Through Australia Awards Fellowship the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health is promoting inclusivity and diversity in sport in Fiji and Tonga.
During a two-week course in Melbourne, the institute brought together participants from Fijian and Tongan community-based organisations, sports commissions and government ministries to discuss how to strengthen inclusivity and diversity in sport, with a focus on sexual identity, gender and disability.
The involvement of representatives from key Australian sports organisations provided an Australian context to issues experienced by minority groups. Fellows learned about public health concerns such as drug and alcohol use, the spread of disease, gender-based violence and mental health issues. They then received training on how to address these issues through sport.
Since their return, the fellows are being supported by Burnett Institute staff as they begin to develop and implement initiatives designed to promote inclusivity and diversity and address marginalisation at both the community and national level.