Event in Review
Australian Story - 18 September 2019
AusBG’s Australia Story series continued this month and guests were spoiled with two amazing guest speakers. Sport was the theme but we were entertained and enthralled on an intellectual and emotional level.
The evening, hosted at the Australia Ambassador’s residence, commenced with a welcome by Ms Julie Shams, Chargé d'affaires.
We then heard from Steve Watson, Co-founder and Managing Director of Gulf Multi Sport. Steve is a country boy who grew up with a love for all things sport. Accompanying his partner to Abu Dhabi he found himself falling into the running scene with the Abu Dhabi Striders and his passion led to him taking on a role giving back to the community through organised sporting events. Steve has a strong belief in corporate social responsibility and a “We run as one” attitude that is ever apparent in his never-ending push for inclusivity in the events he delivers. Steve generously laid out some of the challenges he has faced whilst doing business in the UAE but has a positive and strong belief in the future of community sport in the region.
Our second speaker for the evening was Jessica Smith. Jess is a former Paralympic swimmer and represented Australia at the Athens Olympics. Jess and her family have only recently arrived in the region at the start of the year. Jess was open with the group about her battles with depression and eating disorders while competing in her teenage years and explained the journey that this took her on to where she feels her calling lies today. Jess speaks to groups, educating on topics surrounding body image, mental health and has also written children’s books about a little girl with a disability. Jess strongly feels it is her responsibility to have a voice for other people who may not have one. We really appreciated Jess’ candour and openness, sharing her story with us.
If you are interested in either of our speakers sories then please follow their links and reach out to them.
Look out for the next Australian Story series in early 2020.