So many achievements, so little space. Here is a brief summary of the highlights of our year from our Annual Report presented at our Annual General Meeting on 29 November 2021.
Behind the scenes - governance and administration
The Board enjoyed an excellent combination of skills, professional experience and football knowledge. (For more information about the Board go HERE.)
In particular, some special board members have driven special projects:
Asma Mirzae led the Afghan Football Support Network
Heather Reid set up the new Onside Mentoring program.
Company Secretary Kerry Harris drove our very first national Women in Football Leadership Conference.
Sincere thanks to retiring Board members Lee McGowan and Bruce Djite who have both been excellent contributors in their time with the Board.
Membership has grown to over 120 fully paid-up members.
We obtained Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) recognition whereby donations for some of our activities became tax deductible by being channelled through ASF’s auspices. So far the two projects we applied for have received Australian Sports Foundation approval:
the Women in Football Everywhere; and
the Afghan Football Support Network.
New strategic plan underway with formal launch target late February 2022.
We are undertaking systems update projects in finance and IT.
Communications and engagement
We revamped our website to become an ever better source of news and resources.
We grew our social media presence through regular Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts reaching out to the women’s football community.
We initiated our Everywhere newsletter with nearly 1,000 subscribers.
Professional development initiatives
By popular demand the second season of our Getting on Board leadership development masterclass series Getting on Board was brought back in September 2022.
We initiated Onside Mentoring a six-month program with a facilitated approach to matching less experienced leaders who want to build their capacity and connection within football with expert mentors.
Our inaugural Women in Football Leadership Conference was an outstanding event exploring the future of women in football leadership roles in Australia. Over 110 participants from Australia and overseas enjoyed the three-hour program which featured:
· three keynote speakers – Moya Dodd, Janes Fernandez and Bev Priestman;
· a set of breakout group workshops looking at the future of women in football; and
· pledges to improve opportunities for women’s football/women in football.
The Conference Report and the Pledge Book are currently in production.
Advocacy and research initiatives
The Afghan Football Support Network was set up by Women Onside to provides ongoing support for the Afghan women’s football team and their families as they acclimatise to life in Australia after fleeing their homeland. The Network developed a fundraising program, through the Australian Sports Foundation, to provide financial support for the players and their families. At the time of writing, over $17,000 has been raised of which around $7,000 has so far been distributed. We have also distributed an extensive range of donated items. We are still working to help the group settle into Australia and the Australian football community.
Our Referees Network held "Let's Talk about It" - a group discussion for women referees around Australia to talk to each other in a safe space about their personal experiences as referees.
Coach Tracker is our regular research feature which tracks head coach appointments at pro-league and international level.
State of Play is our tracking project on how well key Australian football organisations are at including women in their leadership roles. The focus to date has been on the boards of FA and the member federations. Congratulations to FA for exceeding the minimum 40% target for women’s inclusion on its Board.
Women's football book club - chapter 1 "Women in Boots: Football and Feminism in the 1970s" was the first of our online book club series held in July 2021 in partnership with Beyond 90 which will feature a range of books about women's football from around the world.
We encourage you to read our full Annual Report along with our Financial Statement.