The admission of transgender athletes to competition: The case of Hannah MounceyCassandra Heilbronn
In October 2017, the Australian Football League (AFL) decided that transgender athlete Hannah Mouncey was prevented from participating in Season 2 of the Australian Football League for Women (AFLW) in 2018 by refusing to allow her to be nominated in the pre-season draft. In doing so, the AFL relied on an exemption in the Equal Opportunity Act1 (EO Act) (explained below). However, in February 2018 the AFL confirmed that Mouncey was able to participate in any AFL-affiliated State based competitions2. What makes these decisions interesting is that the AFL's reasons for doing so relate to Mouncey's strength, stamina and physique, as she stands 190cm tall and weighs 100kg3.
This article provides a summary Mouncey's sporting career and the AFL's decision, which is the first (known public) decision, to not allow an athlete to participate, for a transgender athlete in professional sports in Australia.
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- Tags: Athlete Welfare | Aussie Rules Football | Australia | Australian Football League (AFL) | Australian Football League for Women (AFLW) | Discrimination | Dispute Resolution | Equal Opportunities Act | Equality | Handball | Human Rights | IOC Transgender Guidelines | Transgenderism
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About the Author
Cassandra is a Senior Associate at MinterEllison, Brisbane in the Insurance and Corporate Risk practice group, focusing on sports law, health law and medical negligence, and management liability.