• Tal Karp, Glenn Warry, Bryce Deaton, Raylene King, Ros Moriarty and Kate Gill made up the expert panel for the third broadcast for Indigenous football week. (John Moriarty Football)Source: John Moriarty Football
An expert panel took on issues of visibility, intersectionality, and structural / unconscious bias in football coaching during today's Facebook live discussion as part of Indigenous Football Week - generating some fantastic insights into the lived experiences of women in football leadership roles.
Finn Potter

24 Nov 2021 - 6:38 PM  UPDATED 24 Nov 2021 - 6:38 PM

Host Tal Karp was joined by Kate Gill, former Matildas captain and co-CEO of the PFA, Alywarre woman Raylene King, JMF Community Coach, Glenn Warry, CEO of Football Coaches Australia, Ros Moriarty, Honorary Managing Director of Moriarty Foundation and Anaiwan man Bryce Deaton, JMF Dubbo Coach and Mentor in the third of a series of discussions around gender equality in football.

An important point raised was that of how the structural frameworks in football have acted as a barrier for promoting gender equality, due to their consistent promotion of males without a dedicated focus on females, an issue Gill believes should be top of the agenda.

“We’ve had frameworks designed to consistently support men, particularly white men," Gill said.

"We need to do better and drill down on these structures and look at how they can support women. We've simply adopted a male approach.

“Sport is meant to be a great equaliser, but for that to happen all things need to be equal. We need to work harder to make environments safe for all involved."

Moriarty echoed the sentiment, highlighting the lived experiences of women as crucial to consider as something that can be so valuable to increasing diversity and intersectionality in football communities.

“I don’t think there’s enough planning and rigorous consideration of the experience women bring to these situations," she said.

JMF panel highlights lack of female role models as major barrier to participation
Following on from yesterday's panel on competition opportunities, Tuesday's John Moriarty Football panel discussion as part of Indigenous football week highlighted the gender inequalities in coaching and how it is impacting participation and inspiration for youngsters in Indigenous communities.

"Women have been battling for a place in the game for decades. For us the process is about who is bringing lived experience. Structural and intentional are two really important words to use when discussing these issues of gender equality and intersectionality.”

Another problem that has been constant throughout the week's discussions so far has been that of visibility and bringing more female role models to football leadership roles, whether they be at the coaching or administrative level, something Warry believes is a major barrier to inspiring more young women to pursue careers in the game.

"We don’t talk a lot about coaches, women coaches and the inequity of women coaches," he said. 

"You can’t be what you can’t see. At this stage only four out of ten W-League teams have female coaches.

"Across the board we're endeavouring to promote women in senior leadership roles so we can support women in all areas, particularly at a senior leadership level."

As a coach in an Indigenous community, King was able to provide major insight into the issue of visibility, telling of the added confidence from young girls being able to see her as a role model.

“Girls find it a lot easier with me," she said.

"They can talk and joke around with me."

"When I first came the girls were shy and now they’re a lot more confident, their skills are getting a lot stronger and I’d like to think the girls are looking at me and seeing that I’m a strong lady and they’re wanting to follow in my footsteps."

King also told her own story of inspiration after she saw the Matildas represent the Indigenous community when they held up the Aboriginal flag before an Olympic match against New Zealand in July.

“Seeing the vision of the Matildas holding the Indigenous flag, I was bursting with pride and it invoked so many emotions," she said.

Matildas unite behind Aboriginal flag in Olympics
Prior to their clash against New Zealand on Wednesday night, Australia posed for a team photo with the Aboriginal flag proudly held up.

"Vision is very powerful and it's a statement, when the Matildas did that the Indigenous world looked at that and said, ‘I want to go there’.

With so many interesting points raised from all involved, Karp was able to provide a valuable summary of what was discussed, emphasising the importance of taking action immediately to combat the barriers in place for gender equality and intersectionality and involving those with valuable lived experiences.

"We need to do more than talk a big game, we need to take action and be intentional about getting to gender equality," Karp said.

"We need to work with lived experience and work collectively to understand the barriers and opportunities.

"We need to invest in the tangible actions that will take us forward and continue to measure our efforts over time."

You can watch the discussion in full below, before the next of the broadcasts goes live from 2pm (AEDT) tomorrow on the John Moriarty Football and SBS Sport Facebook pages.