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Women in football leadership conference - online 23 September

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

Over three powerful hours from 11am to 2pm on Thursday 23 September, you'll be part of an exclusive online community, hearing from football thought leaders Moya Dodd and Jane Fernandez, plus international speakers. As well as keynote talks, there will be networking with football peers and connecting with women in football leadership roles in breakout workshops.

Presented by Women Onside, this inaugural conference is a key event for football leaders, professionals and volunteers to influence the future of football for women and girls.

The theme of the conference is ‘A Focus on the Future’. For women and girls to feel included, grow and be successful in football as it currently exists, a shift in the way we think is required. A new kind of leadership.

This conference is for both women and men. So, if you're an individual looking to influence and shape the future of football for women and girls, or a manager wanting to upskill your team, the Women in Football Leadership Conference will give you a timely boost to shift your thinking. Don't miss this opportunity to hear priceless insights from football thought leaders, helping you to you set and achieve your football goals and to lead the way in your own sphere.

This event is complimentary for Women Onside members* and $45 for non-members.

* Not a member? Join now, get your complimentary conference admission and as a further bonus go into the draw to win a signed copy of Julia Banks’ book ‘Power Play’.

Conference program

The Concept

On 24 September 1921 the first public game of football played by women was held at the Gabba between the Brisbane North (Reds) and Brisbane South (Blues).

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of this historic event, and to build a legacy pathway towards WWC2023, Women Onside is hosting a virtual Women in Football Leadership Conference on 23 September 2021.

Women Onside believes in publicly honouring our pioneers, and what better way to achieve this than through the medium of a women in leadership conference to support women to continue their leadership paths as well as inspiring the next generation of leaders to step up.

Women Onside has developed a three hour conference concept built on the theme of ‘A Focus on the Future’. Through an engaging and interactive workshop, hosted by some of women’s football pre-eminent leaders, we will build a roadmap for the future of football for women and girls.

One of the pillars of Football Australia’s Legacy ’23 is to build capacity by educating and encouraging more women to enter and lead the game. This conference will provide a rich and empowering learning environment, singularly geared to enabling each participant to reach their football leadership potential.

This conference aims to:

  • lead the way with an initiative in the spirit of Football Australia's Legacy ’23 program

  • build valuable intellectual capital through sharing expertise and knowledge

  • develop new organisational perspectives

  • achieve more together.

Women Onside has an extensive international and domestic network to source keynote speakers and panellists and extensive experience in delivering face to face and online events to its members and supporters.

Conference speakers

Event Host Nicki Bowman is a leadership consultant, speaker and author whose involvement in football stretches back over four decades.

Nicki’s leadership career has spanned over 21 years across industries as diverse as mining, finance, sport and manufacturing. It has seen her transition from lawyer to senior executive to professional director, culminating in the establishment of her own leadership practice.

After several years as Treasurer and Secretary of the Illawarra Women’s Soccer Association, Nicki was one of the driving forces behind unification of the game in the Illawarra. She was a founding director and Deputy Chair of Football South Coast, ultimately spending 6 years on the Board. Nicki was also a director of the (sadly unsuccessful!) bid for an A-League expansion license in the Illawarra in 2009.

Her involvement in football expanded to the national stage when she was appointed to the FFA Women’s Advisory Council and represented the FFA at the FIFA Women’s Football Symposium in Frankfurt in 2011. More recently Nicki lobbied successfully as part of Women Onside for key changes to the FFA Constitution to embed gender equity, and she remains committed to the advancement of women’s football and women in football.

Keynote speaker Moya Dodd is a partner at law firm Gilbert + Tobin, and a former vice-captain of the Matildas. After a playing career in the pioneering days of the sport, where she played in the first ever FIFA women’s tournament in 1988, she took on a business career that has spanned law, media and consulting.

Moya has served in sports governance on the boards of Football Federation Australia and the Asian Football Confederation, and was one of the first three women on FIFA’s governing body (2013 - 2016).

Following the “FIFA-gate” corruption crisis Moya took a lead role campaigning for institutional reforms, becoming “the driving force in the recent push for women within FIFA” (New York Times). Leading by example, she was was one of only 3 out of 27 members to decline a $29,000 gift watch.

Moya also served on Australia’s bid committee which successfully won the hosting rights for the Women’s World Cup in 2023.

Moya remains involved in sports governance as a member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, and the IOC Athlete’s Entourage Commission. She is also Chair of Common Goal, a non-profit through which professional players donate 1% of their salary to support the UN sustainable development goals.

Moya was listed in World Soccer magazine’s People of the Year (2013), won the Australian Financial Review Women of Influence Awards (2016), listed in Boss Magazine’s Outstanding 50 LGBT+ Leaders (2016) and named the 7th most powerful woman in international sport by Forbes magazine (2018).

Keynote speaker Jane Fernandez is the Chief Operating Officer, Australia, for the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023. Jane led Football Federation Australia’s successful bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup, one of the world’s largest international sporting events.

Previously, Jane was Head of Sport for the Australian Olympic Committee, managing key aspects of Australia's participation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Her football events involvement has included her role as Tournament Director of the AFC Asian Cup 2015. Jane is passionate about the power of sport and major sports events to drive social change and to leave a positive legacy.

Keynote speaker Bev Priestman is the Head Coach of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medal winning Canadian women's football team. Although only thirty-five years old, Bev has coached in high performance programs and worked with national teams in three countries - New Zealand, Canada and England. For more information about Bev go HERE.

Bev will talk about the success of her Canadian team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and share with you her personal thoughts on the future of football for women and girls.


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