Women of AFL – Sharon Williams

Sharon Williams

AFLQ Admin Officer, AFL Townsville League Secretary, AFLT League Asst Treasurer, Hermit Park Football Club (HPFC) Snr Registrar, Bar Manager, Cleaner and Social Events

What does your role involve?  
My Role at AFLQ is to assist with all administration work relating to Auskick, banking, rep sides, and functions. AFLT secretary is also all the admin / correspondence for the League – Meetings / functions / banking / dealing with all the day to day management of the League. My duties at HPFC are primarily volunteer however I do receive a small monetary amount for cleaning and Saturday bar trading. I am the senior registrar at HPFC completing all Registrations / Clearances / Permits using Sportingpulse. I also collect registration payments and administer merchandise.

How long have you been involved in AFL?
I started with AFLQ in Feb 2012. I have been involved with HPFC since 2004.

How did you first become involved in AFL? :
I first became involved in AFL when my son started playing Auskick at 5 and then under 8’s, at HPFC. We moved from SA to QLD in Jan 2004. I have been an avid fan all my life supporting Port Adelaide magpies while I was growing up. I have been a Port Power member since their induction, and still hold full membership and season passes. My son and two daughters also hold memberships with Port Power. I got involved with HPFC as they had limited volunteers and I had some ideas on how to improve things at club level, so I went to the AGM and nominated for a committee position and I’ve been involved ever since.

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your role?
In my role with AFLQ the greatest challenge is not being able to do more. As my roles are shared with AFLT I would like to focus more on assisting our Regional and Development Managers here in Townsville. Hopefully with the restructure of AFLT I will be given more opportunities to do so. The greatest challenge at club level is recruitment of new volunteers. I have found that people are happy to assist, but just not all day. Sharing the load is always a challenge.

What has been your greatest achievements?
Without a doubt my three amazing  children. I have been lucky enough to be able to spend most of my time with them as a stay at home mum. Now that they are all at school it was time for me to re-enter the work force. I was offered a position with AFLQ, a job which I enjoy immensely, where else can you go to work and talk footy all day….

What has been the most rewarding thing about working in football?
With AFLQ & AFLT roles it is rewarding to see clubs working together for the betterment of football. It’s great to see that whatever happens on the field is forgotten off the field and we can strive for the same common goal of growing our competition in TVL.  With HPFC it is definitely about the friendships and knowing that what you do does make a difference. I will always remember the great social times had at a club not necessarily the premierships.

Do you think being a woman helps you to bring a different perspective to your role and /or organisation?
I think being a woman in football is very challenging, however as more and more women are becoming involved not only at club level the perception is changing. For me respect is earned by doing the job well and understanding the fundamentals of the game and its structures.

What do you find most rewarding about your role in football?
With AFLQ /AFLT roles it’s about being part of a wider community and sharing a mutual love for our fantastic game. With HPFC it’s knowing that you can make a difference with even just the smallest amount of input, whether its Team manager/scoreboard attendant or helping in the canteen as a club we continue to grow and succeed both on and off the field.

What do you hope to achieve in football?
I would like to further develop my knowledge with AFLQ and to assist our Regional and Development managers in TVL. With my role with AFLT I would like to see both Jnr & Snr bodies working together to grow our competition in TVL. Give ownership back to clubs to run their competition and make it their own, by sharing best practices all clubs will benefit. Upgrade of our facilities is a must to keep our game developing and growing. At club level I would like to continue to see our members enjoying a day at the football and watching our kids develop into senior players.

Who inspires you and why?
My children are my inspiration, they help you understand why you do what you do…To see them playing with a smile and the great friends they have at the football club is fantastic. Even having two girls asking in the “off” season when is footy back?!!! makes me smile. They may not understand the game yet, but they will. Showing them how to give back to their community is a priority. They will be the volunteers of the future.

What advice would you give to other women hoping to work (or working) in AFL?
Firstly to be able to listen is a must, understanding people and what drives / motivates them is very important. Not everyone wants to commit to being involved full time. Our time is very important to us all, but sharing the load and even just doing an hour here and there will make a difference. All volunteers are to be respected / commended because without them our game would not exist.

Why do you think it is important to have women in football?
In my experience at club level it is very important. I have found that clubs who engage women are more successful both on and off the field. Sharing the same common goals will see the jobs get done regardless of gender. Everyone is needed, wanted and appreciated. I for one would like to see more women as Presidents / Administrators and moving forward I feel this will slowly happen over time.

What do you see in the future for women in football?
I certainly see more women getting involved not only as canteen workers / team managers, or mothers. AFL is becoming more and more professional, qualifications will get you everywhere and not gender. Everyone has a role to play.

What is the most important attribute in a leader?

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like take this opportunity to Thank AFLQ for appreciating the role women have in football, and hopefully will inspire others to get involved.

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