Speech in Parliament - Lidia Thorpe: The Darebin Falcons offer opportunities for women and girls in cricket, soccer, Australian Rules football and eight ball. The success of the Darebin Falcons has been possible because of a strong commitment from players, club members and supporters, all of whom have a passion, like myself, for women’s sport.
This commitment to and support for women’s sport is unique and has enabled the Darebin Falcons to become one of Australia’s most successful women’s AFL clubs. In 2017, 15 Darebin Falcons were drafted to play in the inaugural season of the AFL Women’s league — a historic achievement in itself.
Sexism in sport is still a very real issue in this country. Women and girls experience all sorts of barriers that prevent them from playing on an equal footing to men. Women feature in only 7 per cent of sports programming in Australia. Football is the world’s most popular sport, with almost 300 million playing amateur or professional football, and yet only 22 per cent of these participants are female. The list goes on.
I acknowledge club president Sarah Brady and the tireless work that the Falcons women put into creating a safe and welcoming environment for girls to grow in sport and for women to play to their full potential.