The Pacific road to the Women’s World Cup 2019
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Adele, Jennesa and Lavenia are changing the game in women’s football. Not on the pitch, but from the commentators box: they are bringing the Women’s World Cup 2019 to the Pacific through live commentary in indigenous languages.

Three Pacific women are about to board a plane for the FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) in France, but they will not be playing football or spectating.

The broadcasters will be taking part in a ground-breaking world first pilot project for women’s sport.

Adele Willie and Jennesa Hinge Moli from Vanuatu, and Lavenia Yalovi from Fiji have spent the last eight months preparing for this moment – to commentate for FIFA at the Women’s World Cup 2019.

The group were invited to the WWC by FIFA and are accompanying Aaron Kearney – an Australian media consultant who designed and delivered their commentary training.

Under Aaron’s mentorship the women will be bringing Pacific language radio commentary to ten countries across the Pacific, and to the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) website.

They have been trained through the Women in News and Sport (WINS) programme funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Trade and Affairs.

WINS is run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s International Development (ABCID) unit and aims to increase the opportunities for women in sports journalism.

Adele says it is perfect timing to be broadcasting football in local languages, during the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages.

Jenessa and I will be commentating in Bislama (one of the official languages of Vanuatu), and Lavenia in Fijian, in the year promoting indigenous languages.”

Aaron says Australia and the Pacific are leading the way and the team will do the region proud.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and ABC International Development deserve a lot of credit for having the vision to support this concept and see the wonderful possibilities. To now have an Australian-developed idea taken on by an organisation like FIFA and showcased at the World Cup is great recognition for all involved.”

This once in a lifetime opportunity in France follows the success of the WINS activity for the OFC Women’s Nations Cup.

These three women were part of a team that made history last November - producing a live broadcast of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup semi-finals by Pacific women in the Bislama and iTaukei Fijian languages, as well as English. 


All countries
Football (Soccer)
Sustainable Development Goals
5 - Gender equality
Target Group
Girls and women

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