It is the tireless work of volunteers that help community footy thrive right around the country, and recently the AFL has recognised the State/Territory Volunteers of the Year. 

Each year the AFL recognises volunteers/administrators for their outstanding contribution to Australian Football through the State/Territory Volunteer of the Year program and by providing AFL Merit Awards and a National Multicultural Ambassador of the Year.

2018 AFL State/Territory Volunteer of the Year Winners

Each State and Territory selects a State/Territory Volunteer of the Year award winner who receives:

  • 2 x tickets to the Toyota AFL Grand Final (with flights and accommodation
  • The opportunity to walk in the Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade
STATE / TERRITORY NOMINEES PRIMARY CLUB / LEAGUE / REGION
NSW/ACT Darren Mearrick Camden Haven Bombers Football Club
NT Jamie Barry Nightcliff Tigers Football Club
QLD Mark Mason AFL Wide Bay
SA Michael Fogarty Crystal Brook Football Club
TAS Natasha Cormie Tigers Football Club
VIC Michael Meeng Officer Kangaroos Junior Football Club
WA Mark Brookes South Fremantle District

TAS – Natasha Cormie

Natasha is the current Team Manager and Wellbeing Manager of the Tigers Football Club in the Tasmanian State League Women’s competition. Natasha’s role with the Club has consisted of being a coach, Wellbeing Manager, Match Manager, Facilitator, Team Bus Driver and she still even pulls on the boots to play when numbers are down to ensure the game goes ahead. Natasha has also developed strong relationships with neighbouring Women’s Clubs to ensure there is a continuing pathway for all Women within Tasmanian Football in her region.

2018 AFL State/Territory Volunteer of the Year Winners

NSW/ACT – Darren Mearrick

Darren Mearrick is the current President, Canteen Co-ordinator and Ground Manager of the Camden Haven Bombers FC. He has also coached every Junior division team over his 10+ years of service to the Club as well as raising much needed funding for the club which has enabled them to offer free registrations to families who otherwise couldn’t afford it just so the kids can play Footy.

 

NT – Jamie Barry

Jamie has been involved with AFL his whole life but the last 3 years as volunteer at the Nightcliff Tigers Football Club is where he’s really made his name. Jamie runs water for all 3 Senior teams every weekend and he also helps as Sports Trainer across various Senior and Junior teams throughout the club. He also volunteers his time with the AFLNT Thunder program running water and offering his Sports Training skills to both their male and female teams as well.

 

QLD – Mark Mason

Mark has been involved in the Wide Bay region of QLD for 12 years including as League President, League Marketing Coordinator and League Sponsorship Coordinator where he has increased sponsorship to the League by 400%. Mark has also spent 6 years as a club volunteers across numerous roles for the Brothers Bulldogs AFC.

 

SA – Michael Fogarty

Michael has been a part of the Crystal Brook FC for the past 25 years and has helped in various capacity such as President, Vice President, Coach and current Sports Trainer. Michael has also assisted the Northern Areas Football Association on their Selection Committee, as their Sports Trainer and as a Club Delegate too. Michael has broken down barriers and stigmas for players with disabilities, to allow them to feel welcome and always be a part of the Crystal Brook FC over many years and this has enabled the Crystal Brook FC to be the strong, respected and professional club that we are.

 

VIC – Michael Meeng

Michael began with the Officer Kangaroos Junior FC in 1990 as a junior coach but also joined the club committee in 1994. In 2001 Michael was elected President and over the subsequent years was involved in introducing a new Auskick program in the suburb with a great transition program which led to the club increasing from 2 teams in 2001 to 10 in 2007. It is not uncommon to see Michael in the canteen cooking on a Saturday for the Seniors and back again on Sunday opening up the change rooms and setting up for Juniors.

 

WA – Mark Brookes

Mark has provided 15+ years of outstanding service to Football in the South Fremantle District of WA. Over this time Mark has volunteered for the South Coogee Junior FC helping with Coaching, Auskick, Umpiring whilst eventually becoming Club President in 2013. Whilst still active at South Coogee Junior FC, Mark has now taken on the Competition Director role within the South Fremantle District achieving further outstanding results for Football in that Region.

 

2018 National Multicultural Ambassador of the Year Winner

Each State and Territory nominates their State/Territory Multicultural Ambassador of the Year award winner and from there a Diversity Committee then chooses the National Multicultural Ambassador of the Year award winner who receives:

  • 2 x tickets to the Toyota AFL Grand Final (with flights and accommodation)
  • The opportunity to walk in the Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade
STATE / TERRITORY NOMINEES PRIMARY CLUB / LEAGUE / REGION
NSW Ash Nugent Western Sydney

NSW – Ash Nugent

Originally from Melbourne, in 2012 Ash established Masala FC in the diverse hub of Dandenong which competes in the VAFA with a strong mix of culturally diverse players. Since moving to Western Sydney 4 years ago Ash has worked closely with AFL NSW and the GWS Giants to organize a Refugee Supporter Group for the past 2 years. The group is made up of newly arrived migrants who attend all GWS Giants home games at Spotless Stadium. The group averages 20-40 supporters per game and is a great engagement project to introduce new migrants to Australia’s game.