New face for AFL Gippsland

Warragul policeman John Brookes OAM has joined the AFL Gippsland Region Commission.

The highly-respected Warragul Police senior sergeant filled the casual vacancy left by inaugural chair Angus Hume, who stepped down last December.

Brookes has a long association with Gippsland football, as a player, coach, umpire and administrator.

Among his highest honours, Brookes played 100 games and gained life membership of Sale Football Club, coached the Victorian South East Zone Caltex Cup under 18 team for four years and served as president of the Sale and District Junior Football Association.

Brookes was also a level two umpire with Gippsland Umpires Association and a level two accredited football coach.

In 1998 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to Gippsland through involvement with youth, the aged, sporting events and as an Aboriginal liaison officer.

AFL Gippsland chair Brian Quigley said Brookes was a worthy addition to the seven-person commission.

“John has an outstanding record in his work life with Victoria Police and his contributions to numerous organisations throughout Gippsland over many years,” Quigley said.

“We are very pleased that he has agreed to come on board with our AFL Gippsland Commission.

“His knowledge, manner and work ethic will be major assets to us moving forward.”

Brookes, who is set to retire from Victoria Police later this year, said he was looking forward to giving back to the Gippsland football community and excited about the prospect of playing a role in taking the game forward.

“I’ve been on the board at GippSport for many years and that work complements the AFL Gippsland aims of participation and support to clubs and leagues for development and sustainability,” Brookes said.

“I’ve had a good time in football myself over the years, from junior footy to seniors, interleague support and administration, and this is a great opportunity to keep connected and involved in the sport.”