Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993
Parliamentary Record 21
Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 greatest sporting spectacles ever witnessed in this country. To give an indication of how popular that match was, apart from its being televised live around the country by ABC Sport, the film of the event was rescreened 4 times as a result of popular demand. It has been argued for many years that the control by men of state, national and international sporting organisations has led to women's participation in Commonwealth and Olympic Games being very low. It is interesting to note that, from the inception of the modern Olympics to the last Games before World War II, only 15 women were sent to represent Australia. Between 1948 and 1988, women made up only 19% of the Australian Olympic team. Ironically, they have been responsible for 42% of the medals. That leads me to a quote from one of our most successful female athletes of all time. Dawn Fraser: 'Women in this country have always been a lot more gutsy than the men ... I think the ability of Australian women to endure explains a lot about our Olympic success'. As I have mentioned, many areas are in need of a heightened awareness and improvement in regard to women in sports. This leads me to the finer details of the recently completed draft policy on women in sport and recreation in the Northern Territory. I should begin by saying that one of the Department of Sport and Recreation's strategic goals is to encourage the people of the Northern Territory to seek a healthy lifestyle and to participate in the development of a social infrastructure which will meet all the needs of all groups in our diverse society. It is within the policy of the department to facilitate equality of opportunity for all groups with their special needs. This allows for flexibility to respond to the specific social, geographical and historical considerations that influence the style and extent of service delivery in the Northern Territory. Within the framework of this goal, the needs of women and girls in sport and recreation have been identified as an area that requires special attention and consideration. This is due to the fact that the needs of women and girls have not always been addressed in the past. Historically, the focus has been placed on male-oriented sporting and recreational activities. I should add at this point that women make up 47-9% of the Northern Territory population, with 75% of the female population being under the age of 40. However, the fact remains that surveys indicate that participation in sport by women is lower than that by males. With the department's policy aim of facilitating equality of opportunity for all groups, sporting and recreational activities should be accessible to the whole population. To achieve this goal, special measures should be put in place to ensure that women and girls gain equal access to, and opportunities to participate in, sport and recreation. Women and girls are contributing to the success of sport in the Northern Territory and on the national and international stage. Their contribution and efforts are to be applauded. They are role models for other women and girls, and should receive the recognition and exposure that is appropriate. It is with these facts in mind that this draft policy document has been formulated to ensure that proper recognition is given to and emphasis placed on women and girls in sport and recreation. Many women fulfil multiple roles - in the family, as home organiser and in paid employment - which may leave them little free time in which to become involved in sport and recreation. I would not wish to be accused of being sexist, and I acknowledge that some men take their part in fulfilling these roles also and may find their time constrained similarly. However, it must be stated that, in Australian society in the past, there has been insufficient encouragement for girls and women to be involved in sport and recreation at all levels. 10 169
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