Media Release

Head of AFL Victoria update – Ben Kavenagh

Ben Kavenagh (left) presents medals to the winning team after the Victorian Blind Football League Grand Final. Photo: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos

The AFL advises that Head of AFL Victoria, Ben Kavenagh, is stepping down from his position at the end of September.

Kavenagh, who took on the role in late 2021, has made the decision to return to Adelaide for family reasons.

In the last two years, Kavenagh has made a significant contribution to community football in leading the AFL Victoria team to reboot participation numbers back to pre-pandemic 2019 levels. This has been critical in providing leagues and clubs right across the state with certainty about the game’s future, after two heavily disrupted seasons in 2020 and 2021.

In addition, Ben has reconnected the governing body with local regions, metropolitan leagues and a broad stakeholder network to ensure AFL Victoria is well positioned to continue on its journey to have ‘Footy in Every Home’ in the coming years.

AFL Executive General Manager Game Development, Rob Auld, said: “I would like to thank Ben for the significant contribution he has made to the game in Victoria over the past two years.

“Ben joined at a critical time as the game faced unique challenges. Under Ben’s leadership at AFL Victoria, community football has bounced back strongly and the foundation is there for football to flourish across the state in years to come.

“Ben has led a number of important funding and growth partnership opportunities including in the focus areas of umpiring, club volunteer support and women and girls initiatives, while he has also championed our push into the school network as we develop new and different ways for people to participate in our game.

“I wish Ben all the best with the move and in the next phase of his career.”

Head of AFL Victoria, Ben Kavenagh, said: “I am proud of what the team has been able to achieve through a really important period for the game coming off the back of the challenges and disruption everyone across community football faced through the pandemic.

“I have really enjoyed my time in the role, leading a great team and working closely with stakeholders at all levels of community football in Victoria. I would to thank everyone involved in the game for their work in ensuring Australian rules football remains the number one sport for Victorians, from grassroots through to the elite.

“The game is well placed to keep building and thriving, in large part because of the incredible people who give so much to the game in their local communities across the state.

“I look forward to the game remaining a huge part of my life in one way, shape or form.

The AFL will soon commence the search for Kavenagh’s replacement.