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Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Page: 870

Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:46): I rise today to congratulate and recognise the efforts of Grace Campbell, who will join Richmond's inaugural AFLW squad next year. Grace is a Bendigo girl and, after an outstanding career, including Victorian country selection, Grace played for the Bendigo Thunder seniors team. She quickly established herself as one of the team's premier midfield players.

Grace is from a strong football family—I should say women's football family. Her family, like many, fought for years to recognise women's ability to play. I can remember the many days we spent at the Kangaroo Flat football club cheering on the Thunder players who were still without their own home.

Grace's football career was flourishing until 2017 when she suffered a serious knee injury playing for the Thunder at the QEO. I was there that day. I can remember the horror in the crowd as she fell. It wasn't just her knee, the injury or a football career that took a turn that day; it was also her career as a nurse. As many know, because of the pay gap for women's football, our players, women players, still have to have full-time careers. She has recovered and is going on to be one of the top players from our community in Bendigo. We wish Grace the very best, as well as Richmond the very best, in their inaugural season next year.