The Football Woman of the Year Award recognises women who have made a significant contribution to the game of Australian football. Announced at the Grand Final Comedy Debate, the award is open to all women associated in any way with the Australian football industry.
FOOTBALL WOMAN OF THE YEAR WINNER
Daisy Pearce has had a significant impact both on and off the field when it comes to women’s football. She is currently the AFL’s Female Football Ambassador and works as an AFL Talent Coordinator. Daisy also works at the Melbourne Football Club in a development role, liaising across various departments of the Club and contributing to projects with a view to build Melbourne’s women’s team.
As a footballer, Daisy has captained the Melbourne Football Club’s Women’s team and was named best afield in the 2015 Exhibition Game. She also captained the Darebin Falcons Football Club Women’s team for nine years.
Daisy is consistently in the media representing women in football, with regular appearances on Channel 7’s AFL Game Day program, providing special comments and boundary riding for K-Rock as well as providing special comments for Croc Media’s Women’s Football radio program.
Jan has been synonymous with Female Football Development across the nation for a number of years and has had a more significant impact on the future of female players, coaches and administrators in the game than most. She publicly advocates for women to the highest level of the AFL through to the local Auskick Centre. Jan has been instrumental in changing female football from a few small leagues across the nation to being on the verge of having an elite competition.
Peta Searle has made an outstanding contribution to Australian Rules Football which this year has culminated in her being appointed Assistant Coach of the St Kilda Football Club.
With many firsts under her belt includingbeing the first female coach in the TAC Under 18s competition, the first head coach of the AFL Victoria VWFL Academy and the first female to coach in the VFL, Peta also played a role in coaching the Western Bulldogs female AFL team in 2013 when they played the curtain raiser on the MCG against the Melbourne Football Club
With a clear and uncompromising philosophy towards coaching and development Peta is a great role model for women in football and for women more broadly, that nothing is out of reach in our great country.
EMERGING LEADER AWARD WINNER
Lisa Kennedy is the Community Development Coordinator at Port Adelaide Football Club and is involved in football as a player, coach and administrator.
With a passion for community development and building programs with like-minded organisations, Lisa has more recently managed a social cohesion program whereby young African women can play Australian Rules football, resulting in many success stories.
Lisa has inspired a number of young women to play Aussie rules or become coaches or administrators and acknowledges the great opportunity for young women in the sport. Lisa has also played a large part in developing a plan to create a strong women’s Port Adelaide Football Club team.
Bridget is responsible for running football programs for boys and girls from many different cultures. Working with the MUWFC and the Kensington Junior Football Club Bridget has ensured there are clear pathways for young women to participate in female football from Auskick through to senior level football. Bridget’s love of football and coaching has been described as nothing less than infectious.
As a Lebanese Muslim, Nadine Rabah has long been a trail blazer in Australian Rules football. Keen to give something back to the game, Nadine was equally indebted to the Essendon District Football League (EDFL) and the Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL), so rather than choose a single league to serve, she officiates in both.
Nadine has selflessly given much of her time to volunteer roles, including as an Assistant Coach in a four-week football program delivered to the River Nile Learning Centre for women of African heritage.
A keen writer, Nadine has worked as a freelance journalist for Eureka Street magazine. Here writing attracted the attention of a publisher who approached her during her year 12 studies by asking if she could write a novel. Nadine jumped at the opportunity and the resulting book Jayana: Best and Fairest, the story of a young Muslim girl who plays football, was published in 2014.
Nadine’s commitment, passion and knowledge of Australian Rules football are hard to surpass. She is making a difference in football and more importantly, using football as a vehicle to connect with community and change lives.