Dare To Be Different, a non-profit association aimed at inspiring and increasing female participation in motorsport at all levels, is now up and running in Australia.
The unique program was warmly welcomed Down Under, with the announcement bringing together the biggest names in world motorsport at the Formula 1® 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
In attendance were Mercedes F1® Team Principal Toto Wolff, Williams F1® Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams, Formula 1® chairman Chase Carey, Confederation of Australian MotorSport (CAMS) President Andrew Papadopolous and CEO Eugene Arocca, Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman John Harnden AM and CEO Andrew Westacott, as well as CAMS Australian Rally Championship driver Molly Taylor.
Keilor Heights Primary School participated in the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix Driving Learning education program, with 20 girls selected to experience a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.
Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott, is excited to see the launch of the Dare To Be Different program in Australia and believes it is a great platform to encourage and inspire women to pursue a career in motorsport.
“It is a fantastic way to promote women in motorsport and see several wonderful role models such as Molly Taylor, Supercars driver Simona de Silvestro and Bathurst-winning team owner Betty Klimenko sign on as ambassadors,” Westacott said.
“The Australian program kicked off at the Formula 1® 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, with 20 girls from Keilor Heights Primary School taking part in exciting behind-the-scenes garage tours with F1® teams, Mercedes and Williams,” Westacott said.
“They also visited the CAMS marquee to test their skills on the race simulator and reaction tester, and we look forward to continuing to create more opportunities at our event for young women looking to launch themselves into a future career in motorsport.”
Former Formula 1® test driver Susie Wolff founded the educational program, Dare To Be Different, and said she was delighted to be working with CAMS to ensure increasing female participation in motorsport and to see the program expand to Australia.
“Dare To Be Different aims to inspire the next generation to smash preconceptions and prejudices, connect girls and young women who are keen to create change in the industry, as well as showcase those who are already role models for change in the sport,” Wolff said.
There are many exciting opportunities for Australian females in motorsport and the Dare To Be Different network brings these to life, inspiring women to pursue careers across all aspects of motorsport, including engineering, technology, leadership and communications.
CAMS President Andrew Papadopolous said the program would reach thousands of young girls across the country.
“CAMS has worked closely with Susie Wolff, the founder of this iconic initiative, to adapt their successful model for the Australian market,” Papadopolous said.
“We know women are underrepresented when it comes to participation and involvement in motorsport in Australia, and this program will help ensure we start to get more females into the mix, whether as drivers, mechanics, engineers or administrators,” he said.
Women can continue to grow through the network and benefit with direct access to their peers, colleagues and idols for information, advice and inspiration.