Women's football re-establishes itself in Brisbane

It’s possible womens’ teams were formed at mens’ clubs from 1959. Women’s teams played out of the Wynnum Club from 1961. Not able to have a Senior’s Competition of their own, the women’s games were organised through the Brisbane Junior Soccer Association.

Commentators and skeptics, usually pedalling archaic attitudes, were quick to point to a lack of quality. They did not or could not see it as a case of limited knowledge. They called it ‘kick and giggle’, but missed the enthusiasm and courage, a willingness to learn and an openness to play better.

It’s no coincidence that these are the hall marks of Matildas football today.


Until now, it has been assumed that women restarted playing football in Brisbane in 1964.

A first-hand account by Geraldine Harris, one of the Brisbane game’s leading and most important figure confirmed that things had started earlier. She began playing football in 1963 at 13 years of age – as soon as she could. She’s also pretty confident the competition she participated in had been running for a couple of years before, as early as 1961.

It’s possible, as Elaine Watson’s book, Australian Women’s Soccer the first 20 years, notes, that an established, multi-team women’s football competition was running as early as 1959.

In addition, at least one of Gerry Harris’s 1963 team mates had moved from Mount Isa, having already played in a competition there. The 1963 competition Gerry Harris played in included 8 teams. The competition took place under the auspice of the Brisbane Junior Soccer Association, and there was plenty of interest in sustaining teams.