Jim Stynes Scholarship


The Jim Stynes Scholarship is named after Jim Stynes in recognition of his outstanding efforts not only as a professional Australian Football player and administrator, but also as a philanthropist,                  charity worker and writer.

During his 264-game career with Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL) between 1987 and 1998, Stynes become the only non-Australian born VFL/AFL player to win the prestigious Brownlow Medal, which he achieved in 1991. In 2003 he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, where he was a promising Gaelic footballer, Stynes made an ambitious move to Australia at the age of 18 following his side’s win in the 1984 All-Ireland Minor Football Championship. He debuted in the AFL in 1987 and played a league record 244 consecutive games between 1987 and 1998. In addition to his Brownlow Medal, his Australian Football achievements include the Leigh Matthews Trophy (AFL Players’ Association MVP), two-time All-Australian team selection, a night and day Grand Final and four best and fairest awards at Melbourne. He also represented Victoria in interstate football matches and both Australia and Ireland in the International Rules Series. 

Following his football career, Stynes focused on youth work using his profile to launch the Reach Foundation, which he co-founded in 1994. As a result of his work with young people in Victoria he was named Victorian of the Year twice, in 2001 and 2003, and with the expanded profile of Reach nationally, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007.

Stynes also served as president of Melbourne Football Club from 2008 and was involved in fundraising efforts which brought the club out of debt. In 2009, he was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and continued to work during his treatment for brain metastasis. He died in March, 2012.

The purpose of the Jim Stynes Scholarships is to assist in providing both a pathway to employment and a pathway to nurture/develop skills and/or talents unique in youth (15-19 years) from:

  • Multicultural backgrounds
  • Indigenous communities and/or
  • Socially isolated/excluded communities


Who is eligible for a scholarship?

  • Scholarships are available to young people aged 15 and no older than 19 as at 31 October in the relevant year.
  • Potential recipients may be nominated by the president/coach of their sporting club/team, an authorised officer of a not for-profit community organisation, an employee of the AFL or an AFL state body or a board member, staff member or crew member of The Reach Foundation.

What does the scholarship cover?

  • Appropriate accredited education costs, including course fees for either year 11 and 12, TAFE or undergraduate studies.
  • Incidental study costs (text books and/or equipment).
  • Equipment needed to support a trade/skill.
  • Travel allowance and costs to compete in competitions and/or relevant leadership/education experiences.
  • Additional assistance in coaching/talent development/school or career support (e.g. tuition or mentoring).

What doesn’t the scholarship cover?

  • Fees covered by HECS/HELP.
  • Note: TAFE course fees that are designed to go on to an undergraduate degree are covered by FEE HELP

More information on the Terms and conditions, FAQs, scholarship process and panel etc. can be found in the Jim Stynes Scholarship Booklet. DOWNLOAD HERE

Register online only by going to www.afl.com.au/multicultural and clicking on the Jim Stynes Scholarships Section OR clicking the relevant button below.

Closing date is 1st November. You will be advised the outcome of your application by December 2016. 


Year of Birth