Trio of Croweaters receive Australia Day honours

SANFL History Centre Manager Chris Halbert (left) with husband John.


Three outstanding contributors to South Australian football have been recognised on this year’s Australia Day honours list.

AFL field umpire Eleni Glouftsis, former SANFL League director Bruce McFarlane and SANFL History Centre manager Chris Halbert were all fittingly feted on January 26.

Instrumental in the establishment of the SANFL History Centre in 2014, Chris was recognised for her ”service to football history preservation in South Australia.

”I’m delighted because it is an acknowledgement of all the people who have worked with me along the way, and not just in football but also in music, which was also acknowledged,” Chris, awarded a Medal of the Order (OAM), said.

”It’s not like you do things by yourself, you are always part of a team.”

Flagging the SANFL History Centre’s 140-year exhibition at the State Library as a highlight, Chris is eagerly planning a 145-year exhibition at the same venue next year.

”It was special because it was special for everyone else,” Chris said of the exhibition held in 2017.

”The reaction of people who came in and hadn’t seen photos of their grandfather or other memories was overwhelming.

”The exhibition was important but so to was the search for all of the Magarey Medals. The fact we have now got all of them except six is just fantastic and people are gobsmacked when they have a look at the display.”

A selection of the collectibles unearthed during Chris Halbert’s tenure as SANFL History Centre Manager

Well-versed at wading through multiple items of husband John’s memorabilia collection, Chris was determined to ensure these, and thousands of other collectibles, would be preserved well into the future.

”I had been around football for 50 years and I knew how much memorabilia John had,” Chris said in reference to John, a premiership player and Magarey Medallist with SANFL club Sturt.

”Our daughters weren’t that interested and I knew how much memorabilia Barrie Robran and Lindsay Head had so I thought: ‘Strike, if we don’t do something about this….This is just the tip of the iceberg!”

Chris paid tribute to former SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson, Chief Operating Officer John Lyons and History Committee Chairman Dion McCaffrie, who were all supportive of the SANFL History Centre being established at Bowden, where it continues to expand today.

''It's not like you do things by yourself, you are always part of a team.''

Chris Halbert SANFL History Centre Manager

McFarlane, who served as Port Adelaide’s League Director from 2007 to 2010, was also the Magpies’ President and Chairman from 2007 to 2012.

He was a major sponsor of Port Adelaide through the Maughan Thiem Motor Company from 1972 to 2012 while also being a club member since 1971.

McFarlane received a Member of Order (AM) for his service to business and roles with Port Adelaide and SANFL.

Glouftsis began her umpiring career in 2008 and steadily progressed through the SANFL’s junior ranks, from the Under-16s to making her League debut in August 2013.

She became the first female to officiate at State League level when she was part of the field umpiring panel for the North Adelaide v Glenelg match at Prospect Oval in Round 21.

In January 2015, the well-spoken school teacher relocated to Melbourne after accepting an AFL Female Pathway Scholarship, which included a position on the AFL umpiring rookie-list.

Glouftsis, who received a Medal of the Order (OAM), then made history by becoming the first female field umpire to officiate in the Essendon v West Coast match in Round 9 of 2017.





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