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Jason Ball

2017 Young Australian of the Year for Victoria

Jason Ball is best known as the pioneering LGBTI advocate who in 2012 became the first male Aussie Rules footballer at any level of the game to publicly come out as gay in the national media. Jason used this platform to launch a campaign to challenge homophobia in sport and drive cultural change within the AFL.

Since taking that stand, Jason has become a national figurehead on combating homophobia in sport and highlighting the damaging impact of discrimination on the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTI community. As an ambassador for beyondblue he has shared his story with thousands of people in schools, workplaces and sporting clubs across the country and was named 2017 Young Australian of the Year for Victoria.


“Jason’s courage and conviction in sharing his incredible story in such an articulate and moving manner was inspirational to our school and left an incredible mark on everyone.”

– Cameron
Year 11 student, Melbourne Grammar


“Jason is a brilliant advocate and so well spoken. I wish he could speak at every assembly in every school in the country. I truly believe he can save lives by telling his story.”

– Melissa Mackie
Teacher, Tintern Grammar


“Jason you are an amazing person who has really connected with our students. Today you changed the world a little bit and made it a much better place. We are so honoured to have met you. I can’t thank you enough. You are an inspiration.”

– Jane Davey
PRACE, Merrilands Community Centre


“Jason had the audience highly engaged in his story, in his experience and in his beautifully articulated broader commentary on diversity and the importance of being true to ourselves and inclusive of others. Our event was significantly enhanced by Jason’s presence.”

– Penny Rush


“Jason was exceptional. He spent over an hour with young people before the event started and they were overawed, thrilled and greatly helped by him in myriad ways. His presentation was superb. Constant rounds of applause throughout and many people on their feet for the final ovation.”

– Rod Shadbolt
Rainbow Network Tasmania


” Jason’s message of empowerment was inspiring, insightful and further built our momentum for LGBTI inclusion at work.”

–Verity Coltman


“Jason’s speech left a powerful and resolute impact on our school, serving to set up a platform on which we can now work off to combat and uproot collective, casual and naturalised homophobia.”

– Sam
Year 11 student, Melbourne Grammar


“Jason responded in a thoughtful and generous way to the needs of our students. His presentation had a big impact, empowering students to take action to make positive change. We’d recommend Jason to any school interested in advancing discussions about how best to support student diversity and wellbeing.”

–Philip Thiel
Year 12 Coordinator, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar