The West Australian Women’s Football League is delighted to announce that Life Membership has been awarded to current President Carolyn Hills.
Induction as a WAWFL Life Member is regarded as the WAWFL's highest level of recognition and is awarded to individuals that have rendered outstanding service to the League.
Carolyn has been involved with the WAWFL since 2005 and has taken on a wide variety of roles during that time. Starting her volunteer adventure developing team resources for the Coastal Titans Women’s Football Club, Carolyn realised she had much more to give to the game, and nominated for an official role on the Coastal Titans committee.
As a committee member Carolyn’s main responsibility was the club’s Fundraising Coordinator, a position that she held until 2010. Whilst on the club committee, Carolyn was also a player at Coastal Titans, winning four premierships, and in 2009 she also took on a player/coach role with the club’s League team. She has always been one to promote best practice, and believed that instilling her experiences and knowledge could provide a new insight to her team mates.
Carolyn’s forward thinking allowed her to dream that each of the 9 football districts should host a senior women’s team. Her vision was that all females across the Perth metropolitan area should have the opportunity to play football in a female only environment. During her last year at Coastal Titans in 2010, Carolyn decided to take on the task of establishing a team within the East Perth Football District. This was an enormous job that required a leader who was able to handle precise planning, delegation, finances and pressure.
In 2011, the Mt Lawley Hawks women’s team took to the field for their inaugural season. Carolyn was a player/coach during this first season, and to her credt, the Mt Lawley Hawks made the Division Two grand final. In her last playing season in 2012, Carolyn was again a player/coach, and in 2013 held the role as Assistant Coach.
While still with the Coastal Titans, Carolyn choose to expand her football knowledge, embarking on a different path and nominated to join the WAWFL Board. She was successful, and was the WAWFL Secretary from
2008 – 2009, taking on all administration activities.
After just two years’ on the WAWFL Board, Carolyn nominated to become President and was again successful. Now in her eighth year as President, Carolyn has been a trailblazer, making many decisions other volunteers would shy away from.
Her time as President has seen progressive movement forward, with many milestone moments - one of those being the introduction of a full time staff member to manage football operations. The introduction of this role was a pivotal move for the League, given the growth in participation numbers and the amount of work involved to successfully manage the competition. Creating a job within the WA football community was a great move for the WAWFL, one that would see the League build various positive relationships within the industry, increase professionalism and would dramatically reduce the workload of many volunteers.
In her first year as President, Carolyn led the introduction of the hugely important development program, the Rogers 20/20 Cup. This program completed the player pathway allowing high school aged females the opportunity to play in a pre-season development program. In 2013, the Rogers 20/20 Cup transitioned into the WAFC Youth Girls competition, transforming to the WAWFL Rogers Cup competition in 2017.
In 2014, Carolyn led a female football first, introducing a player points system to help equalise the WAWFL playing field. This enormous task required a level head to oversee hours and hours of forums, interviews and stakeholder engagement to confirm this system was the correct move for the WAWFL. This change was a bold move that had differing levels of support, but was successfully implemented. Once in place, Carolyn had to deal with a varying degree of negative and positive feedback, but did so with confidence knowing the right decision for the WAWFL had been made. The introduction of this system has set the course for WA female football to reap the benefits in the future.
With the emphasis to ease the workload on volunteers and umpires, Carolyn was a major instigator in the rolling out of the WAWFL app to effectively manage game day operations and reduce paperwork. The decision to provide all clubs with iPads was supported, and once distributed, club members and umpires gratefully embraced the new technology created to assist game day duties. This was another milestone move for the WAWFL with positive feedback received from all 9 clubs, umpires, the umpire coordinator and the wider football community.
Outside of the President role, Carolyn is the go-to contact for all stakeholders, working all hours to ensure that relationships within the community are upheld. Carolyn has attended and been a member of the Community Football Advisory Committee since, and across the years has built strong relationships with football partners including the WA Football Commission, AFL, Masters Football and WA Amateur Football League.
Having now been involved with the WAWFL for over 10 years, the WA female football community has benefitted grossly from the passion and drive of a very dedicated volunteer. Carolyn is a passionate advocate for female football in every aspect of her life, and always makes time to strengthen relationships to ensure the best for female football in WA.
It is for all of her hard work and achievements, that Carolyn has been recognised with WAWFL Life Membership.