On behalf of the AFL Players’ Association (AFLPA) Board and Delegates, we would like to welcome you to the 2017 AFLPA Annual Report.
We would also like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia, the traditional owners of the land, and pay our respects to the Elders, both past and present, on whose land we gathered throughout 2017.
2017 was a historic year – not only did the inaugural AFL Women’s season take place, the male players signed a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and male and female players collectively led a national campaign for marriage equality in Australia.
Under the 2017-2022 CBA, male player wages are tied to the industry’s revenue for the first time in the history of the game. The agreement also includes a suite of programs, terms and conditions that will continue to create a first-class sporting workplace for future, current and past players.
In what was another significant milestone, the AFLPA officially welcomed more than 200 female players as members with voting rights and the association’s constitution was altered to include female board representation in AFLW captain and marquee player Daisy Pearce.
The inaugural AFLW season impressed and inspired many Australians beyond imagination. The players took to the national stage with enthusiasm and confidence and the on and off-field success of the competition was clear to see. We congratulate the Adelaide Crows on winning the league’s first premiership and look forward to what the future of the AFLW will bring.
We also would like to congratulate Dustin Martin and Erin Phillips who were both rewarded for their respective outstanding seasons with premierships and two of football’s highest individual accolades, the AFL Players’ MVP and the league’s best and fairest award.
Off the field, male and female players helped to put the marriage equality debate back on the public agenda by putting their collective social influence into a push for marriage equality. The campaign took place on IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) and received extensive national coverage.
But above all activity, the ‘PA continued to provide a range of first class benefits, services and programs to assist all players in the game, as well as those transitioning out of the system and into retirement.
It has been a momentous year with player unity at the heart of everything that was achieved. Looking forward to 2018 and beyond, the AFLPA has developed a new strategy that is focussed on continually improving the terms, conditions, programs, services and support for all AFLPA members.
We support players throughout their careers by negotiating exceptional workplace conditions and providing individualised personal development, wellbeing and support programs, so that all players can lead healthy, prosperous lives during and post football.
DELEGATE ACTION PLAN
Formal Delegate club action plans in place at all 18 clubs.
Inaugural Delegates appointed into roles for all eight AFLW teams.
DIRECTORS AND DELEGATES CONFERENCE
More than 40 past and present players (inclusive of Board members and Delegates) attended a two-day conference to discuss key player issues.
In June 2017, the AFLPA finalised a new CBA for 2017 to 2022 which, for the first time in the history of the game, ensures that payments to players will be tied to industry revenue. This recognition of the players as partners in the game was the primary focus in this CBA negotiation and a critical outcome we are proud to have achieved.
The negotiation was long and challenging but a fantastic outcome was achieved due in no small part to the unity and strength shown by all players throughout the negotiation. Players overwhelmingly approved the new CBA, with more than 99% of players voting ‘yes’ for the proposed deal shortly before it was finalised.
The new CBA will deliver payments, programs and services to players of not less than $1.84billion and numerous other improvements in the terms and conditions of the players, both current and past. Some of the key outcomes are outlined in the link below.
In November 2016, the AFLPA finalised the terms and conditions to apply to players for the inaugural AFLW competition during its first two years. AFLPA’s guiding principle throughout the negotiations with the AFL was to ensure that there was equality in the minimum payment terms for female players.
Importantly, we were able to achieve minimum payment terms that were, on a pro-rata basis, equal with the minimum payment terms for male players, along with other important benefits and entitlements for AFLW players.
An outcome of this new CBA was the formation of an Industry Governance Committee comprised of representatives from the AFLPA, players, AFL and clubs that will develop and then drive an industry-aligned strategy for player development.
These four key stakeholders will work together with players towards common goals, with clear action points and shared accountability, and ensure the industry maximises and streamlines industry resources.
|The MAX360 resource is the first of its kind, developed by the AFL Players’ Association to simplify how a player’s AFL journey is tracked and to help maximise their growth across all areas of life during their time in the game.|
|The 360º perspective provides a bird’s-eye view not only across the relevant life domains, but also across opportunities available industry-wide.|
|The AFL industry is embracing the philosophy of player development individualisation, evidenced by 17 clubs now utilising MAX360 and 60% of all players having off-field development action plans.|
The annual camp for male players and inaugural camp for female players saw 125 male and 218 female attendees briefed on a number of topics including the importance of wellbeing, career development, financial education, personal brand and respectful relationships, as well as policies for illicit drugs, match fixing and anti-doping.
ALLOCATED TO CURRENT AND PAST PLAYERS THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRAINING GRANTS.
All retired or delisted players have access to a multifaceted career transition support process via the AFL Players’ Association. Case managed by our team of Regional Managers, players have access to legal support, financial health checks, AFLPA psychologists, brand development and are introduced to our Alumni program, all on an individualised basis and designed to ease some of the inherent stresses that come with career transition of any type.
We aim to continuously strengthen the AFLPA brand by developing exceptional member relationships built on trust. We are respected for our voice and opinion and build strong relationships across the industry. We are actively positioning the AFLPA for the future.
AFLPA members voted to introduce a new AFLPA governance model which incorporates AFLW members including, for the first time, a female AFLPA Board member and appointed Board members, increasing the diversity and skills of the Board.
THE BOARD IS NOW COMPRISED OF:
UP TO EIGHT ELECTED MEMBERS (INCLUDING ONE AFLW PLAYER AND NOT LESS THAN SIX AFL PLAYERS)
UP TO TWO APPOINTED DIRECTORS
AFL PLAYERS’ ASSOCIATION CEO
THE AFLPA HOSTS EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR CELEBRATING OUR CURRENT PLAYERS AND ALUMNI NETWORK.
THE 22UNDER22 TEAM IS MADE UP OF THE BEST 22 PLAYERS UNDER THE AGE OF 22.
IN 2017, MARCUS BONTEMPELLI AND ZACH MERRETT WERE NAMED CAPTAIN AND VICE-CAPTAIN OF THE 22UNDER22 TEAM FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING.
THE AFLPA BOARD SELECTED THE INITIAL SQUAD OF 40 PLAYERS, FOOTY FANS CAST THEIR VOTES ON THE DEDICATED 22UNDER22 WEBSITE TO DECIDE THE FINAL TEAM.