The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship (VASC), Women of Australian Motor Sport (WAMS) and Women in Motor Sport New Zealand (WiMNZ) organisations have joined forces to launch a new officials exchange program to strengthen ties across the Tasman when it comes to female participation in motor sport.
Called the VASC Trans-Tasman Female Officials Exchange, the program is an extension of the highly successful WAMS Officials Exchange program, which is now in its fourth year of sending female officials to work between signature Australian motor sport events and the Singapore Grand Prix.
Capitalising on the strong relationship between Australian and New Zealand motor sport communities, the inaugural VASC Trans-Tasman Female Officials Exchange Program will recognise the valued contribution made by many women in motor sport officiating.
The program will provide the opportunity for a New Zealand official to participate in the 2016 Castrol Gold Coast 600 in October, along with an Australian official being provided the opportunity to participate in the 2016 ITM Auckland SuperSprint one month later.
Supercars Australia Chief Executive James Warburton said: "Women are an integral part of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
“We are fortunate to have strong female representation across our teams, our officials and a passionate female fan base.
“We are committed to giving more women an opportunity to build careers across our sport and this program does that by giving female officials the chance to broaden their experience and skills."
WAMS Committee member and Officials Working Group representative Dr Karyn Lun said the success of the exchange program with Singapore and Formula 1 has been a great platform to showcase the depth of talent in Australian female official ranks.
“WAMS is grateful to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the support that has made the VASC Trans-Tasman Officials Exchange a possibility, and we’re excited to be working with our New Zealand counterparts on what is sure to be just the beginning of a long and fruitful association,” said Dr Lun.
Deborah Day, the MSNZ board member who heads WiMNZ, said: “I’m very pleased that we can offer a New Zealand female motorsport official this opportunity, thanks to Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and our counterparts at Women of Australian Motor Sport," Day said.
“There is a fantastic array of activities lined up for our selected Kiwi official to participate in at the Gold Coast 600, which will be of immense value to the official and, in turn, to New Zealand motorsport.
“It’s an important first step in WiMNZ’s role in a wider initiative to develop women in leadership and senior officiating positions globally, and also strengthens our working motorsport relationships with Australia.”
For information on selection criteria and how to apply before the August 14 cut-off, visit www.wams.org.au in Australia or http://www.facebook.com/womeninmotorsportnewzealand in New Zealand.