Karla Grant and Matildas player Lydia Williams on Living Black

'So many layers to Lydia that people probably don't know': Matildas star Lydia Williams to kick off Living Black's 31st season

Karla Grant, who hosts NITV's news and current affairs show, Living Black, chats to us about interviewing the Matildas' longest serving goalkeeper.

For over two decades, Living Black has been a proud home of Indigenous storytelling on Australian TV. As the show prepares to return for its 31st season in 2024 (and 21st year on air), its host Karla Grant promises there’ll be a diverse lineup of guests and plenty of compelling stories explored in each episode. 

Given women’s sports has been a huge topic globally – particularly after the FIFA Women’s World Cup – it perhaps makes perfect sense that Lydia Williams will kick off Living Black’s new season as the first guest. 

The 35-year-old Noongar woman has been the longest serving goalkeeper for the Matildas, having played for the team for over 18 years. She is set to travel to Paris with her teammates later this year for the Olympics. 

“We could have held the episode for later in the series when the Olympics is on, but I really wanted to put her up front and really celebrate her because she’s just a fantastic person and she’s been amazing for the Matildas,” Grant tells Missing Perspectives

Karla Grant and Matildas player Lydia Williams on Living Black

Karla Grant and Matildas player Lydia Williams on Living Black. Photo: Supplied/SBS

Grant sits down with Williams for a candid chat that will air on Monday, April 22. Filmed at AAMI Park in Melbourne, the interview explores various facets of Williams’ career and personal life. Not only does she speak about the Matildas striving for gold at the Paris games, but also her upbringing and her advocacy for First Nations people. 

“It’s not just a sports-based interview,” Grant explains. “There’s just so many layers to Lydia that people probably don't know about. She’s written children’s books as well and she’s so passionate about getting young kids, particularly Indigenous girls, into football or soccer.” 

Grant highlights that another area Williams speaks passionately about in the interview is equal pay and the role of women in sports leadership. 

“[It’s about] ensuring that women have equal opportunity as men in this game because for so long they haven't,” she says. “They’re only just starting to get that sort of recognition and pay and being treated equally.” 

Last year the Matildas and Socceroos came to a new pay deal that would mean the Tillies could receive a pay increase of up to $80,000 per year. That would be on top of their club salaries and tournament prize money.

Matildas player Lydia Williams

Matildas player Lydia Williams. Photo: SBS

Following the chat with Williams, other interviews on this season of Living Black will include the likes of musician Emily Wurramara, comedian Andy Saunders, former entertainer and radio broadcaster Candy Devine, photographer Barbara McGrady, artist Blak Douglas, Cherokee chef, caterer and student of traditional Indigenous cuisines Nico Albert Williams (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ Cherokee Nation) and more.

As usual, these interviews will be complemented by a series of powerful investigations, uncovering various news and current affairs issues as such black cladding of businesses across the country, and the impact of the Aboriginal Housing Company’s redevelopment of The Block in Redfern. 

“Indigenous people still face higher rates of incarceration and the gap is a long way off from being closed,” says Grant. “So I think there's still a need for Living Black and it's important more than ever to be sharing the stories that we're sharing, and putting those issues on a national level.” 

Watch Living Black weekly from Monday 22 April at 8.30pm on NITV and on SBS from Tuesday 23 April at 10.30pm.

Living Black will also be available to stream for free on SBS On Demand and will b subtitled in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.