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Peggy O’Neal receives Queen’s Birthday honour

O'Neal on Queen's Birthday honour Peggy O'Neal speaks to Richmond Media about being awarded an AO - Officer of the Order of Australia, in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours.

The Richmond Football Club congratulates President Peggy O’Neal on being honoured with an Officer of the Order of Australia (General Division).

O’Neal has been recognised for her distinguished service to Australian rules football, to superannuation and finance law, and to the advancement of women in leadership roles.

A “surprised” O’Neal told Richmond Media she was grateful to be recognised in such a way.

“I’m very pleased and honoured to have been selected,” O’Neal said.

“I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading, it was very moving to think that behind the scenes, people had been working on this application and doing it on my behalf…I did shed a tear or two.”

In 2013, O’Neal became the first ever female president of an AFL club, and is now in her third term as President.

She was also at the helm as President for Richmond’s drought-breaking 2017 premiership.

Reflecting on her service to Australian rules football, O’Neal said there was “nothing better than being president of the Richmond Football Club”.

“Being part of a premiership year after not having won a premiership in so long… I don’t know that there’s any highlight greater than that,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal became a Life Member of the Richmond Football Club in 2015.

A consultant to Lander & Rogers, she has specialised in superannuation and financial services law for over 20 years.

In 2014, she was named as one of the Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence and one of the Women's Weekly 50 Most Powerful Women in Australia.

“Everyone knows that law is my vocation…and I love practicing law…but I think I’m most proud of the other things, that you do because you love them,” O’Neal said.

“Being recognised for what I’ve done to promote the cause of women and their status in society is very meaningful to me.

“So, to have the community aspect recognised as well as the professional aspect, makes this all the more important to me.”

Richmond CEO, Brendon Gale spoke glowingly of O’Neal’s impact on the Richmond Football Club and the Australian community.

“On behalf of the Club and its 100,000 members, we congratulate Peggy for receiving Order of Australia honours, we’re a better Club because of her leadership,” he said.

“Peggy’s contribution extends much further than our football club, she has used her expertise to play a part in making positive change in superannuation law, and she is a role model for both men and women with leadership aspirations.

“We are so grateful to have her leading our football Club, and we’re so proud that she’s been honoured in this way.”


Richard Goyder, AFL Commission Chairman also congratulated O’Neal for the honours.

“Peggy O’Neal is a trailblazer within Australian football, as the first woman to be elected as the President of an AFL club in our national competition,” he said.

“Under her guidance, Richmond has set its sights on being a leader across our industry and has found premiership success, as well as a dominant role in the community with more than 100,000 members.

“The Club is inclusive, strong and vibrant, reflecting her values. As a role model for everyone in our game, her leadership continues to provide a pathway for both the success of the Tigers and of the wider game.

The AFL congratulates her warmly on this well-deserved honour.”