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Richard Bowen – Chair
Richard was elected to the SMJFL Board in 2018 and appointed as Chair in 2020. In 2023 Richard is a member of the Finance, Governance and People, and Community Board Committees. With a long history of involvement in community, sporting and school groups, Richard recognises the important role of the SMJFL in our community. All three of Richard’s children coach and play sport, whilst Richard himself keeps fit by cycling. Richard holds executive and non-executive roles with a number of businesses. He works across the health, infrastructure, semi-government, community and med-tech sectors. Richard is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds Bachelors of Law and Commerce from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Diploma in Transport & Distribution Management from RMIT.
Simon was elected to the SMJFL Board in 2021. Simon is an experienced senior executive with over 20 years in sport, holding various titles at the Australian Football League including Head of Infrastructure. In 2019, Simon established Collab Projects, in which he serves as it’s Director and has worked with some of Australia’s most high-profile, leagues, clubs and sporting venues. Simon brings strong leadership qualities through his interpersonal skills, evidenced through leading complex, large-scale, multi-party negotiations, projects and teams, delivering economic and social value to numerous stakeholders. Simon is married with three children, and has been involved with the Ormond Junior Football Club since 2016, where his son plays.
Brooke was elected to the SMJFL Board in 2021. Brooke was actively involved with Mordialloc-Braeside Junior Football Club for over 10 years, serving as its secretary for eight and half years and as a team manager for just as long! Brooke has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to the day-to-day operations of running a grassroots football club, having worked through volunteer governance requirements and drafted and tabled club guidelines and policies, to opening the clubrooms at 7am and sweeping out the changerooms after muddy days. Brooke believes in junior sport assisting in the mental wellbeing and social development of children, and will continue to use this ethos as a member of the SMJFL Board, with benefits for both players and clubs at the forefront of her decision making. Brooke is currently Chair of the Football, Pathways and Talent (FPT) and the grading sub-committees and has previously served as a School Council Member and President of the Parents Committee at Parktone Primary School.
Ian was elected to the SMJFL Board in 2021. Ian is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Rowing Victoria, holding previous positions with Athletics Australia and ANZ Group. Ian is a former President of East Brighton Vampires Junior Football Club, coming up through the ranks by starting out as parent volunteer for its Auskick program. Ian brings innovation and ambitiousness to the SMJFL Board, as a commercially astute strategic leader in branding, marketing and partnerships. Ian is looking to provide a fair, competitive environment in a balanced, safe enjoyable space for the entire SMJFL community.
Louise Nelson - Vice Chair
Louise was elected to the SMJFL Board in 2019 and re-elected for a second term in 2022. Louise has an extensive background in finance and is currently the Commercial Manager for a large Australian footwear and apparel company. Having previously worked for Accenture and Mayne Health she brings a wealth of knowledge to the board in finance and accounting. From a football perspective, Louise has a keen interest in player retention, having chaired the SMJFL Player Retention sub-committee in 2019 and presented a report into player retention across the SMJFL. Prior to joining the SMJFL board in 2019 Louise was a committee member at Caulfield Bears Junior Football Club for five years between 2014-2018. During this time she held the positions of Team Manager, Vice President and was also President for three years. Louise has also been an AFLW Masters player since 2018.
Don was first elected to the SMJFL Board in 2017 and re-elected for a second term in 2020. Don is currently Chair of the Governance and Facilities Sub-Committee and sits on the Football, Talent and Pathways Sub-Committee. He has previously served on the Finance and Audit Sub-Committee. Now retired, Don was a former Director of a private consulting engineering firm. Don spends his time honing his skills as a woodworker and home brewer, is a passionate Richmond supporter, enjoys the occasional skiing adventure and continues to travel widely. Don enjoys Australian Football at all levels. Administratively, he believes in process – if the processes and rules are right, the right decisions and outcomes will naturally follow. Don is married with three sons. His youngest son completed 10 years of junior football with the SMJFL in 2017. His middle son umpired with the league for two years. And his eldest son played two seasons of junior football with East Brighton Vampires JFC and St Kilda City JFC. In 2016, Don was awarded the SMJFL Club Administrator of the Year award. Don was made a Life Member of St Kilda City JFC in 2017 in recognition of his contribution from 2008 to 2016 as President (3 years), Secretary (5 years) and Team Manager (3 years). Don is passionate about providing a junior football league for all kids, regardless of ability and background. He strives for the league to be inclusive and to recognise the diversity of the various communities that are part of the SMJFL.
Grant was elected to the SMJFL Board in 2022. Grant is an achievement orientated senior business leader who is currently the CEO of SmileStyler. Grant has been actively involved within the SMJFL for over a decade via his association with East Malvern Junior Football Club, as a coach and team manager across various age groups, as well as being a member of the SMJFL subcommittee for Football, Pathway and Talent in 2022. Grant brings professional experience driving change and growth across diverse local and international organisations, along with previous Board experience across associations and businesses that required complex stakeholder, community, and business engagement. Grant’s passion lies in three key pillars of participation, opportunity and retention, and has a clear understanding of the role the SMJFL plays in our communities, through participants, volunteers and clubs.
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