We were also lucky to have a number of Matildas work with us as interns or in other positions. Tameka Yallop, Elise Kellond-Knight, Lydia Williams and Kyah Simon all gained work experience and/or training at Seven Consulting. Tameka Yallop and Elise Kellond-Knight are still working with us today and are now fully trained PMO Consultants.
One significant milestone achieved during these six years was the collaborative effort between Football Australia and the player unions, which resulted in the establishment of a pay parity agreement for both the Matildas and the Socceroos. Notably, this initiative was led by one of our interns, Elise Kellond-Knight.
Another lifetime memory will forever be the amazing scenes when Australia and New Zealand won the 2023 FIFA World Cup hosting rights. I stayed up late that Thursday night and proudly wore my Matildas shirt to work the following morning.
When the Women’s World Cup kicked off and the Matildas had their first warm-up match, it was a 50,000-person sellout stadium in a proud Aussie Rules town – that was the first sign that our world was changing for the better.
The CommBank Matildas then doubled that crowd in Sydney a week later, and then topped the crowds against Denmark and England. Viewing figures on television for sport have been smashed, toppling the Men’s AFL Grand Final, NRL Grand Final, State of Origin.
If it feels like the end, it’s because it is the end of seeing women’s sport as second class citizens in Australia. If it feels like the start, it’s because it is the start of a new generation of girls and boys that inspired by our heroes, the Matildas will become the Matildas and Socceroos and Pararoos of the future. I am certain that in 12 years, we will have another golden generation inspired by this team. But before that, it’s Olympic qualifiers, and then another chance of a medal in the Olympics in Paris next year. The journey continues, indeed it never stops.
The Matildas are now truly Australia’s team, and the equal pay deal now looks to be favouring the Socceroos!
I am able to reflect how far the team has come in the short time we have sponsored and known them. Thanks to running into Phil Kellond-Knight, Elise Kellond-Knight’s Dad in Brisbane, he sent me this shot of the supporters and the two of us at the first Matildas Semi Final I was at. It was the 2018 AFC Asian Cup Semi Final in Jordan and we went through against Thailand on penalties in an absolute nailbiter. With tickets from the FA, I had travelled on personal expense and had the most wonderful time meeting family and friends of the players like the Kerr’s, Foord’s Lorgazo’s, Van Egmond’s and Kellond-Knight’s, and many more and helped to understand their culture and the sacrifices made to support a world class and underfunded team. Times have changed and will continue to change for the better. There now is maybe 2000 people in the stadium and 10,000’s more watching on televisions and online for every 1 Australian supporter there that day in Amman. Things will never be the same again for women’s sport in Australia.
We move on from six wonderful years being the first sponsor for the Matildas to supporting the Seven Consulting Opals, consistently ranked as one of the best handful of women’s basketball sides in the world and are looking forward to many more wonderful moments with them and enjoying the Matildas still from a little bit further away.
Thanks to all the support of our clients and staff that allowed Seven Consulting in turn to support our team. But thanks most of all, to those fabulous, never say die, hard working, talented, down to earth and Australia-inspiring Matildas.