Pride Cup began as a powerful gesture of mateship in a country footy club and has grown into a national movement for change that unites communities.
When Jason Ball publicly came out as gay in 2012, his teammates from the Yarra Glen Football Netball Club wanted to show him they had his back.
The team came up with the idea to stage a Pride Cup, with players wearing rainbow jumpers, and 50 metre lines painted in rainbow colours.
It was an event that galvanised the entire community and became the inspiration for the now annual AFL Pride Game, first played between St Kilda FC and Sydney Swans in 2016.
Since hitting the national stage, communities across Australia have joined the movement, with Pride Cups being expanded into other sporting codes nationally.
James is the co-founder of Pride Cup Australia and was previously the founder/CEO of Proud 2 Play. In 2017 James was named Australian Community Leader of the Year by the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders.
OFA 30 under 30 winner
Kara has an extensive background in corporate management of people and projects, and has recently completed her Honours Degree in Health Science (Psychology). As the mother of a young trans child with a keen interest in sport, Kara understands the impacts that social inclusion has on the health and wellbeing of individuals and society.
President (Chair of the board)
Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Holly is widely recognized as one of the world’s top female keynote speakers. She has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, interviewed Barack Obama on stage, was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch in 2017 and was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence in 2019. Founder of Space, a new type of unconference in Byron last year and currently studying her Masters of public policy at Harvard, Holly is Chair of Pride Cup Australia, an organisation that works with all levels of sport to increase positive LGBTI visibility and engagement.
Karen brings to the Board experience from a range of sectors including Sport, Start-ups and social change. As the Head of Respect and Inclusion at New Zealand Rugby, Karen led a comprehensive culture change program across grass roots and high performance teams. As Australian National Director of Change.org she scaled the platform in Australia to nearly 5 millions users in four and half years there. She also has a background in social change and community engagement programs, including working with unions and environmental groups. Throughout her career she has been a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity.
Nick Moraitis is CEO at the Foundation for Young Australians, Australia’s leading organisation backing young people to transform the future. Over the years, Nick has worked in New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and Melbourne on issues ranging from the digital divide and human rights to climate change and education – a non-profit leader, CEO of leading non-profit consultancy firm, board member, mentor or volunteer. Prior to joining FYA, Nick spent eight years as Executive Director of Australian Progress, the leading capacity-builder for civil society organisations. He has previously served on numerous boards ranging from the Centre for Policy Development to the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
In 2012 Jason spearheaded a national campaign to tackle homophobia in sport, culminating in the founding of Pride Cup Australia. Jason is an ambassador for beyondblue and in 2017 was named Young Australian of the Year for Victoria.
Rochelle co-founded Chimaera Capital in 1996 – delivering services that underpin a diverse range of investment activities (including investment management, custody and deal structuring) across Australia, Africa and Asia. She has been an Executive and Non-Executive Director on publicly listed companies.
Rochelle is deeply honoured to have been included in the Deloitte Outstanding 50 LGBTI+ Leaders of 2020 and is an experienced National and Global Keynote Speaker and panellist. As a speaker, her presentations focus on sharing knowledge of the transgender experience and the joy that comes from authentic living.
Simon Ruth is CEO of Thorne Harbour Health. He has over 25 years of experience working in health and human services in both the charitable and health sectors. Simon is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has previously sat on the Boards of peak bodies, charities and statutory authorities. Formerly the Victorian AIDS Council, Thorne Harbour Health is Australia’s oldest HIV/AIDS organisation and provides a range of HIV and LGBTI health services across Victoria and South Australia.
Lucy Thomas OAM is the CEO and cofounder of PROJECT ROCKIT, Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice. As a grass roots change-maker, Lucy has personally worked with hundreds of thousands of young people all over the world, from Wangaratta to Texas, Wollongong to Auckland, Atherton to Perth. As a proud member of the LGBTIQA+ community, Lucy has dedicated her whole life to creating spaces where kindness and respect thrive and leapt at the chance to support Pride Cup and our beautiful rainbow community.
Co-Chief Executive Professional Footballers Australia, the exclusive representative body and collective bargaining agent of Australia’s elite professional footballers, including A-League, W-League, Socceroos and Matildas players. Instrumental in securing the historic “Gender Equality, National Team Agreement” and “W-League Collective Bargaining Agreement”, which have resulted in a significantly enhanced career path for the country’s elite female football players.
Professor Braden Hill is a Nyungar (Wardandi) man from the south-west of Western Australia and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous) and Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research. He is also a proud member of Western Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community. He has significant experience in Aboriginal education, as well as leading a range of equity initiatives including Athena SWAN, Respect Now Always, Reconciliation Action Plan and Disabilities and Access Inclusion Plan and LGBTIQ+ inclusion within the university sector. Professor Hill’s research interests include Indigenous education, identity politics, queer identities in education and transformative learning.
Pride Cup thanks our national sponsors without whose generous support none of our important work would be possible.
MIM AND MIKE BARTLETT