Women's Football Chronology

Women's Football Chronology

A chronology of Women's football and the Richmond Football Club through the years.
(Maintained by Rhett Bartlett)

1900 - 1905
Of the many Vice Presidents of the Richmond Football Club in the early 1900s, only three are women. Mrs Webster, Mrs Stevens, and Miss Annie Marie Tabulo who was the proprietor of the Surrey Hotel, Lennox Street, Richmond.

A women’s football supporter group, called The Singing Tigresses, are profiled in the Football Record. “Dame Melba may be interested in knowing that Richmond, where the world-famous singer used to live, possess a really live choir of songstresses. They wear long ribbons of yellow and black…’’
They regularly travel to matches on public transport, singing Richmond songs and chants.

The Richmond Reserves team (wearing fancy dress) play a Richmond women’s team (‘The Tigresses’) on the Punt Road Oval. The women’s team win 9.14.68 to 0.1.1
“The Tigresses” played with remarkable keenness and marked well” the press wrote.
The match is part of the Richmond Juniors carnival, which raises fund to send the Reserves to Tasmania.
Thousands of spectators watch the match.

Saturday, August 12
A women's Richmond team play a Carlton's women team on the Carlton Ground, as part of a carnival to raise money for the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Carlton 1.6.12 def Richmond 0.0.0
Best players for Richmond are Misses Willis, Stronach, Campbell, Nott, Bruce.
Footage of the match was shot by British Pathe.

Saturday, August 24
Jack Dyer umpires a North Melbourne women's team vs Sth Melbourne women's team at North.
The match is held as part of North's carnival. The game is played in 4 x 10min quarters
The Sporting Globe article indicates that Dyer had reservations about women's football.

Gwen Howard - known as 'The Richmond Tigress' and Barbara Howard, Essendon supporter have a kicking competition on the Richmond ground in front of a small group of boys. The event is covered by The Argus here and here .
A further kicking competition between the ladies was planned for the North Melbourne ground, by Richmond secretary Maurie Fleming with a trophy to be presented to the winner. Jack Dyer had recently been coaching Gwen in kicking.

Thursday, December 27
Monica Manzie, known as 'Mother of the Richmond Football Club' dies aged 90. She was the wife of Andrew Manzie (RFC Secretary 1906-1911), but maintained her passion and love for Richmond despite her husband moving across to the Melbourne Football Club. Her residence on Punt Road was the social gathering place for footballers and supporters

1959 - early 1960s
Alice Wills establishes the Supporters’ Group which raises funds and sponsors players, it merges with an early incarnation of the Richmond Cheer Squad.

Alice Wills become the first female Richmond Football Club Life Member, for her then contribution of 30 years.

Richmond Football Club launch Hafey’s Ambush, a women’s networking group. It would later be renamed as The Tiger Lillies

Richmond launches its Save our Skins campaign, to raise $1million in 10 weeks to save the club. The management of volunteers, collection tins and letter mail-outs, fall under Alice Wills’ jurisdiction.

Alice Wills is an inaugural inductee into the Richmond Football Club Hall of Fame.

2007- 2015
The Healthy Tigers program is launched.
A commercial partnership program run for Year 9 students from Presentation College Windsor (PCW) to increase physical activities in students. The program runs for 9 sessions per class across school term 2. 70+ students took part in the program each year.

Alice Wills is named as one of the Tigers all-time top 10 servants, during the club’s League Centenary celebrations.

Thursday, October 3
Peggy O’Neal is appointed President of the Richmond Football Club. The first woman President of any senior VFL/AFL club ever.

Early 2014
Richmond Football Club in partnership with the Australian Sports Commission and the AFL, establish a three-year longitudinal study into gender equity. The research and subsequent implementation plan is titled Gender Equity: What will it take to be the Best?
Between March and May 2014, research partner Bluestone Edge interview over 50 industry-associated people and several subject matter experts, both male and female, on their experiences, observations and suggestions.

Early 2014
A masterclass session for the newly formed Youth Girls academy is held in Warrnambool. 30+ participants take part in this session that was facilitated by Richmond’s Troy Chaplin.
Youth Girls Community Camp Training sessions are held at Punt Road.

Saturday, April 5
Alice Willis, who formed the Richmond Cheer Squad, was the first female to receive club life membership, and an inaugural Hall of Fame inductee, dies.
The Richmond Football Club call her “the matriarch of Tigerland”

Early 2015
Punt Road Oval hosts the AFL Vic Girls Metro pre-season training.

Early 2015
Woomeras (Indigenous) girls Kickstart team selection and trials are held at Punt Road Oval.
Saturday March 18
Richmond Football Club host the Army and Navy to a training session and recovery session. A women’s match between RAAF vs Navy is held at 11am on the Punt Road Oval.

The Elite Sport Male Champions of Change (ESMCC) is officially launched.
Richmond Football Club pushed for the establishment of the group as part of its Gender Equality Research Project which it undertook in conjunction with the Australian Sports Commission and the AFL. The charter of the group is to actively advance gender equality across elite sports, with a particular focus on leadership, talent development, public advocacy and accountability.

Sunday, June 7
The Victorian women’s representative team 8.10.58 defeat the inaugural NSW/ACT women’s representative team on the Punt Road Oval. Approximately 400 people watch the match.

