By ALEXANDRA BULL
South Australia had five winners at the AFL National Volunteer of the Year Awards last week.
Stephanie Contin (North Gambier), Gary Sutherland (Goodwood Saints) Katy Javor (Australian Islamic College) Geoff Osborn (SANFL Junior Umpires) and Amanda Millar (Salisbury High School) all won their respective categories, earning them a recent trip to the AFL Grand Final in Perth.
Steph is a current committee member for the North Gambier Football Club, as well as being a league delegate, a player, coach and Auskick Coordinator.
Best described as an organisational powerhouse, Steph has many roles at both her home club and in delegate and executive roles across three leagues: Western Border FL, Western Border Junior FL and the Limestone Coast Women’s League.
Steph is currently the secretary for the North Gambier Football Club, performing many administrative duties such as player registrations, transfers, adjusting COVID-19 guidelines, game day coordination, apparel designs and orders, washing of guernseys and creation of volunteer rosters.
Geoff Osborn has been involved with community umpiring in South Australia for almost half a century, commencing in 1972 while he was still a school teacher.
Progressing to an umpire coaching role in the 1990s, Geoff has been a mainstay in the umpiring community ever since, continually giving back to umpiring and always being available to fill a match at short notice, mentor a new umpire or offer guidance and support to the umpiring group.
“It’s a lot of fun. I just really enjoy umpiring. I enjoyed playing footy, and played around 190 games, but I just enjoy still being involved. There’s a buzz being out there amongst the players and being part of the game,” Geoff told AFL.com.au
“Umpires are people who like footy, and it gives them a great opportunity to be part of the game,” he said.
As the recipient of the 2021 AFL National Community Umpiring Service Award, Geoff is a valuable asset to junior umpiring in SA and has shown no signs of slowing down in the future.
Gary Sutherland won the AFL Disability Inclusion Volunteer category for his work as coach at the Goodwood Saints through the SANFL Inclusive League.
Gary has been involved with the Inclusive team since his son, Tobe, became part of the team in 2008.
Then, in 2014 he was approached by one of the team’s supporters – Mark Donald, on a Saturday morning to see if he could coach the game for the next morning.
It was only supposed to be for that one game, but Gary is still there nine years later, making him a deserving winner of the award.
Katy Javor’s tireless work over the last 10 years has earned her the AFL Diversity Ambassador Award.
Katy has been teaching at the Australian Islamic College for the last 10 years, and in 2012, she took the step to introduce sport and physical education into the curriculum to spur passion and excitement towards Australian Football.
She now has a role which specifically relates to sport and has put into action a plan to introduce Australian Football within the school, which would be a first at the Australian Islamic College.
Amanda Millar was the recipient of the AFL Secondary School Ambassador Award through her work with Salisbury High School.
Amanda is a dynamic and progressive AFL School Ambassador, who has created a vast array of football programs for the children of her Disability Unit at Salisbury High School.
Her ongoing work over the last five years has included school clinics, education, incorporating football activities into the children’s curriculum and using football as a vehicle to increase exercise and activity for children with a disability.
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