The AFL is delighted to announce Travis Boak of the Port Adelaide Football Club as the winner of the 2021 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.

Boak has been recognised for his dedication and commitment to supporting children and families impacted by cancer through his role an Ambassador for the Childhood Cancer Association.

Understanding the hardship and impact cancer can have on a family after losing his father Roger to cancer in 2005, Boak has been steadfast in his support of individuals and families at the Childhood Cancer Association for the last 11 years.

The 300-game star provides hands-on volunteering, attending fortnightly visits to the Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology to spend time with the children as a welcome distraction from the challenges they face.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Boak has continued to have a significant influence as a volunteer, connecting with children and families virtually, while he has also been a key driver in the organisation’s fundraising efforts, raising over $22,000 this year.

Through Boak’s leadership, he has also initiated a charity partnership between the Childhood Cancer Association and the Port Adelaide Football Club which provides an opportunity to raise the profile of the organisation and allow for sustainable fundraising efforts to help provide services for individuals and families.

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said Boak’s contribution to the community away from the football field epitomized the values of the late former Melbourne Football Club President and player Jim Stynes.

“Travis is an outstanding ambassador for our game and the Port Adelaide Football Club. He is a values driven person whose commitment to helping children and families impacted by cancer showcases his passion to help others in need and leave a positive legacy that extends beyond his achievements on the football field,” Mr McLachlan said.

“Travis’s work in helping young people embodies the work done by Jim and he is more than a fitting winner of this year’s 2021 Jim Stynes Community Award.”

Port Adelaide Chief Executive Matthew Richardson praised Boak’s passion and dedication in improving the lives of people impacted by cancer.

“Over the past eleven years, the club has been extremely proud of Travis’ work with the Childhood Cancer Association and more so that he has initiated this himself demonstrating his passion for helping others.

“More than ever, we have been proud of Travis’ continued contribution to the organisation throughout 2021 with the disruptions of COVID-19.

“Having not been able to attend regular face to face hospital visits, Travis has displayed outstanding leadership to raise funds for the organisation while staying connected to individuals and families virtually.

“Embrace expectation, care and connection are all values of the Port Adelaide Football Club and there is no better example of Travis who lives these values on and off field,” Mr Richardson said.

“2021, is a special year for Travis having celebrated 300 AFL games and the most AFL games for the Port Adelaide Football Club.  The way he has and continues to represent himself, the club and the league is outstanding and reflects the values and contribution of Jim Stynes.

“The club, like so many, are extremely proud of Travis, for not only his on-field achievements but his care and commitment to helping make a difference in the lives of many who are facing hardship and a worthy candidate for this year’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.”

Proudly supported by Telstra, the AFL and the Jim Stynes Foundation, Boak will receive $40,000 which will be donated to the charity or community program of his choice.

The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award has become the pinnacle of recognition of philanthropic achievements within the AFL community, named in honour of the late former Melbourne Football Club President and player Jim Stynes.

Runners-up Georgie Rankin (Geelong Cats Football Club), Jordan Roughead (Collingwood Football Club) and Nicola Stevens (Carlton Football Club) were also acknowledged and praised for their commitment to the community.

Past winners include Richmond’s Bachar Houli (2020), GWS GIANTS’ Stephen Coniglio (2019), Melbourne's Neville Jetta (2018), Port Adelaide's Jack Hombsch (2017), Geelong's Jimmy Bartel (2016), Carlton's Dennis Armfield (2015), West Coast Eagles' Beau Waters (2014), Gold Coast Suns' Zac Smith (2013) and Richmond's Daniel Jackson (2012).

Nominations for the award are formed from AFL Clubs and the AFL Players Association before the judging panel selected the final four finalists.

About the Jim Stynes Foundation

The Jim Stynes Foundation (JSF) perpetuates the work of the late Jim Stynes. Like Jim, the Foundation supports disadvantaged youth through his passion for sport, his allies and his charitable inceptions.

Public in nature, the Jim Stynes Foundation is a Public Ancillary Fund (PuAF) that distributes funds to worthy and specifically chosen registered charities. As a PuAF the public are invited to and can contribute to the Foundation. All contributions are then distributed to registered charities, as determined by the Foundation’s board.

The 2021 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award selection panel includes:

  • Sam Ludbey-Stynes – Jim Stynes Foundation
  • Luke Darcy – Network Seven & Triple M
  • Neil Mitchell – 3AW
  • Andrew Dillon – AFL Executive General Manager Game Development/ General Counsel
  • Sarah Fair – AFL Executive General Manager - People
  • Jude Donnelly – AFL, Head of Government Relations & Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Brett Murphy – AFL PA Representative
  • Jennifer Watt - General Manager, Commercial Operations and Partnerships MCC