Julie Bishop steps onto field as latest Legacy ’23 Ambassador to join team Football Australia

Football Australia is pleased to announce the Hon Julie Bishop as the latest ambassador to join the Legacy ’23 Ambassador

Program.

With Australia set to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, the Legacy ’23 Ambassador Program will play a critical role in raising awareness and advocacy for achieving 50:50 gender participation in sport, as set out in Football Australia’s Legacy ’23 Plan.

During her time as Australia’s first female Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2013-to 2018, Julie was an advocate for gender equality in this country and throughout the world. Julie is keen to continue that advocacy and to support young women and girls in achieving their full potential.

Julie is currently the Chancellor of the Australian National University. As the first female to ever hold that and other roles, she is a trailblazer for young women and girls around the nation and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. After climbing the ladder of Australian politics, Julie is a passionate advocate for gender equality and keen to support other women in fulfilling their dreams, hopes and aspirations across all fields.

Julie Bishop steps onto the field as the latest Legacy '23 Ambassador to join team Football Australia
Julie Bishop steps onto the field as the latest Legacy ’23 Ambassador to join team Football Australia (Photo: Football Australia)

In her new role as a Legacy ’23 Ambassador, Julie said: “It is important to not let others define who you are or limit what you can achieve. It’s vital we encourage the next generation of women and girls to set their own standards and work hard to achieve those standards. Striving for success and excellence is a defining feature of female sports and that is to be encouraged.”

Football Australia CEO James Johnson said of Julie’s appointment: “We are so proud to welcome the Hon Julie Bishop to our Legacy ’23 Final Xl. Through her heralded career in politics, to her recent move into education, Julie embodies all the values we hope to celebrate through Legacy ’23 and is a wonderful role model to help inspire the next generation of women and girls.”

Previously announced ambassadors making up the Final XI include:

  • Julie Dolan AM, Matilda cap #1
  • Azmeena Hussain OAM, Football Victoria Director and social justice advocate
  • Narelda Jacobs, NIAG Member and Channel 10 Presenter
  • Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner
  • Awer Mabil, Socceroo

Julie Dolan AM is a trailblazer in women’s football, becoming Australia’s inaugural Matildas captain at just sixteen years of age. Across her 14-year career, she played 34 matches for Australia including 18 full internationals. Julie hopes that through Legacy ’23, more women and girls can feel empowered to take to the park at the grassroots level and we can inspire the next generation of CommBank Matildas.

Azmeena Hussain OAM is a Director with Football Victoria and social justice advocate who is passionate about empowering young women and girls both on and off the field. Her inspiring journey to becoming the first Muslim woman to become a partner at her law firm helped fuel her dedication to taking a stand for greater equality and diversity in sport.

Narelda Jacobs is a Whadjuk Noongar woman who is a passionate Indigenous rights advocate and a member of Football Australia’s National Indigenous Advisory Group, she has been able to carve her own unique identity in media, landing her dream job on breakfast television. As an esteemed Network Ten Perth newsreader and presenter with Studio 10 and The Project, Narelda is committed to increasing Indigenous participation in football and proving how this will make a positive change for all.

Sam Kerr OAM, Kate Jenkins and Julie Dolan AM after the Commonwealth Bank Matildas game against New Zealand in Canberra, April 2022.
Sam Kerr OAM, Kate Jenkins and Julie Dolan AM after the Commonwealth Bank Matildas game against New Zealand in Canberra, April 2022. (Photo: Football Australia)

Kate Jenkins has been a key advocate for change and the advancement of gender equality and anti-discrimination since taking on the role of Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in 2016. As part of her appointment as a Legacy ’23 Ambassador, Jenkins will advocate to ensure women have equal opportunities to succeed in professional sports but more importantly as leaders in our communities.

Awer Mabil is one of the Socceroos’ leading wingers after he made his debut in the national side in 2018. His passion for football started as a young boy, growing up with his parents in a Kenyan refugee camp. After settling in Australia, Mabil utilised his natural ability to secure a contract with Adelaide United and become one of the club’s youngest debutants at the age of seventeen.

The Legacy ’23 Plan, developed by Football Australia, will ensure Australia can realise the long-term benefits of hosting this prestigious global sporting event can have on every community across the country. From economic, social, physical, and mental health benefits to its promotion of social cohesion and multicultural inclusion, Legacy ’23 will introduce new and expand existing programs to ensure the future of football in Australia is stronger than ever before.

The programs will aim to increase participation, improve community facilities, optimise high-performance offerings, drive leadership and development of the sport as well as encourage local and international tourism as Australia and New Zealand recover from the global pandemic.

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