Ray is the current Chairman of AFL Victoria and has a successful business history spanning over half a century.
He is a former Chief Executive of ACI Glass Group and Smorgon Steel Group. He was also Chairman of Calibre Global Ltd, Toll Holdings Ltd and the Essendon Football Club.
Ray Horsburgh AO - Chairman
Simon Madden - Board Member
Simon is a current director of the Essendon Football Club, former President and Director of the AFL Players Association.
He has held numerous executive positions throughout his career and now fronts his own successful strategic performance–coaching and team-building consulting firm.
Barry Capuano - Board Member
Barry has been the President of the Essendon Football Club Past Players and Officials for over 20-Years.
A former player, Hall of Fame Member and Chief Executive of the club, Barry has had a successful business career and is greatly respected as an excellent administrator.
Mark Eustice - Advocate & Spokesperson
Mark is an addiction and mental-health survivor. A former professional AFL footballer, Mark has dedicated his life to helping fellow Australians overcome the crippling impact of addiction and mental-health issues.
Mark founded Regain Life Focus in 2018 and with the support of the RLF team, his legacy is now firmly entrenched in changing attitudes around this rising epidemic and ensuring people "find strength in support".
Kim Scowcroft - Fundraising Manager
Kim has a widely respected career in the media industry that spans decades.
Her roles in Publicity, Promotions, Sales and Management, have crossed a myriad
of platforms and companies including Sony Music, Triple M, Pacific Group Magazines (New idea and Home Beautiful), Brand New Media (Television), and
The Moonlight Group (Outdoor Cinemas, Traditional Cinema, Events and Television.
Kim currently runs her own Talent Management Company.
Our Chief Patron
Tim Watson-Munro is Australia’s most distinguished Criminal Psychologist. He is mostly recognized for his regular TV and radio interviews, as well as being a two-time best selling author. However, with over 40-years experience Tim has assessed over 20,000 of Australia’s most infamous criminals. Tim’s assessment has been involved in some of Australia’s most notorious cases, including Port Arthur Gunman – Martin Bryant, Hoddle Street murderer – Julian Knight along with the likes of Alphonse Gangitano and Alan Bond. In the late 90’s, Tim’s life came crashing down, developing a major depressive disorder leading to drug use. He was deregistered from practice for four years. Since being reinstated he has beaten his own demons and now deals with those suffering with the most significant depressive and addiction disorders. Tim’s “open book of honesty” is why we are proud to have him as Chief-Patron of RLF
Prof. Tony Paolini MPsych (Clin Neuro) PhD MAPS
Tony is President and CEO of ISN Psychology and on the Board of Directors. A founding Director of the Institute for Social Neuroscience, Professor Paolini is a psychologist and internationally recognised neuroscientist. He has qualifications in psychology (MPsych – Clin Neuro) and in Neuroscience (PhD). Under the mentorship of Professor Graeme Clark, he lead the Auditory Clinical Neuroscience Unit at the Bionic Ear Institute. He worked on the continued development of the cochlear implant and examined the relationship between the brain’s ability to hear sounds in noise and its relationship to intelligence and higher-level cognitive functioning. Professor Paolini has published numerous peer reviewed publications, lead large research teams and has received significant research funding including from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC). He has published significant internationally peer-reviewed papers in many fields of neuroscience and psychology including medical bionics, sensory and cognitive neuroscience, and behavioural and social neuroscience. At ISN he applies his knowledge of neuroscience and psychology to provide a further understanding of how the environment we live in helps shape our behaviour and mental health. With a research and clinical interest in the role anxiety plays in sensory perception, Professor Paolini is utilising his knowledge to help treat clients who have a heightened sensitivity to sounds and tinnitus distress. He was Professor and Head of Psychology at RMIT University, Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, and holds adjunct positions at La Trobe University and The University of Melbourne.
