Written by Nikki Henningham, The University of Melbourne, with the National Film and Sound Archive.
Heather Reid is the daughter of migrants from Scotland who spent most of her childhood growing up in the Snowy Mountains, in the community of migrants that built the Snowy Mountain Hydro-electricity Scheme. It was here that her love of sport, particularly soccer, developed, along with her belief that women and girls should have equal access to the enjoyment of participating in sport. The bulk of her adult working life has seen her working to create opportunities for women to experience equality of access.
Apart from helping to establish women’s soccer in Canberra in 1978, Reid played a significant role in developing the sport at a national level. She introduced state representative teams for women in 1980, coached the first ACT Under 15 teams in 1983, pioneered the establishment of a women’s world cup and successfully lobbied for the inclusion of women’s soccer in the Olympic Games. In 2003 she was appointed to the position of General Manager of Women’s Soccer Canberra and in 2004 she was appointed CEO of Soccer Canberra (now Capital Football) thus becoming the first woman to lead a State football association.
Starting in soccer administration, her professional and personal interest then broadened to creating equal opportunity for women in all types of sport, through her involvement in advocacy organisations and statutory authorities.Between 1990-1992 she was a Director of Womensport ACT, National Executive Director of Womensport Australia 1994-1998 and was a member of Australian Womensport and Recreation Association 2007-2012. She was the longest-standing member of the ACT Sport and Recreation Council when she resigned in 2002, having joined in 1991. Between 2003-2008 she was a member and chair of the ACT Advisory Council on Women and Sport and was a member of the ACT Sport and Recreation Council in 2008-2012. Heather has also worked for the Australian Sports Commission, as a consultant to the Women and Sport Unit 1999-2001 and as a project officer, Ethics and Women’s Sport, between 2002-2003.
Heather Reid has been recognised for her outstanding service to sport in Canberra and at a national level. In 2000 she was the ACT Sport Star of the Year in the administrator category and in 2001 she received an Australian Sports Medal for her contribution to soccer and community sport. In 2006, she won the Australian Sports Commission’s Margaret Pewtress Memorial Award for her contribution to enhancing opportunities for women in sport.