About the Coady Family

The Coady family were a true sailing family and sailed regularly from their club, Sandringham Yacht Club. This included both skiff sailing and recreational sailing in their Macgregor 26M. They viewed sailing as a safe and nurturing environment for the children and actively participated in the sport as a family.

In 2014 Stephanie, the eldest of the Coady siblings competed in the Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne 2014 with her father Paul as crew. She was disqualified from the regatta after two days of racing for violation of the gender requirements for a male competition. Stephanie at the time was 16 years old.

The Coady family have not sailed since 2014, they are no longer members of any club and, all of their boats are currently for sale or have been sold.

Federal legal action was started in early 2015 for unlawful discrimination and victimisation. The case is currently with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and is expected to be concluded soon.

 

After her experience at SWC Sail Melbourne, Stephanie was committed to clearing her name and ensuring this would not happen to anyone else in the future. To raise awareness for her campaign, she started an online petition. Within 24 hours she had received overwhelming support. Unfortunately the response from a minority of the sailing community forced the petition to be shut down for Stephanie's welfare. The family decided to remain silent and allow the legal process to take its course. Shortly after, World Sailing contacted the media denying discriminating against Stephanie and, provided misleading information to support their decision.

After SWC Sail Melbourne 2014, World Sailing changed the SWC series to "invitation only". This now allows them to discriminate without providing a reason.

World Sailing, supported by others in Australia, have taken a strategy of diverting attention away from the issue by victimising Paul and later Stephanie's stepmother Erika when Paul was unable to cope anymore. The unlawful victimisation action by World Sailing and others included 5 blatant kangaroo courts against Paul based on lies and fabricated evidence. Paul was unable to sail competitively since 2014 and has recently been banned from sailing for 12 months.

World Sailing lawyer David Tillet, accused Stephanie of deliberately damaging the sport and stated in early 2015 that if Stephanie's case were to proceed, World Sailing would cease Olympic sailing in Australia. World Sailing refused to retract the threat made by David Tillet. World Sailing have now announced they will no longer conduct Sailing World Cup events in Australia.

A very clear inference can be made between the threat made by World Sailing and the decision to cease Olympic sailing in Australia. The Coady family now believe, that it is in the public interest, that an investigation is conducted into the activities of World Sailing in Australia.

 

This case has serious ramifications for all Olympic sports, not just sailing and, for countries bidding as host Nation of the Olympic Games. It is unacceptable that a sport's governing body should give preference to Countries with a legal regime that is favourable to discrimination. It is also unacceptable that a sport's governing body should deliberately and maliciously disrespect the human rights laws of the Country in which they are a guest. If Stephanie's case is upheld, it will establish the obligation for all sports to respect the human rights laws under which participants have legal protection.

 


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Send a message to the Coadys: coadyvworldsailing@gmail.com