ACT News


Canberra codes look to rebuild after Heather Reid and Carrie Graf depart

Women's sport in Canberra was hit by a double blow on Thursday as two of the capital's most influential women decided to call time on their respective careers.

Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid and Canberra Capitals basketball coach Carrie Graf stepped down from their jobs to signal the end of an era in Canberra's women's sport.

Reid will move into a consultancy role for the next 12 months while Graf is fighting to break the Capitals 20-game losing streak before she bids farewell.

The pair exchanged text messages when they realised their announcements fell less than an hour apart, paying tribute to each other and the way they've been major advocates for female athletes.

Reid said "it's time for change" in Canberra's soccer ranks while Graf wants to spend more time with twins Charli and Bentley before deciding on her next career move.


They have been pioneers in battling for women's rights in the sporting arena, and were both recognised on the Australia Day honours list a year ago for all the work they have done.

Reid established women's soccer in Canberra in 1978, was the driving force between Canberra United joining the W-League, brought the Socceroos and A-League matches to the capital and has turned the Kanga Cup into a thriving tournament.

Graf led the Capitals to their first WNBL title in 1999-2000, has coached the team to six of their seven championships during her 15 seasons in charge and led the Australian Opals to an Olympic Games bronze medal in 2012.

"I think [Graf] has done a fantastic job for basketball and for women in Canberra. She's been a terrific coach," Reid said.

"I think I'll catch up with Carrie in the next few days for a few drinks and we can have a chat about the challenges that we face in what still is a male-dominated environment for leaders.

"I'm the only female CEO in Australia and I'm about to head to Melbourne on Monday for a meeting for my colleagues ... It's an interesting time for both Carrie and myself." Tributes flowed from ex-players, support staff, fans, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Sport and Recreation minister Yvette Berry.

"Both Carrie and Heather have built a fantastic legacy in their respective sports," Barr said.

"[They] have made a significant contribution to the promotion of equity in ACT sports, and their impact cannot be underestimated."

Graf said: "Heather has paved the way, and for her to be in that role in a heavily male-dominated sport, she's been sensational."