Angela has held the role of General Counsel at Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) since 2014. Prior to joining the PFA, she spent 12 months working at International Player Relations where she was mentored by PFA Co-Founder Brendan Schwab. A graduate of Melbourne University’s Sports Law program, Angela has extensive experience in representing professional footballers in contract negotiations, employment-related disputes (in particular, through the FIFA DRC and CAS) and collective bargaining.

What is your role at the PFA?

I am the PFA’s General Counsel. My role is really varied, but predominantly I provide legal advice and representation to our members, as well as the organisation, and represent the membership in collective bargaining negotiations. 

What do you enjoy most about working at the PFA?

Every day at the PFA brings something new – no two matters are ever the same. With football being “the world game”, I do a lot of work representing members playing overseas who, at times, face very difficult and complex situations with their clubs. Supporting and building strong relationships with the players, both domestically and abroad, is something I really enjoy. I see first-hand their strength of character and it keeps me motivated and driven to achieve the best outcomes for them.

Why is it important to recognise the impact of women within football?

The women’s game is going from strength to strength, and there is now a real career pathway for those exceptional female players that want to dedicate themselves to the sport. But just as the on-field game is developing, opportunities are also emerging for female administrators (like myself) to build a career in a sport which has, historically, been male-dominated. This emergence in a global sport like football has the ability to lead societal attitudinal changes in the fight for gender equality.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My parents are, and have always been, my biggest inspiration. My work at the PFA is very demanding, but they give me endless strength and support to keep going in the knowledge that I’m fighting the good fight for the betterment of the players and the sport. For that, I will be forever grateful.

In 2019, the campaign for International Women’s Day is #BalanceForBetter – a call to action for driving gender balance across the world. How have you helped to drive gender balance within your role and within the PFA? 

Being part of the negotiations for the first W-League collective bargaining agreement was a real highlight for me in my time at the PFA. Whilst there remains much work to be done to ensure that the gender gap is narrowed, it was a great first step and something that can be built on in years to come.

What do you have planned for International Women’s Day?
After what I’m sure what will have been another big week at the PFA, I plan on having a nice glass of wine and reflecting on my own personal journey in the sport and toasting all of those exceptional women who have contributed to the game, both on and off the pitch.

What change do you want to make to ensure lasting change within society and within football?

I feel very privileged to work for such a strong organisation as the PFA. I look forward to the day when all players around the world, irrespective of gender, have access to quality advice and representation to ensure that their employment rights are upheld to the highest standard. In respect of gender equality, I, along with my colleagues, will also be working very hard to see that the sport’s female players are afforded with the same working conditions as that of their male counterparts.

Angela recently had an article published in Law in Sport; Gender equality in football – how much does FIFA ‘value’ the women’s game?’