Sue Clark, chief operating officer of WESTERN Bulldogs, has been awarded the 2021 Graeme Samuel Scholarship.
The Graeme Samuel Scholarship is awarded to a senior manager in the football industry working in the fields of business or management, and provides the recipient with $20,000 to be placed on a course of study to advance their career development.
Sue’s experience managing the AFL spans over 12 years, having worked for Geelong Cats as the club’s finance manager before joining Western Bulldogs in 2018.
Since his arrival at Western Bulldogs, Sue has led the masterplan and redevelopment of Whitten Oval, successfully negotiated and facilitated the sale of the club’s two gaming sites to exit the club from all gaming activity and implemented a new fundraising and philanthropic strategy for the club.
Sue continues to play a pivotal role in guiding Western Bulldogs through the ongoing challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring the club remains profitable this year.
The Executive General Manager of the People Sarah Fair at the AFL, congratulated Sue on being awarded the prestigious scholarship.
“On behalf of the AFL, I congratulate Sue on being a well-deserved recipient of the 2021 Graeme Samuel Scholarship,” Ms. Fair said.
“Sue has long been a highly regarded leader in the AFL industry and her commitment to excellence has seen her consistently deliver first-class results throughout her career.
“As a calm and thoughtful leader, Sue has become someone that many in the industry turn to for advice and counsel.”
Sue was a member of the AFL Gen W Leadership Program in 2019 and was previously a member of the AFL Women’s Leadership Program and the AFL Future CEO Program.
Sue said she was honored to receive the award in the name of Graeme Samuel and thanked those around her who have supported her throughout her career.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be awarded the 2021 Graeme Samuel Scholarship,” Ms Clark said.
“I am so grateful to the NFL for this opportunity to further my professional development, which will also be of great benefit to Western Bulldogs Football Club. I also thank everyone at Dogs, my team, and the leaders I have had throughout my career who have supported me in my journey thus far.
“I am proud of myself for being a strong leader for Western Bulldogs Football Club and the broader AFL industry and have a strong ambition to continue to work and lead and inspire others in our industry.”
Graeme Samuel was one of the original NFL commissioners when it was formed in 1984. He resigned from the commission in 2003 to take over as chair of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission. For two decades, Mr. Samuel has played an invaluable role in the strategic direction of the AFL competition and Australian football more broadly.
The scholarship has been awarded by the AFL Committee since 2004 in recognition of Graeme Samuel’s contribution to the game with the recipient being offered $20,000 to be placed on a course of study to further their career development.
Past winners of the Graeme Samuel Scholarship are:
2019 – Ken Liddell, Carlton
2018 – Cameron McLeod, North Melbourne
2017 – Kelly Ryan, AFL / Western Bulldogs
2016 – Jennifer Watt, Melbourne
2015 – Amit Pines, St Kilda & Rosie King, Geelong Cats
2014 – Steve Rosich, Fremantle
2013 – Andrew Travis, Gold Coast Sun and Cam Valley, North Melbourne
2012 – Simon Garlick, West Bulldog
2011 – Justin Reeves, Collingwood
2009 – Rob Thrillvale, Geelong Cats
2006 – Stephen Trigg, Adelaide Cruz
2005 – Jeff Walsh, North Melbourne
2004 – Trevor Nesbitt, West Coast Eagles
Please note: The Graeme Samuel Scholarship was not offered in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2020 with joint winners in 2013 and 2015.