I’m sure many of you have read plenty of news about the 2015 NRL Season Launch, followed by the awesome weekend that was the Dick Smith NRL 9s, but many of you may not be aware that on the same day, NZRL hosted a, Women in League workshop.
3 attendees from the Rugby League Northland community had the opportunity to attend this event – Sharon Bird, Juanita Hool and Toni Haldane.
Key note speakers were – Canterbury Bulldogs Chief Executive, Raelene Castle, Jennie Webster, newly appointed NSW Juniors Competitions Manager (prev. Operations Manager for Balmain Tigers and Yvonne Purtell, Operations Manager for Penrith Panthers Juniors.
Raelene spoke of her experiences to date with the Bulldogs, highlighting the challenges she has faced, not necessarily as a woman in a senior position as some would expect, but rather the challenges faced in such a diverse community. Her key message to us all, when looking to apply for a new position? ”Look at the things you CAN do and not what you CANNOT”.
In contrast, both Jennie and Yvonne cited examples where they have been extremely capable of delivering exceptional operational management, only to be held back through gender bias. Both intelligent and smart women, it was pleasing to hear that they are now recognised and valued members in Australian Junior Rugby League circles.
Jennie is now the Competitions Manager for all of New South Wales (having previously been the Operations Manager for the Balmain Tigers) and Yvonne is the Operations Manager for the Penrith Panthers Juniors. Both of these incredible women are now Directors on the New South Wales Junior Rugby League Board. Below is an interesting article about Jennie and Yvonne’s election to the Board.
And the icing on the cake? We were all invited to join the NRL Season Launch, a most excellent event!
NZRL have promised that there will be more such workshops coming up in the future, so watch this space. My advice, if you get an invitation? Jump at the chance to attend. It will be well worth it. The opportunity to meet your peers both nationally and from across the ditch, to gain an understanding of their challenges and their successes, is invaluable.