Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today reiterated the importance of respecting and supporting Australia’s female footballers and of the sport working towards a world leading high performance environment for female athletes in light of the Garriock case.

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal today dismissed a complaint against Football Federation Australia (FFA)  alleging they had discriminated against Matildas legend Heather Garriock because of her responsibilities as a carer.

In 2013, following Garriock’s call-up to the Matildas for the tour of the United States, FFA allowed her to take a full-time carer with her on the tour for her 11 month old daughter, Kaizen.

However, Garriock was subsequently advised that she would be required to pay all travel, accommodation and miscellaneous costs associated with providing the carer. She proceeded to take her daughter on the tour, with her mother as carer and paid all associated costs, which totaled $4259, having been paid just $2,440 for the tour.

Upon hearing the verdict PFA Chairman Craig Foster said the case represents an ideal opportunity for all parties in football to take a leap forward in providing an ideal high performance environment for three fundamental reasons: on the human level; the domestic competitive landscape and Australia’s international competitiveness.

“Football must aim to provide the finest high performance environment that can be found in any sport,” said Foster. “Respect and fairness are also two underpinning ideals of the game.

“It cannot be right that a female player is compelled to leave her child of less than a year old in order to travel internationally to represent her country.

“I note that other Australian sports either have an existing policy or are working towards one, as should football. These are our domestic competitors in a highly competitive contest for female athletic talent.

“As the representative of Australia’s professional players, we feel very strongly about these issues and will continue to advocate for the very best conditions to place football at the forefront of women’s sport.

“I am confident that if all parties come together in the spirit of taking the game forward and of respecting our super female athletes, the situation can be resolved positively in future.

“I congratulate Heather. It is only through players standing up for their rights that much progress eventuates in sport. The PFA has stood with her throughout and will continue to advocate for her colleagues.

Despite being disappointed by the decision Garriock said she remained committed to furthering the rights of Australia’s elite female athletes.

“The battle to return to the workforce is a significant one for all mums and football has the capacity to be a leader on this issue,” said Garriock.

“Australian netballers are afforded a policy which sees the governing body covering flight and accommodation costs for carers and infants. Football following this lead would ensure that the outstanding progress made by the Matildas was not undermined by being unable to call upon their best players.

“I am thankful for the support of the PFA and my fellow players and will continue to advocate for change on behalf of the nation’s female athletes.”



Beau Busch | Media and Communications Manager

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