Women’s league makes Siren call

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - Tanya Macnaughton

PERTH col­lab­o­ra­tive duo Snap­cat – Re­nae Coles and Anna Dun­nill – have worked to­gether for four years on projects, with fem­i­nism a key theme.

So you can imag­ine their de­light when the AFL an­nounced 2017 would be the in­au­gu­ral sea­son for AFL Women’s (AFLW).

“It hap­pened at a sim­i­lar time to when the Matil­das went on strike be­cause they were get­ting paid a lot less than the men’s team, the Soc­ceroos,” Coles said.

“There was a month or so when women in sport were mak­ing head­lines, which doesn’t hap­pen that of­ten, and there was a feel­ing of a shift­ing of the sands in sport.”

Coles and Dun­nill were prompted to start re­search­ing the his­tory of women in sport when they were ap­proached by Perth In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val to work on Piaf com­mis­sion Be­fore the Siren with Mel­bourne artist Lara Thoms.

Cur­rently based at Fre­man­tle Arts Stu­dio, the artists have been in a whirl­wind of pur­ple while cre­at­ing the gi­ant cel­e­bra­tory free event to be staged at Fre­man­tle Oval at 6pm on Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 19, with gates open at 5pm.

“We’ve taken what we think are all the most ex­cit­ing and spec­tac­u­lar el­e­ments of football and wo­ven them to­gether into a the­atri­cal per­for­mance,” Coles said.

“There will be lots of banners, co­me­dian Han­nah Gadsby will be com­men­tat­ing, we have mas­cots, the Dock­ers cheer squad will be there, plus a sausage siz­zle and free kids’ ac­tiv­i­ties; we’re hop­ing it will be a lively, fam­ily-friendly event.”

Ten di­verse women’s com­mu­nity groups will be part of Be­fore the Siren, in­clud­ing the Red Hat So­ci­ety, WA Roller Derby League, WA Em­broi­deries Guild, Girl Guides and the Shirley Club, who are a group of women all named Shirley, many named af­ter Shirley Tem­ple.

“Each group will have a gi­ant football-style ban­ner with slo­gans on it that have come out of the in­ter­views and work­shops we’ve done with them; they will all have the chance to burst through their banners, which are a lot more tech­ni­cal to make than you may think,” Coles said.

The But­ler Fal­cons football team will show off their skills.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d464929

Anna Dun­nill, Liane Satie, Leala Bur­ton, Stef Haward and Re­nae Coles are proud to gather around the ban­ner of women’s sport.

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