Ian Granland portrait

He began playing football as a junior with the South Sydney Club in 1962. Elected club secretary at 17 and then shortly later he also became secretary of the NSW Police Football Club.

In 1969 Granland entered National Service for two years during which he saw service in Vietnam and he was able to arrange a number of games of football between Australian troops.

Upon discharge he continued to serve South Sydney FC, first as a Vice President then as Secretary before moving to the Central Coast of NSW where he became a founder then secretary of the Central Coast FL, then later,  president. During this time he was instrumental in the formation of the NSW Country FL in an effort to grow the code throughout the state.  In his time on the Central Coast,  Ian was instrumental in the formation of    three football clubs clubs in the region: Wyong, Killarney Vale and Bateau Bay.  He went on to become president of Killarney Vale for 23 years and was responsible for the construction of the large clubrooms at their home ground.

Earlier, and in a period of unsettled football and restructure in the developing parts of the state, for a short period he became a director on the NSW Football League.

Granland was a founder of the Black Diamond Football League where he served on its Board of Management for ten years, four of which as president.

He was employed by the NSW Football League between 1984-90 mostly as Chief Executive Officer. He oversaw the restructuring of the game in Sydney and NSW during a time of much change and led the way in the introduction many new initiatives in the way the game and league was administered. This included the revolutionary computerisation of games and player statistics, a forerunner of today’s Sports Pulse system. When he began work with the NSW Football League it was in dire financial distress however when he left the organisation it was in very, very sound financial position, having well over $100,000 in savings.

During the mid 1990s he encouraged the formation of a group to investigate the history of football in Sydney/NSW and later elected chairman of a more formal unit which eventually became the NSW Australian Football History Society.

Granland’s many awards include, amongst others, the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and the Order of Australia Medal for his services to the game in 2002, life membership of the NSW Australian Football League in 1990 as well as life membership for several other football organisations.

He received the AFL’s Merit Award for outstanding service to Australian Football in 2005, a Community Services Award from the NSW Government in 2007 presented by the State Premier and a Distinguished Long Service Award from the NSW Sports Federation in 2011.

A tireless worker for the code he has joined the ranks of a number of New South Wales Welshmen who are welded to Australian Football.


Rod Gillett is vice-president of the NSW AFL History Society.
Rod Gillett portrait.

He is presently a sessional lecturer at Macquarie University. He joined the committee in 2019 upon his return from academic appointments in Singapore and Vietnam.

His studies in Australian history with a particular focus on the social history of football in country areas include a Master’s thesis, articles published in academic journals and a number of unpublished booklets and articles has strengthened the Society’s knowledge base and expertise and provided a rich vein of content on past players and origins of the game.

Rod became involved in football administration and media as an undergraduate student at the University of New England in Armidale in 1974. That begun a continuous involvement ever since  in the game as a player, coach, umpire, administrator, and in the media in every location in which he has lived and worked including Wagga, Coffs Harbour, Sydney, Rockhampton, Suva, Abu Dhabi, and more recently, with the Vietnam Swans.

He was the last-ever president of the NSW AFL in 1986, and served as a Commissioner under Chief Commissioner Keith Miller from 1987-1990. He was also the NSW delegate to the National Football League from 1985-89; he successfully negotiated the entry of NSW into the first-ever State of Origin carnival in 1988 and the ruling for the Riverina to come exclusively under NSW jurisdiction.

He is a life member of the NSW AFL.

SECRETARY – Paul Macpherson

Paul Macpherson portrait.Paul Macpherson is an archivist with experience in senior archival roles at the State Library of Victoria, the Australian War Memorial, the National Archives of Australia and the University of New South Wales.

His particular interest in the Society is in the control and cataloguing of its collection of material relating to the history of the game in Sydney and New South Wales.  He played for South Sydney in the early 1970s and was for some years an umpire in the Diamond Valley Football League in Victoria.

