Backing community leadership with the AFL
Posted on September 26, 2019
4 min read
We’re a team that’s built on strong values. Values that shape how we engage with our community, backed by our vision to build a connected future so everyone can thrive. One recent initiative to bring our vision and values to life was to align with the Jim Stynes Foundation and its Community Leadership Award.
Jim Stynes’ legacy is one that continues to shape the charitable direction of the AFL and its players. The iconic player used his on-field prowess to help shape the lives of disadvantaged youth. After his passing in 2012, the Jim Stynes Foundation was established to continue his work. Public in nature, the Jim Stynes Foundation distributes 100% of its funds to worthy causes and charities in the local community.
As part of their great work, every year the Foundation presents the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award. The award is presented annually at the Brownlow Medal ceremony to recognise AFL and AFLW players who embody the community spirit of the award’s namesake, Jim Stynes. Players who demonstrate a commitment to their community and helping others to make a difference are nominated for the award. Each year the winner receives $40,000 to donate to the charity or community organisation of their choice, and runners-up each receive $10,000 to do the same.
We’re proud to expand our partnership with the AFL to support the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award and our AFL sporting heroes can continue to do their powerful work in the local community.
This year’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award was Stephen Coniglio of the GWS Giants. Stephen Coniglio has been recognised for his role across a range of programs that engage the multicultural communities of Western Sydney.
Stephen has worked closely with the NSW Government to develop the Coniglio-Farrugia Community Program and holds ambassadorial roles with the Fairfield Falcons Football Club, All Nations Cup, Bachar Houli programs and the Lighthouse Community Support program, to promote AFL and social cohesion in Western Sydney over years eights.
Stephen’s involvement in the NSW Government community program has opened up opportunities for more than 3,000 multicultural students from 20 schools to experience Australian culture and the healthy and active lifestyle from key AFL and AFLW mentors.
Stephen works tirelessly to use his profile to promote inclusivity and his generosity also extends to giving back to the community on this 25th birthday last December, where he personally visited 25 junior GIANTS members at their own homes with thank-you gifts.
“This is an incredible honour for me and to be recognised by the wider AFL family as someone that demonstrates the values of Jim Stynes is truly humbling,” he said.
“I’m very passionate about the multicultural communities that make up Western Sydney and helping the next generation realise the opportunities they have in front of them.
“I’d like to acknowledge the other finalists for the fantastic work they do and I look forward to continuing to build strong connections across Western Sydney and helping those around me realise that anything’s possible.”
Runners-up for this year’s award include:
- Jessica Hosking, for her work with her own charity 2Boots, as well as work with Interplast, Cleft Pals Victoria and Red Dust Health Living;
- Jamaine Jones, for his work with the Barwon Child Youth & Family’s Foster Care campaign, and
- Travis Boak, for his work as an ambassador for the Childhood Cancer Association.
These incredible athletes will receive a $10,000 grant to distribute to the charity of their choice.
This year’s judging panel included Sam Ludbey-Stynes; Luke Darcy (Network Seven & Triple M); Neil Mitchell (3AW); Kim Williams (AFL Commissioner); Andrew Dillon (General Counsel/General Manager Game Development); Sarah Fair (AFL GM, People); Jude Donnelly (AFL, Head of Government Relations & Corporate Social Responsibility); Jennie Loughnan (AFL Ground Operations Manager), and Brent Hadley (AFL PA Representative).
We’re proud to support the AFL and its players as they seek to make a difference in their local community and honour Jim Stynes’ legacy.