Change Our Game pioneer receives honour

As part of the Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours List, Victorian Peggy O'Neal has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to Australian Football, to superannuation and finance law, and to the advancement of women in leadership roles.

A trailblazer in every sense of the word, Peggy O’Neal has written the history books, in 2013 becoming the first every women to be elected President of an AFL club and leading Richmond to a premiership in 2017.

In 2014, Peggy was appointed Chair of the advisory panel for the Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation. The Inquiry was established to advise government on practical actions that the sport and active recreation sector could take to enhance participation by women and girls and increase their engagement in leadership and governance roles.

“I’m very pleased and honoured to receive an Order of Australia.” Peggy said in an interview with the Richmond Football Club.

“The role of women in society has been a longtime interest and concern of mine and being recognised for what you’ve done to promote the cause of women and their status in society is very meaningful to me.

“Working with the State Government on the Inquiry in Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation and seeing the outcomes of that – the additional money that has come for facilities, pathways for women in leadership roles and the establishment of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation. I was really proud of the small role I played and seeing something concrete come from all that work is very rewarding for me.

Dr Bridie O'Donnell, Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation was pleased Peggy's work and commitment has been recognised with an Order of Australia honour.

"The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation was created because of Peggy O'Neal and the work she drove to address inequality on and off the field in Victoria. I've been so fortunate to be able to watch Peggy work: her speak and see how she brings her insights and expertise to a room full of CEO's, and I have learned an immense amount from her.

Peggy has taught me that listening, curiosity and a genuine desire to make a contribution are invaluable characteristics of authentic leadership." Bridie said.

The 2019 Honours List sees the highest percentage of female recipients yet at 40%. This result comes on the back of the launch of the State Government’s campaign ‘Recognition Matters,’ designed to drive gender balance in the Australian Honours system and recognise the tremendous contributions made by Victorian women.

Minister for Women, the Hon. Gabrielle Williams said,

“Women have traditionally been under-represented in these awards, receiving fewer nominations and fewer honours. That’s something we’ve been working to change, and it’s great to see signs of progress this year.”

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