|Sport:||Aussie Rules Football|
|Organisation:||Melbourne Football Club Women’s Team|
At 21 she become Australia’s first female Women’s Australian Football League assistant coach and put West Perth through their paces. At 23 she managed 150 staff through a $10.3 million Leisure Centre redevelopment. At 25 she became Managing Director of her own national company. And at 27 she became a Mother also known as – story-teller, doctor, teacher, fireman, garbage truck driver, princess, kangaroo, 5th wiggle and more….
Michelle is currently an Assistant Coach with the South Fremantle Football Club and in 2013 was appointed as the 1st Senior Coach for the Melbourne Football Club Women’s side. Taking the attitude which made her the pioneer of women of professional football coaching into the workplace, Michelle managed a team of 150 government staff as a 23 year old, before launching her own national training company, working with some of the biggest names in Australian sport.
As a child always playing sport with family and friends – any chance I could get. Whether it be a football, golf club or basketball. Loved them all.
played a variety of sports at the state level including cricket, golf, beach volleyball and was heavily involved in this for many years. I played some AFL but due to injury was sidelined from the game I love. AFL has always been my passion and this was always going to be the sport I wanted to make a career out of. I’ve been coaching AFL since 1999 and currently have my Level 2 accreditation and hoping to compete my Level 3 later this year (Level 3 is the highest AFL coach accreditation).
In AFL my chosen sport, I have always admired Jason Dunstall and in today’s game Chris Judd is the ultimate professional. His preparation is exceptional, his character and attitude is brilliant, and arguably one of Australia’s greatest to ever play the game.
Female athletes…. Where do I start, I had so many growing up and loving all sports they came from everywhere. Lauren Jackson, Cathy Freeman, Karrie Webb, Kerri Pottharst Serena Williams and Susie O’Neill.
It was my casual job that I had throughout school coaching my high school athletics, basketball and softball teams. Going through University my part-time job again was coaching at my local recreation centre where I would coach kids aged 5-12yrs Soccer, Basketball and Multi Sports. It was through these experience I developed a passion and love for coaching.
Being appointed as the inaugural coach of the Melbourne Football Club Women’s Team is certainly one of these moments. Women are getting the opportunity to play at the highest level and to coach at this level has always been an aspiration for me.
I’m keen to obtain my level 3 Coach accreditation, continue to contribute to the growing game of female football which has an extremely exciting future and ultimately gain an opportunity within an AFL club in a role that challenges me further develops my passion to coach.
Currently there certainly is, but the growth of females involved in AFL has been tremendous in the past 24 months. We can see a huge interest and increase in the participation from females so in time female coaches and leaders within the AFL will grow. There is more support now for the growth or female coaches so hopefully this will see more young girls and women choose this as a future career path.
Having been involved in the game at a semi professional level since 2004 I’ve witnessed a lot of challenges along the way. We are certainly making way for women to be involved at the highest level and it’s great to see the recent appointment of Peta Searle at Saint Kilda FC
I think we need better processes in place where everyone has an opportunity to achieve their aspirations. Clear pathways for athletes and coaches. We need to support, encourage, empower and challenge female coaches so they in turn support, encourage, empower and challenge their athletes. The coaches and players in our game can grow and become elite in their chosen field and we continue to raise the profile and professionalism of females in AFL.