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AFL’s First Woman President Steps Down


The first woman to become a president of an AFL club, Peggy O’Neal, has announced she will step down from the Richmond Football Club presidency at the end of the 2022 AFL season.

O’Neal became the president of the club in 2013 and has been a member of the club’s board for 17 seasons, overseeing the club through three AFL premiership wins during her time as president.

Discussing her time at the club and the success during her tenure, O’Neal said she is excited to return to being purely a fan of the club.

“There’s been a great group of people who’ve been associated with the club and I’ve happened to be president during what’s ended up being a pretty golden period,” O’Neal told News Corp.

“The last five years have been wonderful.

“I’m looking forward to being a fan.

“After this season I’ll hand over and finish up at our AGM in December and that’s when our new president will officially take office and I’ll be sitting in the outer with a beanie and a beer next year,” she said.

Discussing the club’s success, O’Neal said the credit deserves to go to the entire organisation.

“I sometimes am concerned when people act like I did something special,” O’Neal said.

“It takes a whole club, when you see it come together and you realise you’re a part of what happens, but the gold dust isn’t because of you.

“I often wonder that if we hadn’t been successful, as a woman would I and other women have been judged as ‘they couldn’t do it’?

“It’s not false modesty, but it’s all been a group effort and I was one piece of the puzzle and I was just fortunate to be there when we made a complete puzzle,” she said.

The club confirmed O’Neal’s replacement will be a current board member at Richmond, meaning the club will choose between vice president, Emmett Dunne, or board directors John O’Rourke, Kate Palmer, Joe Powell, Henriette Rothschild, Kerry Ryan, Mark Ward, or Tina De Young.

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