Australian Institute of Sport holds secret transgender round table

The Australian Institute of Sport quietly held a round table late last year to discuss transgender athletes in sport.

In a recent article about the meeting, Save Womens Sport Australasia co-founder Katherine Deves revealed that the discussion included a host of trans activists and their supporters, but no women’s groups and only one female athlete directly impacted by males in women’s sports.

After placing a Freedom of Information request, Katherine Deves found that:

Of the nearly 100 attendees, 24 were from peak sporting bodies that are already signed up to trans-inclusion policies, 16 represented trans-activist groups, four pro-trans academics, 15 from Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Sports Commission including CEO Kieren Perkins, the Victorian LGBTIQ+ Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities, two from Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and one from the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia.

Keiren Perkins, former Olympian and CEO of the Australian Sports Commission sat alongside LGBT advocates and trans activists throughout the event.

Deborah Lovely-Acason is a dual Olympian and five-times Commonwealth Games champion weightlifter for Australia, was a lonely voice in defence of women’s sport.

Acason was forced to compete against Gavin/Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Instead of celebrating her incredible achievements in front of her family and home crowd, she was constantly diminished by Hubbard’s presence in the female category.

“I had to work for 20 years to make it in a male dominated sport, but having to compete against a male shattered my world.

“It affected me financially and emotionally, and I quit my sport because I could never break the world masters record due to Laurel increasing it by 20 kgs on each lift.”

The champion weightlifter explained that the physiology of being a woman who experiences menstrual cycles, pregnancy and breastfeeding means it is never a fair playing field to pit males against females.

“The normal female body’s reaction to your menstrual cycle means almost a week of altered training every month, that’s one year in total out of every four years Olympic build up that a female’s training is impacted and reduced.

“Low energy due to menstruation and increased susceptibility to injury due to hormones affecting joint laxity.”

Acason also explained the rigorous drug testing she had to endure, yet male athletes appropriating womanhood are permitted to take drugs. It is inconsistent and unfair. Males do have an advantage when it comes to speed, strength and stamina.

Binary spokeswoman Kirralie Smith said the secret event was inappropriate and offensive to women.

“Such roundtables, held at the tax-payers expense, must include the voices of those impacted the most by males in female sport,” she said.

“Female athletes, women’s groups and community clubs that have to deal with this issue were excluded.

“It is unacceptable and detrimental to women’s sport.”