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Grants and Funding

Women Leaders in Sport

Empowering women in sport & helping to create a culture which values gender equity

Individual grants

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is proud to support women who work across all roles in sport and supports those eager to develop their skills and knowledge.

The WLIS Individual grant program is designed to support women to access professional development opportunities, develop specialist skills and enhance existing skills in areas specific to their stage in the sport leadership journey.

Some of the courses undertaken to date have aligned with the below topics:

  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • Career coaching
  • Coaching and Officiating
  • Media and Communications
  • Workforce/ Human Relations
  • Finance
  • Integrity
  • Sport science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine (STEMM)

Important dates:

  • Applications closed 30 September 2022
  • Outcomes notified to all applicants
    Late November 2022
  • Successful grants payments processed
    Early December 2022


The program funding is tiered to ensure opportunities are extended across all levels of the sector from community volunteers through to senior executives/boards.

The Individual Grant program has 3 tiers based on an applicant’s years of experience in sport. The years of experience in sport are intended as a guide only. Applicants outside of the years of experience in sport will still be considered by the assessment panel, subject to a detailed response being provided as to why they are applying outside their tier.

A new governance stream is available in 2023 targeting women who have either recently joined a sport Board or who are aspiring board directors. It is a requirement for all applicants to have completed the free Director Education Course- The Start Line by the ASC at time of application. The course is broken down into 5 modules and takes 2 hours to complete.

In 2023, up to $200,000 (GST exclusive) will be allocated across the below 3 tiers and a governance stream.

Funding amount
Tier 1 More than 5 years leadership experience in sport with demonstrated management experience Up to $10,000
Tier 2 3 – 5 years’ leadership experience in sport Up to $8,000
Tier 3 Less than 3 years’ leadership experience in sport Up to $4,000
Governance streamFor those applicants who have recently joined a sports board or who are aspiring directorsUp to $6,000

Please note: Years of experience in sport relates to volunteer/paid roles held in sport, not years participation/playing sport.

The grant amount awarded will be determined as part of the assessment process.

Women Leaders in Sport Guidelines

Types of courses that would be considered for funding

The Individual Grants are designed to fund professional development opportunities that both develop specialist skills and/or enhance existing skills, in areas specific to an individual’s leadership journey.

We encourage all applicants to nominate courses or training programs that are appropriate and related to the stage of your career in sport and support your professional development goals.

Applicants who have previously undertaken a WLIS Leadership workshop are encouraged to apply for courses or training that relate to the goals developed from the workshop.

Please note: only one application per applicant will be accepted. If more than one application is submitted, the last submitted application will be assessed.

Individuals are welcome to nominate a course of their choice, however those looking for guidance can view a list of course examples below.

Additional information

Diversity of applicants

The ASC welcome applicants that reflect the diversity of the Australian community and encourage women from the following backgrounds to apply;

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse,
  • Those with a disability
  • Those who live in rural and regional locations

Eligibility criteria

  • Identify as a woman
  • Aged 18 years or over
  • An Australian citizen or has been granted permanent residence status
  • Option one: Currently or previously involved in a paid or volunteer capacity for a local, State, national sporting organisation or national sporting organisation for people with a disability (recognised by the ASC), the Australian Olympic Committee, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and have a letter of support from your manager/supervisor to continue to support your career development.
  • Option two: Currently involved in a paid position for the National Institute Network and have a letter of support from your manager/supervisor to continue to support your career development.
  • Option three: Work or volunteer as a sports journalist and obtain a letter of support from your manager/supervisor within your organisation or a letter of endorsement from a professional reference.
  • Course/ training must commence in 2023
  • Has not received a grant through the WLIS program within the last two years (Please note: this does not include attendance at a WLIS workshop)
  • Has no outstanding WLIS acquittal and/or reporting requirements to the ASC
  • Is not a current employee at the ASC
  • Supporting Organisation is not named by the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on its list of “Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme”.

Please note: Applicants must meet all the above eligibility requirements. The ASC may at its sole discretion, offer an applicant special consideration if an eligibility requirement set out in these guidelines cannot be met due to extenuating circumstances. Please contact if you have any questions about your eligibility.

For further information please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Letter of support

A letter of support must accompany the individual grant application (uploaded at time of application).

Please limit the supporting letter to one page.

Please note that you cannot be the endorser of your own application. If you do not have a manager, please seek an alternative endorser who works within the same organisation

For individuals who currently work or volunteer in sport OR are employed through agencies such as the Australian Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Australia or the National Institute Network:

The below information needs to be provided by your manager, or supervisor:

  1. Confirm the applicants’ position within the organisation
  2. Outline how the organisation will support the applicants’ career development following completion of the course/ training

For individuals who work in sport media:

The below information needs to be provided from supervisor/manager within your organisation or a letter of endorsement from a professional reference

  1. Confirm the applicant’s position with the organisation
  2. Outline how the organisation will support the applicant’s career development following completion of the course/ training


Successful grant recipients will be required to do the following:

  • Sign an agreement with the ASC and abide by the terms and conditions (Appendix 1)
  • Complete an acquittal report using the template provided by ASC including receipts within 30 days of completing the course/ training
  • Provide evidence/ certificate of accreditation or qualification within 30 days of completing the course/training (if applicable)

Eligible expenditure items

The funding must go towards the approved development course and cannot be used for more than one course. Course change requests must be submitted in writing and approved by the ASC.

