The results of the elections for Commissioners of the West Australian Football Commission were endorsed last night, Wednesday 2 December 2020, at a meeting of WA Football stakeholders.
Commissioner Brian O’Donnell was reappointed for three years, while Ian Callahan, Phil Lamb and Dixie Marshall were appointed as new Commissioners for a term of three years.
WAFC Chairman Hon. Wayne Martin congratulated all Commissioners on their appointment and thanked the voting members for their support throughout the process.
“The WAFC is excited to attract these quality individuals to join the Commission and play a part in supporting the growth and development of football in Western Australia,” Mr Martin said.
“I look forward to working with Brian for a further three years and welcome Ian, Phil and Dixie as new Commissioners as we embark on an exciting and challenging next chapter for football.”
“I would like to thank everyone who nominated for this election and wish them all the best for the future.”
Neil Randall has concluded his tenure after serving nine years as a Commissioner between 2012 and 2020.
Chris Cottier did not nominate for re-election as a Commissioner after serving a three-year term from 2018 to 2020.
Grant Dorrington was not re-elected after serving a six-year term from 2015 to 2020.
“Neil, Chris and Grant have given a tremendous amount to football over their time as Commissioners and I personally thank them for their contribution to the game,” Mr Martin said.
The newly endorsed Commissioners will begin on January 1, 2021.
Re-appointed for a 3-year term from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023
Brian has been a Commissioner of the WAFC since January 2018 and completes his first three-year term in December 2020. During his current term on the WAFC, he has served on the Finance, Funding and Commercial Committee and the Risk and Governance Committee.
Before joining the WAFC, Brian was as a Director of Fremantle Football Club for 10 years, including the Club’s most successful period to date. He has also served in various community sport roles, including as a junior cricket coach, junior football team manager, and Secretary of East Fremantle Cricket Club.
Brian has over 30 years’ experience in the finance and investment industry. He is currently Finance and Investments Director for the Australian Capital Equity (ACE) Group, with overall responsibility for all finance facilities and lender relationships for the Group, as well as responsibility for investment assessment, execution and management.
Brian’s qualifications and experience in football, finance and business, including the last three years on the WAFC, enable him to continue to make a valuable contribution to the Commission in providing guidance to all levels of the game and work with all football stakeholders.
Appointed for a 3-year term from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023
Ian brings considerable commercial and financial experience to his role as WAFC Commissioner. This is complimented by an understanding of football gained through previous service roles, playing and umpiring in several of the football competitions in Western Australia and being an ongoing member and supporter of football clubs at multiple levels of the football system. Currently Chief Operating Officer at Curtin University, Ian has a broad commercial knowledge, skill base and experience gained from CEO, COO and CFO roles across a variety of industries. He has also held director roles in public and not for profit organisations and entrepreneurial activity in start-up and SME businesses.
As a Chartered Accountant and drawing on experience from his executive and Board roles, Ian brings to the Commission sound financial, commercial and strategy skills with a significant people and culture, health and safety, audit, risk management, digital innovation and governance background upon which to draw. With 15 years experience as an executive in the university sector, Ian has considerable experience in stakeholder engagement, having demonstrated success in bringing both internal and external groups of stakeholders together to achieve successful outcomes.
Appointed for a 3-year term from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023
Phil has been involved in football for virtually his whole life, including 44 years of continuous, active involvement in the WAFL. As a player of 227 WAFL league games, a selector at club and state level and a commentator of WAFL and AFL matches, collectively spanning the past four and a half decades, he possesses a combination of experience across the various aspects of the game, an affinity with the clubs, club personnel, as well as many of the important stakeholders in WA football. Phil has been self-employed for over thirty years, as Joint Managing Director of Bay Financial Services, a finance broking company specialising exclusively in negotiating and arranging the financing of vehicles, plant and equipment for businesses in all fields of industry and commerce. He is also Founder and Managing Director of White Line Management, formed in 1995 to manage and support listed AFL and aspiring AFL Footballers as well as athletes from various disciplines. Business activities include negotiating player contracts, sourcing marketing and promotional opportunities and general support for clients.
Appointed for a 3-year term from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023
Dixie comes from a football family with intergenerational involvement in the game. She is a member of two WAFL Clubs, has family playing WAFL league/reserves and amateurs, and her great-grandfather and father played league for East Fremantle.
Sport has also played a large role in Dixie’s professional life. She was the first woman APL commentator on Australian television in 1986, reported football specifically and sports more broadly, for the 7 Network in Melbourne and the 9 Network in Perth, winning awards for football journalism and hosted the national sports programme, Sportsworld, with Bruce McAvaney. She has also worked at the highest level of State Government, from the Office of the Premier, and in this role helped develop a range of sporting policies, including the Kids Sport programme. Dixie now runs content agency, Flare, and is a director of the Marketforce Group - part of the global Omnicom network. Dixie brings contemporary media, data, digital marketing and communication expertise to the Commission, along with a sound understanding of Australian/WA Government structure and policy, crisis management skills, and extensive traditional media knowledge and relationships.
