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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 85


Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (10:09): Yesterday in the chamber I spoke about the importance of having facilities in Dunkley that match the calibre of our local sports men and women. Today I want to tell you about one of the people who are driving our local sporting success. Earlier this month, over a coffee, I caught up with Kirsty Pasto, who is a leader of engagement and governance with Equestrian Australia. Kirsty has received a federal government grant of $3,000 to go towards a resilient leadership course at Melbourne Business School through the 2018 Women Leaders in Sport program. It was great to meet Kirsty and to learn about competitive and recreational equestrian, a sport you don't hear about as frequently as football and netball but still one with its own governing bodies, its own competitions, its own sponsor programs and its own identity. The resilient leadership course will deliver outcomes and skills that will support and assist Kirsty to further her leadership and the resources of Equestrian Australia to continue to train and mentor many people.

Kirsty works with Equestrian Australia to help monitor and regulate equestrian and liaises with various organisations across the country to ensure consistency and access. I was incredibly impressed with not only Kirsty's engagement and knowledgeable representation of the challenges and opportunities facing equestrian at the moment but also the depth and complexity particularly of competitive equestrian. The level of access for disabled riders is noteworthy, and I learned that equestrian is the only sport where men and women can compete on an even playing field, if you will pardon the pun. Many of us will have seen equestrian and dressage in the Olympics or the Paralympics, and there is a huge international competition later this year. The World Equestrian Games in North Carolina in September will help to go towards selection for the Olympics team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. But competing internationally has its challenges as well. The financial and emotional cost of transporting the horses can be overwhelming for both riders and horses respectively.

Kirsty's goal is that her participation in the resilient leadership course funded under the federal government will help her and Equestrian Australia to continue to mentor many rising stars of the sport and will help Kirsty herself with development opportunities to reach her leadership potential within the equestrian code. I'm grateful to the Minister for Sport, Senator Bridget McKenzie, and the Minister for Women, Kelly O'Dwyer, for their support and work to help Kirsty with this opportunity. I look forward to hearing about her success.