Trailblazing women leaders in sport focus of oral history project

WOB member and leading sports lawyer and academic, Associate Professor Catherine Ordway, is collaborating on a new oral history project with trailblazing women leaders in sport.

Catherine, Sport Integrity Research Lead and Associate Professor at University of Canberra, specialises in anti-corruption and integrity and is a tribunal member, media commentator and consultant. Catherine, together with Ruth Medd, established the original foundation for Women on Boards in 2001

Together with University of Canberra’s Professor Kim Rubenstein, Catherine is now reaching out for funding partners to support a PhD student to work with them on the new project.

Having worked for over a decade collecting oral histories with the National Library of Australia, Kim is well placed to work with Catherine on this new project, and can draw on her immense experience in conducting whole of life oral histories.  

Some of the oral history work undertaken by Kim and supported through Australian Research Council research funding with the National Library of Australia includes her work on trailblazing women lawyers. These oral histories have since been fleshed out further with memoires and material of over 350 women lawyers in an online exhibition. One of the people included in that online exhibition is lawyer and former international footballer with the Matildas, Moya Dodd.

In addition to the work around lawyers, Kim has also begun a project on women in Australia’s public service with the NLA’s support. Catherine is well placed to co-supervise this PhD as her own PhD involved interviews with 12 women leaders in sport.

“These could be a start for full, whole of life oral histories to be placed on the National Library’s excellent oral history collection to amplify the significant role of women leaders in sport,” said Catherine.

“Ensuring the lives of women leaders in all areas of society are captured in their own voice is key to not only providing future women leaders with inspiration, but also for the nation taking stock of the lived experience of so many women who’s major contributions to Australia are so often unacknowledged,” said Prof Rubenstein.

Professor Catherine Ordway

Catherine is an Associate Professor at University of Canberra and a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, having developed and lectured in Sports Integrity and Investigations, in the Sports Law program since 2014. She has developed and taught a number of other sports management and sports law subjects at the Masters and undergraduate level at institutions including: La Trobe University, the University of Canberra and the University of New South Wales. Catherine has published on sports integrity, governance and gender equality issues and is a sought-after media commentator and conference presenter.

Catherine has served on numerous ethics and anti-doping committees in Australia and internationally, and currently supports the: International Cricket Council, the World Baseball-Softball Confederation, SportAccord and the West Indies Cricket Board. She sits on the International Sports Law Journal editorial board and is an expert contributor to the Australian Sports Commission Clearinghouse. Catherine received an Edna Ryan Award in 2016 for her long-term commitment to promoting women in sport and is currently completing her PhD at the University of Canberra on the link between gender equity on boards and integrity in sport.

Catherine was an Australian squad member in the Olympic sport of handball, competed for the Australian Capital Territory in rugby union, and fenced at intervarsity. Catherine is a lawyer and has a Graduate Diploma in Investigations Management (Policing). She acted for the Australian Olympic Committee in a legal capacity in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Catherine has extensive experience in international anti-doping administration and has consulted on projects including the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Bid, the Budapest 2024 Olympic Games Bid, and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.   LinkedIn

Professor Kim Rubenstein

Kim Rubenstein is an Honourary Professor at ANU, having moved to take up a Professorship at the University of Canberra, as Co-Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation in February 2020. Kim’s research projects revolve around citizenship law and ideas about active citizenship. She is the co-series editor of Cambridge University Press series Connecting International with Public Law. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and Harvard Law School, Kim’s interests also encompass teaching and the broader field of education, particularly women’s education. She is also the author of The Vetting of Wisdom: Joan Montgomery and the Fight for PLC a biography of Joan Montgomery OBE, former Principal of Presbyterian Ladies' College Melbourne, and an influential educator. Professor Rubenstein was the Inaugural Convenor of the ANU Gender institute 2011-2012 and returned to that position for the first semester of 2016. She was also appointed an ANU Public Policy Fellow in 2012.

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