Tiffany's journalism career began in 1993 as a regular feature writer for Australian Runner Magazine. Tiffany worked on 3UZ (now Sport 927) as a weekly panelist for Brian Taylor's Breakfast Sport Show, before working at The Age as a freelance sports journalist between 1995-99. During this period Tiffany also worked with 3AW and Channel Seven's 'Talking Footy' program. In 1998 Tiffany joined CNN's World Report Team as an Australian Contributor and was awarded a one month scholarship the following year to work at CNN's Headquarters in. In 1999 Tiffany returned from the USA to Channel Ten to co-host a Summer sports program and report for Ten's 'Sports Tonight'. Tiffany Joined Channel Seven's News Team in Melbourne as a full time Sports Reporter in 2000. She worked across Olympic Reports, Australian Tennis Open and the AFL, including live reports from the 2000 and 2001 Grand Finals. In 2002 Tiffany joined the Fox Footy Channel as a Presenter, Boundary Rider, News Reporter and Producer. She produced and presented her own program, AFL Injury Update as well as numerous documentaries from Africa, to America and Europe. In 2007 Tiffany was employed by ESPN, the world’s largest Sports Network, to set up their Melbourne Bureau and be their Melbourne correspondent for SportsCenter (Pacific Rim). In mid 2008, Tiffany was invited to cover the ESPY awards for ESPN and test screen to anchor SportsCenter out of ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Following her successful screen test, Tiffany relocated to the US in her new role and covered a variety of sports including 2008 NFL Superbowl, 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2008 NBA finals series, 2008 Wimbledon and US Open tennis and golf, PGA tour, Volvo Around the World Yacht Race and 2009 Kentucky Derby. Tiffany returned to Australia to host the coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and London 2012 Olympic Games In December 2012 Tiffany joined the team of sporting experts at SEN 1116 with the launch of her Saturday night radio show ‘The Hen House’.In 2015, Tiffany joined the 3AW team again, and this partnership continued on air throughout the 2016 AFL season. She also hosted Network Ten’s Everyday Health. Tiffany was the first female AFL Boundary Rider and has won a number of awards and scholorships, both sporting and journalism, including Most outstanding AFL documentary 2005, ASTRA most outstanding sports coverage and most outstanding innovation in programming (part of commentary team). Tiffany was also nominated for an ASTRA Favourite Female TV personality and was part of Foxtel’s Olympic broadcast team that was nominated for a 2011 Logie.
Known as the “Marrickville Mauler” after the area of Sydney where he was raised Jeff Fenech had a brief but meteoric amateur career in which he was twice Oceania flyweight champion and won medals at both World and Commonwealth championships in 1983. After winning his first two Olympic bouts he lost a close decision in the quarter-final.
Eight weeks later he made his debut in the professional ranks and within six months was a top-ranked contender for the International Boxing Federation version of the world bantamweight title. In only his seventh fight he was matched against Satoshi Shiungaki for the world title and dominated en route to a ninth round technical knockout. Over the next four years Fenech proved himself to be one of the stars of world boxing and added world crowns at super-bantamweight and featherweight to his collections. One of his victims during this time was Steve McCrory of the USA who took the Olympic title that Fenech had aspired to in L.A. After 24 successive wins Fenech retired at the start of 1990 due in the main part to a series of hand injuries.
He briefly played semi-professional rugby but returned to the ring in 1991 and lost his perfect record via a draw with veteran Ghanaian Azumah Nelson. His first defeat came in a rematch against Nelson in 1992 and after another stoppage defeat he again retired. A second comeback attempt was short-lived and he then launched an eponymous range of sports clothing which became successful in Australia. Fenech also promoted professional boxing and trained a host of fighters including, briefly, Mike Tyson.
In 2008 at the age of 43 he again returned to the ring and met his old nemesis Azumah Nelson, who was by now 49, and finally beat him albeit by majority decision. Fenech is an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and considered by many experts to be the finest native-born Australian boxer since Les Darcy eighty years previously.
