The VAFA farewells its Queen Sue Anderson

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After 32 years of service to the Victorian Amateur Football Association, Sue Anderson is hanging up the boots.

Sue leaves an unrivalled legacy at the VAFA, with the Godmother of our competition helping to build it into the organisation it is today.

A role model, confidant and friend to all, Sue’s positive personality and outlook on life will be sorely missed by everyone within the Association as she delves into a well-earned retirement.

VAFA Media had the opportunity to catch up with Sue for a Q&A regarding her time with the Association.

Tell me how you first got involved with the VAFA

I was secretary of Hampton Rovers in 1983 and the CEO at the time, Peter French, asked if I could help him as his assistant was moving interstate and was away a lot during that year.

What are the different roles you’ve had?

I began as an assistant to Peter French and then Phil Stevens began in 1989. I was receptionist to begin with then I started to work longer hours and assist Phil with all aspects of the job. So I have really done most of the jobs here. Football matters, IT, events, minutes, accounts – assisting Noel Rundle. I left the front desk and became a General Manager in 1996. My main tasks were the tribunal, investigations, all accounts, events, sharing the Amateur Footballer duties with Brett Connell, getting the IT set up and web pages.

What has surprised you most about working with the VAFA?

The amount of the time that the people are prepared to give for their clubs during volunteer work, how much they just love being involved with clubs and the VAFA. Also, the negativity from some people who are so passionate about their club that they do not see the bigger picture and what we are all working to achieve.

What is your most memorable moment since starting work with the VAFA?

There have been so many but I would say the life-long friends I have made and the fantastic people I have met over the years from so many different walks of life. Also, our 100 years celebrations is up there as well.

What have you found most challenging here?

Probably the most challenging aspect was when computers came in. I began at the VAFA with a manual typewriter. I had no training whatsoever on a computer. We all had a one hour course at a local computer training company but the rest was all self-taught.

What is something you wish others from outside the organisation knew about the VAFA?

The amount of hours the Board and staff spend working for the organisation. The Board are purely volunteers and they spend countless hours that people would not be aware of. Also, the staff work so many hours during the weekends and after work hours that if we were paid overtime I don’t think the organisation could cope with it.

Tell me about those who have influenced you most/role models within the VAFA

There have been many, not sure I should mentioned names as it would be terrible to miss someone but I will have a go. My three CEO’s definitely as they have mentored me in all aspects of growing with the jobs I have held at the VAFA and each in their unique way. Noel Rundle and Mike McArthur-Allen taught me so much about coping with the stresses of work and how to react to certain situations. Brian Woodhead and his assistance when we got our first computer was fantastic; I don’t think I would have coped without his influence. Brett Connell for giving me the confidence to take the GM step as well as various presidents.

How do you think the VAFA will change in the next five years/which direction do you see it going?

I think the VAFA is in extremely good hands at the moment. Michael Sholly has a great insight of sport in general and is always thinking of progressing the VAFA but keeping it affordable for the clubs. I do believe the extensions which have been spoken about for the past 10 years will become a reality in that time frame.

What will you miss most?

The interaction with the clubs and the staff without doubt.

What’s the next chapter entail in the life of Sue Anderson?

Rest mainly. Hopefully a few trips and some time to just find out what I wish to do next. I have been working since I was 14 so it will be interesting what I come up with. I would like to come back and assist with the history committee but will leave that a couple of years so people won’t think I am in here looking over shoulders.

The VAFA wishes Sue the very best in retirement and looks forward to seeing her at many Hampton Rovers matches in the future.

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