House debates

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Statements by Members

Lee, Ms Deborah (Debbie)

1:32 pm

Photo of Daniel MulinoDaniel Mulino (Fraser, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] At the outset of this year's finals series, Debbie Lee become the first woman inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. In the House today, I want to especially congratulate Debbie and acknowledge her extraordinary contribution to football, especially across Melbourne's west, and as a driving force in the establishment and success of the AFLW. Debbie has been a distinguished player, coach and administrator across more than three decades. She was a superstar of the game in her own right as a five-time Victorian league best-and-fairest, a triple-premiership player and a six-time all-Australian. She also represented the big V, 16 times.

Within my own community Debbie was a trailblazer. She built from scratch the Sunshine YCW Spurs, the first women's football club in the west, whilst overcoming the doubt and even outright abuse and sexism of many. She also founded, coached and led the St Albans football club for many years. As president of the Victorian Women's Football League, Debbie led the charge towards a fully fledged professional and national women's competition, which is so successful today. She is now the general manager of women's football at the great Western Bulldogs.

Debbie's elevation into the AFL hall of fame is richly deserved. I am sure the House will join me in offering congratulations and thanks for her truly outstanding contribution to Australian football.