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About the EWN

Established in 1997, Essendon Women's Network (EWN) has long been regarded as the most successful women's group within the AFL. Members pay an annual subscription to belong to the EWN; with many more enjoying involvement at EWN functions.

Women – and men - of all ages, professions and backgrounds are part of the EWN and are united by the love of the game and their passion for the Club. The success of the EWN has proven to be an integral support group of the Essendon Football Club (EFC). The EWN provides its members with a number of events throughout the year while also being a voice for women within the Club and the broader AFL community.

What We Do

The EWN is and remains engaged, aligned and committed to supporting the club reach its strategic objectives. The EWN will assist the Club to ensure the EFC female engagement strategy is relevant and aligned to community views and changing expectations ensuring inclusion of all women throughout our community. EWN Committee members are actively participating in the development and stewardship of the EFC Equality and Diversity Strategy.

The EWN conduct a number of fundraising events throughout the year culminating in the major fundraising event the Grand Final Comedy Debate during AFL Grand Final week. This event highlights amazing women who continually contribute to our game of Australian Rules Football and present the Football Woman of the Year award. The event is coupled with a Comedy Debate that is uniquely focused on football.


Football Woman of the Year

The Football Woman of the Year Awards are in their 20th year.  The Awards play a vital role in recognising the important contribution of women throughout all levels of the Australian Rules Football community.  The Award is presented by the Essendon Women’s Network with the support of the Essendon Football Club, and endorsed by the AFL.

There are 3 categories to the awards:

  1. Football Woman of the Year - to celebrate and honour the achievements of women who have made an exceptional contribution within the Australian Rules industry
  2. Emerging Leader - for those women who are in the early stages of their Australian Rules careers and who already demonstrate clear leadership potential
  3. Community Award - to celebrate our unsung heroes who work on a volunteer basis whether at local or AFL level

Nominees can be either self-nominated or nominated by a third party, with the approval of the nominee.  The winner in each category is awarded at the Grand Final Comedy Debate which is held every year on the Thursday before the Grand Final, at Crown Palladium.  Previous winners have included Bec Goddard, Daisy Pearce, Jan Cooper, Peta Searle, Michelle Cowan, Belinda Duarte, Debbie Lee, Susan Alberti and Beverly Knight.

Further Information

Please contact Jess Brown for more information on the Essendon Women’s Network:

Jess Brown

Stakeholder Engagement Manager

(03) 8340 2021

2018 Events

Coterie BBQ

Thursday 8th March, ‘The Hangar’, Essendon Football Club, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

EWN Networking Luncheon

Friday 29th June, Zinc Federation Square, 12:00pm-2:30pm  

Chairman’s ‘Ladies Day’ Lounge

Saturday 21st July, Round 18, Essendon vs Fremantle – Limelight Room, Etihad Stadium, 3:00pm 

Grand Final Comedy Debate

Thursday 27th September, Crown Palladium, 11:30am – 3:00pm