The past, present and future of the women’s game in Australia was highlighted at the celebration of 100 years of women’s football hosted by Football Queensland on Friday, 24 September.
FQ President Ben Richardson said the event was the culmination of years of planning and months of hard work by FQ staff.
“Football Queensland recognises that women and girls are the future of football, and that’s why we made this Centenary Celebration a high priority,” said Richardson.
“We were pleased to welcome more than 170 guests including FQ Life Members, former Matildas, Bert van Manen MP and Hon Shannon Fentiman MP.”
FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said the event was a celebration of the players, coaches, volunteers and administrators who have contributed to the spectacular growth of Australian women’s football.
“Football Queensland was thrilled to be able to lead these celebrations in partnership with Football Australia,” said Cavallucci.
“As we work towards hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, this was a perfect opportunity to recognise the people who invested so much time and energy into building our game.
“It is important to remember Queensland’s pioneering role in the women’s football, not just at the very first public game in 1921 but in the century that followed.
“Football Queensland will continue to invest in growing women and girls’ participation as well as creating opportunities for female leaders across our sport.”
Held at The Gabba, the site of the first public game of women’s football in 1921, the celebrations kicked off with a re-enactment match involving players from the QAS.
Attendees were then taken on a trip down memory lane at the memorabilia tables which featured historical items from Queensland and Australian women’s football.
Guests were treated to a stirring poem written by award-winning Mununjali author and football fanatic Ellen van Neerven, and a lecture by historian and author Dr Lee McGowan.
In keeping with the ‘Past, Present, Future’ theme, Junior Matildas Head Coach Rae Dower hosted three fascinating panel discussions involving various prominent football identities.
The ‘Past’ panel included former Women’s Soccer Queensland president Lyn Ketter, former FIFA referee Tammy Ogston and Matildas legends Sue Monteath and Connie Selby.
The long-serving former president of the SQWSA and AWSA, Elaine Watson, was also honoured in a moving video tribute to ‘the matriarch’ of Australian women’s football.
The ‘Present’ panel included former Matildas and current FQ Board Member Amy Chapman, Brisbane Roar W-League Assistant Coach Kelly Crew, FIFA match official Casey Reibelt and QAS player Ellen Gett.
While the ‘Past’ panel spoke of the challenges they overcame, the ‘Present’ panelists spoke about the enormous opportunities that currently exist for women and girls.
FQ’s ground-breaking new ‘Future Leaders Academy’, which will provide mentoring opportunities to young men and women, was launched by FQ Board Director Paula Robinson.
Video messages were shown from Football Australia CEO James Johnson, Commonwealth Bank Matildas Head Coach Tony Gustavsson and current Matildas Clare Polkinghorne, Sam Kerr and Steph Catley.
The official proceedings closed with an informative and entertaining video discussion between Queensland-born commentator Stephanie Brantz and the Chief Operating Officer of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Jane Fernandez.
As Australia prepares to co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, the current generation of players, coaches, referees and administrators now have an opportunity to build on the legacy of those pioneers who forged a path for women’s football.
CLICK HERE to download FQ’s Women and Girls Strategy 2021-2023.