SEVEN community football representatives from across Australia have been acknowledged for their outstanding contribution to women’s football as part of the 2022 Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassador program.
Established in 2021, the AFLW Community Ambassador program recognises members from the football community who have been instrumental in facilitating and nurturing the remarkable growth of women and girls’ football.
Participants in the 2022 Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassador program include Katie Kennedy (NSW/ACT), Helen Lee (NT), Kate Guy (QLD), Julie Clifton (SA), Jodie Clifford (TAS), Ella Angarane (VIC) and Sarah Kerry (WA) who were selected by the AFL for their significant service to women’s football.
Each Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassador receives a $1,000 grant from the Women’s Football Fund to donate to the club of their choice and the opportunity to be involved in the 2022 NAB AFLW Finals Series.
AFL General Manager of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone said the 2022 Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassador program provided a great opportunity to thank and acknowledge the tireless work of community representatives who contribute to women’s football.
“We are proud to recognise each of our 2022 Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassadors and thank them for their service to our game,” Ms Livingstone said.
“The NAB AFLW competition is the result of many years of tireless work from dedicated people, like our 2022 Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassadors, who continue to grow the game at a grassroots and state level. Each of them should be extremely proud of their contribution.
“I’d like to thank Chemist Warehouse for their support of this initiative and for their continued support of the NAB AFLW competition,” Ms Livingstone said.
Chemist Warehouse Director, Mario Tascone said the powerhouse pharmacy retailer is proud to be supporting the second year of the program.
“Chemist Warehouse is thrilled to be supporting the 2022 Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassador program and acknowledge the tremendous work of this year’s community football representatives.
“Chemist Warehouse has supported the AFLW competition since its inception and we look forward to continuing to champion women’s football throughout the community and at an elite level.”
See below for more information on each of the 2022 Chemist Warehouse AFLW Community Ambassadors:
Katie Kennedy - NSW/ACT – Bathurst GIANTS ARFC
Despite growing up in a strong Rugby League town, Katie Kennedy’s passion for AFL has been pivotal in the development and growth of women’s football in Bathurst. First picking up the football in NAB AFL Auskick, Katie played for a number of seasons at junior and senior level before turning her attention to recruiting and developing the foundation Senior Women's team at the Bathurst GIANTS. Katie’s drive and determination was instrumental in growing female participation at the club to more than 120 girls and women, whilst the newly created Senior women’s team went on to play in the Grand Final in its first year and claimed the 2019 and 2020 Premierships. Katie is the Captain of the Senior Women’s team and the Coach of the Youth Girls team and continues to work tirelessly transitioning players between the two to ensure future growth.
Helen Lee – NT – Arnhem Crows FC
Arnhem Crows Football Club President Helen Lee has dedicated more than 15 years to growing football in Barunga, a remote indigenous community where she resides. Helen’s passion for ensuring Indigenous people are represented in all aspects of life and in the community was the driving force behind the establishment of the first-ever full-time senior women's Indigenous community team for an NT football competition (the Big Rivers Football League). In their inaugural year of 2020, Helen’s work organising players and sponsors saw them win the Grand Final. In 2021 Helen stepped in as the team manager to ensure the Indigenous women of the Barunga and surrounding communities had a sport they could look forward to and participate in. The women went on to win back-to-back premierships in 2021 a true reflection on Helen’s dedication and hard work.
Kate Guy – QLD – Mt Gravatt AFC
Kate Guy has been involved in football for 35 years and has performed a variety of club, school and representative football roles including as a player, coach, team manager, football director and committee member. Playing her first game of football at the age of 14, Kate jumped at the chance to be part of the first women's team to play a few games for the Mt Gravatt Football Club in the 70s. As football started to become a viable option for women and girls in the early 2000s, Kate worked tirelessly to ensure females were represented and had the same opportunities as men at the Club. From humble beginnings, Kate’s work has seen the club grow to more than 150 females playing in teams ranging from Under-11s to Senior Women's. Kate’s passion for the game even saw her pull on the boots at the age of 58 when the Club fielded its first official women’s team in 2018.
Julie Clifton – SA – Willunga FC & South Adelaide FC
Julie had been involved with the Willunga Football Club since they first fielded a women’s junior side about six years ago. Her contribution has led to significant growth of the competition, particularly in Willunga, increasing from six female players to now field three Women’s teams , many waiting to join and try out in 2022. Julie has been instrumental in this success and puts in countless time and hours to ensure the competition is thriving. In addition, Julie became a trainer to ensure that women and girls teams were well resourced which she now does for three Willunga women’s teams - this is on top of her administration roles. She has also been a trainer for the South Adelaide underage teams, SANFLW women’s group, SANFLW All Stars teams, the Great Southern Football League Womens team as well as the Southern Zone District Team for County championships. Julie is a highly sought-after person in the broader football community, with many clubs seeking her out for advice which she provides without hesitation to ensure all clubs flourish. She has recently been appointed at the Willunga Football Club president being the first female to hold this role in 147-year history of the club.
Jodie Clifford – TAS – George Town FC
Jodie's engagement and promotion of football at all levels in Tasmania is significant. As a player, she has modelled high standards, sportsmanship, moral responsibility and inclusion for all. In her four years in football, her individual accolades have been outshone by her capacity to engage others in the sport and influence them to participate, thus increasing women in the sport. Jodie played two years at TSLW level, before turning her energy towards coaching, both at a community level and with the Tasmanian Devils Womens NAB League team. Her passion for teaching has inspired her to share a love of football with all members of the community.
Ella Angarane – VIC – Bass Coast Breakers FC
Ella Angarane spent her childhood at her local football netball club, following in her parents’ footsteps by volunteering her time to support the community. With no opportunity to play the game growing up, Ella saw her chance to get involved in a non-playing capacity and make a difference for the next generation by establishing the Dalyston Youth Girls in 2015. This was the only women or girls team in the whole Bass Coast/South Gippsland region at the time. In 2017 Ella founded the Bass Coast Breakers Women's football team in the South Eastern Women's Development League and went on to become President and Playing Assistant Coach. Ella played her first game of AFL at the age of 33, chalking up over 50 games and winning a premiership with the Breakers in 2018. Ella’s 30-year contribution to football has been recognized with the Volunteer of the Year Award for the South Eastern Women's competition, Gippsland Women’s Coach of the Year Award and a Premiers Volunteer Champions Award.
Sarah Kerry – WA – Secret Harbour FC
Sarah Kerry is affectionately known as the ‘glass-ceiling breaker’ after devoting her time to developing and progressing women’s football. First picking up a football in 1991, Sarah has played AFL for 30 years, representing WA and Australian Navy and is currently the Head Coach and Captain of her team at Secret Harbour. Joining the Peel Umpires as a teenager, Sarah led the charge for women as the only female field umpire in the region, eventually going on to officiate over 200 games. Hoping to inspire the next generation of female footballers, Sarah began her coaching career, where she coached junior and senior women’s sides for eight years, before coaching the State Academy for four years and currently the development coach for Peel Under 15s. Passionate about progressing women and girls both on and off field, Sarah also dedicates her time as a mentor for two other female coaches to ensure more women are represented in all aspects of the game.