What's so great about AFLW? Apart from free entry, cheaper pies, and the fact that you can run onto the field and have a kick at the end of the match?
The AFLW has resuscitated the ailing suburban heart of Australian Rules football – pumping the stands of neglected neighbourhood ovals with boisterous fans of all ages and introducing Australians to a whole new raft of outstanding young athletes.
But the league is maturing and professionalising. As more matches are broadcast, as brands wise up to the sponsorship potential of the league, and as competition (both for draft picks and for the flag itself) intensifies, is the community spirit of the league at risk?
At our annual AFLW Season Wrap, our panel will discuss all the thrills and spills of the season that was, preview the 2019 finals series, and look at the changing tenor of the game.
Kate O'Halloran is a freelance sports journalist and host of AFLW radio show 'Kick Like a Girl' on RRR 102.7FM. She was formerly Deputy Sports Editor at the Guardian and now writes for the ABC, Crikey and the Saturday Paper as well as regularly appearing on News Breakfast on the ABC. She has a PhD in Gender Studies and is passionate about gender equity, LGBTI inclusion and other social justice issues in sport.
Kirby Fenwick is a writer and audio producer and a co-host of the podcast, Literary Canon Ball. She is also a passionate fan of women’s football. Kirby has written for the Guardian, Eureka Street and Melbourne City of Literature, among others, and produces a weekly segment called ‘Voices From The Stands’ for Triple R’s Kick Like A Girl AFLW show. Her audio documentary, The First Friday in February, which tells the story of the first AFLW game, won the 2018 Oral History Victoria Award.
Nicole Hayes is an award winning author and one-sixth of the award winning AFL podcast/radio show, The Outer Sanctum (on the ABC). Her debut novel, The Whole of My World, a #MeToo novel about a teenage girl obsessed with footy, was longlisted for the Gold Inky award and helped inspire The Outer Sanctum. With Alicia Sometimes, she co-edited an anthology, From the Outer: Footy Like You’ve Never Heard It (2016), and A Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017. Her most recent novel, A Shadow’s Breath, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and One True Thing won the Children’s Peace Literature Award. She runs workshops and public events with a focus on writing, gender and sport.