What comes next now the Matildas have changed the game?
The past month has caused nothing short of an obsession with the Matildas in my household. From Sam Kerr’s goal to Mackenzie Arnold’s wall of steel, like most Australians, it has been pretty much impossible to pull away from the TV.
Sitting there, watching young girls and boys don the jerseys of their new heroes, it wasn’t hard to see why millions of other Aussies were just as captivated as I was.
The excitement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup cannot be understated. Beyond the electrifying matches and international camaraderie, this event has been a catalyst for social change. The tournament highlighted the talent and potential of Australia’s female athletes, captured the hearts of millions, and ignited vital conversations about gender equity in sports.
The Matilda’s commitment to excellence on the pitch has captured the imagination of fans both young and old. From nerve-wracking penalty shootouts to remarkable displays of sportsmanship, the Matildas have changed the way we see sport forever.
Young men have been making plans to get together at their local pub and watch the Tillies display raw talent and grit, showing us how the Matildas are actively breaking down gender biases in sport.
Our government recognises this and is committed to the progress and development of women’s sport in Australia. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a $200 million commitment to funding women’s sport.
The “Play our Way” program will invest $200 million in enhancing sporting facilities and equipment designed specifically for women and girls. Future Matildas and all aspiring athletes will have the resources they need to succeed.
We are committed to breaking down barriers, addressing historical inequalities, and enabling our female athletes to achieve their full potential.
With a record breaking 11.15 million Australians watching the semi-final between Australia and England, Labor will also make sure that more iconic women’s sporting events are increasingly available for all Australians to watch on free-to-air TV.
By amplifying the reach of these events, we provide young girls and boys across the nation with role models to look up to, dreams to chase, and a future where they can aspire to greatness in sports.
One of my proudest election commitments was securing $5 million for the Albert Park Sporting Precinct. This funding will go towards making changerooms inclusive and accessible, upgrading lighting and facilities.
I will continue to advocate for investment in our local women’s sports and ensuring they have a safe inclusive, and equitable environment.
The Matildas’ success, combined with the legacy of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, has inspired change for women’s sports. As we embark on this new chapter through the “Play our Way” program, we salute the Matildas’ unbeatable spirit.
Together, we are carving out a path to a more inclusive, equitable, and vibrant Australia.
Til it’s done. •