Kellie’s passion shines for Gawler Central

In the fourth of a series of articles on the finalists in the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year Award, we find out more about Kellie Grady and her dedication to the Gawler Central Football Club.


Kellie Grady’s passion and commitment to the Gawler Central Football Club is unwavering.

Even in the midst of a busy family schedule and some of life’s greatest challenges, she continues to play an integral role at the club.

Kellie holds a full-time job as a school teacher and is the mother of two children, yet she is crucial to just about every aspect of the club’s operation.

Officially she is club secretary and co-coordinator of the women’s program, but really she is the heart and soul of the club that makes everything happen.

For Kellie, Gawler Central is not just a football club, but a key part of the community that brings people together.

“It really is about building that community around the club, building the connections between current players, past players, staff and families,” Kellie said.

Kellie has been at the forefront of establishing a culture of connection and belonging, an example being this year’s club Ladies Day which she organised to bring partners and female players together as part of the club.

“It was great to be able to get everyone together, we had all the players’ partners there and now they feel like they belong and have a place where everyone can gather,” she said.

“With so many people involved at the club you can walk down and always see a face you know and stop to have a chat; it’s just beautiful to watch.”

Kellie’s energy and enthusiasm at the club is boundless.

She is always the first one to offer any help and takes on every job that needs doing.

She works behind the bar every Thursday night, hosts the end-of-season presentation night and even rolled up her sleeves to help revamp the old change rooms so the female players had improved faclities to use.

She even organises to have a personalised guernsey made for any player with a new baby, featuring mum or dad’s guernsey number on the back.

“We need a home, a place everyone can gather and feel part of the club and the community.”

Hostplus Volunteer of the Year Finalist - Kellie Grady

All of her energy and effort around the club is made even more remarkable by her ongoing battle with breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2022.

Despite going through many rounds of treatment, Kellie has retained all of her duties at the club and displays the same passion and dedication as before.

She has maintained a positive outlook and sees her work at the club as a welcome distraction.

“It gave me the opportunity to not be a patient but continue being me and doing things around the club,” she said.

Even during this time Kellie has her attention firmly focused on the club and how she can help it to become even stronger.

“The future is really exciting and we have a few things coming up that will hopefully be a real boost for the club.”

Recently Kellie represented the club at a meeting with the Gawler Council about the potential to upgrade facilities at the ground, which could see the development of new clubrooms and changerooms.

Again, Kellie’s spirit and passion shone through in this meeting as she emphasised the need for the club to not just have new facilities, but a real home for its people.

“We need a home, a place everyone can gather and feel part of the club and the community.”

That statement perhaps says the most about Kellie Grady’s influence at the Gawler Central Football Club.

Always thinking about others and improving her club and community.

Kellie is one of five finalists for the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year award, with the winner to be announced at the annual SANFL Community Volunteer awards at Adelaide Oval on November 3.

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