Male Champions of Change in Sport

Sport, as with many other environments, is not an industry shared equally between men and women. Gender inequality remains firmly entrenched, particularly at the leadership and governance level of most organisations, despite the fact that women are significant consumers of and participants in sports across the country.  Given the accessibility of sport and its ability to “talk” to Australians in a different way, the Male Champions of Change Sport group is in a unique position to influence the discourse on the issue of gender equality in the industry and more broadly. 

The members of the MCC Sport group represent diverse experience, have a deep personal commitment to gender equality and have extensive reach in Australian sport in both their organisations and the community. They also represent the key sports (in terms of economic contribution) in the Australian landscape. The group is chaired by Elizabeth Broderick.

Who are the Male Champions of Change Sport?

  • Andrew Abdo – CEO, National Rugby League
  • Mark Anderson – CEO, Collingwood Football Club
  • Ameet Bains – CEO, Western Bulldogs Football Club
  • Brian Cook – CEO, Geelong Football Club
  • Robert Dalton – Acting CEO, Sport Australia
  • Marne Fechner (Special Advisor) – CEO, Netball Australia 
  • Matt Finnis – CEO, St Kilda Football Club

  • Brendon Gale – CEO, Richmond Football Club

  • Nick Hockley – Acting CEO, Cricket Australia
  • James Johnson – CEO, Football Federation Australia
  • Cain Liddle – CEO, Carlton Football Club 
  • Kate Palmer AM (Special Advisor) – Non-Executive Director
  • Jerril Rechter (Special Advisor) – CEO, Basketball Australia

  • Ian Robson – CEO, Rowing Australia

  • Leigh Russell (Special Advisor) – CEO, Swimming Australia
  • James Sutherland – CEO, Golf Australia
  • Giles Thompson – CEO, Racing Victoria

  • Craig Tiley – CEO, Tennis Australia

Male Champions of Change Sport Priorities

MCC Sport is a major collaborative effort to advance the involvement of women in all aspects of sport. The Champions lead within their organisations and collectively externally with a specific focus on the following priorities:

Advancing more women into leadership positions

  • Enhancing an industry sponsorship program for high-potential women in sports management
  • Securing a sustainable increase in women in high performance roles
  • Enabling more flexible approaches to careers in sport within organisations.

Developing more inclusive sporting cultures

  • Increasing women’s participation in all aspects of sport
  • Developing more diverse and inclusive ‘public faces’ for sporting organisations, particularly through communication with our combined 6m+ social media followers
  • Supporting a ‘Panel Pledge’ to only speak on industry panels where women are represented and able to participate in a meaningful way.


  • Achieving pay equity in sports management and administration
  • Working with key stakeholders such as players’ associations, media, funding bodies and sponsors on pathways to pay equity for women athletes in sport.

Further information

Please contact the MCC Sport Program Director, Sarah Styles at [email protected]

Recent news & announcements

March 2020: Male Champions of Change Sport released their “Pathway to gender equality in sport including pay equality” report

In a world-first, members of Male Champions of Change (MCC) Sport have worked with McKinsey & Company to develop and report against five key focus areas and more than 20 measures identified as critical in driving progress on gender equality including pay equality in sport. More details here

February 2019: Male Champions of Change Sport released their “Pathway to Pay Equality”

Pathway to Pay is a significant joint initiative, which details the specific actions needed to close the gender pay gap for elite athletes.  It is believed to be the first time internationally that leaders of competing sporting codes and clubs have united on the issue, according to Founder and Convenor of MCC Sport Elizabeth Broderick. More details here

February 2017: CEOs united in pursuit of gender equality in the sports sector

Members of the Male Champions of Change Sport met at the Richmond Football Club on 14 February to confirm their shared gender equality priorities for 2018, launch their latest Progress Report and announce that the CEOs of Netball Australia, Golf Australia, Rowing Australia and Geelong Football Club will also join the group from 2018. Media Release

December 2017: Male Champions of Change Sport – 2017 Progress update

Members of Male Champions of Change Sport share examples of their work advancing gender equality, women in leadership and more inclusive cultures across the sports sector. This includes introducing All Careers Flex; leading a major sponsorship program to accelerate more women into leadership positions; building more welcoming and inclusive environments for women and girls; and developing pathways to pay equity for female athletes. Click here to watch the video

November 2017: Building a Gender November 2017: Building a Gender Balanced and inclusive workplace delivers business benefits.

Led by MCC Sport, MCC releases the report: Building a Gender-Balanced and Inclusive Presence: Test the Messages You Project which details high impact actions to build a gender balanced and inclusive presence. The practical guide includes 25+ case studies drawn from MCC organisations across the MCC network. Five focus areas are highlighted: External Presence; Employee Experience; Engagement Activities; Awards, Recognition and Honour Systems; Workplace Symbols and Barriers to Inclusion. The report encourages organisations to test the messages they project on gender equality. Click here to read full report, Click here to read the Media Release.

August/November 2017: Women in Sport Sponsorship program 2017

MCC Sport celebrates the 2017 launch of its Women in Sport Sponsorship program, hosted by National Rugby League CEO and MCC Todd Greenberg (Sydney) and Tennis Australia CEO and MCC Craig Tiley (Melbourne). The program aims to accelerate more women into leadership in sports management through sponsorship of high potential Executive level and pipeline talent. As part of the 2017 program, 65 women across MCC sport organisations now have senior sponsors to help advance their careers in the sport sector. MCC Sport Sponsorship Toolkit

December 2016 Report outlines Male Champions’ efforts to increase women in sports management

MCC Sport release their first public report: Progress Report 2016 which outlines how the group has progressed in 2016 against their commitment to increase the representation of women in sports management in Australia.
Click here to read the full report. Click here for the media release

May 2016 –  MCCS Sponsorship Across Sport program

The MCC Sport Sponsorship of Talent action group launch the MCCS Sponsorship Across Sport program to connect high potential female leaders with sponsors from different organisations and codes. The first round of the program has matched over 40 pairs, with a first event planned in Sydney in July to bring the full network together.

February 2016 – All Roles Flex in Sport

Richmond Football Club and the Australian Sports Commission become the first Sport MCC organisations to launch pilots of All Roles Flex, making flexible working options the default for employees.