Interview with Courtney Buckley: Head of the Gender Engagement Committee

In this interview, we talk to Courtney Buckley, previously of USYD Unspeakables and now of Valkyries Quidditch Club, who was recently appointed head of Quidditch Australia’s new Gender Engagement and Initiatives Committee, as announced earlier last month. With many plans already in the works for 2019, we talk about what we can expect from the committee this year, and what she’s most excited for.

Courtney chasing for the NSW Blue Tongues at State Shield last year | Photo: Taylor Angelo Quidditch Shots

What made you want to take part in the Gender Engagement Committee?

I was keen to join the committee as it provided the opportunity to work with a group of passionate and intelligent people and the ability to pursue more projects for the community.

What are the aims of the committee?

The aim of the QA’s Gender Engagement Committee (QAGEC) is to primarily support female players and players with less confidence and sporting experience so they can recognise and be recognised for the value they bring to their team.

What can the community expect from the committee this year?

The committee has created an extensive list of initiatives for this year, with lots of opportunities for members of the community to get involved too.

There are 12 projects in total, including encouraging community discussion around gender, reviewing the MVP award system, and finding ways to showcase female talent. (A full list of projects will be released soon.)

Courtney filming at March NQL Preseason | Photo: Ajantha Abey Quidditch Photography

What project are you most excited to be working on as head of the committee? What are you most excited to see happen?

I’m most excited about creating material for the resource hub, with short video-based content that teaches skills, techniques, and strategies advantageous for small-bodied individuals, from how to hold the ball more easily, to how to overcome a seemingly daunting defence.

The biggest project in the works, however, is probably the development day and fem-powered fantasy tournament weekend, in which every state will host a day-long female-identifying development training event followed by an all-genders fantasy tournament on the second day, where the new skills and strategies can be put into practice in-game.

What advice would you give to any of the women joining the sport this year?

Get in there. If you want the ball, demand it. If you don’t want the ball because it’s confronting, even more reason to get that ball so you can challenge those fears. One of the best ways to learn is to be in the midst of the action, and the easiest way to do that is with a ball in your hands, your legs charging, and your voice calling out.

Courtney keeping for Valkyries Quidditch Club | Photo: Willem de Gouw Quidditch Photography

What’s next on your agenda for the committee?

We’re on the look out for more volunteers to help make these initiatives reality, especially in Victoria and Western Australia. If you’re keen, if there’s an initiative you’re excited about, if you have an idea, if seeing others get better gives you warm and fuzzies, then let us know and we’ll find a way that fits around other commitments you’ve got so you can be involved. Or if all you have time for is feedback then that is greatly welcome – we’d love to know what teams want to see from us and if what we’re providing is helpful and ways to make it better.

Do you have any favourite female players from Australia or around the world? Inspirations?

Every one of them. Every female who takes initiative, who gets into the midst of the action, who challenges herself – they’re the people who inspire me. It’s seeing those players with such great potential develop themselves and their confidence that makes me incredibly excited to be part of this community and the upcoming projects.

If you would like to get involved with the gender engagement committee, please get in contact by emailing us at