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Football Victoria short-lists bidders for national Home of the Matildas

In a statement made this week, Football Victoria announced the short list of bidders to secure the rights to be the national home of Australia’s senior women’s squad, the Matildas.

The Matildas, now tearing it up in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, have been in need of a permanent base for some time.

The short list includes La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus as well as the municipalities of Darebin, Casey, Brimbank and Maroondah.

The press release can be found below in full:

The establishment of the proposed national Home of the Matildas has moved a step closer with Football Victoria nominating five locations as the potential base for the state-of-the-art facility.

The short-list comprises the municipalities of Brimbank, Casey, Darebin, and Maroondah, along with La Trobe University as part of redevelopment plans at its Bundoora campus.

The process now moves into the next stage of discussions with the respective municipalities and/or landowners, as part of a feasibility study underway to determine the preferred location for what will also serve as the State Home of Football. Concept plans and cost estimates will be developed once a preferred site has been identified.

Football Victoria received $200,000 from the Victorian Government for the feasibility study, along with a $15 million commitment from the Federal Government towards construction.

Football Victoria CEO, Peter Filopoulos, said the sport would continue to work closely with governments at all levels to create a dedicated, world-class facility that would be a “game-changer for women’s football in Australia and across the Asia region”.

“Just as the Matildas are doing Australia proud on the world stage, it’s incumbent on us as a nation to provide them the high-performance home base that will help them stay at the forefront of international football and ensure the game keeps developing the stars of tomorrow”, he said.

Among a range of features, it is proposed that the Home of the Matildas would include elite training facilities to cater for the senior and emerging Matildas programs, including leading-edge medical and sports science facilities, strength and conditioning areas, an aquatic zone, indoor futsal facilities, and offices for FFA/FV technical staff. It is also proposed that the facility would house a training and education hub for non-playing roles including specialist programs for girls and women as coaches, referees and club administrators.

“The creation of a national Home of the Matildas will go a long way towards helping the game in Victoria meet our stated objective of 50:50 gender participation by 2027.”

Today’s announcement comes as the Westfield Matildas move to the knock-out stage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Football Federation Australia, with the support of the Commonwealth Government, is bidding to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

*ENDS*

Where would you like to see the Matildas call home/base of operations?

Feel free to discuss this on social media, it’s an interesting scenario, that’s for sure.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Victorian Government launches female football network

Football Victoria

The Victorian Government has officially unveiled a new female football networking group, Our Game Network – Victoria for the state.

Our Game Network – Victoria’s aim is to unite Victoria’s footballing public to share ideas, celebrate the game, learn, and continue to challenge gender biased attitudes which exist in sport. The group strongly aligns with Football Victoria’s (FV) Strategic Plan 2019-2022 which set the ambitious strategic objective to reach 50:50 gender equity by 2027.

A sold-out crowd packed into the Royal Brighton Yacht Club to connect, network and build relationships with other members of the football community.

Hosted by Andrea Swain, Football Victoria’s (FV) Women and Girls Manager, the night was headlined by a line-up of guest speakers who shared their experiences and discussed the ongoing need to grow women’s and girl’s football.

The event was launched to coincide with last week’s #OneYearToGo Campaign, celebrating what is an exciting and pivotal time for female football as the countdown begins toward the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2022.

Former Commonwealth Bank Matildas stars Melissa Barbieri and Tal Karp discussed their journeys and the influence networking and mentoring is having on the next generation. In addition, the ‘Leading the Change’ panel featured Dr Brent McDonald (Victoria University), Radmila Dyson (Officer City SC), Andrea Blair-Dempsey (Phillip Island SC) and Joanna Charaktis (FIFA Assistant Referee).

The group spoke in-depth about the Change Makers Program and the positive influence it was having within Victorian Clubs, changing attitudes and implementing gender equity across all areas of football.

Karen Pearce, Executive Manager Equity, Growth and Inclusion also addressed the room, discussing Legacy 23, the importance of community engagement and the vast impact clubs can have when uniting to drive positive change.

Overall, more than 110 guests attended, making the night a spectacular success.

Victorian initiative supports development of women’s leadership skills in sport

Women leadership

Applications for Victoria’s new Change Our Game Professional Development Scholarships Program are now open.

This will provide Victorian women the chance to build specialist skills tailored to leadership roles in the sport and recreation sector, thanks to the Victorian Government.

Offered through the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, the Program provides grants of $5,000 and $10,000 for professional development opportunities for women working in the sector, so they can obtain and flourish in leadership roles.

In addition, the opportunity to receive personal career coaching to help women map their career paths and identify the skills they may need to reach senior leadership roles.

Successful applicants also have the chance to attend the world conference of the International Working Group on Woman & Sport, being held in New Zealand in November 2022, as part of a Change Our Game Delegation.

The group is the world’s largest network dedicated to advancing gender equity and equality in sport, physical education and physical activity.

Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation Sarah Styles said in a statement that the Change Our Game Professional Development Scholarships Program pulls together a number of initiatives to provide a leadership program that is flexible and personalised – it will be a real game changer.

The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation and the Change Our Game campaign is working to level the playing field for women and girls in sport and active recreation.

This work also includes community events, research studies and sports broadcasting programs aimed at increasing the number of women and girls participating in sport and in leadership roles.

Applications for the Change Our Game Professional Development Scholarships Program close on August 22, 2022.

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