Western Bulldogs midfielder Jessica Fitzgerald has been awarded the Club Community Award at the Western Bulldogs AFLW Best and Fairest on Thursday evening.  

As an ambassador for the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation alongside fellow young gun Isabella Grant, Fitzgerald was bestowed the honour as recognition for her extensive involvement in Community Foundation programs, across not just Season 7, but across the whole of 2022.  

Fitzgerald shared her experiences as a professional female athlete with young, multicultural females in the Leaders of the Pack program, talking about the resilience required to excel at the highest level of football while juggling work and study commitments. 

In the GOAL Program alongside a number of other AFLW and AFL players, Fitzgerald worked with African Australian young people from Melbourne’s west as mentor, participating in a range of activities and workshops designed to shape strong, community minded young leaders.  

Upon receiving the award Fitzgerald reflected on the impact the Community Foundation programs have not just on participants, but herself personally.  

“I’ve seen some of my teammates win this award in the past, but I didn’t realise just how special and how much of an honour it is to receive the Community Award until last night,” said Fitzgerald. 

“I feel like you don’t understand the full power of the Foundation’s program until you are actually involved in them. You can easily forget the importance of community but watching the participants form strong bonds with one another is my constant reminder. 

“It’s been a pleasure and a highlight working with the Community Foundation this year and I look forward to staying involved in the future and I’m so grateful to win the award.” 

You can learn more about the work of the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation via social media: @wbfcfoundation or via this page