Guy Leech is a former Australian Ironman surf lifesaving champion. Now retired from formal competition, he won seven Uncle Toby's Super Series races and twice won The Coolangatta Gold. Leech remained undefeated over surf's toughest event and in 1989 won the Uncle Toby's version titled the "Gold Coast Gold" which made it his third victory over that distance. By 1989 the sport had now gone professional, making the field assembled for the 1989 race far more elite than when he had won in 1984 and 1985. He also won the World Ironman Championships in Vancouver, Canada, in 1986 and the World Ocean Paddling Championship in Hawaii in 1994. Leech was once dubbed Australia's Fittest Athlete by the Australian Institute of Sport (1993).
In 1994, Leech retired from surf Iron Man and turned his attention to triathlon. Years of being involved in a sport which was mostly upper-body made it difficult for him to adapt to triathlon, and he retired from professional sport in 1995.
In 2006, Leech appeared on the Seven Network's Australian Celebrity Survivor: Vanuatu, the second edition of Australian Survivor. He and 11 other celebrities were vying for a cash prize of A$100,000 to be donated to their nominated charity. Leech was initially voted out sixth (i.e. seventh place in the game) and his charity, Ride Aid Inc; however, he returned to the game along with Justin Melvey due to a twist to the show which took Leech to the finals. Ultimately Leech won, taking home an extra A$95000 for his charity. The money was used to build two schools in North Cambodia.
Leech still trains daily, and delivers training sessions with paddling and cross-training strength exercises. Guy is the CEO and Founder of Heart180, supplying lifesaving defibrillators across Australia.
When Roos placed his hands on the AFL premiership trophy in 2005, it signalled the end of a 72-year drought for the Sydney Swans. With more than 92,000 fans watching on at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and hundreds of thousands more glued to television screens around the world, this was Paul Roos’ moment of glory. The 2005 Australian Sports Coach of the Year, former 356-match AFL superstar and Australian Hall of Fame member had just witnessed a nail-biting final quarter in the grand final that saw the Swans come from behind to snatch an historic 58-54 victory over the West Coast Eagles. The Roos factor in the Swans triumph was generously acknowledged in post-match tributes. One from Peter Schwab, the former triple Hawthorn premiership player and later the Hawks’ club coach, said it for all. “The greatest strength in Roos’ coaching,” he observed the next day, “appears to be his ability to make a group of players believe that everything is about and for the team”. In 2006 Roos’ Swans made it to the MCG again on Grand Final Day but were beaten by one point by West Coast. Roos’ true spirit was revealed that day when he accepted the defeat the same way he treated the victory the year before… the mark of a great sportsman. Following an outstanding career as a player, Paul Roos answered a call to fill the vacant senior coaching position at the Swans midway through the 2002 season. Full-time assistant coach since 2001, he was subsequently appointed to the club’s senior coaching position for a three year term effective season 2003. Remarkably, he guided the Swans into the play-offs in 2003, his talents acknowledged with his naming as AFL Coach of the Year. Paul Roos played 87 games for the Swans after joining the Sydney Cricket Ground-headquartered club in 1995 following a star-studded career with the old Fitzroy club – now the Brisbane Lions – including six seasons as captain. During his career with Fitzroy, Roos was a member of the Victorian representative team 10 years running, two as captain. He was also named in the All-Australian team on seven occasions, twice as skipper. An extremely mobile player with expansive marking and kicking skills, Roos was runner-up in the Brownlow Medal – AFL’s highest individual player award – in 1986 after finishing third the year before. He also won the E J Whitten Medal, awarded to the best Victorian player in State of Origin football, in 1985 and 1988. After standing down as Swans coach, Roos took on the role of coach of the Swans Academy. He has also made his mark as a columnist with News Limited newspapers and as a member of Fox Sports AFL commentary team. In late 2013, the consistent calls from the Melbourne Demons led to him signing a two year and a one year option contract with the club. Paul has returned to his media career since stepping down from his active role in AFL.
