Interview | Gab Pound

June 19, 2023

How long have you been playing footy and what is your proudest sporting moment?

I’ve been playing footy for around 15 years in total. I played Auskick until I was 12 but had to stop as there was no female competition at the time. I started playing again when I moved from Albury to Melbourne at 18, and have been lucky enough to be part of the AFLW since its inception in 2017.

There are many, although my proudest moment would have to be playing in the first ever AFLW game. It was against Collingwood in a packed and unprecedented lockout at Ikon Park. It’s the type of memory that gives you goosebumps and a moment that will have lasting impacts. That game wasn’t about me, it was about women in sport stamping their presence to play professionally, a game that essentially locked females and non-binary people out for a long time. It’s moments like these that prove that sport is more than just a game. Sport brings people together and is inextricably linked with politics.

When did climate action become important to you? Was there a specific moment?

When you have climate scientists ringing the alarm bell for decades, and then witness yourself regular and extreme floods and bushfires in a short amount of time, it’s really hard to ignore. It probably came to the forefront of my mind after the 2019 bushfires where it had devastating consequences. These effects were so big, that it was visible in Melbourne. The poor air pollution from the smog forced training to be moved multiple times and affected my asthma. The heat playing throughout summer over the years has also been extreme at times. Although this was a small effect comparatively, the impacts of climate change were really starting to be felt in large populations that often don’t physically see these impacts.

Tell us about your involvement in climate and sustainability?

Growing up in Alice Springs and Albury, my family have always enjoyed the outdoors. My passion for climate and sustainability has led me to study a Bachelor of Outdoor Education in Bendigo. To connect the community with the outdoors, educate, and drive change is a special opportunity and something I’m really excited about.

I’ve been involved with Clean Up Australia and am also a player rep for “Footy for Climate”, where we can use our voice and partake in tackling climate change in practical ways.

Is there anything happening in the climate space that you're particularly interested in or excited about?

Housing affordability is something that’s affecting many people at the moment, and I think one of the bi-products has been some pretty incredible designs in sustainable housing. Research into seaweed has also been an interesting one that has recently burst onto the scene; seaweed has many benefits, including capturing carbon emissions.

Climate change can be overwhelming. How do you stay positive and what motivates you to keep being an advocate?

Connecting with friends, family and community that have the same interests and passions is what keeps me motivated and hopeful to drive more change and awareness.

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