Women’s Football Medicine Conference 2023

The Women’s Football Medicine Conference 2023  is brought to you by La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine (LASEM) Research Centre and Football Australia. This fully online conference is designed for people of all backgrounds interested in Women’s football. Participants will enjoy the exploration of the health-related challenges in Women’s football players, how to overcome these challenges, and reduce the barriers for participation and working in the Women’s game.

REGISTER HEREThis high quality education event promises to provide participants with knowledge and skills to enhance their work with Women’s football

Dr Dawn Scott

Dawn has over 20 years of experience in women’s football, and is the current VP of Performance and Innovation at Washington Spirit. She was previously Performance Director for Inter Miami CF in the MLS and Head of Performance for the US WNT for 10 years, supporting the team at 3 World Cups (2011, 2015, 2019) and 2 Olympic Games (2012, 2016). Dawn was Head of Exercise Science for the England women’s national team for over 10 years, supporting the team at 2 European Championships (2005, 2009), 1 World Cup (2007) and 1 Olympic Games (2020). Dawn is a technical advisor for FIFA, conducting the physical analysis of the 2015 and 2019 World Cup Finals, and currently collaborating on programmes relating to female health, and training women as women. She recently completed her PhD at Western Sydney Uni developing a training model for elite female football players. She also completed a Masters in Sports Directorship from Manchester Metropolitan Uni, Masters in Sports Nutrition (Aberdeen Uni), and BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science (Manchester Metropolitan Uni).

Dr Nonhlanhla Mkumbuzi

Nonhlanhla Mkumbuzi is a sports physiotherapist with a PhD in Exercise Science. In her clinical career, she has served Zimbabwe's national men's, women's and youth rugby, netball, football, and Olympic teams.  She also has teaching experience from institutions in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Anglophone Southern Africa, and the UK. Currently, she splits her time between teaching and research at Northumbria University, Newcastle and consultancy work. Her academic work is in marginalised athletes such as women and girls of colour, and those from low- and middle-income settings such as in Africa. Her research focuses on the intersection of biology, race, gender, society and culture, and economics in athletic participation, performance, injury rehabilitation, and sports medicine policy. Additionally, she is the founder and executive director at NtombiSport where she develops research programs, clinical strategies and sports medicine policies that are situated in the lived realities of African women and girls in sport.

Dr Liesel Geertsema

Dr Liesel Geertsema is a New Zealand trained Sports and Exercise Medicine Physician who recently worked in Qatar as Medical Manager for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in preparation for the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup. Her responsibility was to ensure that medical services were in place and according to FIFA standards for all official venues (stadiums, team hotels and training sites, VIP and FIFA hotels, International Media and Broadcast, etc.).  Liesel has a special interest in event medical services across a variety of sports and has worked as a medical officer at 35 international or professional sports events, including WTA and ATP tennis tournaments and World Championships in cycling, swimming, athletics and handball. Most of her experience is in football and she has worked for FIFA at 10 major tournaments.

Dr Celeste Geertsema

Dr Celeste Geertsema is a South African-born New Zealand sports physician, currently employed at Aspetar. She has been working in football medicine for the past 20 years, including 7 years as a national team physician, 12 years as FIFA medical officer and most recently she was responsible for training the medical workforce (doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff) working at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venues. Her special interests are in event cover, football medicine and snow and adventure sports.

She was the first female team doctor and first FIFA venue medical officer at a senior men’s FIFA World Cup, and was FIFA CMO at age group World Cups and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France 2019. She has worked with the IOC at the Olympic Games, and provided medical cover at several large international sporting competitions, including the athletics, handball and swimming world championships.

Rae Dower

Following a decorated football career, Rae balanced Coaching with fulltime work in teaching and the Police force. She led Football Queensland Youth teams at the National Youth Championships for over a decade before taking up a coaching role with Canberra United (Westfield W-League) and ACT Academy of Sport.

