Events

An evening with Daisy Pearce

Star-struck young girls and boys were among an enthusiastic crowd of Melbourne Football Club fans who came to see Daisy Pearce talk about life, the universe and the AFL Women’s Comp last Thursday night at the Pullman Quay Grand on Sydney Harbour. Despite the classic Sydney views visible from the hotel reception room’s windows, all eyes were on Daisy as the iconic Sydney ferries sailed by ignored.

Autographs were signed and some very junior hands shaken before the humble, generous and self-possessed Melbourne Football Club’s women’s comp captain told the audience of her love for AFL as a kid growing up in the Victorian country town of Bright. Disappointment followed when she reached an age where she could no longer play in games with the boys.

The older Melbourne-born women among us sighed in recognition and regret, remembering the 1970s when girls who dared bring their Sherrin to primary school had it confiscated until the end of the day with that infuriating headmaster’s refrain: “Football’s too dangerous for girls.”

Fielding questions from magazine editor Jackie Frank and later from an engaged and responsive audience, Daisy spoke of the contrast between the more DIY-style women’s AFL – where you strap up your own ankles and even clear rubbish from the ground before you play – and the newly established professional AFL Women’s comp where physios and other assistance are all on hand.
But before we get too pleased with the progress of women’s AFL, let’s remember that unlike her AFL competition-playing male counterparts for whom it’s a full-time gig, Daisy still has a day job.
She works as a midwife at Melbourne’s Box Hill hospital, something she says she also loves and that keeps her grounded. So there’s still a fair distance to go. But to quote an old advertisement: “You’ve come a long way baby.”

 


 

 

 

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