An oral history of women's football in Australia

Downes, Gregory Maurice (2015) An oral history of women's football in Australia. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Women have been playing football (soccer) in Australia since the late nineteenth century. Over the past forty years the game has grown significantly with the national team achieving global recognition and the game becoming more widely accepted within the male-dominated football culture. According to FIFA there are an estimated 30 million women playing the game worldwide (FIFA Women’s Football Survey 2014), with around 378, 000 playing in Australia (Roy Morgan Research 2015). Despite this long and compelling history, researchers have largely ignored the history of women’s football in Australia, and the voices of women players remain unheard. The women’s game is yet to be written into the history of the code. My research project aims to address this shortage of knowledge by asking the question – ‘What can the oral history of women who played and play the game of football contribute to the understandings of gender and football history in Australia?’ The research uses oral history as a method of qualitative interview and is based on interviews with eighteen women and three men, some of whom have represented Australia, other players, administrators and referees. My methodological approach provides the participants with an opportunity to express, in their own words, their role in the history of the game.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords gender, values, identity, identities, oral history, social history, sport history, acknowledgement, respect, recognition, forgotten stories, discrimination, coaching
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