Maria Berry – Chair
Maria Berry is a long-time participant in football as a player, coach, administrator and fan since beginning as a player in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in 1979. In her professional role, Maria has worked at a wide range of organisations in the government sector and as a management consultant for a leading international firm. Maria has also worked professionally in sports administration in football and gymnastics as well as holding a diversity of volunteer roles.
She is currently the Chair of Football Victoria’s Women’s Standing Committee and was previously a Director of the former Victorian Soccer Federation, Victorian Women’s Soccer Association and Women’s Soccer Australia.
Maria has coached women and girls football teams for over 20 years at several community clubs and is a Life Member at Melbourne University Soccer Club. Maria was Team Manager and Head of Delegation for several Matildas and Young Matildas overseas tours and had the highlight experience of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games as the liaison manager for the gold medal winning Norway women’s football team.
Bruce Djite brings a wealth of understanding of the Australian football landscape. Bruce is the Football Director for A-League outfit Adelaide United FC, with responsibility for the football operations of both the men’s and women’s teams at the club.
Bruce enjoyed an outstanding career as a professional footballer in Australia and overseas, including representing Australia as a Socceroo. Bruce is an Adelaide United FC legend, winning all domestic trophies with the club, including the Premiership and Championship double in 2016. He is the club’s record goal-scorer.
Off the field, Bruce spent over four years on the Executive and Governance committee of Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA). Bruce has also spent time working at accounting firm PKF and at Fox Sports as well as being actively involved in a number of charities and organisations supporting a range of communities.
Cheryl Downes is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beyond90.com.au, a digital news platform which chronicles and promotes insightful, inclusive and respectful conversation about women’s football.
Previously, Cheryl was the Editor-in-Chief of The Women’s Game (TWG), where she managed a volunteer team of more than 30 contributors from around the world. Cheryl led TWG to being named as a finalist for the Sport Australia Media Awards.
Since leaving The Women’s Game to set up Beyond 90, Cheryl has continued to set standards in women’s football media coverage. Under Cheryl’s leadership, Beyond 90 has emerged as the leading source for women’s football news in Australia, with the added bonus of nurturing young writing talent.
Professionally Cheryl is enmeshed in the world of IT, working as the Head of Quality (APAC) for a company that provides client services nationally and internationally, especially in the government sector.
Danielle Warby is one of Australia’s leading writers and advocates on women’s sport. Experienced in community club administration, she is a past president and life member of The Flying Bats Women’s Football Club, the oldest and largest lesbian football club in the world. Her other governance experience includes director of Womensport NSW, director of Women Sport Australia, and Diversity and Inclusion at the Federation of Gay Games.
Danielle is a content strategist who works across government, sport and not-for-profit sectors. Danielle was the managing editor of the SBS website dedicated to women in sport, Zela. She is a co-founder of Siren, a women in sport media collective and convenor of the Women Onside media network. Danielle was a finalist in the Sport Australia Media Awards for reporting on the London Olympics and Paralympics.
Danielle is undertaking a masters degree by research into how sexuality and gender affect leadership in sport.
Fatima Flores brings a lively disposition and a passion for football to the Women Onside Board of Directors. Originally a player and also a coach in various Brisbane football clubs and rep teams, Fatima has also forged a leading role in active fan support for both Brisbane Roar through the Roar Corps and for the Matildas where she is one of the members and game day leader of the Matildas Active Support Group that toured France in 2019 for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Professionally Fatima has worked in the Queensland education system as a high school physical education and health teacher, is currently studying for an MBA in Sport Management and has launched a player agency business – Level Playing Field Sports Agency – focusing on elite women athletes in the various football codes. Fatima is currently working for Brisbane based sports tech company iNSPIRE Sport Online in a business development and executive assistant role.
Julie Ryan began her football playing career in NSW in 1979 and rose to be NSW State Senior team goalkeeper back in the days before the national league was founded. Since then she has been involved in all aspects of the game as an administrator, board member at club level, referee, active tragic football spectator, coach and Football Victoria coach educator. Julie has a degree in sports coaching and administration as well as a Diploma in Business (Governance). Julie is a member of the Proud 2 Play board of directors.
Julie works in the cards payment industry and has over 20 years experience in service and project delivery.
Dr Lee McGowan
Dr Lee McGowan researches football. He co-authored the go-to book on women’s football in Australia “Never Say Die: the Hundred-Year Overnight Success of Australian Women’s Football”. Lee is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Prior to that he spent 12 years teaching and researching at Queensland University of Technology. He recently published the book Football Fiction: A History (2020) based on research he started during his PhD.
Lee loves football and follows the Matildas, Brisbane Roar and Glasgow Celtic. His daughters’ love of football led him to establish the living history project “With The Ball At Her Feet”, which has been funded by Football Queensland, QUT and Brisbane City Council. The project chronicles the history of women’s football in Queensland from the 1920s till now and tells the stories of women who have made the game what it is today.
