AFL Victoria and AFL Victoria Country have announced the inaugural seven-member Gippsland Region Commission which has been established to oversee the direction of Australian football in Gippsland.
One of the key recommendations to come from the 2011 AFL Review of Football in Country Victoria was the desire to establish 13 region commissions which would be responsible for the strategic direction and planning of football across regional and rural Victoria.
The Gippsland Region Commission members were selected after an extensive process seeking out suitably qualified and experienced candidates from across the local region.
Angus Hume takes the chair in the inaugural commission. Hume has a long experience in local football at Toora, Foster and Leongatha football clubs, along with an extensive professional career in education and the environmental industry.
He is currently the chairman of the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.
Hume is joined by Paul Buckley, Mikaela Power, Trevor Wilson, Jim Fawcett, Brian Quigley and Andrew Francis as the foundation commissioners.
Gippsland working party chairman John Anderson said he and his fellow working party members were extremely pleased with the calibre of the foundation commission.
“Each member brings with them some great community sport and professional experiences, along with the strategic ability to grow the game of Australian football throughout the region,” he said.
“The governance and management skills of the selected commission are of the highest order.
“This is the first step in putting in place a structure to ensure football in the region prospers, but in time also develop a football administration structure that can provide outstanding support to leagues, clubs and umpiring associations.”
AFL Victoria general manager Grant Williams said the establishment of the Gippsland commission was an exciting time for a new era of football in the region.
“We see how strategic and professional all sports are becoming these days, and if we want local football to grow and flourish throughout the Gippsland region we need to ensure we have good levels of management and governance. These commissioners will give the concept in Gippsland the very best start,” Williams said.
The new Gippsland commission will incorporate the Gippsland, North Gippsland, Mid Gippsland, Alberton, Ellinbank and District football leagues, Sale, Warragul, Traralgon and Central Gippsland junior associations and the Sale, South Gippsland, Latrobe Valley and Gippsland umpires associations.
With the commission established, the next phase will be for the respective leagues, clubs and associations to become members of the Gippsland Region Commission while also maintaining their current affiliation with the VCFL.
A Gippsland region general manager will be appointed to manage the strategic direction of football in the region in consultation with the members and under the guidance of the commission.
A separate commission has been established to govern football in East Gippsland.