Rose van Bruinessen (married name Rosemary Moodley), known as Matilda #10, was one of the pioneering figures in women’s football in Australia. She played a significant role as a defender in the early days of the Australian Women’s National Football Team, also known as the Matildas.
Unconfirmed information indicates that she was born in Sydney, her parents were both born in the Netherlands. Her father, Jan van Bruinessen, was born in the city of Utrecht, and her mother, Truus van Bruinessen, was born in the city of Amsterdam.
Rose started playing football at the age of 12, and her talent quickly became evident at Crest Soccer Club in Sydney’s inner west. Under the guidance of George Thomas, she honed her skills during the first five years of her football education at Crest. However, Crest Soccer Club was unaffiliated with the governing body, which led her to move to Arncliffe Scots to continue her playing career.
In 1979, Rose was part of the first official Australian Women’s National Football Team that played an international match against their traditional rivals, New Zealand. The game took place at Seymour Shaw Park in Miranda.
Over the course of her international career, she represented Australia in 14 matches between 1979 and 1984, playing a crucial role in defense.
Rose van Bruinessen was described as a tall, athletic player who excelled as a stopper on the field. She was known for her composure and skill on the ball, as well as her dominance in aerial challenges.
Rose was part of the early generation of women footballers who laid the groundwork for the growth and development of women’s football in Australia. Her dedication to the sport and her contributions to the Matildas’ legacy helped pave the way for future generations of female footballers in the country.
Even after her playing days, Rose remained involved in the football community, supporting the Matildas’ alumni and celebrating their achievements, such as the 2017 victory over Brazil in Newcastle.