An experienced Director, Melissa is a current Director at the Essendon Football Club and Chair of the Essendon Football Club Women’s Football Committee. Previously she sat on the Starlight Children’s Foundation (Victoria) board. Melissa has completed extensive board education to ensuring expert governance. Including Succeeding as a Corporate Director at Harvard Business School (2018), The Role of Director and the Board and in the Boardroom: Responsibilities and practice at Australian Institute of Company Directors (2018) and Governance in Sport with Governance Institute of Australia (2019). Melissa is an accredited AFL Official 2018, 2019 and currently in 2020. She has over 30 years of media, advertising, marketing, sponsorship and digital experience. Currently working at Facebook Australia as a National Agency Lead, She a digital marketing specialist with a focus on social, mobile, technology and automation to deliver business outcomes. Melissa works with c-suite executives to transform business through digital thought leadership and strategies.
Melissa is public speaker, representing Facebook and Essendon Football Club at industry related events. As a Director, Melissa brings diversity of perspective to the board table. Now in a new decade where Millennials and their evolving values represent 50% of the workforce, technology is impacting consumer behaviour and disrupting industries. It’s important to acknowledge and understand new perspectives to adapt and thrive.
Melissa pays tribute to her Father for leaving her a great legacy, introducing her to AFL footy. She loved the sport and its ability to bring people and generations together. At that time, as a young girl who loved footy but wasn’t allowed to play, she is particularly passionate about empowering women and girls to live their best lives.
Greg ‘Diesel’ Williams is a former Australian rules footballer. He is a dual Brownlow Medal winner who played for Geelong, the Sydney Swans, and Carlton for a total 250 games in the AFL. He scored 217 goals during his decorated career.
Greg Williams’ Brownlow Medals came in 1986 and 1994, playing for Sydney and Carlton respectively. He was a two-time All-Australian (1993, 1994) including as Captain in the latter year, and two-time AFLPA MVP (1985, 1994). He won an AFL Premiership with Carlton in 1995, awarded the Norm Smith Medal for best-on-ground in the Grand Final, kicking five goals. Greg Williams became the first player to win a Brownlow Medal, a Premiership Medallion, and Norm Smith Medal across his career.
Greg Williams was announced in the AFL Team of the Century in 1996, and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2001. He was also included into the Team of the Century for two Clubs he represented – Sydney (2009) and Carlton (1999).
He played for Victoria nine times, including as Captain in 1989. Greg Williams was a prolific winner of ball contests. He was a skillful player, known for his deadly accurate handpassing. His highlights reels are still used as a benchmark even in the modern game. Greg Williams retired from Football in 1997. Since retiring, Greg has had a very successful business career, has worked in the media and takes time to mentor the AFL's current young rising stars.
Michael Sheahan is an Australian journalist who specialises in Australian rules football. He was chief football writer and associate sports editor for the Herald Sun for 18 years. Although he left these positions at the end of 2011, he continued to write special columns for the newspaper, including his yearly "Top 50" player list. He was also a panelist on the Fox Footy program "On the Couch" and former media director for the Australian Football League. He also joined Brian Taylor, Matthew Richardson, Matthew Lloyd and Leigh Matthews in the 3AW radio station's pre-match football discussion on Saturday afternoons. In addition he conducted a weekly interview program on Fox Footy, Open Mike until October 2020 when he would be retiring after an 11 year stint at Fox Footy. Mike started his journalistic career with the Werribee Banner. He then began work with The Age newspaper in Melbourne before moving to The Herald and subsequently the Herald Sun where he has been a long-time sports writer. His opinionated pieces have drawn some criticism, but he has established himself as one Australian rules football's most prominent writers. Sheahan also worked with the Seven Network on their late-night football talk show, Talking Footy and formally appeared on Fox Sports' On The Couch with Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy and Robert Walls
One of his most widely known contributions to football writing is his bi-annual list of the Top 50 players in the Australian Football League. In 2008, Sheahan was given the task by the AFL to compile a list of the Greatest 50 players of all time, to be published in the book The Australian Game of Football, which honoured the 150th anniversary of Australian rules football. The media centre at AFL House in Melbourne is named in his honour.
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