Former PFA President Alex Wilkinson was today awarded Life Membership with Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) at the organisation’s 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

Wilkinson, who retired from professional football in June this year, joined the PFA Executive Committee in 2007, and served as PFA President between 2016 and 2023. 

Wilkinson is joined by Liam Reddy, Scott Jamieson, Ellie Brush, Claire Coelho, Nikolai Topor-Stanley andformer Matilda Renaye Iserief in receiving Life Membership with the PFA, with the six former players acknowledged for their outstanding service to and exceptional support of the PFA.

Reddy, Jamieson, Brush and Coehlo represented their fellow professional players as PFA Delegates, while Topor-Stanley served on the Executive Committee from 2016 to 2023, alongside Wilkinson. Iserief has been invaluable in reconnecting former Matildas with the sport, through the PFA’s Past Players Program. 

At the AGM, Perth Glory’s Tash Rigby, Melbourne Victory’s Elise Kellond-Knight and Brisbane Roar’s Jack Hingert  were re-elected to the PFA Executive, while recently appointed Sydney FC and Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s position on the Committee was ratified by the PFA membership. 

During the AGM, PFA management detailed the organisation’s key achievements during the 2022-23 financial year and the 2023 calendar year, which feature in the  PFA’s Annual Report released today. The achievements include: 

  • A world-leading four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) secured for the Socceroos and Matildas with Football Australia; 
  • A record membership of 705 professional players across the A-Leagues, Socceroos, Matildas and Australians based overseas; 
  • The induction of Mile Jedinak and Melissa Barbieri as PFA Alex Tobin Medallists at the 2023 PFA Players’ Awards; 
  • Over $2.3m in unpaid wages recovered for PFA members across the 2022-23 financial year through the PFA’s player representation and legal department; 
  • Over $85,000 in donations to charities and community football initiatives through the Footballers’ Trust to support the Afghan Women’s National Team, Blind Football Australia, Football Empowerment, Heartbeat of Football, John Moriarty Football, Pride Cup, Queensland Indigenous Football and The Big Issue Street Soccer Program; 
  • Continued support and development of professional players through the delivery of 196 education grants, 773 confidential counselling sessions, concussion, betting, and match fixing education sessions, and the organisation and delivery of coaching courses for current and former players; and 
  • The production of four major research reports, analysing the Socceroos’ performances and the players’ experience during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, an assessment of the Australia Cup, and the A-League Men and Women competitions, to provide an evidence-based policy lens to decision-making with Australian football. 

PFA Co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill paid tribute to the induction of six new PFA Life Members, and their contribution to the PFA, and detailed the organisation’s major achievements.

“Alex and Nikolai made a tremendous contribution to the players and the game, and we thank them for their dedication to their fellow peers. Liam, Scott, Claire, and Ellie helped to organise their peers to help develop the A-Leagues during a period of growth and rapid professionalisation, and Renaye has been the glue to reconnect with generations of past Matildas through our growing Past Players Program. They are all worthy recipients of Life Membership. 

“Across the past 12 months, the PFA prioritised negotiations for the Socceroos and Matildas’ Collective Bargaining Agreement, commencing with the development of a players’ vision and executing an agreement that will provide a platform for further international success for Australia’s favourite national teams. 

“During that same period, the organisation has welcomed a record number of members, invested $500,000 in the ongoing support and development of our players, recouped millions in outstanding player wages, introduced initiatives to create a safer workplace for professional players, and continued to be at the forefront of policy development for the football industry. 

“These achievements would not have been possible without the dedication, ambition and leadership of the players.” 

Looking to the future, PFA President Jackson Irvine added: 

“Alongside Vice President Lydia Williams and the PFA Executive Committee, we have an incredible opportunity to build upon Alex’s work, and the foundational achievements of the PFA over 30 years,” Irvine said. 

“Our objective now is to harness the opportunity and build on the back of one of the most successful 12-month periods in the game’s history. We need to enhance our national team performances on the international stage, and strengthen the domestic game to ensure every professional player has a career that is deeply enriching and rewarding.

“Fortunately, that opportunity also comes at a time when the game is enjoying a period of positive growth, and major achievements accomplished by the PFA across the past 12 months have given us a springboard for ongoing success.” 
Click here to access the 2023 PFA Annual Report 

About the PFA Executive Committee  
Through representative positions on the Executive Committee, professional Australian players help to advance and protect the interests, conditions and welfare of their fellow professionals and actively resolve issues on their behalf.  
PFA Executive Committee:

  • Francis Awaritefe (Chair) 
  • Jackson Irvine (President) 
  • Lydia Williams (Vice President) 
  • Mat Ryan (Executive Member) 
  • Elise Kellond-Knight (Executive Member) 
  • Andrew Redmayne (Executive Member) 
  • Jack Hingert (Executive Member) 
  • Tameka Yallop (Executive Member) 
  • Tash Rigby (Executive Member) 
  • Kathryn Gill (PFA Co-Chief Executive) 
  • Beau Busch (PFA Co-Chief Executive)