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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.

Sean Dove

Shaun Dove, Chairman

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.

Chris Hennessy

Kelvin Howsan, Emerging Programs Director

Kevin Howsan joined the Gridiron Australia Board in 2019

Kevin has an extensive gridiron career spanning over 19 years and includes both state and national honours as both a player and coach.

Kelvin is one of the founding members of QLD’s newest Gridiron club Griffith University Gridiron FC which was formed in 2016. Kelvin’s main goal was to create a profession football program which has already produced a State Championship and multi grand final appearances in the last 4 seasons. 

Away from football Kelvin is executive level sales manager who has worked across many industries from FMCG, Animal Care, to his recent role in the blinds and awning industry for The Shann Group as their National Frigerio and Urban Track sale Manager. 

Kevin’s has recently taken over the portfolio of Youth Development Director looking at introducing programs like Tackle Bar, and specialised equipment like Tech Pads and Watchgamefilm. 

 
Chris Hennessy

Stacey Speer, Communications Director

Stacey Speer was appointed to the Gridiron Australia board in 2019 in the role of Communications Director.

Her involvement in the sport started in 2013 as a player with the introduction of the Gridiron New South Wales Women’s league. She spent several years on the Gridiron NSW board in the Marketing and Sponsorship portfolio. 

In 2014, Stacey took over the Womens Gridiron Leagues of Australia digital media platforms and in 2017 contributed to the inaugural Women’s World Cup campaign as a journalist and film analyst travelling to Canada producing video highlights and written content. 

Stacey is one of the founding members of the Sydney University Lions Women’s team, leading them to an Opal Bowl Championship in their inaugural year. 

Away from football, Stacey is an active advocate for women in sport acting as an MC for Sport NSW ‘Girls Get Active’ events along with managing sportscontent.org, a sports marketing and content production company for grassroots sports clubs and organisations.

She has worked with many sporting organisations across many areas of business. From sports technology with Hudl/Sportscode to governance and leadership with SportsCommunity, digital content with Touch Football Australia and girls program development with Totem Skateboarding.  

Stacey has a postgraduate degree in Sports Media from UTS, and was apart of the Australian Womensport & Recreation Mentorship program.

 
Chris Hennessy

Megan J. Lavender, Governance Director

Megan J. Lavender is a transformational leader of organisations – with a focus on stakeholder engagement – and has served as a Director of Gridiron Australia since 2018.

An experienced public company director and government board member, she is also peer recognised as one of the Asia Pacific’s best third sector CEOs – having held senior executive roles in the corporate, government and third sectors.

Megan presently serves as a federal government appointed board member of the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service and a state government appointed board member of the NSW Ministry of Health Centre for Health Record Linkage and has been commissioned by the NSW Minister for Lands as deputy chairman of the 107-year-old Gosford Showground Crown Lands Trust.

In addition to these three government board appointments, she also currently serves on a further thirteen boards, including as national chairman of Road Sense Australia, independent chairman of the University of Sydney Union Finance Committee, as the first female treasurer of the 116-year-old Royal Automobile Club of Australia, as company secretary of Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and a director of Special Olympics Australia, Children’s Book Council of Australia, Mainly Music International, Australian Ice Racing, Anywhere Theatre Festival, Swimming NSW Aquatic Management, Friends of First Government House Site and the Bankstown Harness Racing Club.

Megan has served as an independent board member of the NSW Government appointed racing industry controlling body, as chairman of the Victorian based sporting social enterprises, Boots For All and Sport For All, and as a director of multiple public and private companies, associations and charities, including Comtax Credit Union, Co-Op Bookshop, Australian and New Zealand Third Sector Research, Australian Institute of International Affairs, Pathology Awareness Australia, Sport NSW, Women Sport Australia, Independent Living Centre NSW, Five Dock Leisure Centre, Macquarie University Union, Cancer Council Relay for Life, Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW and the Australia Indonesia Association.

She currently operates her own management and strategic consultancy business and has previously served in several senior executive roles.  Megan has also served as an elected city councillor on the City of Canada Bay Council and as ministerial advisor to the Australian Minister for Sport, Minister for Tourism and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games.

Megan is peer recognised as one of the Asia Pacific’s best third sector chief executives and among a select few people conferred with a full fellowship by the Australasian Society of Association Executives – the professional industry association where she previously served as state chairman.

She is an arts, education, speech and drama graduate of Macquarie University and Trinity College, London.

 
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.

Chris Hennessy

Michael Kerr, National Teams Director

Michael has been involved in Gridiron in Australia in some form since 1990 when he first started playing in the Northern Territory Gridiron League.

Michael has been with the Australian Under 19 Outback Program in various coaching roles since 2010 and has been involved in every tour and camp for the program during that time. He was Team Manager and Chef d’ Mission for the Australian Under 19 team at both their World Championship appearances in China and Mexico.

Outside of gridiron, Michael works at the Executive level in youth services and out of school hours education/care, with a background in business improvement for Not-for-Profit Organisations.

 

Shawnee Wilson, Administration Officer