Contributed by: Troy Thompson
The AFL and The Reach Foundation announced on Monday Richmond midfielder Daniel Jackson as the winner of the inaugural Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.
Daniel Jackson was presented the award by Brian Stynes, brother of Jim, last night at the 2012 Brownlow Medal Ceremony.
The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award honours the former Melbourne Football Club President and champion player who passed away in March this year, following a lengthy battle with cancer.
AFL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Demetriou said Daniel is a an extraordinary leader in the community and a deserving winner of the award, named in Jim’s honour to acknowledge his tireless service to the community.
“Daniel has demonstrated the values of Jim Stynes in his commitment to the community and has shown he is an inspiration to others.”
“Not only is Daniel a member of the Richmond leadership group, he has dedicated much of his spare time to his passion towards helping Australia’s youth through his involvement in a number of community organisations.
“This year, Daniel was appointed onto the national board of the non-for-profit Big Brothers Big Sisters, an internationally renowned youth mentoring organisation.
“As an ambassador for Headspace, Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Daniel supports awareness campaigns around anti-bullying and diversity.
“Daniel has presented to thousands of secondary school students this year, discussing mental health issues and strategies to avoid violent clashes, on behalf of En Masse and Step Back Think.”
The Reach Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sarah Davies said Daniel is a perfect inaugural winner of this award, showing true community leadership.
"Daniel's commitment to the mental health and well being of young people and his drive and initiative to provide support and take action, stood out.
“His involvement goes beyond wanting to help out: he understands the issues, has developed his expertise and depth of knowledge, is involved in direct service delivery and also advocates for systemic change.”
Daniel will receive $20,000 from the AFL to be donated to the charity or community program of his choice.
Nominations for the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award were sought from AFL clubs before the selection panel chose three finalists, followed by the winner.
The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award selection panel includes Justice Linda Dessau, AFL Commissioner (Chair of the selection panel), Andrew Demetriou, AFL Chief Executive Officer, Sam Stynes, Don McLardy, Chairman The Reach Foundation and President Melbourne FC, Jason Mifsud, AFL Community Engagement Manager, Neil Mitchell, 3AW Melbourne presenter, Kim Williams, News Limited Chief Executive Officer. As Sam Stynes and Don McLardy were overseas, The Reach Foundation was represented this year by CEO Sarah Davies and Board member Tom Harkin.
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