THE AFL and the Reach Foundation have announced West Coast defender Beau Waters as the winner of the 2014 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.
The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award each year honours the former Melbourne Football Club president and Brownlow medallist who passed away in 2012.
Sam Ludbey-Stynes presented Beau Waters with the award at the Brownlow Medal ceremony held at Crown Palladium on Monday night.
AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan said the award was a tribute to Jim Stynes' standing in the game and tireless service to the community.
"This award commemorates Jim Stynes' significant contribution to the community, his outstanding leadership and his legacy as someone who always encouraged the best in others," McLachlan said.
Beau Waters, Kade Simpson, Mathew Stokes and Travis Boak were each exceptional finalists this year, showing great initiative and leadership across the community.
"Their efforts, along with all players nominated by their clubs this year, demonstrate the enormous contribution made to a wide range of worthy causes by players across the competition.
"However, Beau's long-standing and ongoing work with a number of community and charitable organisations stood out to the selection panel.
"Through his role as an ambassador for the Cancer Council WA over the past decade, Beau has been the catalyst for the West Coast Eagles raising almost $1 million dollars for cancer research," Mr McLachlan said.
In addition, Beau is:
- An active board member for Youth Focus, an organisation that supports vulnerable young people in WA by offering a range of health services;
- An inaugural committee member of the Young Men's Project Committee, which raises awareness of mental illness in young men;
- A regular Camp Quality volunteer and fund-raiser; and
- A committee member of the WA Healthy Awards.
The West Coast defender will receive $20,000 from the AFL to be donated to the charity or community program/s of his choice.
Nominations for the Award were sought from AFL clubs before the selection panel chose the four finalists, followed by the winner.
The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award selection panel consists of Sam Ludbey-Stynes, AFL Commissioner Hon. Linda Dessau AM (Chair of the selection panel), AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan, AFL General Manager People, Customer and Community Dorothy Hisgrove, AFL Head of Diversity Jason Mifsud, Reach Foundation CEO Sarah Davies, 3AW broadcaster Neil Mitchell, Seven Network broadcaster and former champion player Tim Watson, and AFL Players' Association representative Marissa Filipou.