CMFV Researchers and Change Facilitators


Brent McDonald

I am a lecturer and researcher in the sociology of sport at Victoria University. I am internationally recognised for my research on sport in contemporary Australian society. Through years of engagement with students I have developed a keen understanding of the experiences, the enormous positives, and some of the persistent negatives, that young women have in sporting contexts from the grass roots to the elite level.

Carla Luguetti

I am a lecturer and researcher in physical education at Victoria University. Football has always been a part of my life. I started to play when I was eight years old on the streets in Brazil.

Fiona McLachlan


I am a lecturer and researcher in sport and social change at Victoria University and I am a lead researcher on the Change Makers: Football Vic project. I am a kiwi and, although I am not a not a footballer, in my youth I played, coached and managed many sports.  I spent countless hours swimming, running and whacking balls. I loved sport and physical activity so much that I undertook a physical education degree at the University of Otago, and my love of sport then coincided with a love of learning and research.

Gaby Garton

Growing up in Florida in the US, I lived outside, most of the time on a football pitch, playing with girls or boys or both. Football even gave me the opportunity to attend university on an athletic scholarship while teaching me perseverance, hard work, and mental strength but also teamwork, empathy, and solidarity.

Monique Hanley

I am a student in the Integrated PhD program at the Institute for Health and Sport (IHES) at Victoria University. My research interest focusses on gender equity investments and gender equity business models in sport.  I have an MBA from the University of Sydney Business School and a Bachelor of Applied Science from RMIT.

Lauren Riddel


I recently finished my degree in Sports Management at Victoria University, I was born in England and moved  to the regional city of Ballarat in 2009 and I am a Football Victoria Referee.

Sophie Byrnes


I am about to start my Masters of Research looking at how to make meaningful change towards gender equality in basketball. In 2019, I completed my undergraduate studies in Sport Science at Victoria University including an exchange semester at the German Sport University.

Alana Richardson

I have always been a keen sportsperson, trying out netball, swimming and dancing growing up and more recently moving into male dominated sporting spaces by playing Australian Rules Football and cricket. My sporting experiences led me to study sports.

Elyse Hocking

Growing up in a regional area in Victoria, female sport opportunities were limited, and once we reached the age of around 13, most sports combined with male teams and resulted in huge dropout rates. Like most girls, I just told myself that I was not that interested in sport and moved on to other things.

Monty Little


Growing up I have always been interested in sport culture and have spent most of my degree in Sport Science and Sport Management trying to figure the bigger ‘hows’ and ‘whys’. I like asking questions and try to consciously think about and understand the way sport functions in Australia and the wider world (tough gig for my little brain, I know).

Bec Patrick

I am currently completing my Bachelors in Sport Science and Psychology, aiming to complete my Honour’s year in Psychology in 2021. As a child I loved sport and participated in almost everything, my passion was athletics, karate, swimming and rough contact sport, this fueled my passion for learning and choosing a double degree as I loved PE and Psychology during my years in VCE.

Ellanor Carboon

Growing up in a small town, surrounded by a sporting a family, I have always been involved in sport. This led me to pursue a Bachelor of Sport Science (Human Movement)/ Bachelor of Sports Management at Victoria University, of which I am in my second year of completing.

Having played a vast array of sports as a child, I ultimately choose the traditional path of netball and tennis, but have recently become equally involved with more male dominated sports, such as cricket.

Rebecca Merritt

I am in the final stages of my undergraduate degree in Sport Science (Human Movement) and Psychological Studies at Victoria University. I grew up in Canberra in a sports-enthused family, where I played multiple sports, but basketball quickly became my main focus. Moving forward, I am hoping to combine my passions for research and sport to help make a meaningful change in women’s sporting culture.

Although I do not have a direct background in football, I have had my fair share of challenges that arose from being a woman in a male-dominated sport.


Jade Tancred

Being from a country town in Victoria, sport has always been a huge part of my life. With a passion for sport and a growing interest in psychology I decided to move to Melbourne and undertake a double degree in Sport Science and Psychology at Victoria University. I will be finishing my undergraduate degree this year and hope to explore post graduate options. 



Grace Booker



My affinity for sport and exercise started when I was young and was based around my  involvement in individual sports. Growing up in rural North Queensland a lot of the sports in the area were individual as there were never enough kids to make a full team. Once hitting high school I had to travel to school and this opened my eyes to team sports and grew my love for exercise. I grew up playing tennis, touch rugby and competing in triathlons.

Georgia Denisenko

About Me

In 2018, I took on a new role as Girls’ Program Manager at Glen Eira FC, after realising the Club wasn’t offering its girls anything close to the same opportunities as the boys in the Club. With 2 daughters and 2 sons who played for Glen Eira FC, and were having very different experiences, this wasn’t acceptable to me!  Working alongside the inaugural Girls’ Technical Director, John Sugunananthan (a visionary coach and leader in girls and women’s football), we introduced a host of new programs (most of them free), established a leadership team, gathered sponsors, and created an elite pathway for girls in the Club, to match the elite boys’ pathway that had existed for nearly 10 years.

A year later our girls’ participation rate had increased by 40%, our social media was saturated with our new girls’ program, and we were off and away!  Despite the enormous progress we have made, we still have a very long way to go in many areas before reaching the target of 50/50 –  for example our Club’s Committee is severely lacking in its representation of girls and women.

Whilst I am a lawyer by background, I am passionate about advancing girls and women in football, and I was a lucky participant in FV’s inaugural Female Administrator Leadership Program in 2019.  I was also grateful to receive a Change Our Game Scholarship from the Victorian Government, which will allow me to further my study in community sports management and leadership.

I have hopeful leadership aspirations for the future, and would especially like to see Club governance reformed and overhauled, to ensure equality in participation and experience in Clubs. I am thrilled that Australia is co-hosting the Women’s World Cup in 2023. What a time to be an Australian woman involved in the beautiful game!  I doubt there will be a better opportunity to advance women and girls in football in Australia, and to reach the target of 50/50 participation.  We have much to do on many fronts, but this is our time  – oh the places we will go!