I am a PhD Candidate working in the field of Sport Policy at Victoria University in Melbourne Australia.
In the past five years I have been involved in sport development as a teacher and researcher.
My mission is to be a leader in making the -Global- Sporting Industry safer & more inclusive for everyone, from anywhere. I have a passion for sport [for] development, philosophy, human diversity, relationship & growth. I have come to realize that knowledge (through researching and problem solving), human empowerment (through educating) and advocacy are some of the most powerful tools to influence positive social change. I'm currently leading 2 management/policy research projects on national high-performance Paralympic sport development and violence against children in Australian Sport. In the past 10 yrs I have volunteered, studied & worked in both the sport public/private sectors throughout the world: Sport [For] Development (program/policy evaluation), Sport Business (sport tourism start-up) & Mega-Sporting Events. I bring to my work a lived experience of child sexual exploitation in French basketball. Surviving abuse for 3 yrs, the legal battle against the convicted coach-perpetrator, the trauma & associated therapeutic work have given me a unique experiential knowledge base of abuse of power, justice systems & mental health. This experience has made me a strong individual in tune with human suffering and the critical need for policy development in this space. I am raising awareness and advocating on this issue through public initiatives (journalists (Le Point, RTBF Sport), website (www.aureliepankowiak.com) and twitter (@aureliepanko)), advisory board membership involvement (Play By The Rules), and research.