The Board of Gridiron Australia

The Board of Gridiron Australia is committed to the realisation of the true potential for American Football in Australia.  The mission of Gridiron Australia is to provide a strong inclusive framework for the development and growth of the game in Australia. The Board is responsible for setting a clear strategic direction, displaying transparent decision making and providing strong leadership and management. Individuals are elected each year at Gridiron Australia’s Annual General Meeting. In recent years, the Board has also established a National Coaching Director role, formalised national coaching appointments and strengthened junior development.

Darrin Mitchell

Darrin Mitchell, Chairman

Darrin Mitchell was appointed to the Gridiron Australia Board as a director in March 2011. In June 2014, Darrin was elected as the Gridiron Australia Chairman. Darrin is the Gridiron Australia Member Protection Information Officer.

With involvement in the sport of gridiron in Australia starting in 1985 as a player, Darrin had multiple caps as a State representative. After playing, Darrin turned to coaching at club level and also was a positional coach of his State team that won two National Championships.

In 2007 Darrin moved to officiating, rising to a level 3 grade official. Darrin officiated club games on a weekly basis until the 2013 season culminating each year in the State Championship game.

Internationally, Darrin is Chairman of the International Federation of American Football’s Anti Doping Hearing Panel, attends IFAF”s annual Congress representing Gridiron Australia and assists in the review of IFAF’s statutory regulations.

Darrin is admitted as a lawyer in both the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Victoria as well as the High Court of Australia and has been in private practice for over 20 years bringing his education and experience to the benefit of the Gridiron Australia Board.

Sean Dove

Shaun Dove, Governance Director

Shaun Dove joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2013.

Shaun started his football career in 1990 with the Northern Territory Gridiron League, initially as a player before becoming one of the founding members of the officiating staff. After a short stint living and officiating in NSW Shaun now resides in ACT and continues to officiate at the state, national, and international level.

Shaun is a software developer and runs his own business producing web software as well as consulting on identity access management and security.

On the board Shaun is currently Secretary and Deputy Chairman, leads the ongoing governance reform of GA, and oversees officiating. Shaun took the leading role in reuniting GV with GA.

Shaun holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and numerous IT industry certifications.

Matt Steel

Matt Steel, National Programs Director

Matt Steel Joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2014.

Matt is a dedicated and committed Board Member, Coach and retired Player that has a career in Gridiron spanning over 20 years with numerous accolades both on a national and international level.

With experience both as a Director of National teams and Board Member for Gridiron NSW. Matt brings a level of professionalism to the sport of Gridiron in Australia and continues to be a dedicated member.

Ben Sinapati

Ben Sinapati, Elite Pathways Director

Ben Sinapati joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2016.

Ben has been involved with gridiron in Australia for 30 years across 2 states and includes being involved at state and national levels as a player and coach in more recent years.

Ben was formerly President of Gridiron Queensland and has been heavily involved as a volunteer, administrator and coach and continues to advocate for the local game in QLD from grassroots to the management committee where he is still a general member.

Away from football Ben is a dedicated family man and works as an operations manager for a national heavy haulage company.

Ben’s focus since joining the board has been national comps, assisting with national teams and coaching.

Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson, Communications Director

Kevin Wilson joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2016.

Kevin has an extensive gridiron career spanning 30 years and 3 states and includes both state and national honours as both a player and coach.

Kevin was recently inducted into the Queensland Hall of Fame, despite now residing in Western Australia, as a testament to his contribution to the sport.

Away from football Kevin is an accomplished executive level manager working with such companies as B&D garage doors, The Laminex Group and Suez Environmental.

Kevin’s focus in his short time on the board has been developing a tender process and appointment of strategic partners including marketing, uniform supply, and travel.

Kevin also was a major contributor to the five-year strategic plan released in 2016 giving a solid direction for the sport in Australia.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing, IT Management), an MBA in strategic leadership and a Masters of Professional Accounting.

Adam Cole

Adam Cole, Sponsorship and Funding Director

Adam Cole joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2017.

Adam was previously a member of the board of directors at Gridiron NSW where he served for three years, including one as President in 2014, before moving to South Australia.

As a player Adam played as a Punter for the University of Connecticut where he was a four-year starter earning 1st Team Freshman All American honours in 2000. He was twice named his schools Special Teams MVP, and ended his career leading all punting categories for the college program. He also played briefly with the Sydney Swans in the mid 90’s.

Outside of football Adam has previously served in the capacity of General Manager of Commercial & Marketing at the Adelaide Thunderbirds, and is now the Commercial Sales Manager at Titanium Security Arena, which is home to the Adelaide 26ers in the NBL.

Adam holds a double degree at the University of Connecticut and a Graduate Diploma in Sports Administration.

Chris Hennessy

Chris Hennessy, Finance Director

Chris Hennessy joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2017.

Chris started playing gridiron in Tasmania in 2014 as an offensive lineman and has since moved into a vice president and treasury role in his local club and also sits as treasurer in Gridiron Tasmania following a year as the state vice president.

Chris has also obtained coaching and officiating certifications to assist with growth and development of the sport wherever possible.

Chris works as an auditor in a local accounting firm following three years working at Deloitte and five years as sales and accounts prior with a client base ranging from small not-for-profit associations to large national companies.

Chris places strong focus on producing and providing financial information to the board in order to guide decision making as well as performing tax and accounting duties and preparing accounts for audit.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Accounting and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

Peter Steve

Peter Steve – National Competitions Director

Peter Steve joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2018.

He has an extensive gridiron career spanning 23 years and includes both state and national honours as a player. He has also held club and State Board positions and recently appointed as Executive President of Gridiron Victoria in 2018.

Away from football Peter is an accomplished senior leader working with such companies as Sensis, Yellow Pages & White Pages and DHL. Peter’s new focus on the board will be the ongoing development of Gridiron Australia’s National Competitions including AGL, WALG, Junior Nationals, Youth Club Championships and Flag Football.

Matt Long

Matt Long has recently joined the board after the 2018 AGM representing ACT

Role Vacant, Emerging Programs Director