TRAILBLAZING Richmond president Peggy O'Neal has received Order of Australia honours in recognition for her services to the club and community.
As part of the Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours List, O'Neal has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to Australian Football, to superannuation and finance law, and to the advancement of women in leadership roles.
O'Neal is a highly credentialed lawyer and has served on Richmond's board since 2005. In October 2013 she became the first ever female president of an AFL/VFL club.
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said in a statement: "Peggy's contribution extends much further than our football club, she has used her expertise to play a part in making positive change in superannuation law, and she is a role model for both men and women with leadership aspirations.
"We are so grateful to have her leading our football club, and we're so proud that she's been honoured in this way."
AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder, also congratulated O'Neal for the honours.
"Peggy O'Neal is a trailblazer within Australian Football, as the first woman to be elected as the president of an AFL club in our national competition," he said.
"Under her guidance, Richmond has set its sights on being a leader across our industry and has found premiership success, as well as a dominant role in the community with more than 100,000 members.
"The club is inclusive, strong and vibrant, reflecting her values. As a role model for everyone in our game, her leadership continues to provide a pathway for both the success of the Tigers and of the wider game."
St Kilda's inaugural AFL Women's coach, Peta Searle, was awarded an OAM for her services to Australian Football.
Searle was the first woman to be appointed a full-time assistant coach of an AFL side (the Saints in 2014) and was also the first female assistant coach at VFL level (Port Melbourne in 2012).
The Saints join the NAB AFLW competition in 2020, with Searle currently leading the club's VFLW side.
Meanwhile, Brisbane Lions board director Cathie Reid was awarded an AM in Monday's Queens Birthday Honours List for services to healthcare delivery and philanthropy.
Brisbane life member Arthur Wilson received an OAM for service to Australian football. Wilson served Fitzroy and then the merged Lions for more than half a century since 1965, working in a variety of positions which included recruiting manager, secretary and football manager.