Women & Girls Community Football Charter

The AFL is committed to ensuring Community Football environments are welcoming, safe, and inclusive for women and girls.

WHAT IS THE CHARTER?

The Women & Girls Community Football Charter is a commitment from Community Football Clubs to work towards making Community Football Club environments welcoming, safe and inclusive for Women & Girls. This charter sets out the expectation that Clubs will champion women and girls guided by four principles; opportunity, visibility, access and, investment.

Opportunity

Visibility

Access

Investment

Becoming a charted club

Let’s all work together to ensure our community Club environments are welcoming, safe, and inclusive for Women & Girls!

  1. Community Football Club sign the online EOI form stating their intention to become a Women & Girl’s Chartered Club.
  2. A representative from your State/Territory body will reach out to support your Club in completing (1) the Community Club Quick Wins checklist and (2) the Community Club Quick Wins Action Plan.
  3. Once the AFL receives your completed Community Club Quick Wins Checklist and Action Plan, you will then be recognised as a Women & Girl’s Chartered Club.

  • Correspondence on women and girls’ initiatives, grants, and opportunities.
  • Favourable consideration when assessing applications for AFL based funding initiatives that relate to women and girls.
  • Recognition via the AFL Play website with an opportunity for your Club to be showcased.
  • A Women & Girls Community Football Charter poster that can be publicly displayed in your Club, acknowledging your commitment.
  • A suite of digital assets that can be used on your own website, socials, and advertising.

Case Studies

Here are some examples of clubs that have been able to implement simple initiatives that created a more inclusive environment for women and girls.

In 2020, the West Brunswick Amateur Football Club executive committee proposed a special resolution at the annual general meeting for the lyrics to the West Brunswick Amateur Football Club song to be changed to remove reference to gender and replacing the word 'boys' with 'teams'.

While the women’s sides had casually changed the lyrics to ‘girls’, this meant that teams were singing different versions of the song, which didn’t align with their ethos of ‘one club, one culture’.

The special resolution passed overwhelmingly via club vote and ‘West Brunswick boys are hard to beat When they come out to play”, were changed to ‘West Brunswick teams are hard to beat When they come out to play.’  Which had been sung since the Clubs inception in 1959.

The updated version was made to reflect the changed demographic of the club and to include and unite all club members - regardless of gender or identity; and allow all club members to sing the same song as one. 

In 2023 Ulverstone Football Club participated in the Inclusive Clubs Program in July 2023.

A small example of goal of increasing visibility, women role models in football and creating a “see it, be it” mantra, the club added the Meghan Gaffney award as a result of their Action Plan. Meghan Gaffney is the club's first woman to be drafted into the AFLW and the award is for recognition of a player demonstrating team values.

Frequently asked questions

The number of actions is driven by the capacity and needs of the Club, however we encourage clubs to look at 3-5 quick wins they can achieve each year. The focus of the action plan is on quick wins so that you can start making a meaningful impact straight away.

A representative from your State/Territory body will reach out to support your Club in completing the Community Club Quick Wins Checklist and Action Plan.

Once the AFL receives your completed Community Club Quick Wins Checklist and Action Plan, you will then be recognised as a Women & Girl’s Chartered Club.

Clubs who become signatories will then work through their commitments for the next 12 months. In order to remain a signatory, clubs will need to reassess their progress every 12 months.

Once you complete your checklist and action plan, keep in touch with your State/Territory representative as they will be able to assist where appropriate. There are also a range of resources available here.

Community football clubs have catered to men & boys for many decades, and many wonderful traditions exist as part of that. The Women & Girls Charter is not about stopping those traditions, but rather creating new traditions together in community football clubs, that are welcoming for all, irrespective of gender. Men have a vital role to play in building a world that is gender equal – and there are many men who are already working towards gender equality.

Amazing, we love hearing of clubs that are already proactive in creating an inclusive environment for women and girls! The charter allows you to publicly state, and be recognised, for your commitment to advancing community football for women and girls. You will also have access to digital assets such as logos and social tiles to help you share this with your network of existing and potential players, coaches, umpires, and volunteers.

If you are already on your way to create inclusive environments, the AFL Inclusive Clubs & Gender Equity Education Program might be a good opportunity for your club to take its inclusive practices to the next level which can help to attract more people to your Club as well as sponsors and grant opportunities.

The Women & Girls Community Football Charter is a commitment from Community Football Clubs to champion women and girls, guided by four principles: opportunity, visibility, access, and investment. Becoming a signatory of the charter involves completing a checklist and quick wins action plan for your club. This is great for all community clubs, especially those just starting out on their journey to creating more inclusive environments.

The AFL Inclusive Clubs & Gender Equity Education Program supports community football clubs to develop the knowledge and skills to foster safe, equal and respectful environments for all members of your community, particularly women and girls. The program involves a webinar, two face-to-face workshops and the development of an action plan. We recommend this program to clubs who are ready to take their inclusive practices to the next level which can help to attract more people to your Club as well as sponsors and grant opportunities. Click here for more information.