Monday, 20 March 2023
Reception for Football Australia
It is a great pleasure for Rod and me to welcome you to Government House in celebration of Women’s Football and the countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.
With a dedicated football fan beside me for the past 35 years, I have come to understand the attractions – boundless really – of the “World Game”.
I have huge admiration for the Matildas, and in particular the many players – now 11, I believe – who play in the English Women's Super League.
It’s currently 122 days until the first World Cup match kicks off, and as we approach this milestone event, we reflect on the opportunity it presents to create a meaningful legacy for women’s football, and women’s sport more generally, in our state and our nation.
In recent years, it has been a great joy to witness the rise of the Matildas, both in terms of their success on the pitch, and their popularity with the Australian people.
They are inspirational to our girls and young women, not only for their achievements, but as a symbol of possibility: that women can be strong, fierce, and pursue big dreams.
They are also role models to the broader community, highlighting the value of women’s sport and participation of women at the highest levels of endeavour in our society.
As Governor, I am focused on promoting gender equality and diversity in our community.
We all here know football is the most inclusive, diverse and representative sport in the country.
I congratulate Football Australia on the introduction of its Legacy 23 program, which aims to harness the growth of women’s football and deliver enduring benefits beyond the 2023 World Cup.
Legacy ‘23 aims to propel football into becoming the first community sport to reach gender parity in participation, and I commend Football Australia on setting this ambitious goal. If you can do it, others can too.
Legacy ’23 is a long-term plan, and I wish the organisation every success with keeping the momentum going beyond the excitement of this year.
Plans like these require support from multiple sectors of our community, and I thank everyone here this evening for their interest in, and support of, the FIFA World Cup and Football Australia.
I acknowledge the investment from the state and federal governments in participation, high performance and community facilities ahead of the World Cup, and I thank Football Australia’s official partners and supporters for their contributions.
With five World Cup matches scheduled for Hindmarsh Stadium, I know we all look forward to sharing in the excitement of seeing the world’s best players right here, knowing that they will inspire and educate the next generation of players and spectators.