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Pacific Women’s Leadership Program

Pacific Women’s Leadership Program

For smaller organisations and teams, strategic partnerships can allow larger programs and events to be developed and delivered successfully, pooling resources and expertise. The Pacific Women’s Leadership Program, which offered leadership and media training, plus insight sessions on women’s health, was run alongside the ICC T20 Women’s East Asia Pacific Qualifier event, and was the result of successful partnerships between the ICC, Cricket Australia, the PacificAus Sports Program, amongst others.

Target audience: Athletes, Sports Governing Bodies, Event Organisers


The ICC (International Cricket Council) T20 Women’s World Cup East Asia Pacific (EAP) Qualifier took place in Vanuatu from the 31st August to 8th September 2023. The ICC runs numerous World Cup Qualification Event every year, which provide an opportunity for every ICC Member to qualify for World Cups.

Run alongside the competition, the Pacific Women’s Leadership Program offered a series of practical events and workshops on leadership, women’s health and media skills. A key principle of this program was to add value to an existing event and leave a lasting legacy for the participants.

The program was open to all squads participating in the ICC EAP Qualifier, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa and Vanuatu, and over 100 athletes and support staff participated in the program.

In particular, partnerships developed between several organisations, businesses and individuals were critical to the successful development and implementation of this program. This includes Cricket Australia, the ICC, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the PacificAus Sports Program, and individuals such as former Australian cricketer and Fox Sports commentator Mel Jones.


The ICC has been working in partnership with Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket for many years. These partnerships include opportunities for cross-cultural learning (e.g., professional development conferences, secondments, coach and umpire upskilling, etc.), playing opportunities (e.g., tours to and from Australia and New Zealand including the Australian Indigenous Teams Tour of Vanuatu in 2023 and the upcoming Pacific Cup hosted by New Zealand in 2024), and more.

Cricket Australia is, as of 2023/4, in the second year of partnership with PacificAus Sports, a DFAT funded program that is making it possible for Pacific and Australian athletes to train and play together at the highest level.

The programme:

The Leadership Program focused on three core groups: athletes, commentators, and coaches. Participants were invited to participate in a selection of focussed sessions. These included:

  • Women’s health, including physiological development, the menstrual cycle, recovery and REDS (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport).
  • Women’s Leadership Program, covering aspects such as mental skills, teamwork,
  • Women’s media training, a masterclass led by Fox Sports commentator Mel Jones which included navigating media interviews, confidence in front of the camera and how to share stories.

Summary of observations/insights:

  • Add value to an event that is already running: with athletes and support staff already in venue, it’s a good opportunity to host an event where travel costs are already accounted for.
  • Leave a legacy: providing opportunities for skills development and learning will have an impact beyond the confines of the specific programme.
  • Many hands make light work: find like-minded individuals to support you and in turn support themselves.
  • Never underestimate the value of storytelling: if you don’t tell your story, then who will?
  • Partnerships are crucial for smaller teams, allowing them to achieve larger-scale and common goals through bringing in different perspectives, skillsets and resources.
  • A useful approach to cultivating successful partnerships is to find activities, projects or programmes that are beneficial to all, and allow each partner to achieve their strategic goals through the shared programme. For example, this project supported the following strategic goals:
  1. Cricket Australia - 'Support the growth of the game globally and inclusion in Brisbane 2032' (Australin Cricket 2022 – 27 Strategy -
  2. New Zealand Cricket – Develop strong engagement and cricketing opportunities with the Pasifika communities in and out of New Zealand (general conversation with New Zealand Cricket)
  3. PacificAus Sports - 'Championing our women and girls…With Pacific and Australian sports organisations working together, we will establish the Pacific as the global home of women’s sporting excellence, on and off the field (

Associated organisations:

PacAus Sport Women's Leadership Program Event Report

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