VFLW leadership workshop day


As Williamstown embarks on its third VFLW season, players and staff underwent a leadership workshop on the weekend prior to their 2020 pre-season regime continuing this week. 


Troy West, Anthony Tang, Bruce Davis, Emma Pawlowski and Georgie Parker were able to instil plenty of leadership advice as key guest speakers, whilst the players also partook in mini workshop-style activities for practical learning. 


The talks went as follows: 


Troy West - history of the club


A former player, West currently serves on the VFLW sub-committee. West played with Footscray and West Perth before joining Williamstown in 1994 where he played out his 208-game career, while also co-captaining the Club to the 2003 VFL premiership. Troy has been a large contributor to Williamstown’s history and success and now to the growth and development of our VFLW team, discussing with the players how to maintain the ‘buy in’ to the club when times get tough. 


Anthony Tang - Definition of leadership and different leadership styles 


Anthony Tang is the owner of The Prep Academy running leadership programs for high school students, university graduates and elite athletes. The program aims to bring out the leader in you who will lead yourself in your life through creating structure and process around your values and sharing concepts from highly successful operators. 

Anthony is also a lecturer, facilitator and clinical educator at VU in osteopathy, assistant coach and recruiter at Western Jets, assistant coach at Western Crusaders Gridiron Club and the Victorian state gridiron team. His impact on the day included what actions or steps need to be taken to build a strong relationship and in-turn achieve success.


Bruce Davis – Leadership Consultant 


An experienced and energetic presenter, Bruce is a skilful communicator with a passion for what people can accomplish when they work together. Bruce considers that his training in being able to get the best out of people began when the late and great Norm Smith coached him as a 16-year-old with the South Melbourne Football Club. Davis joined Williamstown as an assistant coach in 1985 and was a part of the Club’s 1986 triple premiership team, leading both the seconds and thirds to the flag. As a young man, his experiences shaped the foundation for a life committed to empowering people and training them to accomplish their dreams and goals.


Emma Pawlowski - Individual leadership 


Emma is the newly appointed forward line coach for Williamstown VFLW this season. Emma commenced playing basketball at the young age of five and quickly progressed to the highest level for her age group representing SA at under-16, under-18 and under-20 level. From these opportunities Emma was selected for the Junior Australian camp three times resulting in an offer and acceptance at the AIS with a scholarship for basketball in 2003. The move to Canberra allowed Emma to represent Australia in 2003 and 2004 experiencing what it is like to be a full-time elite athlete and the highs and lows that come from an intense training regime whilst working full-time. She has also long worked in the banking industry and was a part of the NAB talent program for young leaders. Emma helped the players understand accepting responsibility and how to respond to evolving values.  


Georgie Parker – Leadership from an athlete perspective 


A Rio Olympian, Commonwealth Games gold medalist and World Cup silver medalist, Georgie played over 100 games for the Hockeyroos. The Hockeyroos were known as the fittest and strongest team in the world, showing their durability by making every consecutive world competition final for three years. She retired internationally at the young age of just 27 to play a season in the professional league in Belgium, and to pursue her career in the media after completing her journalism and PR degree at Curtin University. But she found herself transitioning to the AFLW in which she played for the Collingwood Football Club in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Georgie’s advice was simple: Ask, listen, think, thank, respond, involve, change, follow up. 


VFLW Football Manager Claudia Davey said the day provided an excellent opportunity for the players and staff to learn from experienced individuals.


“Williamstown is very lucky to have such an incredible network of professionals with a range of leadership backgrounds; legends of the club, elite athletes from other sports and corporate leaders,” she said.


“The calibre of the leaders who presented at the VFLW leadership day was second to none and an invaluable experience for the VFLW players and staff.


“The learnings will shape the team’s leadership and culture moving into the 2020 season and we look forward to working with all the speakers in different capacities throughout the year.” 


















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