- Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
- Lawyer, Soccer player, Solicitor, Sports administrator and Sportswoman
Moya Dodd is a lawyer and former international footballer with the Matildas, now making a contribution to sports governance in Australia and internationally. She was named one of World Soccer magazine's People of the Year in 2013, and listed in the top 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review in 2012 and 2014.
Born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia at a time when organised sport for girls was very limited, Moya Dodd discovered football (soccer) when her family bought a television set when she was 10. Within a few years she was playing enthusiastically for her local team, Port Adelaide, later joining the Adelaide University Soccer Club when she enrolled in Law at age 16. She edited the university student newspaper On dit (1986), and gained an Honours degree in Law, before working as the Associate to Justice Michael White at the Supreme Court of SA (1988). It was during this time that she participated in FIFA's first ever World Tournament for women in China 1988, helping Australia to a famous 1-0 victory over Brazil and achieving a quarter-final placing.
In 1989 she moved to her mother's home town of Sydney where she completed her admission requirements and worked at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, while continuing to play on the national football team. She later worked as in-house counsel at Telstra, including as General Counsel of Telstra's Multimedia business unit during the rollout of pay TV in Australia and the establishment of the FOXTEL joint venture with News Corporation.
After an ACL knee injury in 1995, she retired from the Matildas and completed an Executive MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management. Her interest in media and telecommunications converged in the dot-com boom, when she took up a business role at leading publisher Fairfax, including serving as Content Director for masthead websites smh.com.au and theage.com.au.
After a period working as an economics consultant, Moya returned to the law in 2007, joining Gilbert+Tobin as Special Counsel (later Partner) and working extensively on broadband, mobile and NBN issues both in Australia and overseas.
During this period she also joined the board of Football Federation Australia, which was re-establishing the game in Australia under chairman Frank Lowy following the demise of the former national governing body. Australia had moved to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which co-incidentally had just created quota positions for women in each region. Moya was co-opted onto the AFC Executive Committee, and later elected as the confederation's first female Vice President, and the first woman in the world to hold such a role. She also joined AFC's Legal Committee and Women's Football Committee, serving through a difficult period of corruption allegations during which the AFC President received a life ban. She also worked with then FIFA Vice-President Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, in overturning FIFA's ban on women wearing the hijab (headscarf) in international matches.
In 2013, FIFA held its first ever election for a female Executive Committee member. Moya was nominated as Asia's candidate and ran second in the ballot, but was appointed as a co-opted member of the FIFA Executive Committee where she became a vocal advocate for women in football, chairing FIFA's Women's Football Task Force and presenting ten key principles for women's football development to the approval of the 2014 FIFA Congress.
She also travelled extensively to developing football regions to advocate for greater women's participation in sport, including to a refugee camp near the Jordan-Syria border; and to Tehran, where she and FIFA President Sepp Blatter spoke out against the bar on women entering football stadiums.
While scandals consumed much of the media airtime about FIFA, she became known as one of only three members of the FIFA Executive Committee who did not accept $25,000 gift watches while in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup in 2014.
In 2014 she joined the International Council for the Arbitration of Sport (the governing body of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, chaired by John Coates AC) as an athlete representative.
Moya was named as one of World Soccer magazine's People of the Year in 2013, and listed in the top 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review in 2012 and 2014.
Sources used to compile this entry: Moya Dodd scores for women's soccer, The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 May 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/fifa-world-cup-2014/moya-dodd-scores-for-womens-soccer-20140530-zrsju.html; Dodd, Moya, Women finally receive call-up to football's top team, The Age, 8 February 2013, http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/women-finally-receive-callup-to-footballs-top-team-20130207-2e1dw.html; McGuire, Michael, Moya Dodd is goal driven, The Advertiser, 7 March 2014, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/football/moya-dodd-is-goal-driven/story-fnii0fc4-1226848198238; Material provided by Moya Dodd May 2015; http://www.goal.com/en/news/745/fifa/2014/09/15/5106135/fifa-admits-to-receiving-luxury-watch-gifts-from-cbf [accessed 2016-04-27]; http://keirradnedge.com/2013/11/07/dodd-and-blatter-take-the-case-for-muslim-women-fans-to-tehran/.
Prepared by Moya Dodd
Created: 27 April 2016, Last modified: 2 September 2016