FITZROY’S LEADING LADIES

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Andrew Leonard

This week we celebrate Women’s Round in the VAFA and we want acknowledge the ladies in our competition. Over the course of the week we will highlight just a few examples of the dedication and devotion that many of the fairer sex offer our clubs week in week out of the football season.
Fitzroy Football Club is a proud name in Australian football and the amalgamation in 2008 of the Fitzroy Reds and the Fitzroy Football club brought together a powerful group of people who’s love for the ‘Roys was unanimous. 
At the forefront of this leadership are a group of three ladies who are shaping the club for success and have aspirations to reach the upper echelons of the competition. 
Joan Eddy (centre), President since 2010 is the only female President amongst the 72 senior clubs and has been involved with the Fitzroy name in some capacity for over a decade. 
From 2001-2006 Joan was Secretary of the Fitzroy Junior Football Club overseeing the club expand from 10 to 17 teams in that period. In 2007 Joan became team manager of the Fitzroy Reds U19s, enjoying premiership success that year. 
Joan became Vice President of the club in 2009 before taking over the presidency the following year. Joan combines her role at the club with her full time work as a Manager of Counselling/Mental Health Services in the public health field, and is a social worker by trade. She has served as a volunteer on a range of Boards and Committees in the Social and Community Services sector for over 25 years.
Sharon Torney (right), is Secretary at Fitzroy and has been in the role side by side with Joan since 2010. Sharon’s football administration pedigree is awesome, going back to her time spent as Treasurer then President of Coburg Football Club in the VFL in 2001 and 2002, Sharon was then on the Fitzroy Reds committee in 2003.
This doesn’t even include her time in the 1990’s spent with Fitzroy then the Brisbane Lions in the AFL. In 2009 after a period in Sydney Sharon joined the newly merged Roys. 
When not at the Roys, Sharon is Manager of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications with Sacred Heart Mission; with over 11 years management experience, mainly in the not for profit sector and she also holds a Master Of Commerce and Bachelor of Business.
Two leading ladies is not a crowd at Fitzroy with Joan and Sharon also joined by Anita Roper (left) who has served as a director of the club since 2011. 
Anita is responsible for Social, Clubhouse and Community Partnerships at the club and is very proud to say she has been a member of Fitzroy Football Club for almost fifty years (not bad considering she’s only just over 50!).
 Anita has over 25 years experience in business, government, communities and multi lateral agencies on sustainable development in Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA. She has  most recently been  CEO of Sustainability Victoria, and was formerly Global Director of Sustainability for ALCOA, and Acting Secretary General/Chief Operating Officer for the International Council on Mining and Metals ( ICMM ) in London.
All three ladies are a shining example for all women who have felt the football club was the domain of men and with three out of five of the Roy’s teams looking to play finals this season there is reason to smile around the club. 
Joan, Sharon and Anita are humble, and realise that its the players that obtain the success they crave of premierships. However the players likewise, would be the first to say that they couldn’t do it without their leading ladies.