Sport is at the heart of Australian culture, but participation levels within the LGBTIQ+ community are extremely low. Pride Cup is challenging homophobia and transphobia within sporting clubs — making them more welcoming for LGBTIQ+ fans, players and officials.

Click here to read our Theory of Change.

By connecting with community clubs of all codes to help them run their own Pride Cup matches and attend our education sessions, we are empowering them to become leaders for inclusivity and diversity in their communities.

Pride Cup has grown exponentially since the first game out in Yarra Glen – with over 515 clubs involved in a Pride Cup event across a wide array of sporting codes – from footy, to hockey, roller derby to lawn bowls, netball, water polo and beyond.

Pride Cup events are joyous, celebratory statements of love and acceptance for LGBTIQ+ players, spectators and members of the local community that have an immediate and direct impact.

The impact Pride Cup has is significant – reducing homophobic language in sporting clubs by up to 40% when a Pride Cup event and education session is held. These impacts ripple out into the wider community, making entire communities safer and more inclusive for it’s LGBTIQ+ members.

But a lot of work still has to be done to make sport safe and inclusive for everyone – only 51% of participants interviewed strongly disagreed that homosexuality is wrong or unnatural.

Join a movement for change that transcends sport, host your own Pride Cup or donate today.

Our Partners

Gold Partners

Sporting Partners

 

Our History

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.

Our Team

Hayley Conway (She/Her)

CEO

Hayley Conway is the CEO of Pride Cup, bringing over 15 years of experience working for LGBTQI equality in Australia and overseas.

Prior to joining Pride Cup, Hayley held a range of roles across the for-purpose and private sectors specialising in communications and political campaigns. She holds a Masters with Distinction from RMIT, is a 2022 Leadership Victoria Williamson Fellow, and volunteer firefighter with the Victorian Country Fire Authority.

Caitlin Bunker (She/Her)

Engagement Director

Caitlin Bunker is an accomplished marketing, fundraising and campaigns professional, with a passion for designing creative campaigns that lead to social change.
Caitlin has spent the last five years in the international aid sector executing multiple fundraising, advocacy, brand awareness, and digital marketing campaigns, complemented by her adept stakeholder management skills.

Beyond the professional realm, Caitlin is the current VFLW Co-Captain at the Darebin Falcons, having previously captained the Collingwood Football Club, to three minor premierships and a premiership in 2019 as Vice Captain. As a proud LBGTQIA+ community member, Caitlin aims to foster inclusive and supportive environments in both her sporting and professional teams, encouraging individuals to bring their authentic selves to every endeavor.

Leah Barnes (She/Her)

Partnerships Manager

Leah Barnes is an experienced partnerships manager with over 10 years of experience in developing and executing successful partnerships. With a background in business development, marketing and account management, Leah has a track record of building strong relationships with key stakeholders and driving growth through strategic partnerships. As a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community Leah is dedicated to promoting equity and inclusion for marginalised communities through advocacy education and empowerment. Leah’s most previous role working with Sydney WorldPride as their Partnerships manager has helped her to develop a unique skill set and perspective when it comes to working with corporate businesses to advance social progress and equality for LGBTQIA+ individuals within their organisations and beyond.

Our Board

Holly Ransom (She/Her)

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 Skinner (She/Her)

Vice-President

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.

Jason Ball (He/Him)

Board Member

Since coming out in the national media in 2012, Jason has become a figurehead on combating homophobia in sport and highlighting the damaging impact of homophobia on the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ community. This leadership has seen Jason take up ambassadorial roles at Beyond Blue, the Safe Schools Coalition, the Victorian Pride Centre, the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, Midsumma Festival and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. Jason’s advocacy was the driving force behind the AFL’s first ever Pride Game played between St Kilda in Sydney in 2016, and in 2018 he co-founded Pride Cup Australia alongside James Lolicato. In 2017 Jason was awarded Young Australian of the Year for Victoria.

Rochelle Pattison (She/Her)

Board Member

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.

Kathryn Gill (She/Her)

Board Member

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.

