Academic and author welcomes women’s football making history | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Academic and author welcomes women’s football making history

A University of the Sunshine Coast researcher who co-authored a book on the “hundred-year overnight success” of women’s football in Australia is delighted to see history peak this week.

“This is the biggest Women’s World Cup in every respect, from TV audiences to tickets sales, and I hope the sport capitalises on it,” said UniSC Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing Dr Lee McGowan.

Australia's Matildas play France this Saturday 12 August at Brisbane Stadium. Their victory over Denmark earlier this week attracted record television audiences.

Dr McGowan, who in 2019 co-authored Never Say Die, recently co-authored another book, Women’s Football in Oceania, just in time for the Matildas’ astounding performances and surge in public support.

The book was described as, “the most comprehensive mapping and analysis of women’s football in Oceania – the first to examine the game’s historical development alongside social, political, and cultural issues, weaving origin stories with players’ day-to-day challenges.”

Dr McGowan started researching the history of Australian women’s football in 2016 and has since attended two women’s world cups.

“My daughters were aged nine and 13 when we began regularly attending W-League Brisbane Roar matches,” he said.

“The research began as a creative writing research project, a non-fiction digital narrative, that I initiated to address my daughters’ questions about the history and the resources afforded the women’s team – wages for example, equitable support from the club.”

It led to the development of Football Queensland History, a digital museum that brings to life 150 years of football history.

He will be cheering on the Matildas at the match this Saturday.


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