Jenny Leong speaks on the Matildas

On behalf of the Newtown electorate, I acknowledge the Australian women's football team, the Matildas, who have made it through to the next stage of the FIFA Women's World Cup after a resounding victory against Canada, the Olympic champions, and finishing first in their group. Countless Newtown residents have been proudly striding down King Street in a gold Sam Kerr or Ellie Carpenter jumper. It is wonderful to see such talented women hold a central space in the Australian zeitgeist, becoming strong role models for younger generations—the way women like Cathy Freeman were for others. Some 4.7 million people tuned in for Monday's game—more than for the Ashes—conclusively smashing any negative myths about public enthusiasm for women's sport. With one of the highest numbers of queer players in the tournament, the Matildas are also powerful leaders and role models for the queer community. I commend their championing of equal pay and conditions in sport, including using their platform to call out sexist discrepancies in prize money and raising awareness about women athletes' pay in Australia and abroad.

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