The Football Woman of the Year Award recognises a woman who has made a significant, positive and measurable impact to the advancement of women in the game of Australian Rules Football.
Female Football Coordinator – West Australian Football Commission
Allana is the Female Football Coordinator at the West Australian Football Commission. She is a key member of the WAFC Diversity Committee that is leading an all of industry change to the way we approach equality in football. Outside of her work Allana plays and coaches football and continues to drive for improvement in the female game. Allana inspires change and growth in others, and has developed several programs that are assisting to develop the next generation of ambassadors for the game. Allana has a remarkable drive and energy to go above and beyond in order to leave the game in a better place than what it was.
Senior Coach – Adelaide Football Club AFL Women’s
Bec Goddard is the inaugural Senior Coach of the Adelaide Football Club AFL Women’s Team. She has played a significant role over many years to ensure the AFL Women’s competition was an overwhelming success in 2017. Her role as a female Senior Coach has given her a profile that has allowed her to encourage other women to strive for greatness. Bec led the Crows to a historic Premiership win in the first AFLW season. Bec has maintained her full time job with the Australian Federal Police throughout, and continues to inspire and encourage all women involved in Australian Rules Football.
Talent Operations – AFL Victoria
Jess Smith has had great success in Talent Operations at AFL Victoria, managing the operations and strategic direction of the VFL Women’s competition. Jess established a State League for women in Victoria and was responsible for securing the first women’s State League Grand Final at Etihad Stadium and broadcast by Channel 7. Jess is greatly respected at AFL Victoria for her ability to encourage both men and women to advocate for gender diversity and equity. She has been a role model for many, using her vision and passion to create opportunities for all women in Victorian football.
Football Operations Manager – North Melbourne Football Club
Laura’s passion for football has allowed her to break down traditional barriers to become the Football Operations Manager at North Melbourne Football Club. Laura has spent most of her professional career as a lawyer however has been actively involved in football as a player, coach, administrator and board member. Laura has been the President of the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club since 2014 positioning the Club at the forefront of development, progression and growth. At North Melbourne Football Club Laura has lead the bid for an AFLW license with vision, strategy and purpose. Laura has assisted with the development of the inaugural Tasmanian State League for women and the North Melbourne Next Generation Academy.
Journalist & TV Broadcaster – Channel 7
Samantha Lane has been actively involved in the advancement of AFL for many years as a respected journalist and TV broadcaster. Samantha was a key commentary figure in Seven’s coverage of AFLW in 2017, bringing stories, insights and inspirations from the coaches and players through her role as co-host on a pre-match panel show and a boundary side reporter. Samantha played a critical role in bringing to life the real stories of the participants and played an important role in taking the women’s game to a mass audience. She is a passionate voice, advocate, news breaker and critic but ultimately a lover of the game, caring for fans and the interests of players.