2017 Candidate Q and A

Gai: An assertion was made on another thread that the last time you stood, you favoured limiting membership. Not sure why that was asserted, but could be worthwhile addressing that.
There is of course the separate issue of members getting better access to finals tickets when Essendon competes

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@gaiwilliams It’s important after you’ve answered the serious questions.

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Far be it for me to speak for Gai - but I’m fairly certain that she did not say that at all. That’s if my reading comprehension abilities haven’t totally deserted me.


Is there a board member in charge of wine appreciation and craft beer? I think our club should take on “average ■■■■ at games” as key issue and become an industry leader, with quality beverages on offer at all our home games. Very serious issue.

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Sadly that is a stadium supplier issue. Hopefully the AFLs grand plans for Etihad Stadium include looking at food and beverage offerings in the future. We are Melbourne, the land of delicious food trucks and craft beer after all!

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What is the clubs logic of agitating a few thousand voting members (ie. those with AFL Club Support) re: AFL Members w/ Essendon Club Support screwed over

The sad thing is that 99.95% of the AFL Club Support members would have no idea in this change of policy until Essendon get to a Grand Final and then they would find they have been stripped of their right to enter the club GF ticket ballot (as the poor Tiger fans found out this year)

Why should Essendon AFL Club Support members be forced to purchase a pointless duplicate membership just to access a GF ticket ballot or purchase the GFG? Why the change as for the past 20 or so years AFL Club Support Members have been treated equal but are now fobbed off as second class citizens

I have spoken to the AFL Membership Manager and they are fuming with the clubs change of tact (but admitted they can’t do much about it but may look at withholding some of the money that goes back to the club) and have also spoken to a very unhelpful individual at EFC named Simon Whelan who arrogantly fobbed me off with the line “buy an Essendon membership”

Hey Simon I already have one! It’s an Essendon club membership with full voting rights, get sent the dodgy membership pack, GA access to 11 home games, can purchase upgraded seating in the Essendon allocation, access to purchase Finals tickets in Weeks 1-3 from the Essendon member allocation without the need to once step inside the AFL Reserve I shouldn’t need to purchase a duplicate one

Anyone who can give back AFL Club Support members equal rights gets my vote

Anyone that abolishes AFL members getting grandfinal access has my vote.


Hi Bullwinkle.

Honestly I am not across the changes to AFL Club Membership. I’ve asked for some background before I give any opinion on the matter.


This so much.
Stuff AFL members.


Likewise here I must admit, it’s obviously an operational issue rather than something the board would influence but I’ll find out more about it before attempting to answer.

Very unfair given everyone’s circumstances are different. I gave up my AFL Membership during the saga but totally understand why people buy them, it’s a compelling package. Each to their own I say.


seems a lot of whinging about not being able to double dip grandifnal tix.


Katie & Paul you have my vote and thanks for your input on our Blitz forum. It would be good to to have another female on the Board to keep Katie company. Nicole Waldron and Gai Williams have put their hat in the ring. We’ve heard briefly from Gai on this thread and I’ve read her Candidate Profile which is quite extensive, and having a Pharmacy background would get on well with Woosha. Haven’t heard much of Nicole other than her profile which suggests high level management, community and legal expertise. My question to you guys is the AFL womens competition disappointedly is minus the famous red sash. What steps will you be taking to address this situation ?

by which you mean she’s answered 1 question and none that have been directed at her specifically…

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Thanks for the support Blitzmenow - it’s always strange calling people by their handles!

I thoroughly look forward to the day that we have more woman on the board. We do have internal diversity goals and a diversity committee that are committed to ensuring diversity and parity in all areas of the football club. If we are to be top 4 in all areas, that should be one also.

The AFLW decision was incredibly disappointing. We were actually told by the AFL - and I’m sure no one minds me sharing this - that our proposal set a new standard for what AFLW proposals should be. It was thorough, well thought out, and looked at the pathway to AFLW, the AFLW career holistically and then career development and post AFLW opportunities. Everyone at the club was incredibly proud of what we put together. We are committed to delivering it.

Unfortunately the ruling around provisional licences came into play and we, alongside Hawthorn, were not given licences for the immediate future. We are, I believe, still awaiting direction on when the next round of licences will be available, and I’m sure we won’t be waiting long.

In the mean time I hope to see us create and become a ‘football factory’ for AFLW players via our VFLW team. I want to see us bring the best talent from our NGA regions in Tiwi, West Arnhem and the north west corridor of Victoria together, train them and be extremely successful in the VFLW. I want out VFLW players to feel welcomed and as important as their male counterparts, and inevitably I want us to have a long list of young women desperate to come play in the inaugural Essendon AFLW team.

In short, I want to take the slogan ‘two pathways, one dream’ and make it a reality.

Success is the best way to prove a decision wrong.


you don’t double dip, you have to chose either to obtain a ticket via the AFL allocation or via the Essendon allocation

in my case I am a full AFL member w/Essendon club support so am guaranteed a ticket via the AFL allocation if Essendon makes it, but my wife and 8 year old are Silver members and still 7-10 years away from full membership

in the past 2-3 years we’ve bought the Essendon Grand Final Guarantee so I automatically give up my AFL Grand Final ticket right via the AFL Member allocation (if Essendon make it) so can be together as a Family

but from 2018 silver club support AFL members get locked out under new Essendon rules and can’t purchase either the GFG or even go into the Essendon Priority 3 ballot which combined with the fact that AFL Silver members have no chance at all in getting a grand final ticket from the AFL Member allocation, the entire cohort of club support silver members are totally screwed now in not having even the minuscule chance of obtaining a Grand Final ticket via Essendon yet the club will happily take their $160-170 membership cost passed on by the AFL

Even the 4 game members get Priority 3 GF ballot & GFG access FFS

Hi. Pharmacy ownership and management skills - admittedly these might have been more useful a few years ago! However they still add value. Board skills - I was the first female chair of Guardian Pharmacies Australia and I currently serve as deputy chair on the Board of our 2 local Bendigo Community banks. An attitude that every member matters from a 3 game member to a top coterie member-our club survived the last few years largely due to nearly 70,000 members joining up and turning up. They should be recognised and rewarded and catered for with affordable club functions. Of course the club management played a big part too! A female perspective encompassing customer service, player family nurturing and membership value. Need to improve communication from some departments within the club. Strategy, planning, governance, community, on-field performance and finance are important skills to have but retaining and gaining more passionate members has to be a focus - just look at the Tiger Army!

Bert. This is an AFL person who had to leave because of an affair with a young female staff member and he admits that. I just think it would be an inappropriate appointment at this time… What if it happens again-we have a women’s VFL team and looking to obtain a licence for a women’s AFL team plus I don’t know what player’s parents would think plus he has no experience in this role. You may think I am being a real female here but I can live with that. I am sure there will be other candidateswith impressive credentials.


I would push to reject him based on his past admitted behaviour - this is not innuendo but fact. I may be playing the girl card but the risk is great.

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I didn’t know about this either and will make some enquiries. My guess would be that as membership grows, the ability to guarantee enough grand final tickets decreases. I have a friend who is a Collingwood supporter (I know - poor bugger). He always had a guaranteed grand final ticket but that has now been removed from his membership. I was also unaware that new members cannot purchase permanent seats to away games. They have to purchase them week by week. I am never giving up my reserved seat membership for both home and away games!!.