AFL Canberra celebrates its centenary

L-R:  Umpire: Grace Lowe, Eastlake Demons: Angus Baker, Ryeli Fleming, Ainslie Tricolours: Josh Maynard, Olivia Fogarty, Queanbeyan Tigers: Harrison Reid, Amy Frost, Tuggeranong Valley: Matt Channon, Kathryn Ghirardello, Gungahlin Jets: Logan Harrison, Samantha Rubino, Umpire: Colin Larter. Photo: Nick Waygood

AFL Canberra is celebrating 100 years in 2024, with two big events to acknowledge the competition’s rich history coming in the next month.

This weekend AFL Canberra will play a Heritage Round, where all matches for each of the top divisions – three First Grade Men’s and three First Grade Women’s – will be played at the historic Manuka Oval, which also celebrates its centenary in 2024. Players will mark the occasion by wearing their club’s heritage guernsey.

Matches will kick off on Friday evening under lights from 6pm, with Queanbeyan and Eastlake going head-to-head in women’s and men’s matches. On Saturday, Tuggeranong Valley takes on Gungahlin, and Belconnen will meet Ainslie, with all six clashes being played on the elite Manuka Oval.

AFL Canberra Heritage Round (Round 11) at Manuka Oval


Friday 12 July, 6:00pm: Queanbeyan vs Eastlake
Saturday 13 July, 10:00am: Tuggeranong Valley vs Gungahlin
Saturday 13 July, 2:15pm: Belconnen vs Ainslie

Friday 12 July, 7:45pm: Queanbeyan vs Eastlake
Saturday 13 July, 11:45am: Tuggeranong Valley vs Gungahlin
Saturday 13 July, 4:00pm: Belconnen vs Ainslie

The festivities continue on Saturday, 3 August when AFL Canberra hosts its formal centenary celebration dinner. The event will reflect and celebrate 100 years of Australian Rules Football competition in Canberra and welcome some of the greatest players and contributors to football in the Territory.

The celebration will be held at Manuka Oval on the eve of the Round 21 GIANTS vs Hawthorn match at the same venue. Representatives from Canberra clubs and special guests have received invitations to this event.

AFL Canberra’s Community Football and Competition Manager, Matthew Diglio, said the community is eager to celebrate 100 years of footy. “The footy community in Canberra is strong and committed to the game and I can’t wait to see us celebrate a century of Canberra footy,” he said.

“So many players, umpires, officials and supporters have contributed to the competition, and the Heritage Round and the centenary dinner gives us a chance to reflect and acknowledge the rich history Australian rules has in the ACT.

“It’s fitting the Heritage Round and the dinner are at Manuka Oval, which also celebrates 100 years in 2024. It has played host to so many historic moments at AFL, AFLW, VFL, representative and community level that it really is at the heart of Canberra footy.”

A brief history of Australia Rules Football in Canberra

The first season of the Federal Territory Australian Rules Football League began in 1924 with four men’s teams competing: Acton, Canberra, the Federals and Duntroon. There were exhibition matches in the region before then and the ACT even sent a representative side to play in Sydney in 1922. Despite a population of only around 6,000 in Canberra, the level of interest meant the league prospered in coming years and formed representative teams to play at national carnivals and country championships. Queanbeyan, a club you can still play for today, was established in 1925.

Canberra’s first women’s competition began in 1998, with five teams competing. It was known as a tough and skilled league and the representative side, the Canberra Currency, supported this with strong results at national championships including a third place when Canberra hosted the championships in 2000.

Canberra has produced many great champions across elite men’s and women’s competitions including Alex Jesaulenko, Kevin Neale, Shaun Smith, Aaron Hamill, James Hird, Craig Bolton, Jack Steele, Tom Greene, Bec Goddard, Britt Tully, Cynthia Hamilton, Emily Pease, and legendary umpire Ray Chamberlain.

Your chance to play in the ACT

There are still plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in Australian rules football in Canberra, with NAB AFL Auskick offering a special discount for the rest of the season across five Canberra locations, NAB AFL Superkick and AFL Nines kicking off across the Territory soon.

Visit for all ways to play across Canberra.