Carissa wins national Volunteer of the Year prize
PORT Macquarie Magpies president Carissa Embling has taken out the top overall honour in the 2023 Toyota AFL National Volunteer of the Year Awards.
As the winner of the Toyota AFL Community Volunteer of the Year, Carissa is the recipient of a brand new Toyota Hilux, which she will be presented with before attending the 2023 Toyota AFL Grand Final.
The impact Carissa has had on her club and the game in the Port Macquarie community has been profound.
After serving as treasurer for the Magpies for a number of years, Embling took on the role of president in 2023 and has overseen a major uplift in sponsorship revenue, grant funding, player support programs and has been a fantastic advocate for growing football for women and girls at the club and the NSW North Coast region.
Carissa was told of her win on Thursday when Brisbane Lions great Simon Black turned up to Port Macquarie’s footy training to surprise the club president with the announcement and let her know that she’d be getting a new Toyota Hilux as part of the prize.
“It’s a total shock to be the National Community Volunteer of the Year,” Carissa said.
“I love the football club and have really enjoyed the past five years on the committee. As a volunteer, you certainly don’t do things for accolades but recognition is always nice, on this scale it’s phenomenal.
“As president, I’m lucky to see the value football can give people within the club and the broader community and I feel fortunate to be part of a team which can make a difference to people’s lives.
“I’m so grateful to Darren (Boulet) for nominating me, Toyota and the AFL for the incredible prizes. Thank you and I’m already looking forward to next season.”
AFL Executive General Manager Game Development, Rob Auld, said volunteers are the heartbeat of local football.
“I sincerely thank the more than 220,000 volunteers across the country who make such an important contribution to the game and their communities,” Auld said.
“Congratulations to those honoured as part of the 2023 Toyota AFL National Volunteer of the Year Awards, a wonderful achievement and deserving acknowledgment.
“All individual winners have played vitally important roles in serving grassroots football with overall national winner Carissa Embling a shining example of the positive and important volunteers have on their clubs and communities.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Vin Naidoo, said that Toyota Australia takes great pride in its support of volunteers in these grassroots clubs who dedicate countless hours giving back to their communities
“We’re proud to be presenting the Toyota AFL Community Volunteer Award for another year to celebrate this,” Naidoo said.
“Congratulations to Carissa Embling and to all the Toyota AFL Volunteers Awards finalists on this amazing achievement.”
The annual awards, this year comprising 13 categories, recognise volunteers across Australia who have made outstanding contributions to community football. All NAB AFL Auskick centres, schools, community clubs and leagues in each state and territory were invited to participate, with more than 1000 nominations received nationally.
2023 Toyota AFL National Volunteer Awards – Winners
|Award||Name||State / Territory||Club / Organisation||Role|
|Toyota AFL Community Volunteer||Carissa Embling||NSW||Port Macquarie Magpies / AFL North Coast||President|
|Toyota AFL YOUNG Leader||Marni Farrugia||SA||Fitzroy Women’s||Auskick Mentor|
|Community Club||Rochester Football Club||Vic||Rochester Football Netball Club|
|NAB AFL Auskick Volunteer||Roxy Brock||Qld||Zillmere Eagles||Junior Vice President & NAB AFL Auskick Coordinator|
|AFL Diversity Ambassador||Nabil Yassine||Vic||Hume Crescent / EDFL / Unity Cup Ambassador||Teacher – Ilim College|
|AFL Disability Inclusion Volunteer||Robert Turner||WA||Klemscott Football Club||All Abilities Coach|
|AFL National Community Umpiring Service||Peter McKenzie||Qld||AFL Queensland Umpires||Youth Umpire Coach|
|AFL Community Coach of the Year (Female)||Tracey Jedrzejewski||NSW||Wollondilly Knights Football Club||Women’s Head Coach|
|AFL Community Coach of the Year (Male)||Will Thatchell||Tas||East Launceston Junior Football Club||Coach|
|AFL School Teacher of the Year (Female)||Nuria Urshoff||WA||Australian Islamic College||Teacher|
|AFL School Teacher of the Year (Male)||Ben Hawthorne||Qld||Banksia Beach State School|
|AFL National Community Football Media Award||Noel Watson||Vic||Central Murray FNL, Golden Rivers FL, North Central FL||Media personality|
|AFL National Community Football Photography Award||Tymunna Clements||NT||Wanderers Football Club||Photographer|