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Women's football started in Western Australia 100 years ago

Women's footy has a long and rich history in Australia, and it all started in the West 100 years ago.

Victoria University football historian Dr Robert Hess said today that the genesis of the women's code lies in Western Australia and can be dated to the early stages of World War I.

"Contests between workplace teams took place in Western Australia as early as 1915," Dr Hess said.

"These games provided the template for women's involvement in charity matches with strong military and patriotic overtones in other locations, especially Victoria, where the first contests took place in 1918."

Dr Hess is in Perth this week, where he is delivering a conference paper at UWA on the women's game.

He says the origins of the women's game have long been shrouded in mystery, in part because women have long been marginalised in Australian sport, particularly football, despite the code's large female support base and the growing numbers of female competitors.

In other papers by Victoria University academics on the game, Caroline Leach examines the growth of the women's competition during WWII, when women's matches were a vehicle for fundraising for the war effort.

Dr Hess is available for interview: 0401 017 717


Media inquiries: Jim Buckell, A/Senior Media Officer

Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 4243; mobile: 0400 465 459; email: [email protected]

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