March 14, 2024

March 14, 2024


Minerva Co-Founder Sam Mostyn AO (right) welcomes Kurt Fearnley AO to Minerva Network

Three time Paralympic gold medallist and two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kurt Fearnley AO PLY has declared his support for Minerva Network, coming on board as an Ambassador in the quest to support more professional sportswomen soar on and off the field.

Minerva Network Chair and Co-Founder Christine McLoughlin AM is proud to announce that Kurt – a five-time Australian Paralympian – is joining fellow sporting greats, international cricketer Mitchell Starc and rugby union international and former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns AM, to become the newest Minerva Ambassador.

As well as representing Australia and winning 13 medals at five Paralympic Games from 2000 to 2016, Kurt won over 40 marathons, including New York, Chicago and London in a career spanning more than 20 years. He crewed the winning Sydney to Hobart yacht in 2012, crawled the 96km Kokoda track to raise awareness and funding for men’s health and mental health, and has received countless honours including 2019 NSW Australian of the Year and The Don award as the Australian sports person most likely to inspire the nation.

Kurt is the Chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency, Board Commissioner of the Australian Sports Commission, and Board Director of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee. He previously sat on the Paralympics Australia board, was Vice-Chair of the International Paralympic Committee Athletes' Council, and co-captain of the Australian Paralympic Team at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Kurt was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in the General Division in 2018 for his distinguished service to people with a disability, as a support of, and fundraiser for, Indigenous athletics and charitable organisations, and as a Paralympic Athlete. In retirement, Kurt maintains his strong connection to paralympic sport as the founder and host of You Little Ripper, a para sport dedicated podcast.

“I’m honoured to be asked to join this network of incredible women athletes and mentors who are joining forces to create opportunities for our leading sportswomen beyond the field,” Kurt said.

“Women’s sport is going from strength to strength, however there is still a long way to go for many sports and athletes. And there’s an even longer way to go for para sports.

“I’m a big fan of Minerva Network’s philosophy of enabling Australia’s sportswomen to achieve their potential both within and outside their sporting careers. As an ambassador, I will proudly help spread awareness about the incredible mentoring and development programs offered by the Minerva team of volunteers to support even more sportswomen to succeed. These athletes are incredible role models for all young Australians.”

Minerva Co-Founder and Mentor Sam Mostyn AO warmly welcomed Kurt to the Network.

“Kurt Fearnley is such an extraordinary ambassador for para sport and people with a disability who is recognised for his extensive philanthropic work, and I’m thrilled that he’s now a Minerva Ambassador too,” Sam said.

“Minerva’s Australia-wide network of more than 330 leading businesswomen mentors and our wonderful men and women ambassadors are united and incredibly generous in volunteering to support our professional women athletes to achieve their goals, both on and off the field.

“I’m so proud that Minerva Network is providing something that no-one else does or can do: tapping into women leaders across Australia and connecting them with professional sportswomen who, with the right support, can become the future leaders of Australia.

“Thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners and our mentors, we are providing these opportunities at no cost to the athletes.

“The social impact value that Minerva has generated since we founded it seven years ago is estimated at up to $50 million.

“This is a vital investment in the future leaders of Australia and we’re looking forward to reaching even greater heights with Kurt in our corner.”

Minerva Athlete and four time Paralympian Madi de Rozario OAM also applauded Kurt’s appointment.

“Kurt has always been an incredible role model and advocate, in sport and well beyond,” Madi said.

“He knows how passionate I am about what the Minerva Network does for women competing across more than 70 sports, so I’m thrilled that he has now joined us – together we soar!“