Unlocking Careers In Sport

Our virtual event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students to explore the wide variety of careers available in the sports industry was held on Thursday, 2 December 2021.

Acknowledgement of Country

With respect for Aboriginal cultural protocol and out of recognition that its campuses occupy their traditional lands, Western Sydney University acknowledges the Darug, Eora, Dharawal (also referred to as Tharawal) and Wiradjuri peoples and thanks them for their support of its work in their lands (Greater Western Sydney and beyond).

Do you love sport and would you like to work in the sport industry?  Not sure what jobs you can do or how to start?  This free online event, where Western Sydney University staff, students and industry professionals explored all the different paths to a career in sports! Find out about the wide range of health and sport psychology professionals that keep the athletes match fit, the law and business teams that keep everything running, and the sport analytics and science specialists that work with the athletes and sporting organisations behind the scenes.

We are pleased to be working in collaboration with NRL School to Work. 

Panel Yarn Up Members

The below guest speakers attended this event to have a yarn with you about their work in sports.

Chris has worked in the sports industry as a National Events Manager for the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series and the Rio 2016 Olympic Welcome Home Parade. And more recently the delivery of the 2018 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship in Sydney. In his role as General Manager of Wheelchair Rugby Australia he negotiated the largest disability sports broadcast deal in Australia’s history with Foxtel and Kayo. 

After retiring from Rugby Union in 2018, Chris has taken on various coaching roles and is currently the 2021 Assistant Coach of the Australian Women's 7s development program, where he is responsible for the transition of athletes up and down the pipeline into the Australian Women's 7s program.

Dean Widders is an Anaiwan Indigenous Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played for Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels and South Sydney Rabbitohs during his nine season NRL career in the 2000s and 2010s. He currently works with the National Rugby League as an Indigenous Pathways manager.

A skillful forward as a player, Widders has always been passionate about rugby league and the difference it can make in the community particularly for people from remote and rural areas and Indigenous Australians. He has been a great advocate for women playing the game and coached the Indigenous Women's All Stars in their win over the Jillaroos in 2017. He delivers workshops to youth on leadership, decision making and goal setting and is involved in numerous programs in schools. 

Dylan played professional AFL for 10 years at both the Western Bulldogs and GWS Giants. Since retiring from professional sport in 2015, Dylan has been working as a Welfare and Player Development Manager for GWS Giants.

The Welfare Program prioritises the welfare of the players and aims to be the most comprehensive welfare program in the AFL judged on retention of players. Welfare encourages the health, happiness, prosperity and wellbeing of the players whilst operating in a high performance culture. The Player Welfare Manager is responsible for delivery of the Welfare Program in a manner that is in accordance with the core philosophies of the Welfare Program and club purpose and values. The Welfare Program is supported by the Wellbeing Management Plan and underpins the Development Program for 1-3 Year Players and the Culture and Leadership Program.

Martin holds a Master of International Sport Management (Southern Cross University) as the Western Sydney Academy of Sport's founding CEO, Martin brings extensive management and sports administration experience to the role, having been previously employed as the CEO of NRL Clubs Wests Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies.

Previous roles also included General Manager of the Western Sydney Economic Development Board, and Regional Manager for the Waterways Authority. Martin has played at a competitive level, coached and administered a wide range of sports, including rugby league, cricket, basketball and touch football.

Grace has been passionate about sports and health from a young age and decided to undertake a degree that combines both. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Health Science (Sport and Exercise Science) at Western, Grace intends to undertake a Master of Physiotherapy and specialise in sports injuries. In June 2021, Grace represented Western Sydney University at the Indigenous Nationals competing in Netball, Touch Football, Volleyball and Basketball.

Tallisha Harden is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman, who grew up in Logan City. A professional rugby league footballer, she plays for the Brisbane Broncos and Indigenous All Stars.  She has represented Australia in Indoor Volleyball,
Rugby League, Rugby 7s and Rugby 9s.

After taking time off to overcome a serious injury, Tallisha has recently
been named as a member of the inaugural top 40 elite female rugby league
players in Australia.

Not only is she successful with her sporting career she has also graduated her Speech Pathology degree at UQ, and works with IUIH as a speech pathologist, working closely with families and individual’s to improve communication.

About the event

At the Unlocking Careers in Sport online event students had the opportunity to:

  • Learn about our programs and related careers in sports from Western Sydney University Academic staff and Current Students
  • Hear from sports industry professionals and get an insight into what their job is like and the path they took to get there
  • Enter competitions to win prizes
  • Speak with current Western Sydney University students on how to take the next step towards your dream career

Receive a free Western Sports Pack for participating

All attendees receive a free Western Sydney University Sports Pack.

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