Published on March 6, 2020 11:59 am

Photo: AFL Photos

AFL community raises $8 million for Bushfire Relief

The AFL, its 18 Clubs and AFL / AFLW players through the AFL Players’ Association, have announced that collectively, they have raised $8 million dollars for Bushfire Relief.

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The figure is comprised of:

  • $2.5 million by the AFL, its 18 Clubs and AFL / AFLW players through the AFL Players’ Association.
  • $3.9 million from the State of Origin double header event, fundraising collection points at AFLW matches and contributions by AFL corporate partners.
  • $1.6 million in club led activities.

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said he was proud of the way the AFL community came together to help communities affected by the bushfires.

“As these fires were unfolding, I had many discussions among senior people in football and the universal response from across the football community was, what can we do to help.” Mr McLachlan said.

“Our clubs, the players, broadcast, commercial and licensing partners, Marvel Stadium venue partners, and all our fans come together and have raised an amazing amount of money and I want to thank every single one of you.”

“To Damien Hardwick, John Longmire and all the AFL and AFLW players who participated last Friday, thank you for being part of such a special night. The interaction with the emergency service workers and volunteers was a highlight after such a difficult summer and has further strengthened their links with our game.

“On behalf of our AFL community, thank you to everyone involved in fighting the fires and supporting communities in this time of need. The AFL, the clubs, the AFLPA and all AFL and AFLW players are committed to continuing to work with you, state football bodies, local leagues and all levels of Government to support communities through the rebuild and recovery stage in this difficult time.”

This announcement comes after the launch of the Strategic Community Investment Fund (SCIF) that was announced as part of the AFL’s strategic investment into community football in Victoria.

The Strategic Community Investment Fund will provide grant funding of $1.5m per year for the next three years directly to local football leagues and clubs in Victoria.

The SCIF is a key pillar of the Victorian Community Football Initiative and is in addition to the AFL Community Relief Fund established to support local communities in fire affected areas.

Of the $8 million raised the following has been distributed:

  • $1 million donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund
  • $738,000 to 262 community football clubs & NAB Auskick centres in Bushfire affected areas through the Community Relief Fund set up by the AFL to support football clubs and footballing families in bushfire affected areas. A list of the Victorian clubs can be found here
  • $1.6 million raised by clubs and distributed to various recipients.

The AFL has formed a governance committee to administer the remaining funds raised from the Community Relief Fund.

Mr McLachlan said the committee will ensure the football clubs and footballing families in bushfire affected areas will receive the support of the AFL Community.

Essendon Football Club President and former Federal Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner will chair the Governance Committee, with representatives from across the AFL industry, representing states and territories that have been impacted as well as people with community, legal, infrastructure, club and playing experience.

Members of the Governance Committee include:

  • Chair – Lindsay Tanner, Essendon President
  • Simone Wilkie AO, AFL Commissioner
  • Andrew Dillon, AFL General Counsel & GM Game Development
  • Tom Harley, CEO Sydney Swans
  • Paul Vandenbergh, Director Aboriginal programs, Port Adelaide Football Club
  • Phil Davis, AFLPA Vice President, GWS Giants player
  • Meg Downie, AFLPA board member, Melbourne Demons AFLW player

“It is important that we have the right governance structure to ensure an effective and ethical process to provide grants to clubs in need in bushfire-affected areas.” Mr McLachlan said.

“Lindsay’s experience will ensure we have the best process in place, and I would like to thank him and all the members of the Governance Committee for their enthusiasm to play a part in getting local footy clubs in bushfire affected areas get back on their feet.

“It is vital that we have a strong framework in place and disburse funds over the coming weeks, months and years in an appropriate and transparent manner.”

Click here for more information on the Governance Committee.

Football clubs in bushfire affected areas can download application forms for funding here.

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