In 2017, Rae was appointed Head Coach of the Australian U17’s Women’s Team (Junior Matilda’s) and in 2022 guided Australia to victory at the U18 AFF Women’s Championship in Indonesia. In 2020, she was appointed to the inaugural role of Football Australia’s Women’s Technical Advisor and in 2022, her role was elevated to Football Australia – Technical Director Women’s Football.

Rae was the equal 1st Australian woman to attain the AFC/FA Pro Diploma in Coaching in 2013 and in 2021 became the 1st Australian woman to become an AFC/FA Pro-Licence Tutor. She’s a FIFA Instructor, FA Coach Educator and in 2019 completed the inaugural FIFA Coach Mentor Program. Rae has also worked with Football Queensland as a Coach Mentor within their FQ/QAS Girls Program from 2017 – 2023.

Dr Jessica Orchard

Jessica is a Senior Research Fellow and NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow at the School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, the University of Sydney. She is also Head, Sports Cardiology Group at the Centenary Institute and Cardiac Research Fellow at Cricket Australia. Jessica is Editor-in-Chief at JSAMS Plus and an Associate Editor at the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Jessica has a PhD in cardiac screening (University of Sydney, 2020), for which she was awarded the Peter Bancroft Prize for Research. She also has a Master of Public Health (with Merit), and Bachelor of Economics / Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) also from the University of Sydney. Jessica became a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC) in 2019.

Jessica’s research aims to improve the quality of cardiac screening programs to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) and catastrophic disability from stroke. She is currently leading an international, multidisciplinary team building an Australasian registry of athlete screening ECGs. She is also involved in a range of other projects centred on athlete health, sport injury epidemiology, digital health, atrial fibrillation screening, and legal and ethical issues in clinical practice.

Dr Kerry Peek

Kerry Peek, PhD, is a physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach, behavioural scientist, and sports injury researcher with the University of Sydney. Her research is focused on mitigating sports related head and neck injuries with a particular focus on heading in football, where she is the leading Australian researcher. Kerry was the only non-European member invited to devise UEFA’s Heading Guidelines, released in 2020 (and reviewed in 2022). She is also an advisory member of UEFA’s Expert Group on Heading, the English Premier League’s Expert Group on Neck Strengthening as well as Football Australia’s Expert Group on Heading and Concussion.  Kerry has received research funding from Sports Medicine Australia as well as a FIFA Research Scholarship for heading related research. She is currently working on collaborative projects with FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League, Football Australia and Football NSW.

Dr Brooke Patterson

Dr Brooke Patterson is a physiotherapist and research fellow at LASEM. She completed her PhD in 2020, investigating the risk of arthritis at a young age after ACL injury, and how physiotherapist-led interventions can help improve outcomes. Brooke has sustained an ACL injury herself, played in the first three seasons of the AFLW, and is now a coach. She leads an RCT in women’s community Australian football, evaluating if supported implementation can increase program uptake and reduce the risk of serious knee and head injury and is an 2023 ARC fellowship recipient.

Dr Katrine Kryger

Dr Kat Okholm Kryger has recently started the role as Medical Researcher at FIFA whilst also being Associate Professor at St Mary’s University (UK). Kat is also part of the UEFA Fitness4Football Advisory Group and the UEFA Female Health Working Group.

Kat has a big research interest in football medicine and technology. She is especially passionate about improving women’s football through research to ensure evidence-based practice.

Dr Anthea Clarke

Dr Anthea Clarke is Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at La Trobe University. Anthea completed her PhD in 2016 as a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Rugby Union, and the University of Canberra looking at the physical preparation and development of women’s rugby sevens players. Anthea has since completed research across numerous team sports and has a specific research focus on female athletes and women in sport. Anthea has also curated an online short course titled ‘Supporting the Female Athletes’ aimed at coaching and support staff, which has had over 1000 participants so far.