Short/ standalone courses at universities or other institutions are eligible*

*An individual grant cannot be used by participants wanting to undertake education/ subject units that is part of a program leading to a degree where the provider has the option to defer fees to HECS-HELP loan and the participant is eligible.

The course fee must be paid up front with proof of payment provided during the acquittal process.

Ineligible expenditure items

Funding is not available for the following:

  • University degrees such as bachelor’s degree or subjects that qualify as a part of a university degree
  • Multiple courses. (One course per applicant)
  • Ongoing membership fees
  • Materials such as stationery, IT equipment or sporting equipment
  • One off conference
  • For professional development that the organisation should reasonably fund as part of business as usual
  • Competition fees
  • Software licences
  • Past courses or training
  • International travel (unless pre-approved)
  • Travel costs (unless pre-approved)
  • Accommodation (unless pre-approved)
  • Food and beverages

Please note that additional travel and accommodation support will be considered for those living in rural or remote areas and the estimated costs will need to be provided in the application form.

Terms and Conditions

  1. If the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) decides to issue a grant (Grant) to the applicant under the Women Leaders in Sport Program (Program), the Grant will be made subject to these terms and conditions.
  2. These terms and conditions, together with the notification from the ASC providing details of the Grant award (Successful Notification), will constitute an enforceable agreement between the ASC and the successful applicant (Recipient) upon the Recipient accepting the Grant offer, as required by the Successful Notification.
  3. The ASC will make a single payment of the Grant amount to the Recipient subject to sufficient funding being available to the Program and the Recipient complying with this Agreement.
  4. The Recipient must:
    1. Complete the project activity as detailed in their Successful Notification (Activity);
    2. Promptly notify the ASC of anything reasonably likely to affect the completion of the Activity;
    3. Not do anything to bring the Recipient, the Program or the ASC into disrepute;
    4. Only use the Grant for the purpose of undertaking the Activity;
    5. Keep records detailing the use and expenditure of the Grant, and make them available to the ASC or its authorised representatives, on request;
    6. Provide to the ASC within 30 days of completion of the Activity: (i) a statement and accompanying evidence in the form required by the ASC, verifying that the Activity has been successfully completed and the Grant has been spent in accordance with this Agreement; and (ii) a report on the Activity, in the form required by the ASC; failure to do so may lead to the ASC taking action to recuperate grant funding
    7. If the Activity includes undertaking a course which awards the Recipient accreditation or qualification, provide to the ASC documentary evidence (including proof of completion) of the accreditation or qualification within 30 days of award; and
    8. Promptly repay to the ASC, any amount of the Grant which has not been used on approved expenditure of the Activity.
  5. The Recipient declares and warrants, at the date of agreeing to these terms and conditions, that she has not at any time been found to have breached any anti-doping rule or policy applicable to the Recipient, and has not engaged at any time in any conduct that constituted a breach of any anti-doping rule or policy applicable to the Recipient.
  6. Without limitation to any other rights of the ASC, if the ASC reasonably believes, at any time following the award of the Grant, that:
    1. The Recipient has provided false or misleading information in the application process;
    2. The Grant has been spent other than in accordance with this Agreement; or
    3. The Recipient will not complete the Activity or has otherwise breached any of their obligations under this Agreement,
  7. then the ASC may by written notice, terminate this agreement and/or require the Recipient to repay to the ASC, at the ASC’s absolute discretion, all or part of the Grant. The amount notified must be repaid within 30 days of any such notice.

  8. When dealing with Personal Information (as defined in the Privacy Act 1988) in carrying out the Activity, the Recipient agrees not to do anything which, if done by the ASC, would be a breach of the Privacy Act 1988.
  9. The personal details of Recipients (including name, home state, sport, the value of the Grant awarded, a brief description of the purpose for the Grant, and any photo or video footage of them produced in connection with the Program) may be released by the ASC to the public and the media for the use of promotional and educational purposes.
  10. The Recipient must, if requested by the ASC, cooperate with ASC activities for the purpose of education and/or review of the Program’s impact and success for future recipients.
  11. The Recipient is responsible for obtaining all appropriate insurances with respect to undertaking the Activity and complying with these terms and conditions.
  12. The Recipient agrees to indemnify the ASC and its officers, employees and contractors against any claim, loss or damage arising in connection with undertaking the Activity, or a breach of this Agreement. This obligation to indemnify the ASC will reduce proportionally to the extent that any act or omission involving fault on the part of the ASC, contributed to the claim loss or damage.
  13. This Agreement does not create a relationship of employment, or agency between the Recipient and the ASC.
  14. This agreement is governed by the law of the Australian Capital Territory.
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