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WEEK 9: Oliver Dudfield

This week we welcomed Oliver Dudfield, Head of Sport for Development & Peace, Commonwealth Secretariat

08.30 – 09.15 am NZT, Friday 5 June 2020 (21.30 pm GMT, Thursday 4 June 2020)

The Commonwealth Secretariat, the main intergovernmental agency and central institution of the Commonwealth of Nations, is uniquely placed to observe the impact of COVID-19: both generally on the economies and societies of its 54 member nations, but also on sport and in particular, women’s sport. Beaming in live from London, this week we caught up with Oliver Dudfield, Head of Sport for Development & Peace. He explained what the Secretariat is seeing around the world, how its strategy is evolving in the face of the pandemic and how it plans to work with member nations to recover and rebuild sporting systems. Ollie talked about the opportunity presented for world sport to become more inclusive; and gave a viewpoint on women’s sport recovery in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Oliver Dudfield leads the Commonwealth Secretariat’s work supporting member countries to maximize and protect the contribution sport can make to sustainable economic, social and environmental development. He has spearheaded the intergovernmental organisation’s globally recognised initiatives on sport and the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes overseeing the Secretariat’s role coordinating international efforts to measure and quantify the contribution of sport to this global agenda. Over his career Oliver has advised multiple United Nations and intergovernmental agencies, national governments, sporting bodies and civil society organisations on policy design, strategy and partnership projects. He was previously the Chair of the Steering Board for the International Platform on Sport and Development, represents the Commonwealth on the Permanent Consultative Council of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Physical Education and Sport and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights and Advisory Board for the International Safeguards for Children in Sport.  He is the author of multiple publications on enhancing the contribution of sport to human and social development. Before taking up his current role, Oliver was the General Manager at Vicsport, the peak body for sport and active recreation in Victoria, Australia. He started his career as a basketball coach and coach educator, working in the national systems in Australia and New Zealand.


This week’s moderator: journalist and commentator, Zoë George!

For week nine, we are excited to announce the return of our new guest moderator!

Zoë George is a versatile senior journalist with Stuff, currently contributing to the sports and business sections. Before making the move to print in 2020, Zoë spent seven years with Radio NZ, working in music and on major shows producing some of the biggest names in public broadcasting. She also produced and presented the Fair Play podcast, made in association with LockerRoom, and Radio NZ, covering issues related to women in sport. She was a finalist for long form sports journalist of the year in 2018 for her coverage of issues ranging from pay equality to sexual violence prevention through and in sport. Zoë co-hosted RNZ’s Not Your Average Cricket Show for two seasons and is a regular sports commentator on RNZ Nights with Bryan Crump. She also has a background in international sports administration, travelling the world with international men’s and women’s cricket teams as a team and communications manager. She has a keen interest in sports academia too, with a focus on sport and its sociological impacts, addressing issues from funding and media coverage to access for LGBTQI+ communities and those with disabilities. Her work can be found across, Radio NZ, LockerRoom and The Spinoff.

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