Jim Auld named George Churchward Medal Winner


Football NSW’s State Dinner was held at the Liverpool Catholic Club in what was a fantastic celebration of community football with Dubbo & District Football Association’s well-respected football advocate Jim Auld awarded the prestigious George Churchward Medal.

It was a memorable evening for grassroots football identities across NSW in an event that was put on ice for two years due to COVID restrictions.

Football NSW Directors and Life Members all came together to recognise and acknowledge the elite few who have provided consistent and invaluable service at the community level.

Hosted by Stephanie Brantz, the evening kicked off with the presentation of the State Award winners.

State Award winners are nominated by their Association in recognition of their tireless efforts and service to football in their local community.

State Awards formally recognise individuals who have provided consistent and valuable service at any level – Club, Association, Branch or State.

These contributions may include services such as: committee member, coach, manager, match official, canteen manager or grounds person.

The 2022 State Award Winners are:

  • Robert Mearns – Bankstown District Amateur Football Association
  • Andrew McVeigh – Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association
  • Caroline Oakes-Ash – Eastern Suburbs Football Association
  • Murray Wignall – Eurobodalla Football Association
  • Phil Torpy – Football South Coast
  • Anthony Torville – Hills Football
  • Colin Campbell – Macarthur Football Association
  • Annette Burgoyne – Manly Warringah Football Association
  • Peter Auld – Manly Warringah Football Association
  • Sharon Schaecken – Nepean Football Association
  • Damian Miles – Northern Suburbs Football Association
  • Wendy Lymbery – Shoalhaven District Football Association
  • Gino Marra – Southern Districts Soccer Football Association
  • Graeme Eddy – Southern Tablelands Football Association
  • Peter Mallios – Football St George
  • Russell Marsden – Sutherland Shire Football Association

One of the touching moments of the evening was the State Award won by well-respected and admired Northern Suburbs FA administrator Damian Miles who sadly lost his fight with Motor Neurone Disease. Damian’s sister Melissa accepted the award on his behalf, a true legend in the grassroots game of our state gone too soon.

Fair Play Award

This year’s Fair Play award recognised the fair play shown by coach Adam Wilson and his Goulburn Stags Under 11’s Blue side.

Adam took his team to Gunning on the 18th of June for a match against MBK United. It was the 20th  of June when MBK posted a photo on Facebook with a photo of Oliver from MBK smiling after scoring a goal, with a teammate hugging him and all the Stags players clapping around him.

Oliver is one of our all-inclusive players playing with down syndrome who just loves football.

Adam provided some more detail to the photo and said earlier in the game Oliver was hit in the face with the ball accidentally and he was a bit upset. Adam and the Stags side spoke at half-time and agreed to let Oliver have a run at goal from the second half kick-off. Oliver made a charge for goal, unfortunately he missed the first attempt but after an error from the Stags blue keeper, Oliver managed to bury it in the back of the net.

After he scored, the Stags players congratulated him and clapped, and Oliver was thrilled as he was running down the field yelling “I scored a goal!”.

Adam spoke with his team after the game and said a moment like this is so much more important than anyone’s goal or winning the game and commented that it was a really proud moment for him as a coach.

After the game, Oliver’s dad came to Adam and the team to tell them how much he appreciated it and how much it meant to Oliver.

It’s little moments like this that brings a smile to everyone’s faces and for that reason.

Future Leaders Award

A new award category that was added at this year’s State Dinner, the Future Leader Award recognises an individual, aged between 16 and 25, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to football at any level of the game (club, association, branch, or state).

The Future Leader Award recipient is someone who has shown enthusiasm, determination, innovation, and direction in giving back to football and who is passionate about harnessing the power of football in their local community.

In addition to displaying exemplary leadership, the recipient will have driven change and improvement at their level of the game

There were three inaugural winners for the newly created award.

  • Matthew Staples – Sutherland Shire Football Referees Association
  • Theo Dracopoulos – Far South Coast Football Referees Association
  • David Neale – Northern Suburbs Football Association

George Churchward Medal

The night’s final and most honoured award, the George Churchward Medal, presented annually to an individual who has exemplified an outstanding commitment to the sport was awarded to Mr Jim Auld.

Jim has been involved in football as a volunteer and administrator for the past 37 years.

He began at Umina Beach managing his eldest son’s team in 1985, which continued when he and his family moved to Narromine in 1987 with his employment.

Following a further career move to Dubbo in December 1994, his involvement in football escalated the following season.

In 1995, Jim began his involvement with the Dubbo Westside Panthers Club Juniors.

In 1996, Jim managed and coached at least three teams a year and he continued this duty of coaching three teams a year for the next 15 seasons.

Whilst attending both club and association monthly meetings, Jim was finally convinced to take up a role of Treasurer for the Dubbo Association in 1998. Jim still holds the position of Secretary/Manager today which incorporates the roles of Association Registrar, Secretary, Member Protection Officer, Coaching Coordinator, Website Manager and Tribunal Chairperson.

Additionally, Jim compiles the competition draws for all junior and senior competitions and maintains the ladders as well as the draws for all small-sided matches in Dubbo and Narromine.

Jim began attending the Western NSW Branch meetings as a Dubbo Association delegate in 2000.

He was elected to the Western NSW Branch Management Committee in 2007. From this role, he became the Western NSW Branch delegate to the Football NSW Junior Standing Committee which later became the Football NSW Associations Standing Committee and remained part of this setup ever since.

In 2012, Jim became the Chair of the Western NSW Branch a role that he also still holds today.

Due to his role in the Dubbo Association, Jim has also been the Association delegate to the Dubbo City Council’s Sports Council for the past 23 years.

Additionally, Jim was the Coordinator of the Western Premier Soccer League from 2003 to 2011, which involved being the Treasurer, Competition Secretary, Registrar and Tribunal Chair.

Once the local football season drew to a close, Jim turned his attention to being the Coordinator of the Football NSW Girls State Titles while the competition operated in Dubbo for 10 years.

Jim then added yet another skillset to his growing list as he began refereeing community football matches since 2018.

Jim was inducted as a Life Member of the Dubbo & District Soccer Association in 2007 and in the 2009 Dubbo Sports Council Awards ceremony, received the Individual Contribution Award to Football from the Sports Council.

In addition, Jim was awarded the Football NSW State Award in 2010 for his contribution to the Dubbo & District Football Association and a State Award in 2014 for his outstanding contribution to the development of Football in Western NSW.

In 2021, Jim received a Distinguished Long Service Award at the NSW Community Sports Awards further adding more pieces of silverware to his ever-growing trophy cabinet of success.

It was a fitting end of the evening as Auld received a standing ovation by the many in attendance.

It was a fantastic evening as Football NSW’s grassroots community embraced in what was a spectacular season for all involved.