Melbourne, Australia, 14 September 2020 |

Tennis Queensland Vice President Paula Robinson will lead a new Gender Equality National Taskforce to improve access and opportunities for girls and women in tennis.

Robinson, a sports law specialist and chair of the Queensland Academy of Sport, will head up the new taskforce to examine current policies and practices that impact females seeking to play tennis or work in the sport.

“This is a great opportunity to contribute to the fantastic work Tennis Australia has undertaken towards promoting tennis as a gender-balanced sport,” Paula Robinson said.

“With our own Ash Barty, the world No.1 and an inspirational role model for so many, now more than ever it is important to empower women to access tennis as so many Australians have found it challenging to continue exercising throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As Chair, Robinson will lead a task force of experts across sport, academia and business to advise on the development of Tennis Australia’s Gender Equality Strategy and to accelerate opportunities and pathways for females in tennis.

“Whether it is playing tennis, coaching, officiating or being involved in the business of sport, we want to see more women and girls in our sport,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said.

“Paula is a highly credentialed lawyer with vast experience in sport and in tennis. She is perfectly placed to lead the Gender Equality National Taskforce and provide expertise on closing the gender gap in tennis.”

In addition to providing recommendations on Tennis Australia’s Gender Equality Strategy, the Gender Equality National Taskforce will:

  • Investigate and identify ingrained cultural inequities in formal polices and ingrained practices that impact women.
  • Provide timelines and goals to advance pay equity, investment in women’s tennis, leadership roles and broadcast exposure.
  • Assess strategies for empowering more female coaches, officials, administrators and positions of leadership.
  • Present recommendations for balanced opportunities for females to access tennis at all levels.
  • Examine how women can achieve greater representation and recognition in media and marketing.

Robinson will lead a team empowered to chart a course of actions over the next 12 months.

“Tennis has been doing really well in terms of equal participation and prize money, but we can always improve other aspects of the sport and it’s important to identify where there is a gender gap,” Robinson continued.

The Gender Equality National Taskforce will also advise on and provide recommendations to deliver strong outcomes connected to the $12 million Federal Government funding announced in January 2019, to expand Tennis Australia’s extensive women-in-sport initiatives over four years.

These include a commitment to grow the number of female coaches, provide girl-specific talent development programs, foster female participation in community leadership and mentoring programs, increase the numbers of girls playing tennis and those seeking careers within the sport.

“We want to remove as many barriers to female participation as possible,” said Tiley, who joined the Sport Male Champions of Change in 2015 and last year endorsed the group’s ‘Pathway to Pay Equality’ report which outlined a systemic approach to achieving equal pay for male and female sports stars.