25 August 2023
Matthew Mitcham OAM, says having an inclusive training environment changed his life and set him on the path to diving gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Today on Wear it Purple Day, the AIS Thrive with Pride Ambassador delivered a LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Presentation to ASC staff.
The annual date of significance promotes the expression of support and acceptance towards the LGBTIQA+ community.
This year’s theme ‘write your story’ is a sentiment which resonates with Mitcham who says stories are powerful agents for change.
“I went from being a retired athlete to an Olympic Champion in the space of fifteen months, just because I was in an environment where I felt accepted for who I was.”
“That is the powerful thing for me, that is what I wish for everybody, not just in sport, but in whatever field anybody works in, lives in, plays in, that they can have that environment where they’re accepted for who they are. And I use my story as a vehicle to do that.”
Mitcham’s work and advocacy in the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) space sees him educate across sports and facilitate multiple programs including AIS Thrive with Pride and Respectful Behaviours.
Recently Mitcham has been involved in drafting a DEI action plan for Diving Australia and is looking at how he can drive and support Pride House initiatives at the Paris 2024 Games.
“There is a difference between passive allyship or simply knowing what is right, and actually doing something about it. An active ally aims to improve the lives of others.”
“What I would love to see this Wear it Purple Day is people utilising their sphere of influence to help make a difference within their environment, or their sport, or their workplace and to take action.”
Visit our website to learn more about the AIS Thrive with Pride program and its ambassadors.