AFLQ Volunteer of the Year Awards

AFL Queensland recently celebrated their 2012 Volunteer of the Year Awards with a dinner ceremony in Brisbane.

The awards recognised coaches and volunteers from across the state that have made outstanding contribution to their football communities.

Awards presented on the night included coach of the year across various age divisions, club and league volunteer of the year of the year and the premier award – AFL Queensland’s overall Volunteer of the Year.

Coach of the Year was awarded in junior, youth, senior and female categories with each award recognising excellence in coaching at each level.

Junior coach of the year, Jeremy Sheldrick was given the nod based on his outstanding communication with players and commitment to coaching at this critical player development level.

Youth and Senior Coach of the Year awards were presented to Gary Flint and Ben Stanley respectively.

As female participation grows in AFL, strong female role models are becoming increasingly important.

Female Coach of the Year Janie McCullagh was presented with her award based on her exceptional leadership qualities, communication skills and knowledge of the game

Club and League Volunteer of the Year awards were also presented in both the junior and senior levels recognising outstanding commitment to a club or league.

Sharon Webb and Grant Vayro were presented with junior and senior club volunteer of the year respectively while Steve Barlow and John Hollander took home the junior and senior league volunteer of the year.

Two AFL Merit awards were also handed down at the awards dinner.

These highly prestigious awards recognise outstanding service to AFL in Queensland with recipients joining a list of less than 600 other winners since 1931.

Michael O’Donoghue (Darling Downs) and Greg Kingston (Mayne AFC) were recognised for their outstanding and ongoing commitment to football.

The two award winners have more than 45 years of service between them in AFL with roles ranging from umpire to trainer to selector to tribunal member.

The premier award of the evening, AFL Queensland Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Bundaberg junior president, Steve Barlow.

While Steve was officially recognised at the dinner, his journey as volunteer of the year was already well underway.

As part of his award, Steve and wife Tina were given tickets to the 2012 Toyota AFL Grand Final, with Steve marching in the Grand Final parade through Melbourne.

AFL Queensland Community Programs Coordinator Aaron Hall said that annual awards night was a celebration of coaching’s strong influence on club culture and the direct role of volunteering on creating a positive, family-friendly club environment.

2012 Volunteer of the Year Award Nominees and Winners:




Junior Coach of the Year

Gary Adams – Cairns
Russell Sproule – Townsville
Shaun Creeley – Mackay
Peter Farley – Capricornia
Tim Bagshaw – Sunshine Coast
Jeremy Sheldrick – Darling Downs
Jason Holmes – Brisbane Juniors
Darcy McDonald – Gold Coast Juniors

Jeremy Sheldrick – Darling Downs

Youth Coach of the Year

Gary Flint – Cairns
Rod Drew – Townsville
Lance Jarrett – Mackay
Gerard Ravern – Capricornia
Trevor Larkins – Sunshine Coast
Michael Gilmore – Darling Downs
Michael Jordan – Brisbane Juniors
Darren Matthews – Gold Coast Juniors
Andrew Rogers – Northern Rivers

Gary Flint – Cairns

Senior Coach of the Year

Kane Richter – Cairns
Andy Pethybridge – Townsville
David Johnstone – Mackay
Murray Payne – Capricornia
Ben Stanley – Sunshine Coast
Nick Barker – Darling Downs

Ben Stanley – Sunshine Coast

Female Coach of the Year

Jo Butland – Cairns
Angela Gumbleton – Mackay
Kerri Stephens – Capricornia
Caitlin Huth – Sunshine Coast
Cassie Cullen & Gabi Richmond Clay – Darling Downs
Janie McCullagh – Brisbane Juniors

Janie McCullagh – Brisbane Juniors

Junior club Volunteer of the Year

Rod Davidson – Cairns
Anne Crowden – Townsville
Venessa Creeley – Mackay
John Rakena – Capricornia
Jamie Glover – Sunshine Coast
Neville Jericho – Darling Downs
Sharon Webb – Brisbane Juniors
Melisa Spencer – Gold Coast Juniors
Brad Connelly – Northern Rivers

Sharon Webb – Brisbane J uniors

Senior Club Volunteer of the Year

Sue Dixon – Cairns
Joanne Powley – Townsville
Peter Graham – Mackay
Julie Eastern – Capricornia
Grant Vayro – Sunshine Coast Matthew Struthers – Darling Downs
Dennis Payne – SEQAFL


Grant Vayro – Sunshine Coast

Junior League Volunteer of the Year

Podolczak Family – Cairns
Paul Kirkpatrick – Mackay
Peter Watkins – Capricornia
Steve Barlow – Wide Bay
Debbie Linton – Sunshine Coast Keith Clarke – Darling Downs

Steve Barlow – Wide Bay

Senior League Volunteer of the Year

John Hollander – Cairns
Ian Draper – Mackay
Rosemary Ryan – Capricornia
Andrew Smith – Darling Downs
Ray Pekin – SEQAFL

John Hollander – Cairns

AFL Merit Awards



Michael O’Donoghue
Greg Kingston


AFL Queensland Volunteer of the Year


Steve Barlow


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