Three headshots of three different women. The first has a red colour treatment over it, the second a yellow one and the third a green one.

Join us for a conversation about the experiences of women in Australian sport with Holly Ferling, Michelle Heyman, Vanessa Low and facilitated by Anthea Moodie.

Our panel of elite sportswomen will discuss their achievements and experiences throughout their national and international careers, and share their hopes for the future of women's sport.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential. 

For those who cannot make it to Canberra, the talk will be available to view live online via the Library's Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

This event is presented in association with the Grit & Gold: Tales from a Sporting Nation exhibition.

About the panellists

Holly Ferling  

Becoming a cricket sensation at only 14 years old after securing a hat-trick in her first 3 balls of her men’s grade debut, Holly has forever strived to better herself on and off the cricket pitch. She debuted for the Australian Women’s Cricket Team at age 17, in all 3 formats - ODI, T20 and Test Cricket - all while completing her schooling in Kingaroy, in country Queensland. A devastating right arm fast bowler Holly has been a fantastic addition to our local cricket scene, both as a role model for young players but also a key member of the ACT Meteors in the WNCL and the Perth Scorchers in the WBBL and has had success on the biggest stage matches at all levels of competition.

Off the field, Holly has worked as a journalist for 3 years in a commercial radio newsroom for Macquarie Media, as well as reporting and commentating for Channel 7, FOX Sports and ABC Grandstand. Remarkably, Holly balances these commitments while continuing to study at university. She works alongside a number of household brand names as an ambassador, while continuing to promote the game, and women’s sport.  

Michelle Heyman 

Michelle Heyman is an accomplished Australian soccer player and commentator who is deeply committed to sharing her inspiring journey with others. Throughout her career, Michelle has been an invaluable member of the Canberra United team, scoring over 60 goals and leading the team to two W-League Championships in 2012 and 2014. Her impressive talents have earned her prestigious titles, including the Golden Boot winner and Player of the Year – twice each – of the W-League. Michelle is currently the leading goal scoring in the A-league with 94 goals and 159 games played. 

As a vital player on the national level, Heyman has represented Australia as part of the Matildas since 2010, showcasing her outstanding skills in over 60 matches and scoring over 20 goals. Her involvement in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and her significant contribution to the team's silver medal win at the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics is commendable.  Off the field, Michelle is a powerful voice for two important causes, LGBT rights and mental health awareness. As an openly gay athlete, she has used her platform to promote acceptance and encourage others to be true to themselves. She is an outspoken advocate for reducing the stigma around mental health and has bravely shared her own struggles to inspire others to seek help and support when needed. Michelle is a role model who is making an impact both on and off the field.

Vanessa Low 

At the age of 15, a tragic train accident resulted in the loss of both Vanessa Low's legs. She was told that walking would no longer be a part of her life – a declaration she was determined to defy. Her journey was marked with tremendous challenges following a two-week coma, six long months in the hospital, and nine gruelling surgeries. However, the most formidable part of her journey was finding belief in her abilities amidst a world that consistently reinforced the opposite. Yet, Vanessa's story is not solely defined by adversity. It is a testament to taking action against all odds, driven by personal choices and enduring courage. Despite the perceived limitations imposed upon her, she was determined to transcend them. She made the resolute decision to seize control of her life and embrace the unthinkable, forging a life that defied fears—a life standing on her new prosthetic feet. 

Vanessa went on to become a Paralympic gold medallist and a world record holder in the long jump. Athletics provided not only a second chance but also gave her life a renewed direction and purpose. Moreover, it allowed her to foster a community of like-minded individuals seeking lives beyond their wildest dreams. Together, they inspire each other to reach new heights and overcome any obstacle in their path. 

Anthea Moodie

Anthea Moodie is a sports reporter based in the ACT. Roma-born and Toowoomba-bred, she is a proud Gunggari girl whose passion for people and their unique stories drives her to share them with the community.  

Type Special event