2017 Candidate Q and A


There is no right answer to this, possibly no wrong one either.

I’m going to rule out cinnamon (not to say I’m not a fan) and go with iced if cold, jam if hot on a cold winters day at the footy.

Actually @Catherine_Lio and I once split a bag of 6 at an ANZAC VFL match at Vic Park a few years ago for lunch as they’d run out of all other food. She ate most of them. We beat the Pies by about a hundred, I credited the donuts. True story.


Donuts were the foundations of Bomberblitz asking Essendon people questions. Ask @Koala


I’m not even going to pretend this is a lie.


A good honest board member!


Katie Katie Katie!
I thought you knew rumour and innuendo were the sole reasons for making a judgement on Blitz.

Never mind.
I was going to ask a question on what you thought you had learned over the past three years but you have answered it admirably.

But I will ask how well do you think the board operates now as compared to when you first were elected?
And is the saga well and truly over, in that is the board focussed solely on the future, or is there still some learnings being implemented from the “dark ages?”

Also best of luck I will be supporting both you and Paul.


I’ll let Katie cover this Scorpio as I wasn’t sure if you wanted to hear from both of us, other than to say Lindsay Tanner is an outstanding inclusive chair, he realizes he has many diverse voices around the table for a reason and really embraces and encourages input from everybody. Importantly we don’t always agree and have robust discussion but always work as a unit toward a common goal. The board functions exceptionally well in my opinion.

Greatly appreciate your support.


Who will be the link to the football department and board now that Chris Heffernan is departing?


Well hello!

I will echo Paul’s sentiment regarding Lindsay and the board makeup.

The biggest change I have seen is the growth in each director, as well as the diversity of the people on the board. There are some really intense and robust conversations had at the table on a range of topics, and it is really comforting to know that every voice is doing so for the betterment of our club. There is no ego, no self service. We will challenge an idea or topic for 30 minutes and then move on to the next topic.

One of the most pleasing things about our current board is that every voice has equal value and worth at the table. Each person gets to say their piece and it is considered by all.

I believe we are a high functioning unit and every single person at the table has their place.

Any ‘saga’ learnings are embedded within the clubs governance framework and we do not look back. The executive and board really are focused on the future of our club from a football, commercial and cultural perspective.


The Football Governance Director (as the role is now known) role will be assigned once the board settles again in the new year after the appointment of Chris’ successor and the outcome of this election are public.

To be clear though it’s not a role that sees someone appointed specifically to fill it, there are several strong candidates on the current board but we’ll wait to see how things shake out. The role itself is more an oversight and governance role than I suspect many think it is as opposed to a hands on role in the football department, whilst the person who fills the role would ideally have an understanding of football issues certainly being a past player or the like is neither necessary nor a prerequisite. It’s a conduit role, the club employs experts in the football department to perform the hands on running of it.


I think it is good balance to have people on the Board who are not from the big end of town.
Catherine as the only female on the Board I hope toilet facilities are appropriate.
While this may seem trivial I am mindful of Susan Ryan’s experience when she was the sole woman in Cabinet in the old House. When a toilet break was made in Cabinet meetings , she had to go up the stairs and down the corridors. Some used to say that she got rolled at the PH urinals


Thanks for that insight Paul. I feel that its an important role to be served.


Ha! Thankfully there are plenty of amazing women that work at the club including our head of HR, so I suspect if there were any facilities issues I wouldn’t be the first one raising the flag on that!


No worries. It certainly is, and was identified as such in our in our governance and oversight improvements from the study and findings of a few years ago. But as I said it is important to know that it’s a governance and oversight role that acts as a conduit between the board and the football department essentially as an extra set of oversight ‘eyes’, that’s the role Chris has filled very well for the past few years. I’ve seen the role talked about as a hands on ‘footy’ role a bit lately, when that’s really not what the role entails these days.


So long as the football department is confident that the conduit is properly conveying its interests to the Board and for so long as it is not the sole conduit to the Board.


Obviously the CEO sits in on the list management meetings and the like as well Allan (and just as obviously also reports to the board), the Football Governance Director is really just an extra layer and in place to ensure the board has clear visibility on what’s happening at Football Department level, has visibility of strategy and future plans and the like.
We also have the List Manager report often to the board, the GM of Football attends all board meetings, the senior coach every second board meeting (and sometimes more).
As I said this role is really there as an extra layer of governance, as recommended in our governance reforms of a few years ago. Not to suggest it’s not important, it absolutely is, simply that I think it’s a slightly different role than many think it is.


Paul: Thanks for the clarification.


Then we lost the AFL Anzac match the next day. I remember it well.


We did, I strangely didn’t blame the donuts. Amends were made this year thankfully…


I remember being pretty flat after that game, as I usually am after a loss. Donuts probably would have helped, but not enough.


On a scale of 1 to 10, how many jackets does he usually wear?