GWS star Collier awarded coveted scholarship

Maddy Collier. Photo: David Layden
Maddy Collier. Photo: David Layden

GWS Giants AFLW player and AFL NSW/ACT female ambassador Maddy Collier, from Nowra, has been awarded the Jill Lindsay scholarship.

Federal Women’s Minister, Michaelia Cash, presented the scholarship at the AFL’s ninth annual Women’s Industry Lunch in Melbourne recently - which celebrates women within the sporting industry and highlights the new pathways that are emerging for women to become increasingly involved in sport and the sporting community.

Collier, 22, made AFL history in 2016 as the first NSW/ACT player to be signed as an AFLW player. 

As a NSW Female Football Ambassador, Collier is passionate about bringing football to girls of all ages in all areas of the country.

“I grew up in the small-town of Nowra and I always played footy with my brother and the boys,” Collier said.

“As I grew up I just took the opportunity of playing football with both hands and didn’t let go.

“I just thought that my opportunities shouldn’t stop and that sparked my passion for girls in football especially in small towns where females might not have the same opportunities as men.

“Jill Lindsay was a pioneer in changing how women in power are seen and I really admire all the work she did. 

“Her values and goals are something that I really look up to.”

Through the AFL SportsReady program Collier has completed her certificate III in sport and recreation and now has a certificate IV in Business Studies.

She is currently pursuing further study and professional development by completing a Certificate IV Sport Coaching and hopes to pursue a Diploma in Sport Development.

GWS Giants general manager of people and culture Jody Masina believes that investing in Collier is to support in the future of female football in New South Wales.

“To be able to pursue a pathway into representative football teams and then into the AFLW Giants team shows the true spirit and inner determination of Maddy,” Masina said.

“Her passion and capability for not just the actual game but the craft of coaching, community development and the broader AFL industry as an operating business is the talent and succession progression for the future.”

The Jill Lindsay Scholarship provides $20,000 to assist in any further education but also provides Collier with a chance to travel to regional towns to promote AFL and conduct clinics engaging young girls in these areas.

After 41 years with the VFL/AFL, Jill Lindsay was the longest serving employee with her career being honoured in 2002 being inducted as the AFL’s first female life-member and Andrew Demetriou announcing a scholarship in her name in 2010.

Lindsay pathed the way for women in the AFL and after losing her long battle with cancer in 2011 continues to create pathways for young women to move into the industry through her scholarship. 

The Jill Lindsay scholarship is awarded to the female graduate with the most potential to come thorough the AFL SportsReady program.

As the AFL’s official employment and training partner, AFL SportsReady is dedicated to helping all young Australians kick-start their careers through traineeships and educational opportunities. 

With offices across Australia, the not-for-profit company works in partnership with organisations across a range of industries including sport, business, arts, finance and education to provide real opportunities for both athletes and non-athletes. 

SportsReady has been providing training and career opportunities for AFL footballers for more than two decades. In total, there are 160 trainees currently working in the AFL industry across the country.

AFL SportsReady is a leading education provider in sport and business management courses and has supported more than 12,500 young Australian gain skills they need to develop a successful career.

Previous Jill Lindsay scholarship winners:

2016 – Chelsea Randall (Swan District Football Club)

2015 – Emily Wastle (AFL Queensland)

2014 – Emily Buysen (North Melbourne Football Club)

2013 – Lauren Byrnes (AFL SportsReady)

2012 – Hayley Robinson (AFL Umpires Association)