Amanda Shalala (2003) – a force for change in sports media

Amanda Shalala (2003) is an award-winning sports journalist/broadcaster who is passionate about ‘being a force for change in the sports media and accelerating our path to a truly equal playing field.’

In her final year at MLC School, Old Girl and self-professed ‘certified sports fanatic’, Amanda Shalala (2003), was the School Captain, the SRC Liaison Officer, Director of the School’s Rock Eisteddfod entry, was in the Chamber Choir, actively involved in Drama and Speech, and was a member of the Cricket, Hockey and Softball teams. While doing all this, she also managed to be one of the HSC High Achievers of the year.

In her ‘Captain’s Report’ in Excelsior 2003, Amanda described MLC School as ‘a school tailor-made to fulfil every student’s needs’ and that the School created ‘a world where anything is possible, and no dream is too big.’

Shortly after leaving school, Amanda was invited to a function at the School where she spoke sincerely about how attending MLC School allowed her to be herself, and that her irrepressible love of sport was able to blossom due to the encouragement of her teachers. She said that attending MLC School was the perfect training ground for a career in the male-dominated domain of sports broadcasting.

Today Amanda is an award-winning freelance sports journalist/broadcaster who is passionate about increasing the representation of women’s sports and ‘being a force for change in the sports media and accelerating our path to a truly equal playing field.’

On 14 December 2020 Amanda Shalala posted an article on the ABC News site titled ‘How the ABC News 50:50 project is transforming our coverage of women in sport.’

Amanda reported that, early this year, the ABC Sports News team joined the ABC News 50:50 project1 with four key targets:

  • Increase the coverage of women in sport.
  • Grow the ABC Sports News female audience.
  • Produce more stories targeted to women.
  • Achieve equal gender representation in ABC Sports News stories.

Amanda and the ABC Sports News team acknowledge that apart from content output, the focus also has to be on creating cultural change within the organisation, and to that she feels greatly encouraged by the organisation’s response.

Amanda concludes with ‘We know there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, but it’s a long game for us and we’re committed to seeing it through.’

1. In late 2018, ABC News launched the ABC 50:50 project which aimed to achieve gender diversity in ABC News content by improving the representation of women across ABC News programming and significantly expand its content offering for female audiences.