3 MINUTES: CONSTITUENCY STATEMENT – Bayside United Football Club

I think we can all agree that it is beyond exciting to see our Matildas make it through to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Women’s Soccer World Cup.

They were on fire last night, and what incredible ambassadors they are for Australia and for women in sport. But I rise today to update the House on what I believe is even more exciting soccer news for my electorate of Bonner.

I’m happy to report that the Bayside United Football Club female change rooms and parents room are only weeks away from completion.

Located in the great suburb of Lota, the Bayside United Football Club has a proud history of being a club for the people, and it is an integral part of our local community.

Through my advocacy, and working alongside the Bayside United Football Club, I was able to deliver $580,000 in federal government funding to help the club expand and cater for female athletes and parents. When this project first started there were no dedicated female change rooms or parents room.

This meant there was no privacy for female players or referees when they needed to change in or out of sports gear and no area for parents if they needed privacy with young children.

That is why I fought for this much-needed community infrastructure upgrade to help ensure women and parents feel comfortable and safe when attending games at Bayside United Football Club.

To know this project is very near completion is great news and a win for our local community, especially as female participation in soccer continues to grow to new heights.

The opening of the female change rooms and parents room will also be just in time for the Super 6 summer series, and this year the club aims to have at least 50 per cent women and girls teams in the series, which will include mum-and-daughter teams along with dad-and-daughter teams.

I have to say, the completion of this upgrade and the new life of the club wouldn’t be possible without the passion and dedication of the new club president, Andrew Dale, as well as the hardworking committee members and people like the women and girls technician director, Theo.

I’m also excited—or, should I say, slightly apprehensive—to share with the House that Andrew has challenged me to a pizza cook-off at the club.

It might have been a while since my restaurant days, but, as the former owner of a small business called Elio’s Restaurant, and being of Italian heritage, I’m hoping I can remember a trick or two!

I look forward to keeping the House informed and, more importantly, to seeing more women playing soccer at the Bayside United Football Club.