Paul has been an inspiration to the committee since he joined and has chartered a course for the organisation which has led it to continued success.

TREASURER – John Addison

A member of the committee since 2014, this is the first year John has taken on the treasurer’s role.

He is a Sydney person and played the game with the Bankstown Sports Club from juniors right through into their senior ranks.

Lately John has had an involvement with the St George Club where one of his sons plays. Another son, Dylan works with GWS in the welfare department.

John is a retired draftsman and possesses an unique talent in the knowledge of computers and their workings.


Mandy is a person who does not have a deep background in Australian Football.

Her father, Terry, played with the Newtown Club in Sydney and also represented the state.

Amanda, to use her formal name, is a trained librarian and worked at the Ashfield Council Library for many years until her recent retirement.  She also undertook some archival work for the council when the need arose.

A talented person, Mandy is a wonderful asset for the Society and already has began to use her skills with the material the Society has received.


Ian WrightIan has been involved in Sydney football for some time. It all started in 1966 he watched the grand final between St George and Western Suburbs at Trumper Park.

In 1972 he played junior football with Ermington United FC in the Balmain Junior Competition.

Then in 1975 he attended Macquarie University as a student and became involved with its burgeoning football club first as a player then on the committee. He played 101 games for the club between 1975 and 1992, nearly all in the 2nd Division Reserve Grade competition.

He has been involved with the club for 37 years where he has held every position, except president.  He is still the club’s timekeeper where he does four matches a day, sometimes ground manager and currently holds the club’s liquor licence.

From 1981 to 1984 he joined the NSWAFL Umpires Association as a Goal Umpire. He has umpired 3 SFA 1st Grade Grand Finals and 3 Premier League Under 18 Grand Finals, plus several representative matches.

He was Assistant Secretary of the Umpires Association for two years and Secretary for one. He was also the NSW Delegate to the National Umpiring Conference in Darwin.

During recent years he has been involved with goal umpiring, while he continued to attend Macquarie University’s games where he ran the boundary as well as runner – when fit.

Ian has been Macquarie’s Uni’s representative at the League when Club Delegate meetings were held. He was also a representative on Macquarie University Sports Association (MUSA) Sports Committee for many years. In addition, he served on the MUSA Services Recognition Committee which, among other things, conferred awards such as Life Memberships, Club Colours etc. for MUSA.

Ian says he has undertaken just about everything at his club except coaching and selector and has rejected offers of both!


Jenny Hancock

Jenny had never heard of Australian Rules Football until she met her former husband, Gordon Hancock, in 1962. They were both working in a bank in Bankstown and he was playing football for the Newtown Club in Sydney. After watching some games she was hooked.

Their son David started playing football for Bankstown Sports in 1974. Jenny took on many positions with the club over the next 15 years including President, Secretary, Team Manager, Canteen Manager and when the Under 9 Coach was away, took the boys for training.

In 1980 she received a Merit Award from the Bankstown District Sports Club Ltd for services to sport and also Life Membership of the Bankstown Sports Australian Rules Football Club (only the second woman to receive the award at that time).

In 1983 when the Sydney Swans moved to Sydney she was involved in helping the players and their families settle in. Later, she billeted new players from country areas providing them with a family atmosphere.

After the sale of a trophy manufacturing business in which she was a partner, Jenny worked for many years as a Teachers Assistant in pre-Schools and finally completed her Diploma in Childrens’ Services in 2002.

Jenny moved to the Illawarra in 2007. Besides her work in early learning education she undertook different voluntary roles in the community including the Illawarra Museum.

She joined the History Society in 2009 where she has become a very active member.


Heather White portrait.

Heather is the partner of president, Ian.

Her knowledge of Australian football is limited however is passionate in her interest of history and the skills she acquired in her former vocation of schoolteacher, puts her in good stead as an important member of the committee.

She gives the position as much attention as possible and is always on hand to help and assist when and where needed.