Your next ‘Bold’ move…..

by WGIS Committee

With the 2016-17 summer sailing season coming to a close, Sunday 18 June will see the the Victorian Sailing Awards celebrate the range of achievements amongst the diverse membership and activities of our sailors and our state clubs.

The Women & Girls in Sailing (WGIS) Committee are looking forward to congratulating not only our competing sailors but also recognising those who empower our female members to achieve. The annual WGIS Local Hero award recognises those, male or female, who work tirelessly at clubs to encourage and support the involvement of women and girls in sailingto take up the sport, learn some new skills or get into racing.

Victoria also boasts several women in leadership positions at state, national and international level. In 2016, Cherry Birch became the first ever female President of any state body of Australian Sailing (formerly Yachting Australia) with her election to President of the Yachting Victoria Board.

Former Commodore of Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, Jenni Maclean was elected to the Australian Sailing Board in Nov 2015 and was recently joined by newly elected local Olympic sailor Sarah Ogilvie (nee Blanck), who will also represent the board onthe Athletes Commission.

Danielle Watkins (nee Pascoe) became the first female and youngest ever race officer to achieve World Sailing International Judge status in 2015. Danielle's pathway took on a new direction when she successfully applied for a grant in 2010–11 in the Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program, a joint initiative of the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Government Office for Women, that aims to boost the number of women in leadership roles.

Sophie Ciszek, member of Team SCA (Volvo Ocean Race) and Victorian Female Sailor of the Year 2016, leads by ‘fearless’ example and has inspired hundreds of women in Australia and now around the world, showing that women can compete in the sport of sailing at the highest level on an even playing field with men and be competitive.

So what makes a good leader? Someone who leads by example, someone who helps other people achieve their goals, someone who is honest, someone who is a clear communicator, someone who is positive, intuitive and creative. Above all, a good leader is someone who can inspire those around them.

Reflecting on your own summer season experiences, have you enjoyed your time on and off the water? What has happened around your club or Association that has enabled you to better enjoy your chosen sport? Do you feel there could be more opportunities for participation? Have you considered putting your hand up to help shape these activities at your club? Whilst being a leader might not be a current goal, exhibiting leadership qualities should be.

With ‘Be Bold for Change’ as the United Nations International Women’s Day theme for 2017, your next ‘bold’ move could be to make a difference in your sailing sphere. Do you see yourself in a leadership position one day? Are you already a leader – at school, at the yacht club, or at work? Do you want to work on your leadership qualities?

Recently, the WGIS committee were successful applicants in obtaining a grant from the Australian Sports Commission to host two leaderships workshops. The workshops aim to engage existing and up-and-coming female leaders in sailing to encourage participation, input and leadership. To encourage both our youth sailors (under 18yrs) and our adult sailors (over 18yrs), there will be two separate workshops targeted to the age of their audience.

WGIS are very excited to announce that we have engaged highly respected trainer, performance coach, speaker and author Carol Fox (Women Sport Australia, Life Performance) to facilitate the workshops, which will be run as follows -

Saturday 24th June 2017 – 18yrs and over

Sunday 25th June 2017 – Under 18yrs

Both workshops will focus on the same principles - teaching and enabling women and girls to learn different skills and techniques to assist them on their leadership journeys, in whatever spheres of life they choose to take on.

Key workshop learnings will include:

  • Understanding the unique differences in people’s behaviour.
  • Easily identifying an individual’s communication preferences and the characteristics of their preference to effectively communicate with and influence others.
  • Adapting your own communication style to influence people into action whilst maintaining easy rapport.
  • Differences in masculine & feminine communication techniques.
  • Understanding the power of words and body language when engaging people in a business context.
  • Awareness of limiting situations we may find ourselves in as girl/women and how to change them to be more empowered.
  • Gaining confidence in public speaking.

We would love to make the workshop available to every single sailor, however at the moment we only have funding for two courses which can accommodate 20 people each.

So, Victorian female sailors, this is your chance – ‘Be Bold for Change!'

Registrations close by Sunday 21 May 2017, so register now by completing an Expression Of Interest online or if you prefer a hard copy, email

Please circulate this great opportunity to your own club and association networks and encourage your female sailing friends to step up.

Thanks for your support!

WGIS committee

If you have any questions, please contact Sue Phillips at Australian Sailing at or on 0481 342 668.


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