National Volunteers of the Year from Wollongong and Bathurst named

Congratulations to two Toyota AFL National Volunteers of the Year from NSW, who were announced on Grand Final Friday.

Ben Hyndes from the Wollongong Lions in AFL South Coast was named as National Senior Community Coach of the Year.

Tim Hunter from Denison College – Bathurst High Campus was named as National AFL Secondary School Teacher of the Year.

These winners were flown to Melbourne to participate in the Grand Final Parade, and go to the big dance to watch Robbie Williams (and a footy game, of course).


There’s more to be said about these two deserving winners, but here are their nominations:

Ben Hyndes: Ben has grown the Wollongong Lions women’s program from a single side in 2019 when he took charge, to three sides in 2022. The club has more than 80 registered women playing across Premier Division and Division One in the AFL South Coast competition. This growth is a testament to Ben’s recruitment, coaching and ability to develop a positive culture for female footballers.

Ben also coached the AFL South Coast Women’s representative side on the two occasions they have played. He also co-coached the inaugural Illawarra Academy of Sport Women’s program. Ben’s contribution has significantly grown women’s football at the Wollongong Lions and throughout the region.


Tim Hunter: Tim is a central figure in the planning and advocacy of the Central West’s high school gala days. Tim participated in the NSW/ACT review of the Schools Cup structure in 2021 and promotes these carnivals heavily in his school. He works closely with neighbouring Bathurst schools to maximise engagement and ensure a successful competition as possible.

Tim’s positive attitude towards growing the game, and willingness to look constructively to ensure the best possible experience is second to none in the region. Tim’s connections to local clubs and involvement in the local AFL competition has also seen him encourage new schools to participate in our carnivals.