Grace and Grit: The Indigenous Players in the Matildas

Grace and Grit: The Indigenous Players in the Matildas

There's no denying that soccer fever has been sweeping the nation recently, and rightly so - The Australian Women’s Football team, the Matildas, just broke records for the most watched TV event in Australian history! 

A whopping 11.15 million people tuned in to watch their semi-final game against England - That's 42% of the country! Despite their loss, the Matildas grace and dedication to their craft has been nothing short of inspirational.

BW Tribal proudly champions women in sports, particularly the remarkable Indigenous women who have formed the backbone of the Matildas for over four decades. Each of these women hold their own unique narrative and a fierce strength that goes beyond the soccer pitch. 

Karen Menzies, the first Indigenous woman to play for the national team in 1983, used soccer as her escape, her refuge, converting her childhood trials into the drive that led to the heights of her career. Karen was followed by talented stars like Kayleen Janssen and Belinda Dawney, paving the way for future generations.

Bridgette Starr, one of the most capped players in Matildas' history, set the benchmark high with her exceptional skills. The legacy continues with players like Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams, who are not just powerful athletes on the field, but also figures of inspiration for their leadership skills and contributions towards enriching the sport's culture.

Their talent, matched with their passion for the game, has imprinted the legacy of Indigenous women on the world's footballing stage. With a growing number of Indigenous girls taking up soccer, the future looks bright, and suggests an even larger impact left on the game.

BW Tribal celebrates the achievements of some of our nation’s finest sportswomen. Their stories are a celebration of Indigenous heritage personified through their performances on the field. Here, we commemorate the achievements of Indigenous women in football, and every sport alike – Go Tillies!

Source: Samantha Lewis & Ann Odong