Lisa Hardeman awarded AFL life membership for special services to the game

Lisa Hardeman has been awarded AFL life membership for her 'Special Services to the Game'.

Lisa Hardeman has contributed to Australian Football for more than 40 years as one of the driving forces behind the establishment of elite women’s football.

Lisa began her football career at the Fairfield Football Club, playing 111 games (in much shorter seasons) in the Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL).

Lisa won the Premier Division best and fairest award, the Helen Lambert medal, in 1989.

Between 1992 and 1997, she represented Victoria (twice as captain) and played in five premierships.

Lisa Hardeman chats with Melbourne's Daisy Pearce before the clash against Western Bulldogs in R4, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Her strong leadership skills saw her become the Captain at the Scorpions (1989, 1993 and 1994) and Darebin Falcons (1996), leading both clubs to premiership success.

Lisa’s contribution to football continued off the field with an outstanding coaching career spanning more than a decade.

Lisa coached the Darebin Falcons (1997-2000) and Melbourne University (2001- 2003, 2009) to multiple premierships and led the Victorian Representative team as coach from 2001 to 2004.

Her football administration has also been exceptional, serving as the VWFL President in 1989 and from 1997 until 2000. Lisa was the VWFL Secretary in 1996 and a member of the VWFL Advisory Board with AFL Victoria.

Lisa’s football legacies include the Victorian Football League Women’s Grand Final Best on Ground award ‘The Lisa Hardeman Medal’ and the ‘Hampson-Hardeman Cup’ for AFLW matches between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. In 2022, Lisa was announced as the 2022 NAB AFLW Premiership Cup Ambassador.

Barb Hampson (left) and Lisa Hardeman pose with the Hampson-Hardeman Cup ahead of round four, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

She has also served in the Victoria Police for 38 years and is currently the Commander in charge of the Priority and Safer Communities Division, being awarded the Australia Police Medal in the Australia Day Honours in 2018.

She was inducted into the Victoria Police Sporting Hall of Fame in 2017 and the Victorian Honour Role of Women in 2019 for her service to Victoria Police and women playing football.

The AFL Commission confirmed the award at their meeting late last year and the new life members will be welcomed and honoured at the Season Launch in Melbourne on Thursday 9 March.