Gayle Hamilton (left) pictured with Mariam Koslay at the inaugural Women of the West Awards earlier this year.

After 12 years in the role and more than two decades of involvement with the Western Bulldogs’ community arm, Gaye Hamilton has stepped down as Chair of the Club’s Community Foundation, leaving an indelible legacy of growth and impact.

Renowned as a selfless, considered, and impactful leader, Hamilton has made an immense contribution to the Foundation, the Bulldogs and Melbourne's west more broadly, having also served on the Club's board alongside various other leadership roles in the region.  

“Having been involved with the Community arm of the Western Bulldogs since mid-2002, and with the Foundation Board since its inception, I am very proud of the growth, stability and professionalism that has developed across the WBCF,” Hamilton said.

“I am particularly proud of the impactful work that we do in the community that uplifts and inspires individuals to be their best. Working with the community to provide opportunities and a hand-up through our programs is incredibly rewarding.

“I am proud too of the Foundation’s skilled, hard-working and passionate team, the high-level governance around our programs and processes and the innovative thinking that enables our work to flourish.

“It has been an honour to be involved with the work of the Community Foundation and to be supported by the leadership of the Western Bulldogs Football Club. I know they will go on to even bigger and better things.”

Hamilton's decision to step down is effective immediately, though she will continue to serve on the Board as a Director until her current term expires in September.

She will be replaced in the role of Chair by the previous Vice Chair, Jenny Taing OAM. Taing thanked Hamilton for her outstanding leadership, describing her as “an inspiration to us all” and noting her “exemplary leadership, wise counsel and committed service to the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation and the community in the West”.

Taing, a financial services lawyer with extensive non-executive director experience, including seven years on the WBCF board and ongoing roles with the likes of AFL Victoria and VicScreen, said she was “honoured and humbled" to take on the role.

“Coming from a refugee family, football was a way for me to connect with other children growing up," Taing said. “The Community Foundation leverages the power of football to support and bring communities together. I am so proud of the programs that we provide to the West and personally connect so much with our participants and how our programs change lives.”

Prof. The Hon. Jill Hennessy, who joined the Community Foundation Board in November 2022 after 13 years in State Parliament which included stints as Minister for Health and as Victoria’s Attorney-General, has been appointed as Vice Chair.

All changes were endorsed by the Community Foundation’s board last week.