Though the Hawthorn Football Club might be an absolute hot fkn mess on the field at the moment (and this little black-and-red duck is straight up loving it, TBH) off field they continue to be one of the more impressive organisations currently getting about the Australian professional sporting circuit.
Though the club does not, as of yet, have an AFLW franchise, today they made a different kind-of history by appointing the game’s first-ever female club CEO.
Tracey Gaudry, a former Olympic cyclist-turned-leading sports executive, will officially step into the Hawks’ highest corporate role from today, the club announced.
Gaudry’s resume is extensive and extremely impressive, having previously served as the GM of Commercial & Growth at Athletics Australia, during which time she spearheaded the creation of the recent inaugural Nitro Athletics series held in February.
Prior to that, Gaudry was the chief executive of the Amy Gillett Foundation for five years, and served in a number of senior cycling administrative positions, and on anti-doping review panels for the Federal Government.
Gaudry’s athletic career took her to both the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a member of the national road cycling team; at the height of her career she was ranked 3rd in the world.
Gaudry’s appointment to the top job at the Hawks is a milestone moment in the push for greater representation in the traditionally male-dominated football arena, and comes on the heels of an exceedingly successful first-ever AFLW season.
Previously, Rosie King served as the acting chief executive officer at Geelong while incumbent Brian Cook took extended leave. But Gaudry’s appointment today represents the first permanent gig for a female in one of the game’s top jobs.
In a statement posted to the Hawks website a short while ago, Gaudry asserted her commitment to growing the club not just through the men’s side, but through women’s football and community representation as well.

“It is a privilege to have built a career in sport over two decades, and to have the opportunity to bring all of my knowledge and experience in national, international, sport-specific and whole-of-sport roles to Hawthorn Football Club.”

“Growing up in regional Victoria I was the typical kid, kicking the footy about the oval on the weekend. Australia is a sporting nation with Australian Rules Football ingrained in our DNA and it’s the perfect time to join Hawthorn at such a progressive time for our national game.”

“As and strong and successful club in the AFL, Hawthorn is not resting on its laurels as it strives to advance across all aspects of the club including the planned new home at Dingley, women’s football, youth academies and its contribution to the community.”

Good move, Hawthorn. Very, very good move indeed.

Now if you can manage to pick up your heels on the field at some point so you don’t keep eviscerating my tipping, we’ll really be cooking with gas.

Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty.