Sonja Hood and Bachar Houli. Pictures: AFL Photos

The AFL congratulates the community leaders and outstanding contributors to Australian football who have today been recognised for their service to the Australian community in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours.

AFL Commission Chair Richard Goyder said Australian football was delighted that a number of dedicated individuals at community level, as well as leaders at senior level of the national competition, were receiving well deserved recognition with these honours.

"The success of Australian football around the country is built on the service of hardworking individuals, who give their time for their community or local club," Mr Goyder said.

"Those people, in all facets of Australian life, who are prepared to assist others within their community are deserving of the highest praise and, on behalf of Australian football, I congratulate both those people recognised for service to our game and also to congratulate all those who are making our country better in some way with their service.

"I particularly want to call out today those individuals who have been involved in our game for three, four and five decades in various capacities, and to all those people who help nurture football across the country.

"At the senior level of the game, I want to congratulate North Melbourne President Dr Sonja Hood for her work in the Victorian community, along with the recognition given to former Richmond premiership player Bachar Houli, former Geelong and Richmond player Gareth Andrews, former senior administrator Rob Snowdon and the incoming Governor-General, former AFL Commissioner and Sydney Swans Board member Sam Mostyn."

Mr Goyder said the AFL was delighted that the 2024 King’s Birthday Day Honours recognised people with service to junior football for girls and boys, club football, state league and AFL clubs, and the administration of the game.

2024 King's Birthday Honours with a contribution to Australian Football:


Sam Mostyn AO - For eminent service in the social justice, gender equity, sporting, cultural and business sectors, to reconciliation, and to environmental sustainability, with past roles as an AFL Commissioner and Sydney Swans’ Board member.


Gareth Andrews - For significant service to the Australian Football League as a player and administrator, to men’s health, and to the community.

Dr Sonja Hood - For significant service to community through social welfare organisations, and to sports administration, including as current President, North Melbourne Football Club.


The late Sir James Hardy - For distinguished service to yachting, to the business sector, to charitable organisations, and to the community, including roles at AFL Sydney (formerly Sydney Football League) and NSW Australian Football League. 


Jason Ball – For service to the community through social inclusion initiatives and his advocacy of LGBTQ sports players.

Lance Boswell - For service to the communities of Albury and Howlong, including roles at Howlong Football Club (Juniors and Seniors).

Gwendoline Chisholm - For service to the community of Berrigan, including to the Ladies Auxiliary at Berrigan Football Netball Club.

Alexander Clark - For service to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and to the community, including roles at the Takari Junior Football Club.

Phill Collins – For service to the community of Lockington, including roles at the Lockington Football Club.

Alan Coulter - For service to community sport, including 47 years at the Renmark Rovers Football Club.

The late John Devine - For service to Australian rules football, and to the community of Tasmania, including as a captain, coach, player, Hall of Fame inductee. 

Bachar Houli - For service to the Islamic community, to multiculturalism, and to Australian rules football.

Alan Fry - For service to the communities of Cohuna and Leitchville, including as a supporter of the Leitchville Football Netball club.

Rob Gartland - For service to the community of Geelong, including the Geelong Football Club.

Cecilia Gore-Birch - For service to the Indigenous community of Western Australia, including as Director, East Kimberley Football Association

Claire Henshall - For service to the community of Warragul, including as a Life Member of the Warragul Football Netball Club.

Doug Kaesler - For service to cycling, with roles at SMOSH West Lakes Football Club (formerly Semaphore Park Football Club), and South Australian Amateur Football League

Michael Litis - For service to the community through sports organisations, including roles at Karoonda Junior Football Club.

James MacLeod - For service to the community of Melbourne, including roles at Blackburn Football Club

Michael McLaughlin - For service to the community of Violet Town, including more than 30 years at Violet Town Football/Netball Club

Max Papley - For service to the community of the Cardinia Shire, including roles at Williamstown Football Club.

The late Robert Porter - For service to the community of Officer, including roles at Officer Senior Football Club (formerly known as Rythdale Officer Cardinia Football Club)

Sandy Roberts – For service to media as a sports commentator, including Australian rules football.

Bernard Sinnott - For service to the community of Camperdown, including roles at the Camperdown Football Netball Club

Rob Snowdon - For service to the community, and to Australian rules football, including roles at Port Adelaide and Sydney Swans Football Clubs.