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Grand Final Comedy Debate

Staff Writers  September 5, 2013 9:54 AM

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Five women have been selected as finalists for the 2013 Football Woman of the Year (FWOTY) Award.

The Football Woman of the Year Award recognises women in the industry who have made a significant contribution to the game of Australian Rules Football.

Presented by the Essendon Women’s Network (EWN), this prestigious award is open to any woman involved in football regardless of club or profession.

The winner will be announced at the annual Grand Final Comedy Debate on Thursday 26 September at Crown Palladium.

EWN Chair Jane Grover said the five finalists had all made exceptional contributions to the wider AFL industry in their various roles.

“The Football Woman of the Year Award recognises passion and commitment and profiles amazing women that support the game that we love,” Grover said.

“The Grand Final Comedy Debate is an event not to be missed - glamour, humour, football and entertainment that will delight you.”

The following women have been selected as finalists for the 2013 Football Woman of the Year Award:

Annette Ellis: President of the community-based Tuggeranong Hawks Football Club in the ACT. As President, Annette restructured club operations and insisted on building a solid community culture through social engagement with community groups.

Chyloe Kurdas: AFL Victoria Female Football Development Manager. Through Chyloe’s leadership, female football is now Victoria’s fastest growing participation segment with a near 25,000 women and girls involved in football in Victoria.

Michelle Cowan: The first female in Australia to coach football at a state level in the men’s competition. Michelle is currently an Assistant Coach in the Western Australian Football League for South Fremantle Football Club.

Scharlaine Cairns: A committed member of the Western Bulldogs Football Club for over 40 years, Scharlaine has served on numerous committees over the last 23 years and participated in significant fundraising activities for the club.

Dr Sonja Hood: General Manager of ‘The Huddle’, a joint initiative of North Melbourne Football Club and the Scanlon Foundation set up to improve social cohesion, working with young people from diverse background across Melbourne. During Sonja’s time as General Manager, The Huddle has won several coveted awards including the 2013 National Sports Leadership Award.

Judging the award this year is an independent panel, with seven criteria points the recipient must demonstrate (see below).

Ø Commitment to the support and advancement of Australian football
Ø A passion for the game
Ø The ability to make a difference on the football scene
Ø A keen knowledge of the game, including its history and its future
Ø A willingness to publicly advocate the important role women play in football
Ø A sense of humour and fair play
Ø Club Membership.

Past winners of the award include; Irene Chatfield (1998), Jill Lindsay (1999), Caroline Wilson (2000), Katrina Pressley (2001), Beverly Knight (2002 – joint winner), Bev O’Connor (2002 – joint winner), Jenny Williams (2003), Edna Daniher (2004), Jennie Loughnan (2005), Barb Cullen (2006), Terry Bracks (2007), Susan Alberti (2008), Debbie Lee (2009), Anna Durante (2010), Lesley McGrath (2011) and Belinda Duarte in 2012.

Click here to purchase your tickets to the 2013 Essendon Women’s Network Grand Final Comedy Debate.