The AFL Players’ Association is proud to release the second edition of the Insights and Impact Report.

The publication shares the collective insights, perspectives, and experiences of AFL and AFLW players, as well as highlights the impact the AFLPA had in 2022 in providing support to its members.

Key insights published include:

  • Continued focus required for AFLW to achieve equity across areas including integration, respect, venues and facilities.
  • Workplace culture continues to be linked to ladder success.
  • Players negotiated time off being eroded by some clubs.
  • Increases in unreported concussions.
  • Mental health continues to top the list of societal issues for AFL and AFLW players, with social media ranked as the second highest concern.
  • Improved workplace culture measures for AFLW players and better support for off-field development and care.

The report’s second edition covers seven key themes: club environment, transition, player development, AFLPA programs and services, health and safety, human rights and accredited player agents. Each theme is accompanied by insights that reflect the industry’s current landscape direct from the players themselves.

Included within the second edition are testimonials from players, industry stakeholders, and external experts such as Phil Davis, Chloe Dalton, Alison Downie, Tom Harley, and Yolanda Beattie.

AFLPA CEO, Paul Marsh, said the report is a snapshot of where the industry is currently at from the players’ perspectives.

“There are many areas of progress but they also require future focus and that’s reflected in the second edition of the report,” Marsh said.

“Positively, the data is showing workplace culture linking to on-field success and recognising AFLW players’ hours leading to better club environments for players.

“The data is also showing that our industry is grappling with a number of concerning people-based issues that are impacting the game such as transition support, gender equality, racism, health and safety, and mental health which all still require our unwavering attention.

“It’s clear we, as an industry, still have a lot of work to do.”

The second edition covers the trends from the 2022 AFL season and Season 7 of AFLW, with the insights being captured through surveying the playing cohort and other relevant research.

Due to the nature of the AFLPA’s work, the association operates on a confidential basis relating to its work with members, meaning it cannot reveal the specific support services provided to individuals.

However, the Insights and Impact Report collates aggregated data relating to the PA’s programs and services to help the industry and broader community understand the extent to which it helps players in all facets of their lives pre-and-post their football careers.

The report is publicly available and will be released annually.

The below AFLPA impact areas are covered in the second edition. See the report for more information.

  • Club environment
    • The AFLPA achieved notable outcomes in the negotiated AFLW Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), resulting in significant improvements to contracted hours, remuneration, workplace conditions and benefits, and club support.
  • Transition
    • 133 individual player meetings were conducted by AFLPA Regional Managers with retiring/delisted AFL and AFLW players.
  • Player development
    • In 2022, a total of 560 Education and Training Grant applications from players were approved, with a combined spend of $1,022,141.
  • AFLPA programs and services
    • Injury and Hardship Fund: 258 members received support.
    • Financial Services Program: The AFLPA oversaw delivery of 18 group sessions and 11 individual consults for AFLW current players, 28 group sessions and 21 individual consults for AFL current players, 14 individual consults for transitioning AFLW and AFLW players, and 71 individual consults for Alumni members.