Dr Matt Whalan

Matt is a physiotherapist, researcher and sport scientist from Wollongong, Australia. He is a principal partner at Figtree Physiotherapy and worked in private practice for 19 years. Matt is currently the Head Physiotherapist for the Olyroos (Men's U23s) national team and has worked across both the male and female national team pathways. In addition to his clinical work, Matt completed his PhD in injury prevention in football in 2020 and has published numerous articles in the area of injury prevention, implementation and risk reduction.  Matt's research led to the development of the Football Australia Perform+ national injury prevention framework and he has a role as the Football Australia Player Availability & Perform+ Coordinator. 

Dr Donna Lu

Donna Lu (PhD) is currently the Medical Coordinator for Australia in the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup and co-leads the tournament FIFA Injury Surveillance System. Donna has provided injury surveillance consultancy for Australian Professional Leagues and Football Australia since 2016 and is a member of the FIFA Medical Injury and Illness Surveillance Consensus Group. She completed her Sport and Exercise Science Honours in training load injuries, followed by a PhD in football injury epidemiology from UTS (2020). She has published multiple longitudinal whole-league injury epidemiology peer-review studies. She also continues developing injury and illness surveillance systems from community to elite, including para-athletes in Australian football.

Georgia Brown

Georgia is currently the Sport Scientist for the Under 20s Australian Women’s National Football Team (Young Matildas) and a PhD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney. Her PhD research is focused on “Menstrual health and influence of the menstrual cycle on football performance and recovery”. Georgia obtained her Exercise and Sport Science degree in 2014, where she was awarded a University of Sydney Medal. She then studied the sleep, wellbeing and physical activity levels of elite youth football players, and was awarded First Class Honours. She has also worked as a sport scientist with Sydney FC’s male youth academy, and the NSWIS swim team. Georgia also works as an academic tutor and research assistant.

Chelsea Oester

Chelsea Oester is a PhD student at Western Sydney University and is studying the impact of the menstrual cycle on soccer players. The aim of her project is the development and validation of a screening tool that will identify players at risk of having a self-perceived decrease in performance and participation. With this tool, she hopes to increase awareness and help players around the world to continue playing.

Stella Veith

Stella Veith is a physiotherapist from Germany. She trained in The Netherlands before coming to Australia and starting work in private practice and football. After 4 years at Sydney FC, she is now looking after a Women’s League One club based in the Illawarra. She also the Head Physio for the Junior Matilda’s, the U17s National Team, for the past 3 years. Stella is a PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong, investigating injury patterns and injury reduction strategies in adolescent footballers and some of her research has informed the content of Football Australia’s Perform+.

Kate Yung

Kate Yung is a registered physiotherapist in Australia and Hong Kong, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, NSCA. Kate has worked with some of the best Olympic athletes in Hong Kong and the Australian A-League Western United Football Club in 2021/2022. She has also conducted research with the German Football League (Bundesliga) with DAAD research funding. Currently, Kate is a research associate at the Centre for Data Science, Queensland University of Technology, and the Director of Medical and Performance Innovation at the Kitchee SC Football team in Hong Kong. Her PhD focuses on improving decision-making in return-to-sports with a complex systems approach. 

Alicia is an Advanced Sports Dietitian based in with a passion for revolutionising nutrition and well-being through empowering behaviour change. She is the performance nutrition support partner for Football Australia, providing screening, education, and support to the female performance pathway, including The Matildas. This partnership has significantly impacted player and organisational culture and awareness to optimise the nutrition and well-being of female athletes. As the co-founder of Compeat Performance, Alicia envisions a future where nutrition seamlessly integrates into people's lives with a strong emphasis on empowering athletes toward actions and habits relevant to their individual needs.



Attendee Type


Standard online


LASEM staff rate


Standard online (click to register) (Recordings will be available for 3 months after the event)

LASEM staff rate (click to register)

For all enquires please email lasem.pdevents@latrobe.edu.au