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Four Magpies receive Life Membership

Sarah Allen  February 16, 2016 7:38 PM

Alan Didak became a Collingwood Life Member at the 2015 AGM.

Alan Didak became a Collingwood Life Member at the 2015 AGM.

Collingwood Football Club celebrated its first female Life Member at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday night, recognising the outstanding contribution of Heloise Pratt AM to the club’s community partnerships and programs.

Ms Pratt, alongside 2010 premiership captain Nick Maxwell, 2010 premiership player Alan Didak and long-time club administrator Eddie Hillgrove, were awarded Life Membership by President Eddie McGuire in front of more than 500 members at The Glasshouse.

One of Australia’s greatest philanthropists, Ms Pratt has been a driving force behind the Collingwood Football Club Foundation, established to build a stronger community through sustainable social programs such as Magpie Nest and Barrawarn.

Ms Pratt also played a major role in establishing the Collingwood Football Club Community Centre at Victoria Park, which houses several not-for-profit community organisations such as Headspace, AFL SportsReady, Collingwood Toy Library, Eating Disorders Victoria and goworkskills.com

A true legend of the Collingwood Football Club, Maxwell was honoured for a career distinguished by courage, resilience and leadership that saw him lead the club to its first premiership in 20 years in 2010.

His premiership teammate Didak was recognised as one Collingwood’s most exciting forwards who contributed greatly to the club’s run of eight consecutive finals appearances, three Grand Finals and a premiership.

A truly wonderful clubman, Hillgrove has made a remarkable contribution to Collingwood for over 35 years as a tireless volunteer and passionate servant at both AFL and VFL level.

Also at the AGM, club CEO Gary Pert recapped an operating profit before depreciation and amortisation of $1,880,927 for the financial year ending October 31, 2015.

The declaration of the election poll revealed that Board members Alex Waislitz and Paul Leeds were re-elected unopposed, and newly-appointed Board member Christine Holgate was official welcomed to the role.

In a special moment for the club, President McGuire bestowed recently retired Board member Dr Jack Kennedy with the prominent role of Club Patron for his outstanding service over the past four decades, including 22 years as a Director.

Special Services Awards were presented to respected club administrator Tracey O’Connor, Mike Wilson from Nick’s Collingwood Page, and Martin Boles and Colin Wisbey from Extreme Black ‘n White.

Ms O’Connor arrived at Collingwood in 1998 where she performed the role of Executive Assistant to three Chief Executive Officers – John May, Greg Swann and Gary Pert – before transitioning into the football department where she has ensured the seamless running of day-to-day activities for coaches, players and staff.

Nick’s Collingwood Page and Extreme Black ‘n White where recognised for their efforts in creating and hosting online forums that have become Collingwood institutions for over two decades.