Kerry Harris is a CPA Fellow and a highly experienced sports administrator as well as former football player. She has held professional roles in football, AFL and gymnastics as well as working for the 2007 World Swimming Championships and the Australian Sports Commission. She runs her own consulting business with clients in sport and the not-for-profit sector.
Kerry has also held a range of governance roles in football, including her current position as a member of Football Federation Australia’s Finance, Audit and Risk Standing Committee and prior roles as a Director and Treasurer of the former Women’s Soccer Australia. Kerry has had over thirty five years in women’s football across three states from grassroots to international level, including tour leader roles for the Matildas and at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games as the liaison manager with the USA team (who were beaten for the gold medal by Maria’s Norway team.). Additionally she is a Volunteering Australia Board Director and CPA Australia Victorian Divisional Councillor
Network groups and conveners
Our special interest groups will be at the heart of Women Onside.
We are starting with three key networks and as we grow we will be adding more networks in more places and across other interest areas.
Our networking groups provide opportunities for anyone involved in women’s football to develop the game, develop women in the game and develop themselves in their roles.
Become a member of Women Onside to join our networking groups.
Governance, legal and integrity: Dr Catherine Ordway and Moya Dodd
Dr Catherine Ordway is a Canberra-based academic specialising in sports law, specifically anti-corruption and integrity. Catherine is an Assistant Professor at University of Canberra and a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne.
Catherine is highly active in the practical application of integrity principles across a wide range of sports and is a tribunal member, media commentator and consultant to sports organisations. Her areas of work include gender equity, anti-doping and corruption. Catherine is a co-founder of Women In Sports Law and Women on Boards.
Moya Dodd is a former Matilda and a partner at a leading law firm. Moya has extensive experience in football governance at three key organisations:
- Football Federation Australia (FFA) where she was a Director for 10 years;
- the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) where she was a member of the Executive Committee and a vice president;
- the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) where she was co-opted as a member of the Executive Committee and where she drove gender reform proposals for women to have more inclusion in the decision-making process and for there to be a larger investment in the women’s game.
Moya is currently independent Chair of Common Goal, the international football charity and a member of various international sports committees, including the IOC Athletes Entourage Commission and the FIFA Player Status Committee.
And when she can, she still gets out to play at her local women’s over 30s competition.
Coaching: Julie Ryan
Julie Ryan will be leading our coaches network, creating a space for female coaches to get together, share their experiences and to advocate for more development and opportunities.
Officiating: Allyson Flynn
Allyson is a former FIFA assistant referee who enjoyed a distinguished career, highlighted by officiating at two World Cups (Germany 2011 and Canada 2015) and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She was on the AFC Elite panel from 2006 to 2017 officiating at the Women’s Asian Cup in 2010 and 2014. She was awarded the Asian Football Confederation’s AFC Assistant Referee of the Year in 2013.
Allyson was a W-League assistant referee for 9 seasons and also officiated A League matches as well as AFC men’s matches, including being the first woman to officiate on the AFC men’s Champions League. Allyson is now a mentor to officials in the W-League.
Allyson has a detailed understanding of refereeing from the grassroots to the elite and has previously worked as the Referee Development Manager at Capital Football. Allyson is still an active representative in referee administration and currently is a member of the FFA Referees Committee.
Professionally Allyson is a physiotherapist who is undertaking a PhD researching exercise and Parkinson’s disease.
Victoria: Helen Tyrikos
Helen is well-known as one of Victoria’s leading football administrators. She was the General Manager at Heidelberg United Football Club before taking on a role in the competitions department at Football Victoria, then becoming Program Manager Women and Girls for the organisation. In that role she initiated a series of innovative programs for women and girls in regard to administration, coaching and refereeing. Subsequently Helen has worked for Sport and Recreation Victoria as a Project Officer and has taken on a range of consulting roles in project management.
Helen is the Head of Women and Girls at Heidelberg United where she oversees the club’s NPL Women’s program. Helen is also on the Board of Proud2Play.
Media: Cheryl Downes, Danielle Warby and Samantha Lewis
The Women Onside media network is a space for anyone working in media and reporting on the women’s game.
Commentators, photographers, writers, videographers, analysts, whatever your focus, join us to discuss the current state of play and the future of football media.
Supporters: Fatima Flores
Fatima Flores has taken on the role of supporter convenor. Supporters groups for our women’s professional teams are now a growing area and offer a key means of promoting the game, engaging with fans and helping to develop the sustainable audience base and match day experience that professional women’s football needs. Fatima will be building on the success of the World Cup Matildas Active support fan group and The Roar Corps to help raise the profile and enhance the resources of supporters groups around the country.