2017 EFC AGM It started with a leak

So this dude wants to go on the Board and he starts his campaign off by talking to the Rage, Interesting start to the silly season.

The president of Essendon’s most powerful coterie group is pushing for a seat on the club’s board, declaring there is work to be done to improve “inclusiveness and communication” and ensure the Bombers become a “true destination club”.

Dr Peter Hughes, the president of the Essendonians, revealed to Fairfax Media on Wednesday that he was running for election. Nominations opened this week.


Nomination: The Essendonians president Peter Hughes is pushing for a seat on the Bombers’ board.
Nomination: The Essendonians president Peter Hughes is pushing for a seat on the Bombers’ board. Photo: AAP
The Bombers have three spots to fill. Catherine Lio and Paul Cousins were elected in 2014 and are up for renewal, while former player Chris Heffernan is stepping down after two terms as a nominated director. It’s understood the Bombers could nominate a replacement for Heffernan.

Heffernan had a particularly important role to play in terms of the club’s on-field performance, as he was football director and a member of the list management committee. The Bombers, after a successful trade period, are already undergoing change in this area as general manager of football, Rob Kerr, opted to leave.

Hughes, who has spent five years guiding the Essendonians through a period marred by the supplements saga, said there were several areas the Bombers needed to focus on.

“The club has done a tremendous job in turning around an adverse situation over the last few years through a dedicated focus on key areas of corporate activity, such as debt and cost reduction, brand rebuilding, sponsor retention, membership growth, promoting a diversity and equality agenda and enhancements to governance, but there is still further work to be done,” he said.


"Despite our progress, we have still not won a final in recent years, we do not have an AFLW licence, we have a major redevelopment project to fund and implement and we still need to keep growing our membership base and our ability to attract new streams of revenue and capital raising.

"I would never be critical of our club as I know all of its people truly have the organisation’s best interests at heart but I still believe we can improve our levels of inclusiveness and communication, staff and player development-education programs, our reach into other demographic corridors, levels of support to past players and the building of wider commercial and industry relationships.

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“We must have a clear focus on building a benchmark football program and department that can deliver sustainable success as this will effectively underpin other corporate objectives and consolidate our ability to become a true destination club.”

It’s understood former Melbourne Storm chief executive Ron Gauci​, who challenged former president Paul Little’s board in 2014, is one of two other potential candidates weighing up a bid to join the board now run by Lindsay Tanner.

Voting will open on November 27 and close on December 11.

“I am nominating because I feel I have an ability to add a deeper level of value to the club after spending over five years guiding the Essendonians through a very challenging period,” Hughes said.

Despite our progress, we have still not won a final in recent years, we do not have an AFLW licence, we have a major redevelopment project to fund and implement and we still need to keep growing our membership base and our ability to attract new streams of revenue and capital raising.

  • Essendonians president Dr Peter Hughes
    “During this period, the coterie actually grew in numbers and produced consistent returns to the club, despite the environment that we had to operate within. I feel that I can bring many of the experiences, learnings, and key relationships made during this time to the club to assist it in delivering its key strategic objectives. I also have a wide range of corporate skills, having successfully founded and run my own companies after working in a number of diverse and well known organisations.”

If we arnt a true destination club after landing smith, stringer and saad well I’ll be fkd


It is indeed an interesting start… and our old friend Ron Gauci has returned also.

Love how these corporate types want to jump on when all is going well.

I’m not sure I want the coteries anywhere near the board to be honest. Too reminiscent of the pre saga years.


I want a board full of pissheads. Their always right


I hope Gauci runs. I wanna see him crying again.


That was the best picture ever!

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Those comments are so general that it turns the announcement into little more than a PR exercise. Not that l expect any ground shaking details, but it sounds a bit vague overall.

Anyway, good luck to him. I am sure he has vast experience and some plans to take the club forward.

Board meetings at THE ROYAL


Coterie old boys can gagf.


Saying what every fan wants to hear. An empty paragraph of marketing dept mission statement jargon.


Spoke with Fairfax Media.



It does take the p1ss that we vote on board members. I have no idea if current board members are performing or not.

All I know is @Catherine_Lio and @Paul_Cousins take the time to answer our questions as best they can. Beyond that it’s anyone’s guess. Everyone else and the role they perform is a mystery.


I’m not overly worried about a coterie member on the board, but I’d be hesitant to vote in a president of a coterie onto the board.
Not sure how often it was occurring pre-saga though.

I meant more the exclusive rich boys club

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Thanks Klawdy. I’m like some weird blitz lurker.

Just an FYI, today I submitted my papers to nominate for re-election. If you do have any questions you can always summon me on here, twitter, Facebook or at [email protected].

In terms of each member of the boards role I could probably have a crack at a little explanation for each;

Lindsay - Chairman (herder of cats)
Paul Brasher - Deputy Chair and finance director (makes sure we have money in the bank)
Ken Lay - Governance and Diversity
Andrew Muir - business innovation and Positive Psychology advocate
Chris Heffernan - Football Director (direct link to football department) and acquisition & mergers (real job)
Simon Madden - business management and … being Simon Madden.
Dave Barham - Traditional and emerging media
Paul Cousins - VFL President and Risk Committee
Me - Look pretty. I KID I KID. Community, Indigenous and membership. Reconciliation Action Plan Committee. Lover of ensuring kids meet their EFC heroes.


Coteries have a significant presence and influence on the club already and I feel, even from a perception point of view, they should remain separate from the board. If he wants to run then he should step away from the Essendonians.


He has. He’s the very recently ex president.

Likes the media too does Pete!


A weird Blitz lurker in a sea of weird Blitz lurkers. Lol.

Thanks for that info. Just out of curiosity, how is your area of responsibility chosen? Do the existing board members weigh up your strengths and fit you in the best suited holes that need to be filled?

In my case it was really just what I felt most passionate about. Most of us just fall into the strengths that we bring to the table. I wouldn’t want Andrew Muir trying to challenge the football department too much, but I sure as hell want him challenging our business development and commercial departments, for instance.


Thanks Darli. Not clear that was the case from the article in the opening post.