Fremantle Dockers’ board member Richard Goyder has become the first West Australian to be appointed to the AFL Commission in more than a decade.

A Fremantle board member since 2006, the 51-year-old father of four is also CEO and managing director of Wesfarmers, one of Australia’s largest listed companies and biggest private employers, with around 200,000 employees Australia-wide.

The last West Australian to sit on the AFL commission was Terry O’Connor QC, who was a commissioner from 1993 to 2000.

Fremantle president Steve Harris said that the Fremantle Dockers, West Coast and WA football in general had long been advocating for a WA-based AFL Commissioner.

“Richard is incredibly well qualified to take up this role, and will bring with it a firsthand understanding of a WA-based club through his association with Fremantle,” Harris said.

“This is a great win for football, a significant appointment for Richard, and recognition of his ability to contribute to our sport at a national level.

“The board, management and staff of the Fremantle Dockers are delighted that one of our own has been appointed to this very important role by the AFL.

“At a personal level, I thank Richard for his outstanding contribution as a director of the club since 2006. He has been a strong and stable voice within the board and has made a significant contribution of his time and expertise.

“For an individual in one of Australia’s most senior corporate roles, he has always been available for the board, senior management and to me personally, whenever required.”

Harris said Goyder’s appointment to the AFL Commission would see him relinquish his role as a Fremantle board member.

“We will be looking to recruit a new director with the same level of experience as Richard,” he said.

Goyder described his appointment as one of nine commissioners as an honour and a privilege.

“The game of football is in great shape and growing but we should always be looking at ways to further enhance and grow the game at all levels,” Goyder said.

“I look forward to using my skills and expertise to do everything I can to ensure that AFL continues to retain the mantle as the number one sporting code in the country.”

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