Volunteer Recognition

Recognise and reward volunteers to keep them involved in your club.  Ensure their efforts do not go unnoticed.

State Volunteer of the Year

Each club, league or association is invited to nominate an outstanding volunteer as an AFL State Volunteer of the Year. The volunteer may have contributed to the completion of a major or significant project throughout the year or they may be someone who has contributed in a number of roles over a long period.

Each state and territory will evaluate the nominations and ultimately will determine their State Volunteer of the Year.  

The State Volunteers of the Year receive:

  • 2 x tickets to the Toyota AFL Grand Final (GFAFL15/70)
  • 2 x return flights & accommodation for 3 nights (Thurs – Sat) in Melbourne for Toyota AFL Grand Final weekend (except Victoria)
  • The opportunity to walk in the Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade
  • The Community Club belonging to the State/Territory Volunteer of the Year winner will also receive free membership to the Coach.AFL platform for all their Coaches in the following season

State Volunteer of the Year links


AFL Merit Awards

Each state and territory selects two outstanding volunteers for an AFL Merit Award each year.  These volunteers must have contributed significantly to Australian Football in a number of roles for a period of at least 10 years. 

AFL Merit Award winners receive:

  • An AFL Merit Award Certificate personally signed by the AFL Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the AFL Commission
  • Added to the honour board of less than 600 Merit Award winners dating back to 1931

Download a complete list of AFL Merit Award winners from previous years.

Contact State Managers for details on the process of selecting the AFL Merit Award winners.

AFL Volunteer Certificate Recognition Program

Reward your volunteers by presenting them with AFL branded volunteer recognition certificates.

  1. Download certificate
  2. Right click and save the file to your computer
  3. Open the file using Adobe Reader
  4. Edit the Name and Date by clicking on the existing text and then typing the name of the person you wish to recognise and the date you want listed on the certificate
  5. Click file, save as to save the certificate to your computer
  6. You can then arrange to print these yourself or professionally through a local printing company (eg. Officeworks) and distribute as you wish


Value and Recognise Your Volunteers

Volunteers’ motivation for continuing their involvement depends on their feeling of value and accomplishment.  However, remember that some volunteers seek opportunities for public recognition and praise but others may feel uncomfortable under such circumstances.

Personally recognise their efforts, rather than just treating everyone in the same manner.  It will mean more to the volunteer. 

Recognise all volunteers but reward them based on the amount of effort their role requires.  This way volunteers who have contributed significantly do not feel aggrieved when others who have contributed less receive the same reward.

Ways that clubs can recognise volunteers
  • Special awards for volunteers: volunteer of the month and of the year – presented at monthly meetings and the AGM or presentation nights.
  • Articles on individual volunteers published in the club newsletter
  • Articles in the local paper
  • Providing volunteers with identification badges, pins, caps and T-shirts
  • Get volunteers to train other volunteers
  • Get teams to write thank-you notes to every volunteer
  • Nominate your volunteers for local, state and national awards
  • Hold social events at the beginning and end of each season for all volunteers
  • Name an event or a new facility/building after a volunteer
  • Name a part of the ground after a volunteer
  • Reimburse volunteers for all ‘out of pocket’ expenses
  • Provide recognition certificates to every volunteer.
  • Acknowledge volunteers at all club meetings
  • Provide letters of reference to volunteers
  • Send birthday cards to volunteers or get-well cards when they are sick
  • Hold a lunch or breakfast to formally recognise the efforts of every volunteer
  • Participate in the AFL Volunteer Recognition Program and any state/territory football recognition programs
  • Nominate exceptional volunteers as a potential AFL State Volunteer of the Year or an AFL Merit Award
  • Reduce club membership fees for volunteers, depending on their level of involvement
  • Pay for any coach/umpire/administration courses, providing that in return, coaches, umpires and other volunteers make a commitment to the club
  • Recognise long service to the club by awarding exceptional volunteers with life membership
  • Provide thank-you letters from the executive committee
Year of Birth
This is Our Game
2017 AFL International Cup