Christou, Thomas join panel

March 30, 2018

AFL Goulburn Murray's first female commissioner Geraldine Christou.

Geraldine Christou will be AFL Goulburn Murray’s first female commissioner after the organisation’s annual meeting last week.

Joining her on the commission will be Chris Thomas, who was president of Shepparton District Junior Football League for 12 years before becoming the chairman of the Northern Country Women’s League.

Greg Freer also got the green light to serve another stint on the commission, with all three candidates elected unopposed.

AFL GM chairman Nicholas Rolfe was pleased with the new appointments, while paying tribute to the departing Wayne Limbrick who has been on the commission since it was brought in.

‘‘Wayne has been an integral member of and a great contributor to the commission since its inception in November 2013,” Rolfe said.

‘‘His analytical nature and strategic thinking has been very helpful in the commission establishing its processes and procedures and he has been a great driver in the commission’s growth over the past few years.

‘‘Geraldine and Chris will bring very different, but very complementary skill sets to the table with Geraldine’s strategy, governance and local government knowledge being very important and Chris’ experience with junior football over such a long period of time adding to his management and consulting experiences.’’

Rolfe also offered the commission’s take on the Picola District Football League’s decision not to affiliate with AFL GM.

‘‘There have been some serious challenges over the off-season with the PDFNL choosing to not affiliate on the eve of the season and the 13 clubs who have followed the board will serve their season in the football wilderness without the support of the greater football community,’’ he said.

‘‘The constitution of the PDFNL provides the league must affiliate with the VCFL.

‘‘As the VCFL is contracted with AFL Victoria to provide all operational services, then the league should now affiliate with AFL GM.

‘‘At no stage has anyone from the league provided any information which would indicate that a special general meeting was held to amend the constitution to reflect the decision to not affiliate.

‘‘Ultimately we hope that the PDFNL will decide to affiliate in the future.’’

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