Monday, 27 March 2023
Dinner for SANFL Captains
It’s my great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House this evening to celebrate the SANFL and your roles as team captains.
Football plays a pivotal role in South Australian culture and has a long and proud history in our state.
The SANFL is the oldest State League in Australia, and one of the oldest football competitions in the world.
It is also the second highest attended Australian football league after the AFL - something of which we can all be very proud.
As Governor, a number of people have asked me which SANFL football teams I barrack for.
In the vice regal role, that’s a bit like asking a parent which child is their favourite!
But it should be no secret that I have supported Sturt all my life.
Rod and I are nevertheless strong supporters of the league and all of its teams.
We congratulate you all on your appointment as team captains and have great respect for the work you do.
As SANFL patron I strongly support the league’s goal to for those in leadership roles to reflect the football community to which we deliver our great game.
I’m sure you are aware of the power you carry to inspire and to influence young people, especially when it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion not only in sport, but all spheres of life.
It is wonderful to see the work already underway to give women and other underrepresented groups the opportunity to play football and realise their sporting potential.
The introduction of the SANFLW has given women the opportunity to play their sport at the highest local level, and encourages girls to dream big about their own playing futures.
In relation to gender equality, you may recall recent theme of International Women’s Day: ‘Embrace Equity’.
This acknowledges that equal opportunity is not enough to achieve gender equality.
People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
I encourage us all to create opportunities for women wherever we can, and also engage men in support of gender equality issues in football, such as equality of pay.
When the men’s game and the women’s game are strong, football is strong and so is our community.
When we take determined action in our personal and professional environments, we can, especially when we join together, create bigger change.
As captains, the community’s eyes are on you, and I thank you for representing your clubs and the league with integrity and pride.
I wish the women here this evening all the best for the rest of your season, and wish the men all the best for the commencement of your season shortly.
I am keen to attend more SANFL matches this year, and hope to see you on the field soon!