Tuesday 08 August 2023, 05:30

FIFA helps First Nations girls enjoy trip of a lifetime

  • 50 First Nations girls from remote communities attended England v Nigeria in Brisbane/Meaanjin

  • The girls were invited by FIFA

  • A visit to the FIFA Fan Festival™ was also included in the trip

50 First Nations girls aged 11-15 from Western Australia, Northern Territory and Central/Far North Queensland were treated to a trip of a lifetime when they visited Brisbane/Meaanjin. The group was invited by FIFA during the visit of Secretary General Fatma Samoura to the Northern Territory in July. The girls and their ten female chaperones – including mothers, aunties, grandmothers, sisters and teachers – were treated to a trip full of football, memories and messages of empowerment. Young people are the largest demographic of First Nations people in Australia yet, historically and presently, the voices of First nations girls have not been heard or valued despite them being future leaders of their communities.

IFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura with Indigenous kids from Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland chaperones

First Nations girls will play a central role in a future that will look to tear down barriers for their community by increasing empowerment and ensuring the needs of their communities become priorities in Australian decision-making. To assist them in doing this, First Nations girls need to be given an opportunity to find their voice and be educated on tools and methods they can use to change the present. Inspired by her experience in the Northern Territory and wanting to help amplify the voices of this demographic, Samoura ensured that this trip would give these 50 girls a chance to have a memorable and educational experience. Attending the Round of 16 clash between England v Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium, the girls spent time with Samoura and former Socceroo and First Nations man, Adam Sarota, where they exchanged stories and spoke about the past, present and future. Samoura’s own story of coming from Senegal to become FIFA’s first women and non-European Secretary General resonated with the First Nations girls, who were able to take inspiration from her journey from being an outsider to reaching the higher echelons of world football.

The following day, the girls visited the FIFA Fan Festival™ where they participated in football games, table soccer and drumming workshops before listening to a motivational talk by Olympic gold medallist, Brooke Hanson. Samoura said it was a privilege to meet these girls at Brisbane Stadium. “I am so happy that these girls accepted FIFA’s invitation to visit us in Brisbane/Meaanjin to watch England and Nigeria,” said Samoura. “This trip will give them memories for a lifetime, but importantly the people they talk to and the lessons they learn will help them know that they can achieve whatever they want to do in life. “We want to empower young girls from remote communities so they can find their voice and own their spaces.”

Kids Day at Brisbane FFF