My name is Dianne Stewart and I introduce myself as a candidate in the upcoming member election.

Yes, I’m that Victorian candidate, let’s address that issue up front. I am born and bred in Perth, have followed Freo from the very beginning but also find myself living and working in Melbourne for the last three years. The interstate members have a real ‘duty’ to be super-active in their club membership because there’s only a small number of us whereas in Perth there’s always someone else to help out. So I’ve joined the cheer squad, I make the banner each week we have a game, I travel to every eastern states game to help with the banner, and if you came to the semi-final this year at the MCG, I was the lady that handed you an inflatable Dockers hand as you came in the gate.

But you’re not electing me to be the ‘Head Cheer Leader’ but a Director…so on that note, I hold a senior executive position in my work and hold a Company Directors Diploma so I’m no chump in the board room either. I have a voice at the board room table and have been a board member on a national sporting board before.

We have turned Subiaco into a cauldron of fear for visiting teams and so we should rightly expect to win almost all our matches there. 40,000+ supporters will do that. We need to start winning away matches regularly to be a real force in the AFL. We need to mobilise our interstate supporters to become members and get WA supporters to travel to join in the noise. To do this they need more info and the club needs to get more organised to ensure you’re not the lone Docker in a sea of mongrel Collingwood supporters.

And don’t get me started on our membership administration system that continues to stuff up membership details, misses addresses on mailouts and email outs, can’t differentiate groups of people easily to give them targeted information only. This is not good enough for a membership based organisation.

Finally, on the hot topics…All these changes caught me completely by surprise as it did everyone else. The jumper has gradually grown on me but the logo is a disgrace. The strong-armed Dockerman with the italian colours is a fantastic logo and the new one is just weak. I have never been enamoured by the song right from the start…its a slow and mournful tune that reminds me of communist Russia. But neither do I want a modern rock song that is impossible to yell out as a group when our team wins (think GCS). Any alternative would need to be better than the current song to get my support and meet the criteria of cheery, celebratory and able to be sung as a group.

I know not everyone will agree with my views and I know that even in our group of Dockers friends we don’t all agree…but you can’t knock my commitment to represent the grass roots members who put so much into the club and to really understand your needs. If I’m elected you’ll still see me at banner making and cheering on the team at the other half of the games played outside Perth. And I’ll be happy to discuss the Club with you.

Di Stewart