Claire Tenzer (She/Her)

Board Member

Claire has worked in the advertising industry for over 18 years working on some of both England and Australia’s most iconic brands telling their stories and returning significant commercial impact. Currently a Client Partner at TBWA\Melbourne, Claire is fiercely passionate and dedicated to the sheer strength of imagination, original ideas and their power to solve big business problems including work in the areas of LGBTIQ+ and women’s financial equality. A strong believer that creativity can move outdated notions, stereotypes and behaviours forward, Claire is thrilled to be a board member of Pride Cup and continue to tell their indomitable story of inclusion, mateship and belonging.

Angus Lade (He/Him)

Board Member

Angus is an experience people and culture leader with deep expertise designing corporate diversity and inclusion both in consulting and internal portfolio capacities. Currently aCulture and People Experience Leader at Commonwealth Bank, Angus adopts data and evidence informed approach to culture and behaviour change with a strong background in corporate policy and program design, strategy review and design, and inclusive leadership development. Angus has always been a vocal advocate for LGBTQI+ inclusion in workplaces and brings this vigour to Pride Cup with a particular focus on building cross-sector partnership and collaboration to amplify and scale impact.

Cameron Brown (He/Him)

Board Member

Cameron has worked in numerous start-up and accelerated growth charities over the last 7 years. He made the career change to NFP in 2015 and is a firm believer that purpose driven organisations are the future. He was honoured to be the Business Development and Partnership Manager of the 2020 Australian Social Enterprise of the Year, awarded by Social Traders. In 2020 he was also selected in a group of nine influential LGBTQIA+ leaders and advocates to be a part of the ‘Disruptive Rainbow’ as a part of Pride Month. Cameron also spent 2 years as the Your Town Ambassador for LGBTIQA+ and young men’s mental health where he spoke about issues including internalised homophobia and the mental health associated with it. During 2021 Cameron moved to NSW from VIC and has sat on advisory groups for numerous social enterprise and charity organisations specialising in partnership negotiations executing agreements with some of Australia’s largest ASX companies and international B Corps. Cameron is currently the Contracts and Procurement Manager for one of Australia’s largest LGBTIQA+ focused NFP organisations.’

Kelly Townson (She/Her)

Board Member

Kelly is the Group General Manager of the Crown Resorts Foundation and Community Partnerships Programs. With over 25 years of experience across tourism, hospitality, entertainment, higher education, training, and financial industries across some of the world’s leading brands, Kelly’s expertise covers strategic marketing, brand building, partnership development, stakeholder engagement, and advocating for the customer.

Kelly is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves as a non-executive director with the Perth Football Club, the Curtin University Business School Alumni, and as a member of the marketing and sponsorships sub-committee for the Western Australian Football Commission. She has previously sat on the Governing Council of South Metropolitan TAFE and the Bicycling WA board.

Kelly is passionate about building inclusive, diverse teams and environments where LGBTIQ+ individuals can participate, contribute, and belong.

Phil Doorgachurn (He/Him)

Board Member

Phil Doorgachurn is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of dedicated experience in safeguarding children. He has contributed his expertise to esteemed organizations, including the Olympic Games, British tennis, and Arsenal FC. Phil is recognized as a distinguished speaker, known for his ability to guide organizations towards safety and security through modern and innovative approaches. He holds an executive leadership role and is celebrated for inspiring individuals and driving positive social change. As the former CEO of YMCA Safeguarding and the current Deputy Chair of Families Australia, along with his advisory role to the Australian government, Phil continues to shape a safer and brighter future for all.

Natalie Truong (She/Her)

Board Member

As the Chief Marketing Officer at EY Oceania, Natalie is responsible for strategically delivering marketing capabilities across Australia, New Zealand, PNG, and Fiji. With a focus on driving demand generation, revenue growth, and client-centric partnerships, Natalie has made significant contributions to positioning the EY brand prominently across the region.

Natalie’s senior roles at leading organizations such as Mercer, ANZ Banking Group, Bank of Melbourne (Westpac), IOOF, and CPA Australia showcase her dedication to marketing and commercial excellence.

Natalie’s leadership extends beyond her professional roles; she is the Chair of The Marketing Society, Hong Kong. Holding an Executive MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce, Natalie brings a unique blend of strategic vision and operational prowess to our Board.

Braden Hill (He/Him)

Board Advisor

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.

Simon Ruth (He/Him)

Board Advisor

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.

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