Sport co-founder and Kick Like A Girl host Kate O’Halloran will create a comprehensive match report of the conversation. 

Join us to discover how we can level the playing field for athletes, sports journalists, and fans of all genders.

This event will be Auslan interpreted. 

Presented in partnership with Women in Sports Media Forum, with support from Our Watch National Media Engagement Program and Emma Race.

The Broadly Speaking series is proudly supported by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM and family and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, venue capacity is unfortunately limited. We will not be able to accommodate walk-ups or a waitlist as may have been the case in the past. Read more about our live events plan here. Check our website, follow us on social media or sign up to our e-newsletter The Wheeler Weekly for updates and any late ticket releases.


Rana Hussain

Rana Hussain is a Diversity and Inclusion leader making important inroads into Australian sporting culture and the community at large. One of a handful of women of colour working in sports administration, Rana is a pioneer and a passionate advocate for social inclusion and reducing discrimination th... Read more

Courtney Hagen

Courtney is a proud Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi woman from the Southern Sunshine Coast region in Queensland. Courtney has been involved in many community engagement roles in sport as is currently an Indigenous Engagement Specialist at Cricket Australia. Her work and advocacy for marginalised groups... Read more

Joanna Lester

Joanna Lester is a journalist, filmmaker and communications specialist who focuses on sport and its social impact. She has lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the UK, and works across the Pacific. In 2020, Joanna won the Walkley Foundation June Andrews Women’s Leadership in Media Award ... Read more

Kate O'Halloran

Kate O’Halloran is a freelance sports journalist and host of AFLW radio show ‘Kick Like a Girl’ on RRR 102.7FM. She was formerly Deputy Sports Editor at the Guardian and now writes for the ABC, Crikey and the Saturday Paper as well as regularly appearing on News Breakfast on the AB... Read more

Angela Pippos

Angela is an award-winning journalist, presenter, documentary-maker, author and MC. Her most recent documentary, The Record, follows Australia’s dramatic Women’s T20 World Cup campaign and the audacious bid to fill the MCG for the final on International Women’s Day 2020. The two-part documenta... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.