Proud Kanolu and Gangulu woman Allira Toby took the path less travelled when it came to her footballing career, but in the process blazed a trail that she hopes changes the game for Indigenous women and girls who have dreams of pursuing a career in the beautiful game.
Toby’s mob comes from Mount Morgan, a rural mining town in Central Queensland around 30 minutes from Rockhampton and the Canberra United forward grew up with football in her blood.
“Football has been a part of my family since way before my time,” Toby said.
“My grandparents on my father’s side actually started the first football club in Mount Morgan, which was really cool.
“I grew up watching dad play from the minute I was born and he was a pretty amazing player. My uncles on both sides also played, so I don’t think there was any other route I was going to take.”
Although football was the sport of choice for her family, within Indigenous communities generally, that was not the case.
Toby was the first female of her family to lace up the boots and reach the top-division level, despite no other women from her mob doing the same.