The WAFC is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Michael Roberts as its Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Roberts has most recently held the position as CEO of Tennis West since 2016. He is a highly experienced sports administrator having held senior roles with Tennis Australia in WA and Tasmania, Cricket Tasmania and the Richmond Football Club.
During his four-year tenure as CEO of Tennis West, Mr Roberts has demonstrated an outstanding record of achievement including four years of budget surpluses, implementation of a governance overhaul, record attendances at the Hopman Cup and delivery of a new staffing structure and training model to ensure improved servicing of clubs, schools and coaches.
Under Mr Roberts’ oversight, the Hopman Cup was awarded WA’s best sporting event in 2018. During a previous role as Executive Director of Tennis Tasmania, Mr Roberts was named as that state’s Sports Administrator of the Year.
WAFC Chairman Mr Wayne Martin said “We are delighted to have attracted a candidate of Michael’s quality. His direct experience and achievements, notably at Tennis West, will be highly beneficial to WA Football, particularly as we consider and implement the many initiatives we currently have underway and those to come out of the Public Account Committee inquiry."
“Michael will bring a fresh perspective and we expect he will transfer learnings and best practice from other sports over to WA football. His governance and financial management skills are highly relevant for the Commission."
“We felt it was important to appoint a CEO that wasn’t necessarily aligned to any particular element of WA Football and could bring an independent view. Michael has an excellent track record of sports stakeholder engagement including with government, sporting clubs, staff, participants and the fans.”
Mr Roberts said he was honoured to be offered the role and looked forward to commencing in the new year.
“Football is such an important part of WA’s social fabric and I’m genuinely excited at the prospect of playing a leadership role in the management of the game. It’s a responsibility that’s certainly not lost on me, particularly in the wake of COVID and the recent PAC inquiry."
“It is ideal to commence a role like this outside of the playing season as it will give me an excellent opportunity to engage with as many members of the footy family as possible prior to the 2021 season getting underway. I plan to hit the ground running” said Mr Roberts.
Mr Roberts will commence his new role with the WAFC on 11 January 2021. A summary of Mr Roberts’ biography is attached to this announcement.
Notes for Media:
Mr Roberts will be available for media interviews after he has commenced his role with the WAFC.
Background information on Mr Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts is an experienced senior executive with an extensive track record in shaping and leading sports businesses. He has experience at the elite levels of tennis, cricket and AFL football across Australia. He is tertiary qualified with an MBA and Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Sports Management and Marketing.
Mr Roberts has demonstrated the ability to cultivate effective relationships with stakeholders at all levels including volunteers, employees, members, board members, coaches, players, and government officials. He has a comprehensive understanding of financial management, budgeting, reporting, contract management, statutory reporting and compliance processes.
Relevant Employment History
2016 – Current CEO – Tennis West, GM - ATP Cup (formerly Hopman Cup)
2011 – 2016 General Manager – Marketing and Commercial
General Manager – Hobart Hurricances
2003 – 2011 Executive Director (Tournament Director)
2001 – 2003 General Manager, Coburg Football Club
Richmond Football Club (AFL)
1999 – 2001 Football Technology Coordinator
Richmond Football Club (AFL)
2018 Sports Governance Course
Australian Institute of Company Directors
2014 Master of Business Administration
1998 Bachelor of Commerce (Sports Management & Marketing)
Brad Hunt has announced his retirement from the WAFL Umpiring squad.
Hunt has umpired 255 WAFL League Games over his 13 years involved the game. Of those games, Hunt umpires six WAFL Grand Finals (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019) and six state games (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018 and 2019).
The AFL has today announced the 2020 NAB AFL Draft will take place on Wednesday December 9 in a virtual format broadcast live on FOX FOOTY & Kayo and via the Official LIVE AFL App at 7:00pm AEDT.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in place across the country, the 2020 NAB AFL Draft will be conducted virtually with the ARC, powered by RMIT University to serve as the central hub, with all 18 clubs to submit draft selections via an Online Draft System within the ARC.
Draft selections will join the broadcast virtually as AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan announces the selections live from the ARC at Marvel Stadium. Read More ...
The WA Football Commission is delighted to confirm the appointment of Marc Webb as its new Head of Coaching.
The former Fremantle Dockers assistant coach and Head of Development Academy will lead a new portfolio of coaching in WA, formulating coaching frameworks and accreditations at all levels of community football across WA.
The Head of Coaching will work closely with all community coaches to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible environments to increase player retention. Read More ...
Peel Thunder Football Club has been found guilty by the West Australian Football Commission of a deliberate breach of the WAFL Total Player Payment section of the WAFL Rules and Regulations and WAFL License and Funding agreement, during the 2019 season.
Following a comprehensive and independent investigation into the issue, the WAFC has found that multiple breaches had taken place by Peel Thunder Football Club and Club CEO John Ditchburn, which included;
- Deliberately providing false and misleading information in the lodgement of the Total Player Payments (TPP).
