Maxwell Gratton is a GLOBE member and CEO of the Football Federation of Victoria.
Maxwell is also the National Vice President of the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA) and Chair of the Victoria University Alumni Advisory Group.
Q: Last night you walked the red carpet of the Dolan Warren Awards, the largest event on the Football calendar, with your same-sex date, why was this important to you?
LGBTI people tend to shy away from sport because of perceived or actual experience of homophobia. I believe it's long overdue that we have leaders who are openly gay in Australian sport. Notwithstanding the few athletes who have come out of the closet, who are to be congratulated, the issue with our broader culture is that there's still a need for LGBTI sportspeople to 'come out'.
I look forward to the day when sport is fully inclusive and celebratory of diversity of all kinds.
Q: What attracted you to join GLOBE?
Founded with a desire to create a safe networking environment for LGBTI business owners and professionals, GLOBE is just as relevant today as it was 25 years ago. It's important to be able to connect with members of the LGBTI community with whom we can share in the common experience of being proud and successful, while also diverse in our sexual or gender identities. These connections also provide a valuable support network.
Q: You've contributed much to Melbourne's LGBTI community, having sat on a number of community boards. What have you found most rewarding about these roles?
It is with a great deal of satisfaction that I reflect upon the growth and development of Minus 18, which years ago was predominantly run by volunteers. Today it is lead by a CEO and several staff who work tirelessly to deliver safe and celebratory events and support for young LGBTI people, whilst also creating and providing important resources.
Q: What's the greatest opportunity for Melbourne's LGBTI community?
Melbourne's LGBTI community has its greatest opportunity in its diversity, and where we are all equally concerned with the advancement of gender and sexual identities. In my capacity as the CEO of Football in Victoria, it's my intention to ensure the sport is welcoming of women and men, people of all abilities, new arrivals, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people, and those who are same-sex attracted and gender diverse. Football is the beautiful game and I want all Victorians to share in a love of this sport and its community.
You can connect with Maxwell on LinkedIn here.