Melissa Barbieri

I rise to congratulate a talented Point Cook resident, Melissa Barbieri, who may be better known to members of the house as the woman chosen to captain the Westfield Matildas in Chengdu in China in this year’s Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asia Cup. I congratulate Melissa and the whole team on the Westfield Matildas’ terrific win against Korea DPR. Melissa has demonstrated her determination to pursue the game she loves after initially being encouraged to give it up when she was in the male team. After doing so Melissa got involved in other sports, such as basketball and tennis, but she then returned to women’s soccer, putting her skills as a goalkeeper to good use and making her mark in soccer. At only 19 years of age she made the Matildas training squad as a midfielder. Participation in sport provides so many positive benefits, including good health, fitness and social interaction. Sport promotes qualities such as teamwork, leadership, sportspersonship and sheer determination. Melissa is truly an inspiration to our local community, and we are extremely proud of her and the team, their successes and hard work. Well done!