State and Territory Award Winners Announced

As part of the ongoing commitment to recognising the incredible effort our community football volunteers put in to run the game at a local level, the AFL is proud to announce the 2021 Toyota National Volunteer Award winners from all around the country.

All Auskick Centres, Schools, Community Clubs and Leagues were invited to nominate an outstanding volunteer as part of the Toyota AFL National Volunteer Awards.

AFL received over 600 Nominations nationally, recognizing the significant contribution our  volunteers give to the game, right across the industry. 

These volunteers may have contributed to the completion of a major or significant project throughout the year, gone above and beyond throughout Covid affected 2020 season or they may be someone who has contributed to a number of roles over a long period.

National Club and Volunteer Support Manager, Alex Burgin said that being able to recognise and reward our volunteers is critical to the ongoing success of community football:

 "The AFL are so incredibly grateful to each and every one of our 220,000 community football volunteers, the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to progress our great game in various capacities – at community clubs, leagues and across every Auskick centre.

Through a difficult season in many states, the quality of nominations shows how local AFL clubs, are determined to continue working though the hurdles and achieve amazing outcomes and excellent AFL experiences for our community”

Congratulations to the truly deserving Volunteer of the Year Award recipients.  The National Volunteer of the Year Awards are presented by Toyota as Premier Partner of the AFL, and as proud supporters of Australia’s game, men and women, young and old, from the grassroots to the elite.

National Winners will be announced in Mid-September.

Toyota AFL Community Football Volunteer
New South Wales/ACT Kristy Smith - Balgowlah Suns
Northern Territory Rebecca Dunbar - Darwin Buffaloes
Queensland Cameron Wyatt - Brothers AFC (Rockhampton)
Tasmania Lindsay Dobson - Yolla FC / Darwin FA
Victoria David Folley - Caulfield Bears FNC - SFNL
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
AFL Junior Coach
New South Wales/ACT Phil Lane - Baulkham Hills Hawks
Northern Territory Jason Grace - Southern Districts FC
Queensland Pete Hutton - Coorparoo Junior AFC
Tasmania Brad Willis - Kingborough (Junior) Football Club
Victoria Bicola Tenabel - Ascot Vale Panthers JFC
South Australia Leith Dawes - Mt Lofty Football Club
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
AFL Senior Coach
New South Wales/ACT Aaron Harvey - Glen Innes Celts
Northern Territory Graham Christmas - Rovers FC
Queensland Nick Malceski - Labrador AFC
Tasmania Mitch Thorp - Launceston Football Club - TSL
Victoria Daniel Nolan - Wallan-Riddell District FNL
South Australia Wayne Knowles - Mannum Football Club
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
AFL Disability Inclusion Volunteer
New South Wales/ACT Liz Symes - Bathurst Giants
Northern Territory Nathan Mac - Wellbeing Wednesday program
Queensland Daniel Ramage - AFLQ Inclusion Programs
Tasmania Suzanne Bowen - New Horizon Club
Victoria Peter Willoughby - Monash Demons All Abilities - FIDA
South Australia Gary Sutherland - Goodwood Saints FC, SANFL Inclusive
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
AFL Diversity Ambassador
New South Wales/ACT Ali Abdulatif - Bankstown Bullsharks
Northern Territory Malcom Hales - Barunga School
Queensland Mohammed Ansary - Merciful Servants
Tasmania Graeme Gardner - Rocherlea FC
South Australia Katy Javor - Australian Islamic College
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
AFL National Community Umpiring Service
New South Wales/ACT Ash Lamb - AFL Sapphire Coast Umpires
Northern Territory Daryl Grahek - Katherine UA
Queensland Jason Mitchell - SEQ Juniors
Tasmania Damion Oxley - Tasmanian Football Umpires Assoc
Victoria Ken Wegener - Sale Umpires Association
South Australia Geoff Osborn - SANFL Junior Umpires
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
AFL Primary School Ambassador
New South Wales/ACT Darryl Howe - St Gregorys Campbelltown
Northern Territory Eilish McCluskey
Queensland Dave Beasley - Bayview State School
Tasmania Damien Pursell - Ulverstone PS
Victoria Danielle Coates -St Francis of the Fields Primary School
South Australia Matt Bradley - Angaston Primary School
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
AFL Secondary School Ambassador
New South Wales/ACT James Sullivan - St Francis de Sales Leeton
Northern Territory Ben Johns - NT Catholic
Queensland Matthew Carroll - Marymount College
Victoria Vicki Hoban - Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar
South Australia Amanda Millar - Salisbury High School
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal
NAB AFL Auskick Volunteer
New South Wales/ACT Andrew Pyman - Fairfield Falcons
Northern Territory Nick Twelftree - Banks FC Auskick
Queensland Paul Higgs - Mayne Junior AFC
Tasmania Dwayne Aherne - Ulverstone Auskick Centre
Victoria Ben Hogan - St Bernards FC - Essendon
South Australia Jenna Tiller - Crystal Brook Football Club
Western Australia TBC – Named at Sandover Medal

The Prizes:

The State/Territory Volunteers Award winners of each category receive:

  • $200 Prize / voucher
  • Certificate of recognition for significant contribution to the AFL
  • Invitation to the Toyota AFL National Volunteer Awards online event, to be held mid-season.

The AFL National Volunteers Award winners of each category receive:

  • Tickets to the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final for the AFL National Volunteer Award winners of each category + guest.
  • Return flights (except Victoria) for the AFL National Volunteer Award winners of each category + guest.

** All prizes are subject to COVID-19 restrictions in each State / Territory, Government advice on travel and AFL grand final logistics. AFL Authorisation Code: GFAFL21/21

Other Great Ways to recognise your volunteers:

AFL Volunteer Certificate Recognition Program

Reward your volunteers by presenting them with AFL branded volunteer recognition certificates.

  1. Download certificate
  2. Right click and save the file to your computer
  3. Open the file using Adobe Reader
  4. Edit the Name and Date by clicking on the existing text and then typing the name of the person you wish to recognise and the date you want listed on the certificate
  5. Click file, save as to save the certificate to your computer
  6. You can then arrange to print these yourself or professionally through a local printing company (eg. Officeworks) and distribute as you wish

Volunteers’ motivation for continuing their involvement depends on their feeling of value and accomplishment.  However, remember that some volunteers seek opportunities for public recognition and praise, but others may feel uncomfortable under such circumstances.

  • Special awards for volunteers: volunteer of the month and of the year – presented at monthly meetings and the AGM or presentation nights.
  • Articles on individual volunteers published in the club newsletter
  • Hold social events at the beginning and end of each season for all volunteers
  • Provide recognition certificates to every volunteer.
  • Recognise long service to the club by awarding exceptional volunteers with life membership