12 June 2017

Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017: Diversity isn’t just about gender

AFL Commissioner, company director and corporate adviser, Gabrielle Trainor AO has called for Australia to take a broader view of diversity than just gender diversity.

Trainer, who has been a pioneer for women in business, sport, education and community roles, said she had seen a big change in the role of women in business over her career.

Her comments come as she was named an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the community through consultancy, in transport and infrastructure planning and design, and as a contributor to social welfare and sporting institutions.

“I have always worked in male-dominated areas, from being a lawyer and then a journalist when I was younger.
“In those days, women in journalism went to write for the women’s pages. But that wheel is turning very quickly. There are now some fabulous women out there in business.”

But she said the next challenge was for business and the broader community to take a wider view of diversity, including being more active in including people from other cultures.

Trainor is a commissioner of the AFL, a director of Infrastructure Australia, chair of child welfare agency Barnardo’s Australia, chair of the National Film and Sound Archive and chair of Temple Executive Search.
She is a director of ASX-listed recruitment firm Clarius Limited, ANZ-owned OnePath Life Insurance, Business Events Sydney, the Cape York Partnership, the Aurora Education Foundation and the board of trustees of Western Sydney University.

Trainor started her career as a solicitor in Melbourne before becoming a journalist on the Melbourne Herald. She had a variety of public relations roles including national public affairs manager of Hill & Knowlton (Australia) and co-owner and joint CEO of John Connolly & Partners.

She retired from the firm in 2011 to take up non-executive director roles in business and the community. She has had a lifelong interest in Australian sport, with her father and grandfather both being presidents of the North Melbourne Football Club.

She was involved in the work to establish a new AFL team in western Sydney and was a founding director of the new GWS Giants in 2011. Her work in sport has also included being on the board of the Australian Sports Drug Agency for five years.

Trainor paid tribute to the support of her family in her career. “On a day like today, my thoughts are with my parents and all they have been to me, “ she said.

“I’m profoundly grateful to my husband and our children for their support and love.”