It’s hard to imagine Freo star Hayley Miller doing anything but playing footy, but the midfielder admitted at the club’s International Women’s Day Luncheon that when she was growing up, she never pictured herself playing the game.
In a Q&A on stage at Crown Perth, Miller addressed the importance of the AFLW to Australian society, highlighting the theory that many people can’t aspire to be what they can’t see.
The co-host of the club’s Kickin’ Back podcast is arguably one of the AFLW’s most influential players both on and off the field and she said that the importance of that position is not lost on her.
“It’s pretty surreal to think there could be some little Hayley Millers running around with their ponytail and ribbons in their hair around the hallways at home pretending they’re at Optus Stadium kicking a goal and celebrating,” Miller said.
“I’ve been asked if it was my dream to play AFL and in my experience, no it wasn’t, because I didn’t see that as an opportunity for me.
“I watched a bit of footy but I never thought of myself being in this position.
“I’m really excited for all those girls who have that opportunity to watch their favourite player and build themselves on their role models and I think that’s really powerful.”
At the event, Fremantle CEO Simon Garlick highlighted the three board members, five managers and three AFLW coaches at Fremantle.
He added that the club needed to progress further to achieve gender equality.
“We need gender balance in our board room, at match committee and in management roles because it provides the diversity of thought that leads to more rounded decision making and therefore better performance,” Garlick said.
“We need diverse leadership, intelligence, guidance and innovation.
“So let’s choose to challenge ourselves. It’s how we can and we will shape a more equal future.”
In it’s sixth year, Fremantle’s International Day Women’s Luncheon was once again proudly presented by co-major sponsor Programmed.