2019 Conference Speakers & Panellists:


Aaron Dragwidge

Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, Cricket Australia

Presentation Title: Change makers, how can sports embed disability sport at the top level all the way down to a grassroots community level.

Aaron Dragwidge is the Disability Engagement Specialist with Cricket Australia. 

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Aaron has been one of the driving forces behind Cricket Australia’s Sport For All initiative and, in particular, their rapidly growing disability inclusion programs.

He is transforming Cricket’s approach to the inclusion of people with disability and has a passion for inclusion and human rights.

Alison Oliver

Chief Executive Officer,Youth Sport Trust

Presentation Title: Making physical education fit for purpose – It is important to understand young people’s behaviours and activation points. The Youth Sport Trust has evolved over the past 20 years to continue to meet these changing behaviours and needs, what can be learnt from school and out of school programs in the UK for Australia?

Ali is the Chief Executive at the Youth Sport Trust, an independent charity devoted to changing young people’s lives through sport.

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Ali joined the Youth Sport Trust in 2004 and has fulfilled the roles of Implementation Director, Sport Director and Managing Director before becoming the CEO in July 2015. Prior to this Ali was the Deputy Director of Sport at the University of Bath having initially been the course leader for the initial teacher training programme for Physical Education. Before this Ali was Head of PE at Millfield School, having started her career as teacher in Essex.

During her career Ali has worked with and on behalf of a range of other organisations. She supported the British Olympic Foundation’s education programme back in 2004 and delivered the Paralympic Inspiration Programme on behalf of the British Paralympic Association in London 2012.

Ali led LOCOG’s Youth Panel, and is a member of the selection panel for the Young Sports Personality of the Year. She is currently a Board member of the Healthy Learning Trust, a Trustee of Chance to Shine, and an advisor to Sheffield Hallam University on their Sport strategy.

Ali has also worked on a number of international assignments including a project with Sport & Recreation South Africa which was part of the International Inspiration Programme.

April Wilson

Inclusion & Programs Manager, Gymnastics Victoria

Presentation Title: Supporting people with a disability to have meaningful employment opportunities is good for workplace culture, which is good for business!

April Wilson is the Inclusion & Programs Manager at Gymnastics Victoria.

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Through her previous role with YMCA Victoria, April discovered a passion for inclusive sport participation, community engagement and disability advocacy, and endeavours to champion these areas in her role at Gymnastics Victoria.

In her personal life, April volunteers with St Vincent De Paul in the Soup Van program and currently sits on the state committee of Special Olympics Victoria.

Clare Hanlon

Susan Alberti Women in Sport Chair, Victoria University

Presentation Title: What are the needs of women with a disability who want to work in the sport and recreation sector?

Clare is known for her pursuit of evidence, advocacy, and impact to community capacity building that breaks down barriers and increases opportunities for women as leaders and participants in sport and physical activity. 

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Sought to provide research and advice to international, national and state peak bodies including: co-leading the national policy framework for women in sport; creating a high level women in sport strategy for Sport Australia; a member on the Victorian Ministerial Inquiry for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation; and an advisor for three State/Territory Governments on infrastructure, systems, and programs to encourage women and girls in sport.

Clare led the evaluation of local government policies and co-initiated projects in South East Asian Regions to build capacity of sport organisations to empower women.

In recognition of creating change, Clare was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll (2018), recognised as a Change our Game role model by the Victorian Minister for Sport (2016) and a chapter was dedicated to her in the book Oceania inspirational women: Making a difference in physical education, sport and dance.

A Director of Gymnastics Australia and of the Oceania Gymnastics Union, Clare is also a member on the VicHealth Physical Activity Taskforce.

Leanne Cacoyiannis

Leisure Programs Coordinator, Hume City Council

Presentation Title: What is required to develop a sustainable and scalable Disability Sport Hub model that will retain regular participation in sport programs amongst all people with a disability?

Richard Amon

Chief Executive Officer, Disability Sport & Recreation

Presentation Title: How can we break down the barriers of the ‘protecting our turf mentality’ how can we stop duplication of programs and create a collective voice?

Richard commenced tertiary education in science, but moved to Phys. Ed. and exercise physiology, graduating from Victoria University in 1989 followed by further sports and business qualifications in 1994 and 2001 respectively.

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Now the CEO of Disability Sport and Recreation (or DSR) since 2015, Richard has built a successful career across Local Government, University Sport, sport and recreation management, consulting and is also an experienced Director of Vicsport.

DSR has a proud history of providing and promoting positive health outcomes for people with a disability, through participation in sport and recreation for over 55 years and delivers a number of key sector events and programs.

Vicky Lee

Founder and Director, Slamin Tennis and Fitness

Presentation Title: Programming for inclusion

Vicky has been in the tennis industry for over 30 years starting as a young player and then on to becoming a Tennis Australia – Master Professional Coach. 

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She strives to break down barriers to participation to the sport – which includes logistical access and language barriers and to programs that address the minority groups within the community.

Vicky is currently the Director and Founder of Slamin Tennis & Fitness, as well as a Tennis Victoria Regional State Coach.