The latest speaker in the line-up for this year’s Football Writers’ Festival has been announced as Damian Collins MP of the UK.
Collins is a leader in sports governance and anti-corruption measures and, in his recent capacity as the Chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee of House of Commons, has been at the forefront of a number of major and influential inquiries.
These include an 18-month investigation into social media companies for their role in spreading fake news and disinformation, an investigation into rates of pay at the BBC leading to claims for pay equity by female journalists and presenters, the administration of football clubs, the impact of Brexit on the creative industries, the reality TV ‘industry’, sports governance, the future of cricket and the social impact of participation in culture and sport.
Collins was also the first member of Parliament anywhere in the world to call for an inquiry into, and reform of, FIFA – several years before the famous FIFA arrests in May 2015. He was a co-founder in November 2014, along with Australians Jaimie Fuller and Bonita Mersiades, of a campaign group advocating for FIFA reform that worked with the European Parliament, FIFA sponsors and civil society groups to urge for reform and change.
Collins has been the Member for Folkestone and Hythe since 2010.
Prior to being Chairman of the DCMS select committee from 2016 to 2019, he was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Foreign Secretary, and the before that PPS to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
He is a graduate of the University of Oxford and is married with two children. He has also authored a biography of one of his predecessors as MP for Folkestone and Hythe; Charmed Life, the phenomenal world of Philip Sassoon, was published by Harper Collins in 2016.
The 2020 Football Writers’ Festival will be held at iconic Jamberoo Pub in Jamberoo, NSW, the home of the Johnny Warren Football Museum.
Other writers, journalists and featured guests include Ray Gatt, formerly of The Australian; Debbie Spillane, formerly of the ABC; James Johnson, CEO of Football Federation Australia; Simon Hill of FOX Sports; Craig Foster of SBS-TV; James Corbett of offthepitch.com; Shireen Ahmed of the Burn It All Down podcast; and Professor John Maynard of the University of Newcastle.
Tickets are available online at footballwritersfestival.com.au at $10 for one day and $15 for two days.
This is the second year of the Football Writers’ Festival, an initiative of Fair Play Publishing and the Johnny Warren Football Foundation supported by Football Victoria.