The Backstories is a rare glimpse behind the public persona of one of the most influential Australians in women’s football, Moya Dodd, as she shares the experiences that have shaped her life. Originally commissioned and presented by Adelaide Festival, The Backstories comes to Carriageworks for three performances in February.

Former Matilda Moya Dodd was one of the first three women appointed to the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Association Football FIFA in the organisation’s 108-year history. Dodd takes us through three generations of her family – from the Chinese market garden her grandparents tended in Western Sydney, to growing up in a fire station in Adelaide, her rise to the national football team, to the world of football’s most powerful movers.

The first time Moya Dodd saw football on television at the age of 11, she was captivated.  She made her debut for Port Adelaide’s open-age women’s team at just 13 years old. At 20 she debuted for the national women’s soccer team, the Matildas, and represented Australia for almost 10 years including as vice-captain alongside an equally impressive parallel career in law. In 2016 Dodd was overall winner in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence Awards and was awarded the prestigious IOC Women and Sport Award for Oceania. Within FIFA Moya was a leading voice for reform, and made global headlines when her FIFA re-election bid controversially failed in 2017. The Backstories tells the story behind this remarkable career.

The Backstories is the latest example of the performative storytelling practice of Carriageworks Resident Company, Contemporary Asian Australian Performance (CAAP). The work includes family photographs from personal archives, and original music performed by Gareth Chin. This is intimate and vivid storytelling in the vein of CAAP’s previous works In Between Two, Stories Then & Now and Who Speaks for Me? This format is based on the work of renowned photographer and master storyteller William Yang, working with CAAP’s Executive Producer, Annette Shun Wah.

Backstories Artistic Team

William Yang – Director
Master storyteller William Yang was born in North Queensland. He began as a photographer in Sydney in the 1970s, and in the 1980s expanded his oeuvre by performing theatrical monologues with slide projections. His work, Sadness, about his family history and the AIDS epidemic in Sydney, was a huge success and toured Australia and the world, establishing Yang as a unique performance artist using storytelling and projected image. Since then Yang’s work has been in demand internationally, and has won numerous awards and accolades. Three of Yang’s works have been adapted for the screen and broadcast on ABC TV – My Generation, about the artistic scene in Sydney, Friends of Dorothy, about the gay community in Sydney, and Blood Links, about his Chinese Australian family.

Annette Shun Wah – Director
Annette Shun Wah enjoyed an extensive career on Australian radio and television on shows such as The Noise, Eat Carpet, Imagine and Studio 22. She was nominated for an AFI Award for her performance in Australia’s first foreign language feature film, Floating Life. A former contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald, Annette’s writing has been published in anthologies including; Grandma Magic, Growing Up Asian in Australia, Family Journeys, Come Away With Me and journals Meanjin and Life Writing. Her award winning book Banquet – Ten Courses to Harmony, co-written with Greg Aitkin, explored the social history of the Chinese in Australia through their links with food. Since 2013 she has led Contemporary Asian Australian Performance (formerly) Performance 4a, as its Executive Producer.

Gareth Chin – Composer/Musician
Gareth has worked primarily as a keyboardist/accordionist in theatre and music theatre, as well as session and recording work for a more than a hundred different ensembles over the last 20 years, spanning jazz, classical, funk, cabaret, African and Hindustani music.  He regularly works with Australian ensembles The Zephyr Quartet, Golonka, The Baker Suite, The Various Nefarious and The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Gareth composes for theatre, and doco/mockumentaries on SBS and ABC TV.  He also writes for gypsy outfit Golonka, with whom he has played at numerous Australian festivals such as the Adelaide Arts Festival and WOMADelaide, and recently represented Australia as part of the UNESCO Cities of Music project in the Hamamatsu World Music Festival in Japan.

Moya Dodd – Performer/writer
Born in Adelaide to a fireman and a Chinese Seventh Day Adventist, Moya Dodd started playing football for Port Adelaide’s open-age women’s team at age 13. She was selected for the national team, the Matildas at 20, and represented Australia for almost ten years including as vice-captain. She has been a partner at Gilbert + Tobin in Sydney since July 2008. She joined the board of Football Federation Australia, and was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Asian Football Confederation in 2007. Dodd was one of the first three women appointed to the Executive Committee of the international football association, FIFA in 2013, after 108 years of all-male governance.  As chair of the women’s football task force, Moya was a leading voice for the #womeninFIFA reforms. Named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence lists in 2012 and 2014, she was voted the overall winner of the 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2016 and was awarded the IOC Women and Sport Award for Oceania in 2016.