Swimming Australia threatens legal action over billboard

Zali Steggall swimming australia advance australia
Image: Zali Steggall Twitter

Swimming Australia today threatened legal action over an anti-trans political advertisement targeting Zali Steggall. Earlier, the independent member for Warringah tweeted a pic of an Advance Australia billboard using images of top Australian swimming stars.

The billboard featured images of Australia’s most decorated Olympian Emma McKeon, four-time Olympic backstroker Emily Seebohm and also swimming icon Dawn Fraser. Text on the sign read:  ‘Women’s Sport is Not for Men’. The billboard also featured the words ‘That’s transphobic’ emanating from a greyscale image of Zali Steggall.

All three swimmers commented on the issue of transgender swimmers this week. However, none consented to the use of the photos. Indeed, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Fraser was ‘livid’ at the use of her image.

Zali Steggall tweeted an image of the billboard earlier today.

She commented: “Right-wing activist group Advance Australia are up to their usual misleading dirt. 🤔But do they have consent/approval by @AUSOlympicTeam @SwimmingAUS @DawnFraserSolar for this 💩? Is this why @ScottMorrisonMP doesn’t want Truth in Political Advertising laws?”

Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia responded quickly saying the organisation already demanded that Advance Australia stop using the images. Chief Executive Eugenie Buckley said the organisation did not consent to the use of the images.

“Swimming Australia strongly condemns the use of imagery of our athletes, past and present, by the Advance Australia party in recent political advertising.

“Consent to use the imagery was never sought prior to its publication, neither from Swimming Australia nor the individuals involved. For clarity, if it was sought it, would have been categorically denied.”

Eugenie Buckley said Swimming Australia did not endorse this or any message from Advance Australia. She added that the organisation had already issued a legal notice to Advance Australia party and expected the removal of the imagery from circulation immediately.

All Australians deserve to feel welcome, safe, valued and celebrated

“Swimming Australia believes in a competitive environment that is inclusive, fair and equitable for all athletes at the same time. Ultimately, all Australians deserve to feel welcome, safe, valued and celebrated in swimming.”


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