Default Fans

Women’s football advisory group

The AFL Players’ Association has announced its inaugural Women’s Football Advisory Committee to drive the strategic direction of female player representation within the recently-announced National Women’s League.
With 204 female members signed up to date, the AFL Players’ Association is excited by the opportunities the National Women’s League will provide to female footballers.
Formed to ensure that female players are fairly represented and supported, the Women’s Football Advisory Committee will play a key role in providing feedback on all issues relating to player aspects of the competition. The inaugural members of the committee are:
·        Paul Marsh – CEO of AFL Players’ Association
·        Lynden Dunn – current Melbourne Demons player
·        Libby Lyons – Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency
·        Prue Gilbert – Co-Founder and CEO of Grace Papers
·        Courtney Cramey – current SA player
·        Emma King – current WA player
·        Leah Kaslar – current QLD player
·        Bree White – current VIC player
·        Tiarna Ernst – current VIC player
·        Lauren Arnell – current VIC player
·        Maddy Collier – current NSW player
Bringing expertise from diverse backgrounds, the Women’s Football Advisory Committee will provide varied perspectives when discussing issues affecting players within the inaugural league.
“It’s an honour to be a part of this committee alongside some of the future stars of the competition. There was great discussion at our first meeting, and we look forward to helping create a first class sporting workplace for all women within the National Women’s League,” Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Libby Lyons said yesterday.
Grace Papers Co-Founder and CEO, Prue Gilbert mirrored Lyons’ comments in stating that the Committee will have a strong focus on creating a fair and supportive environment for women, as the AFL Players’ Association has in place for its male members.
“It’s important that we take into consideration the change this three-month competition may bring to the lives of those female players drafted into the league, and ensure there are strong structures in place to support the players through the transition in and out of season,” she said.
The AFL Players’ Association has been working closely with female players since last August, having formed a working group to better understand the current landscape of women’s football and learn how best to support women in the game.
“We want to ensure the league is a success and that players have strong support structures in place during and post their careers.”
– Paul Marsh
AFL Players’ Association CEO, Paul Marsh, said there was a clear role for the AFL Players’ Association to play in providing guidance and a voice for female players.
“In February this year, we called for interested female players to sign up as members of the AFLPA and we had 196 players join within a week, clearly indicating to us that there was a strong role for the AFL Players’ Association to play,” Marsh said.
“We’ve been working closely with the AFL during the planning process of the National Women’s League and our Women’s Football Advisory Committee will continue to provide guidance from a player and gender equality perspective, to ensure the league is a success and that players have strong support structures in place during and post their careers.”
The Women’s Football Advisory Committee will continue to meet on a regular basis to discuss and provide advice on matters affecting females in the game as further details of the National Women’s League are confirmed and the competition evolves.

Further information on Committee members:

Paul Marsh – AFL Players’ Association CEO
Paul commenced as the Chief Executive Officer of the AFL Players’ Association in September 2014. Previously, from 2005 Paul was the CEO of the Australia Cricketers Association (ACA) where he was involved in many successful negotiations including the introduction of standard contracts for Australia’s professional female cricketers.
Paul has been on the Board of the Australian Athletes’ Alliance (AAA) since 2007, including five years as chairman, and is also on the board of Uni World Athletes, the global representative body for all professional athletes.
Lynden Dunn 
Selected in the 2004 draft, Lynden is now in his 12th year with the Melbourne Demons and is a delegate of the AFL Players’ Association. With a younger sister who is an avid footballer, Lynden is passionate about providing pathways for women in football and jumped at the opportunity to become involved.
Libby Lyons 
Libby Lyons was appointed as Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for a period of five years from October 2015. Prior to joining the Agency, Libby held senior management roles across the corporate and government sectors in the energy, resources and telecommunications industries. Libby started her working life as a primary school teacher and so has experience in working in both female and male dominated industries and understands first hand that a more diverse work group makes for better decision making and organisational performance.
Prue Gilbert 
Prue is the co-founder and CEO of Grace Papers, an organisation driving social change by challenging traditional stereotypes and providing empowering support for working parents. Grace Papers won the Australian Human Rights Business Award in 2014.
Prue’s thought leadership drives change at both societal and organisational levels and was recognised by WGEA as Leading CEO for the Advancement of Women in 2010 (Corporate Express CEO Paul Hitchcock). A lawyer by trade, Prue was also named a finalist in the WGEA Employer of Choice Awards 2010, a finalist in the NSW Women’s Lawyer’s Association in-house lawyer of the year in 2010, led Corporate Express to win the diversity@work award for the Equal Advancement of Women in the Workplace in 2010, and the 2009 ACLA Sustainability Award.
Courtney Cramey 
Courtney started playing football at the age of nine and went on to make her debut in the SAWFL in 2004. Where she has played the last 12 seasons. She has also played for both Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs in exhibition games. Outside of football, Courtney is the Ministerial Liaison Officer to the Hon Peter Malinauskas MLC and qualified Social Worker having completed a double Degree in Bachelor of Social Work and Social Planning, Diploma of Correctional Administration and a Certificate III in Justice Studies.
Emma King 
Emma started participating in football through Auskick when she was eight years old, is currently playing for the Coastal Titans WFC and has represented the Western Bulldogs in exhibition matches. Emma graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2015 with a degree in Architecture, however is still working with Coles supermarket. Outside of football, Emma enjoys travelling and seeing the world and all its many cultures.
Leah Kaslar 
Leah has played football in Queensland for 10 years and is currently playing for the Coolangatta Bluebirds. Leah is currently working as a Personal Assistant. She has completed a Bachelor in Science, majoring in Environment. Outside of football, Leah has played basketball and likes to surf.
Bree White 
Bree first started playing football at eight years old with her two older brothers. She made her VWFL debut in 2000 with the St Albans Spurs (now the VU Western Spurs) and is now captain of the club. Outside of football, Bree is a primary school teacher at Moonee Ponds West Primary School and has completed a Bachelor of Education. Bree has also represented Victoria in cricket and has played Gaelic football in London.
Tiarna Ernst 
Tiarna started playing football in Queensland in 2009. In 2014, she moved to Victoria where she has represented Diamond Creek, the Victorian women’s football team and Melbourne FC during exhibition matches. Tiarna is a Medical Doctor – Registrar and training specialist in Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology) having studied a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with First Class Honours and is currently completing a Masters in Public Health. Outside of football, Tiarna has represented Queensland in athletics, enjoys cooking and keeping fit and healthy, and caring for her rescue greyhound.
Lauren Arnell 
Lauren is entering her 12th season of football, currently plays in the VFL Women’s for Darebin and has represented the Western Bulldogs in exhibition matches. Outside of football, she is the current AFL Victoria Education and Training Manager and Carlton FC Female Football Ambassador. Previously Lauren was classroom and PE teacher having completed a Bachelor Applied Science (Physical Education and Health P-12) at RMIT. Lauren has played basketball and cricket and has a personal interest in coaching, cooking, spending time with friends, commentary and public speaking.
Maddy Collier 
Maddy is only in her sixth season of football having played three years in the youth competition and three years in senior football. Maddy is currently employed as a Development Officer of AFL Sydney. Maddy has completed her Certificate III in Sport and Recreation and Cert IV in Business.