Monday, 7 March 2005
: Women are playing an increasingly important role in the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry, Racing Victoria Limited Chief Executive Officer Robert Nason said today.
In recognition of the role of women jockeys, Mr Nason announced that apprentice Michelle Payne has finalised a six-month audit of facilities for female jockeys on 34 metropolitan and country Victorian racecourses.
RVL is committed to ensuring that racing’s female athletes have access to facilitiescommensurate with their male counterparts. RVL will shortly commence an upgrade of facilities for female jockeys in conjunction with country clubs and participants.
In addition, RVL will review catering requirements at all racecourses, in consultation with the Victorian Institute of Sport, to provide a suitable nutritional food/drink package for jockeys on race day.
RVL will be seeking funding from the Victorian Government’s Racing Community Development Fund to support the upgrade of facilities for female jockeys
.“The audit of female jockey’s facilities has provided racing with a tremendous opportunity to improve the quality of facilities throughout Victoria for women jockeys,” Ms Payne said.International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day, which is being marked on Tuesday, provides an opportunity for the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry to acknowledge women in racing.
Mr Nason said women are a major force in advancing racing in the 21 st century.
“Women are now at the forefront of the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry as participants, administrators, breeders and stewards,” Mr Nason said.
“It is fitting that we acknowledge the achievements of women in the thoroughbred racing industry as part of International Women’s Day.
“Let’s not forget it was only in the early 1980s when women were allowed to become full members of race clubs and the demarcation ‘white’ lines, which denied women from accessing certain areas of the racecourse, were removed from Victorian tracks.”
Key recent achievements by women in the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry include:
Andrea Leek becoming the first woman to ride a winner of the Grand National Hurdle when she won aboard Team Heritage last year. Leek was subsequently named the Wakeful Club Lady of Racing for 2004
. Trainer Sheila Laxon’s Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double with Ethereal (NZ) in 2001.
Jockey Clare Lindop became the first Australian woman to ride in a Melbourne Cup when she rode Debben in 2003.
Racing Victoria Limited’s Heidi Keighran became the first full-time female steward in Australia to chair a race meeting when she chaired a meeting at Healesville earlier this season. RVL also recently appointed Heidi Lester to the role of Cadet Steward.
Margaret McCormack has recently been appointed an Investigator by RVL’s Integrity Services department.
. The following women are current Board Members/Directors of RVL (Sue Carter,Merran Kelsall); Country Racing Victoria (Joanne Dwyer); Melbourne Racing Club (Mary Burney); Moonee Valley Racing Club (Emma Boling, Kerry Gillespie); Victoria Racing Club (Katherine Bourke, Amanda Elliott).
* Three women (Peta Credlin, Susan Harrison, Julie Piper) are members of the RVL Executive Team.
Six of the 10 apprentice jockeys in the latest intake at the RVL Education and Training Centre are female.
In addition, the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry has taken significant measures to improve the participation of women in the workplace.
Anti-discrimination, anti-sexual harassment and anti-workplace bullying training has been conducted across the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry; carers’ and parental leave provisions have been introduced, as well as an equal opportunity recruitment policy.
Each year, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency presents business achievement awards to organisations that have excelled in improving the participation of women in the workforce.
Last year RVL was nominated for a new business achievement award in the category of promoting equal opportunity in non-traditional female industries.
The nomination highlights that the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry is being recognised for promoting equal opportunity in the workplace.Racing Victoria