The Northern Territory Women’s football team tour the Punt Road Oval facilities.

Wednesday, December 9
Maureen Hafey is awarded Richmond Life Membership for her lifetime support to families, coaches, players and her involvement in co-founding ‘Hafey’s Ambush’ – the club’s first women’s supporter group.

Peggy O’Neal is awarded Richmond Life Membership for 10 years service on the Richmond board.


Early 2016
The Youth Girls Community Camp Training sessions are held at Punt Road.

Friday, March 4
AFL Victoria runs a training session for women who are not in the Youth Girls Academy, to try out for the VIC Metro Youth Girls State training squad. The session is held from 5.30pm - 8pm at the Punt Road Oval.

Friday, March 11
Vic Metro U18 Youth Girls State team trains at Punt Road Oval (5.30pm - 8pm)

Wednesday, March 16
Vic Metro U18 Youth Girls State team trains at Punt Road Oval (5.30pm - 8pm)

Wednesday, March 23
Vic Metro U18 Youth Girls State team trains at Punt Road Oval (5.30pm - 8pm)

Wednesday, March 30
Vic Metro U18 Youth Girls State team trains at Punt Road Oval (5.30pm - 8pm)

Wednesday, April 13
Vic Metro U18 Youth Girls State team final squad trains at Punt Road Oval (5.30pm -8pm)

Wednesday, April 20
Vic Metro U18 Youth Girls State team final squad trains at Punt Road Oval (5.30pm -8pm)

Wednesday, April 27
Vic Metro U18 Youth Girls State team final squad trains at Punt Road Oval (5.30pm -8pm)

Thursday, April 28
Richmond announce it will submit an application for a women’s football team to participate in the 2017 National Women’s League (NWL).

Friday, May 6
Final day of competition in the 2016 Youth Girls National Championship is played on the Punt Road Oval.
NT Thunder defeat Woomeras.
Vic Country defeat QLD.
NSW/ACT defeat South Australia.

Wednesday, June 15
The AFL announce eight clubs have been granted a licence for the NWL 2017 season.
Richmond is unsuccessful, however is award a provisional licence.

Wednesday, November 30
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale and Minister for Sport John Eren unveil the government’s Change Our Game campaign. The campaign challenges gender stereotypes and encourages more women and girls to reach their full potential.

Saturday, March 4
Richmond host the first ever Youth Girls Under 18s TAC Cup match
Murray Bushrangers defeat Bendigo Pioneers

Sunday, March 5
Richmond announce a partnership with Bendigo Thunder Women’s Football Club. It provides that club with development opportunities and allows Bendigo Thunder to play some home games at Punt Road.

Sunday, April 2
Richmond host a Come and Try Talent Day, in Bendigo, prior to Bendigo Thunder’s season launch. Registration was opened to girls and boys aged 11 - 15 years who live in Richmond’s Academy zone.

Richmond appoint Kate Sheahan as their AFLW Operations Manager.

Thursday, May 18
Richmond announces the establishment of the Boorimul program, to identify and develop talented young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and maximise their football potential and develop them as culturally affirmed and resilient community members.

Friday, June 16
Peggy O’Neal and Kate Sheahan personally deliver the Club’s submission for an AFLW license, for the 2019 season, to the AFL.

Sunday, July 9
Bendigo Thunder 9.9.63 defeat Kew 2.4.16 at the Punt Road Oval.
It is Bendigo Thunder’s first match at that ground.

Sunday, August 13
Bendigo Thunder def Benalla Saints in the Northern Country Women’s League Final
Richmond have partnered with Bendigo during the 2017 season

Sunday, August 27
Bendigo Thunder's Division 1 side defeat Diamond Creek for the Northern Football League Women's Premiership.

Wednesday, September 27
The AFL grant Richmond an AFLW license for 2020. The club announces they will pursue a VFLW license for the 2018 season and launch a RFC Female Football Academy.

Saturday, September 30
With Richmond's Grand Final victory in the AFL, Peggy O'Neal becomes the first female premiership pennant.

Wednesday , October 11
Richmond is granted a VFLW licence for the 2018 season. It is a key move to ready the club for the 2020 AFLW season.
The team's home ground is Punt Road.

Thursday, October 26
Richmond unveil the Alice Wills Award, honouring outstanding dedication and commitment of 10 years or more by a volunteer of the Richmond Football Club.

Friday, November 10
Tom Hunter is appointed the inaugural coach of the club's VFL Women's side.

Saturday, November 11
A talent day is hosted at the ground to seek out potential players for the VFLW side.

Saturday - Sunday November 18-19
The inaugural Koorie Women's Football Carnival is held at Punt Road. Female indigenous athletes 15 years and over compete in a round-robin tournament.

Monday, December 11
At the AGM, Richmond announce the first recipients of their Alice Wills Award, honouring outstanding dedication and commitment of 10 years or more by a volunteer of the Richmond Football Club.
Recipients include Val Noble (Volunteer from 1995-2015), Nancy Rogers (Volunteer 1983-2008), Margaret Scott (Volunteer 1966-2008), Libby Callanan (Committee member of Ballarat Tigers Supporter Group)

Wednesday, January 17
Former Melbourne player Shaun Smith is appointed assistant coach of the VFL Women's side.

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