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Meet Karen Menzies, Australia's first Indigenous Matilda

Karen Menzies

2021

Karen Menzies was taken from her parents when she was an eight month old baby and made a ward of the state. She was raised by a loving non-Aboriginal family in Sydney, who thought they had adopted her, but when she was 13, Karen ended up in institutions, including a girls' home in suburban Newcastle where she was encouraged to play soccer. Karen didn't find out about her Aboriginal heritage until she was 16. When she was selected to play soccer for Australia in 1983, she was the first Indigenous woman to do so. Karen is now a lecturer at the University of Newcastle and is a member of Football Australia's first Indigenous Advisory Group.