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A year in review with ANUAFC Women’s Leadership Scholarship Recipient Iman Koutsoukou


After receiving the 2021 ANUAFC x KJR Women in Leadership Scholarship late last year Iman hit the ground running, quite literally, marking a successful year both on and off field.  

As well as a position shift to playing forward and kicking an all-time best, Iman wrapped her football season with a top ladder finish as her second grade Griffins team went the entire season undefeated. Despite lockdowns stripping the team a chance at playing for the flag they were announced Minor Premiers, an incredible achievement for a fantastic feat. 

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Iman, who described her shift from mid-field to forward initially challenging. However, the resilience and determination that awarded her the ANUAFC Scholarship took her to new heights.  

Resourceful and determined to play at the level she knew she could, Iman worked with her coaches, learnt off experienced forward players, studied numerous AFLW games and picked the brains of some of the male players to understand the role of her new position. Her focus, drive and hard work paid off as she recorded a magnificent season that we, and she, is most definitely proud of; having featured in AFL Canberra’s Best and Fairest tally for the UNSW Canberra Women’s second grade competition. As well as personally recognising that “going from last season having never kicked a goal, to this season now more regularly kicking goals proved to me that I have adapted and successfully picked up the forward position” 

Not only has Iman nailed her position on the field, but she has also shone in her role as Club advocate- an opportunity she was awarded through the Scholarship. Iman’s philosophy is to ‘give footy a go’ and through coordinating different recruitment initiatives has garnered great interest in the sport for the Griffins. “I ran a tackling workshop for all the colleges at ANU, and since then have had many new students approach me about starting footy next year.” Her leadership capabilities have equally matured, and Iman can’t wait to be a facilitator next year where look[s] forward to planning the big and small social events that will bring the club members closer together and help them find their feet in such a large club. 

Photo courtesy of ANU Australian Football Club.

On her first year as a recipient Iman reflects there “have been a number of opportunities that presented themselves since receiving this scholarship”. Including leading on field warm up and training sessions. Additionally, through her engagement with KJR she has got to network and listen to the different roles and positions within the company which has helped inform her leadership style in a different field, namely the medical.  “I’ve learnt about the projects that KJR are working on- [in] QLD [KJR is] working on future technologies in the medical field. As medicine is the path, I hope to follow I believe there is a great deal more to learn through KJR and this related research”. 

Alongside leading her Griffins to a flag in 2022 Iman “also looks forward to doing more with KJR through learning about digital technology in medicine whilst also connecting with leading women in the tech field.” An area that KJR is continually passionate about supporting, we are equally excited to see Iman flourish and develop into a strong and capable leader both within the ANUAFC, and in the broader ANU community. 

For those thinking of applying for the ANUAFC Women in Leadership the Scholarship, Iman has some words of encouragement “This scholarship has enabled me to further immerse myself into the footy community here at ANU and has driven me to make this club more engaging and encompassing. I know this KJR scholarship will push me to develop the other aspects of my leadership style. It will do the same for others thinking of applying. Not only will the scholarship provide you with an opportunity to develop as an individual, but you can help the club and team evolve for the better with new visions, views and connections.” 

KJR Australia proudly supports the scholarship which offers $5,000 per annum for up to 3 years of study at ANU. Recipients are provided leadership and career development opportunities, both at the football club and as a speaker/ambassador of the ANUAFC, ANU and partners. 

For further information on the ANUAFC Women’s Leadership Scholarship, including for information about how to apply, be sure to follow their socials or reach out to the club via enquiries@anuafc.com.au