Ash Barty Is The 2019 Sportswoman Of The Year

by | Aug 27, 2020

We’re thrilled to announce that tennis superstar Ash Barty is our Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year for 2019.

“It’s been an incredible year, I think just knowing that all of the hard work that myself and my team have put in has paid off with some incredible results, I’m very fortunate to be nominated among so many other empowering women in Australian sport and to come away with a win is just a bonus,” Ash Barty said in her acceptance video. 

 

“I wish I could have been there tonight to experience a room of some many strong, powerful women in our sport, and all of their support staff as well because we don’t get to where we are alone it takes a village and it takes a team,” she added. “I think the best part about this night is that it’s a celebration for all of us, it’s a celebration for every sport, women in every sport and it’s a very very powerful night.”

Watch Ash Barty on winning the Moment of the Year Award below…

One of Australia’s biggest assets, Ash Barty was always destined for sporting success, winning the Wimbledon girls’ singles title in 2011 at age 15. Currently ranked #1 in the world singles by the Women’s Tennis Association, hers is one of the greatest (and most inspiring) sporting stories of recent times.

At the age of just 23, this year Barty became the first Australian to the French Open in 46 years, since her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley. This incredible achievement made her only the second Aussie woman ever to take top spot on the world tennis rankings, rising from #623 to #1 in just three years.

A huge congratulations to Ash Barty and we can’t wait to see what her future holds. 

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Women Fleeing Domestic Violence Can Now Receive A One-Off Support Payment

It’s been labelled the shadow pandemic and the fact remains that for many women across Australia, domestic violence is a lived reality that doesn’t discriminate by age, occupation, or socio-economic status. Researchers have found that during Covid-19 lockdowns, there was a surge in family and domestic violence, with agencies experiencing a surge in demand as nearly half their clients reported an increase in controlling behaviours. 

As many who have lived through such turmoil and trauma can attest, the roadmap to fleeing such situations at home can be fraught with challenges and extremely difficult to navigate, particularly when such bureaucracy makes it even harder. Now, it’s been announced that women fleeing a violent relationship will be given a one-off $5,000 payment as part of a federal government trial scheme. 

Known as the “escaping violence payment scheme,” the government has set aside $144.5 million over the next two years to give women $1,500 cash, with the remainder to pay for goods and services, bond, school fees and other necessaries to establish a new safe home. UnitingCare Network will be tasked with delivering the payments while helping link women and their children with relevant community services. 

As the Daily Telegraph reports, “An analysis of domestic violence data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that while it is more common for women from poorer areas, women from high socio-economic areas are not immune from experiencing partner violence.”

As Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston explained, the trial has been introduced with the aim to help women overcome the financial barriers that might deter them from leaving a violent relationship. “We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse - which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money - reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” she said. 

“The payments will assist people who need financial support to leave. We know the size of the house a woman is fleeing doesn’t matter. Often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.”

To be eligible for a payment, women must be facing financial stress and have some evidence of domestic violence such as a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, or an AVO, court order or police report. As UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little said, “We believe that all people, especially women and their children, have the right to live freely and without fear, and this payment is an important step forward to ending violence against women and children.”

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 

Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.