Welcome new director Kieran Pender

Updated: Aug 12

Women Onside welcomes a new director to its board - lawyer, writer and academic Kieran Pender joins the Women Onside leadership team.


Kieran may be well-known to many as a featured writer covering the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics for The Guardian. But he has plenty more strings to his bow. He works as a lawyer and academic and has worked on human rights related projects both in Australia and overseas.


As well as his writing on football Kieran has been involved in the world game as a director of several football organisations.


Women Onside Chair Maria Berry said that the board was looking forward to Kieran's contribution to the organisation. "Kieran brings a strong understanding of human rights issues and how they pertain to sport. We also value his excellent communications skills and understanding of the sports media landscape."


Kieran said expressed hisenthusiams for the role. "I am passionate about equality and equity in all areas of life, including sport - and, of course, football. I have had an active interest in women's football since covering Canberra United at the beginning of the 2010s; I have since worked with CONIFA on its women's football expansion and covered the 2019 Women's World Cup. I am delighted to contribute to the work of Women Onside."



About Kieran Pender


Kieran Pender is a lawyer, writer and academic.


He is a long-time contributor to The Guardian and has covered events including the Olympics, the Men's and Women's World Cup and the Tour de France. He won Sport Australia's Sports Media Award for 'Best Coverage of a Community Sport Issue' in 2020 and was a finalist in the Walkey Mid-Year Awards in 2021.


Kieran is also a senior lawyer with the Human Rights Law Centre, an honorary lecturer at the Australian National University College of Law and a consultant at Bradley Allen Love Lawyers. His expertise includes free speech, whistleblower protection, secrecy and employment law. Kieran is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and formerly led the work of the International Bar Association to address inappropriate behaviour within legal workplaces.


Kieran was formerly a director of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA), the global body for non-FIFA football. More recently he has co-founded an international football charity, Football Rising, working to support girls' and women's football in marginalised communities across the globe.