Highwood's announcement today comes after 10 years of service to FFA.

“The anticipated restructure of the leagues presents the ideal time for me to leave FFA and to pursue new challenges and opportunities," she said.

"I’m both satisfied and proud of what has been accomplished in football development, at the grassroots and in women’s football during my time.

“I am proud of the outcomes we have been able to deliver in an often-complex stakeholder environment and with tight resources.

"There is a real opportunity now for the game to pull together and align under a new governance structure and I wish the FFA Board and stakeholders all the best as they move into this new era for Football.” 

During Highwood's time at FFA, she has overseen an overall increase in participation, in particular, ALDI MiniRoos and the establishment of FFA’s first schools strategy as well as development and implementation of the ALDI Miniroos for Girls program, playing an integral part of the first Collective Bargaining Agreement for the W-League plus more.

Outgoing FFA CEO David Gallop AM congratulated Highwood for her distinguished service to Australian football.  

“Emma has been a champion for both women’s and community football in Australia," he said.

"She has always demonstrated both a love for football and a desire to help it grow, develop and reach its potential.

"It’s not easy to manage participation in the largest participation sport in the country, but Emma was able to do so with great passion and innovation."