The AFL has today announced the formation of a governance committee to administer all funds raised through the AFL’s Community Relief Fundraising efforts. 

Essendon Football Club President and former Federal Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner will chair the Governance Committee, with representatives from across the AFL industry, representing states and territories that have been impacted as well as people with community, legal, infrastructure, club and playing experience. 

KPMG have been engaged to audit the process.

Members of the Governance Committee include:

  • Chair - Lindsay Tanner, Essendon President
  • Simone Wilkie AO, AFL Commissioner
  • Andrew Dillon, AFL General Counsel & GM Game Development
  • Tom Harley, CEO Sydney Swans
  • Paul Vandenbergh, Director Aboriginal programs, Port Adelaide Football Club
  • Phil Davis, AFLPA Vice President, GWS Giants player
  • Meg Downie, AFLPA board member, Melbourne Demons AFLW player

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AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said the committee would ensure the football clubs and families in bushfire affected areas will receive the support of the AFL Community. 

“Given the support of our fans, corporate partners and broadcasters we have an opportunity to raise further significant funds add to the $1.5million already contributed by our clubs, players and the AFL into the Community Relief Fund, and the $1 million donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund.” Mr McLachlan said. 

“It is important that we have the right governance structure to ensure an effective and ethical process to provide grants to clubs in need in bushfire-affected areas. 

“Lindsay’s experience will ensure we have the best process in place, and I would like to thank him and all the members of the Governance Committee for their enthusiasm to play a part in getting local footy clubs in bushfire affected areas get back on their feet.

“It is vital that we have a strong framework in place and disburse funds over the coming weeks, months and years in an appropriate and transparent manner. 

“On behalf of our AFL community, thank you to everyone involved in fighting the fires and supporting communities in this time of need. The AFL, the clubs, the AFLPA and all AFL and AFLW players are committed to continuing to work with you, state football bodies, local leagues and all levels of Government to support communities through the rebuild and recovery stage in this difficult time.” 

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Governance Committee Chair Lindsay Tanner, who fought bushfires in East Gippsland as a teenager working for the Forest Commission and has been an active volunteer firefighter with the CFA in central Victoria for almost nine years said he was thinking of all the local footy clubs around the country.

“Growing up in Orbost in the East Gippsland region I was deeply saddened to see the devastation the bushfires caused, not only in my local area but in communities around the country.”

“The AFL industry, through our clubs, players, fans and extended partners, have a great opportunity and responsibility to help the grassroots clubs in these affected areas and I am very grateful to be in a position to directly assist.” 

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The AFL will provide more details around the grant process and contact details for the AFL Community Relief Fund in the coming weeks and will ensure a clear and simple application process.