- Providing an undeclared cash payment and other ancillary benefits to a Peel Thunder player.
- Not advising the WAFC in writing of any potential breach of the WAFL Rules and Regulations.
- Failing to comply with the WAFL Licence and Funding agreements.
- Making a number of declaration and compliance related errors.
HE has made a career out of being invaluable but flying under the radar but it's hard to receive a greater acknowledge in your career than what Zac Strom has now achieved winning a South Fremantle fairest and best award in a premiership year.
It might have been a delayed start to the 2020 season thanks to the implications of the Coronavirus pandemic, but once things got up and running on Saturday July 18, South Fremantle quickly emerged as the team to beat in the competition.
The Bulldogs would go on to finish the nine-week home and away season on top of the ladder to claim the minor premiership and then despite a hiccup in the second semi-final, they would beat Claremont in a remarkable Grand Final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
The WAFC has received the report from the Public Accounts Committee which was established to review the use of State funds and whether the WAFC is meeting its obligations under the State Funding Agreement.
The WAFC will now thoroughly review and consider the findings and recommendations included in the 110-page document.
The WAFC has fully participated throughout the inquiry process and will now give priority to the content of the report tabled today. Read More ...
IT was no coincidence that Corey Gault went back to being a permanent ruckman in 2020 and he was back to outstanding form for Swan Districts culminating in him even claiming the Swan Medal ahead of the Sandover Medallist.
Gault initially made his return to Swan Districts after his time in the AFL system at Collingwood with a dominant season in the ruck back in 2017.
He cemented himself as the best ruckman in the competition ending up being named to the WAFL Team of the Year and then claiming the Swan Medal as the fairest and best winner at Swan Districts.
SHANE Nelson took another step towards legendary status at the West Perth Football Club with the remarkably consistent and outstanding midfielder rewarded with a fourth Breckler Medal award for his outstanding 2020 season.
Nelson's impact and tremendously consistent and outstanding football for West Perth might be somewhat getting underestimated from the outside world now, but from inside the Falcons once again everything he produced in 2020 was fully appreciated.
Despite the shortened quarters during the eight-game season in 2020, Nelson was his usual outstanding self going on to average 25.4 possessions a game made up of three games with 30 or more disposals, and eight with 23 or more touches along the way.
On Friday 30th October, WA All Abilities Football and WA Football presented an AFL Inclusion clinic at Associated & Catholic Colleges of WA Inclusive Sports Day Carnival.
The Inclusive Sports Day Carnival is to provide sporting activities that cater to all levels of student ability. The carnival is specifically targeted at students whose disabilities may hinder their inclusion in school-based or inter-school sporting events.
There were clinics and games delivered by 10 state sporting organisations - AFL, Cricket, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Ten Pin Bowling, Tennis and Volleyball.
Whilst it was a hot day, the spirit of all students and schools involved made the event for staff and support, a huge success.
Plenty of smiles all round! #gamestrong #nolimits #indentitychoice
SOMETIMES who you beat for a fairest and best award highlights just what an achievement it is and for Alec Waterman to come out on top of a star-studded leaderboard at Claremont in 2020 shows just how outstanding a season he had.
Waterman came into the 2020 season with some confidence that things were beginning to turn around for him after he got to play some encouraging football again in 2019 after his career was almost taken away from him.
The son of dual West Coast Eagles premiership player Chris, Waterman was an exciting young talent and was picked up under the father-son rule by the Eagles but then he was struck down by a debilitating case of glandular fever.
HE might have spent time at two AFL clubs and now played 39 WAFL matches with East Fremantle, but a fairest and best award has eluded Jarrad Jansen since 2008 until now – after being named the Lynn Medallist for 2020.
Jansen's last fairest and best triumph came back in 2008 when he was playing in the under-13s at East Fremantle district powerhouse Bull Creek-Leeming, and while he would have preferred more than one win in 2020, claiming East Fremantle's fairest and best award is a source of pride.
Since that last individual accolade 12 years ago, Jansen rose through the ranks at East Fremantle before getting drafted to Geelong in 2013. He spent two years at the Cats before getting traded to the Brisbane Lions where he did play eight AFL matches over the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
The 2020 Sandover Medal was a night to remember and plenty of awards were given for outstanding performances and contributions to the game.
The Prendergast Medal was awarded to Manfred Kelly as the best player in the WAFL Reserves competition.
Lachlan Vanirsen claimed the Jack Clarke Medal as the Simply Energy WAFL Colts best player.
See both final leaderboards below:
The West Australian Football Commission has finalised its annual review of Rules and Regulations for the West Australian Football League following the conclusion of the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season.
The annual review is a vital part of the WAFC’s focus to deliver a high standard, competitive and sustainable WAFL competition, where all clubs have the opportunity to play finals and win premierships.
For the 2021 season, the strategy to gradually reduce the Player Recruitment Points allocated to each club will continue, further encouraging home-grown talent to be add to each WAFL club’s list.