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Sheedy AM

Enduring AFL hero.


Kevin Sheedy has an impressive record in Australian football as player and coach, but despite his epic achievements in these roles, his most profound influence may be the innovations he proposed and supported. He has left an indelible mark on the game.

Previous experience:

Kevin Sheedy played 251 games with Richmond between 1967 and 1979. He was a member of three Premiership sides (1969, '73, '74) was club Best and Fairest in 1976 and captain in 1978. He was selected in eight Victorian state teams.

At his retirement some commentators observed that his considerable achievements were due not so much to abundant natural talent but to determination and the thoughtful application of his abilities.

This ability to analyse quickly became evident when he took over as coach of Essendon in 1981 and began building the sides that won Premierships in 1984 and 1985.

He went on to coach Essendon for 27 years, playing in the finals on 19 of those years, for seven Grand Final appearances and four Premierships ('84, '85, '93, 2000). His coaching record stands at 386 wins, 242 losses, and seven draws. He coached the Victorian side in 1986 and the Australian teams in the International Rules competitions of 2005 and 2006.

For many involved in Australian football however, Kevin Sheedy's most enduring legacy will be the changes that he promoted and supported. He was a proponent of the extended interchange bench (from two payers to four) which has eased the physical demands on players caused by the increasing speed of the game and of the creation of the annual Essendon-Collingwood ANZAC Day fixture. He was also, with Essendon committeeman Bill Kelty, an architect of AFL traineeships to provide career opportunities to footballers.

Kevin Sheedy has been a great promoter and supporter of indigenous players, developing initiatives to take the game to indigenous communities and to foster and develop promising players. He also promoted the creation of an annual Essendon-Richmond Dreamtime match to recognise their achievements. He has watched with pride as these and other initiatives have brought about a steady expansion of the number of indigenous players, the rewards they enjoy and the role models they provide. For all the Premiership trophies he has held aloft as player and coach, it is this legacy that may give him greatest satisfaction.

Kevin Sheedy is the co-author of eight books: (Slattery Media Group, 2013), Stand Your Ground (Pan MacMillan, 2008), The 500 Club (News Custom Publishing, 2004), Sheeds: Follow Your Dreams (Crown Content, 2001), Second Chance Winners (Wilkinson, 2000), Football’s Women: The forgotten Heroes (Penguin, 1998), Sheeds: Pockets of Greatness (Wilkinson Books, 1996) and Sheeds: A Touch of Cunning (Wilkinson Books, 1995).

Kevin was excellent in his presentation of his role as coach and our company's role with customers. He had the complete attention of the audience. Aquarian Developments

Excellent communication while in the store. Always large crowds in attendance.

Mitre 10

All present, including the Chief Commissioner of Police and other Senior Officers were inspired by your message. Comments included: "He reminded us to think laterally-'outside the square'-and create new ideas.

Victoria Police

He emphasised the need for training of young people for jobs in the business world at all levels and stressed the need for motivation of management if companies were to be winners in an increasingly international market. With his quiet, inimitable manner, Kevin Sheedy has appeal to a wide cross-section of Australian business people.

Australian Poultry Industries Association


Institute of Chartered Accountants Association Vic

Kevin was professional, funny, entertaining and did a great job relating his speech to the issues affecting our particular industry.

Institute of Electrical Engineers Victoria

Kevin's video presentation added to the atmosphere. Topical and interesting for all.

Housing Industry Association

Kevin had the whole audience in the palm of his hand. A great morning.

Serpell Primary School

Kevin had great empathy for the audience and held their attention. His presentation was interesting and relevant. I believe that we got good value for money.


Thanks for a great breakfast and most entertaining speaker in Kevin Sheedy this morning.

Merilyn Hurle, Ronstan International

I am writing to thank you for your contribution to the recent National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Construction Conference. Your speech during the Conference dinner was lively and engaging. I am sure that those present enjoyed hearing about your views on empowerment and leadership in the workplace. Your willingness to spend time with guests at the dinner was also very much appreciated. Thank you again for your participation.

National Occupational Health and Safety Commission

Kevin Sheedy enthralled our team with real life stories and on occasion bringing tears of joy and sadness to many. It was a pleasure to have Kevin address our conference and provided a rare insight into the personal side of a amazing man as he shared some private memories of his Mother and Father. His level of professionalism and his love of public speaking was demonstrated with the decision to honour a business commitment so soon after the loss of his beloved Mother.

On Q Business Systems

Sheeds made good valid points for future direction in planning business developments within the firm and through in a couple of motivational gems as well. Well done, very professional and will use again for next retreat.


Kevin was brilliant, passionate about his topic and excellent in relating it to our business audience. The audience were enthusiastic and our feedback has been fantastic. Kevin was a delight to deal with nothing was too much trouble and he stayed long after the event signing material for those present.

Maroondah City Council

We would like to express our sincere thanks for your assistance and presentation at our recent franchise conference. The fact that we had David Parkin pull out at the last minute did send panic stations through our organizing team, however Saxtons went into overdrive and came up with a fantastic alternative in you. We do appreciate that it must have meant some rejigging of your commitments at the last minute to fit in your presentation which we will be eternally grateful for. At our last conference we had Andrew Gaze speak and they said I wouldn’t be able to top that this time; well the response from my franchisees suggests that we delivered again, as they were extremely motivated by what you had to say. You connected with the audience from the very moment you spoke and the ideas and the way you presented them were easily understood and made relevant to the individual franchisees who are small business owners in there own right. We presented the book to all of the participants at the very end of the conference and they were very pleasantly surprised that they had been individually autographed as well. So what looked like being a disastrous event ended with it being a great success,once again our sincere thanks for you making the effort and motivating 'Our Team'.

Aussie Disposals

Kevin was great to listen to. He adapted his experiences to our industry (private hospital) so everyone in the room could relate to him. The feedback from the staff who attended was excellent.

The Avenue Hospital

Everyone so enjoyed and commented how amazing he was and how it left an impression - very relaxed speaker and made everyone feel comfortable.

McDonalds Australia Limited

Fantastic, related really well back to our audience about Chiropractic and small business, very impressive and professional.

Synaptic Design

Kevin was gracious with his time , genuinely interested in the local community and a fantastic speaker to the audiences that came to see him. It was inspiring seeing him get everyone involved in his presentation through his mix of humour , honesty and storytelling. I would recommend Kevin to anyone , whether it be children, community members or corporate bankers. Through his life experiences, both professional and personal he has something worth sharing with everyone.

Australian Sports Commission

The success of our annual planning day was due to the quality of Kevin's presentation. We were looking for insights into how creativity can be transformed into innovation and how planning supports delivery. Kevin delivered above our high expectations through his enthusiasm and passion for sport and life.The feedback from the audience was unanimous! Kevin is great speaker and I do not believe we could have chosen better.

Department of Resources, Energy & Tourism

Kevin Sheedy was great and very warm with all our guests - very happy with him.

Canon Australia

Kevin's attendance at our forum was described as a stroke of brilliance. He was carefully chosen for his passion, down to earth attitude and wide appeal to our target audience. He fulfilled all expectations in every way.

Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre

Kevin did a fantastic job engaging our industry and getting key messages across in an informal and anecdotal manner. He shared his experience and wisdom with the audience whilst keeping the audience entertained with his subtle humour. Kevin has been an instrumental leader in change in the sports industry and we were pleased we selected him as the keynote to inspire our industry.

Department of Education & Communities

Kevin spent some valuable time pre-conference understanding our theme and the message we wanted to convey to our sales and marketing team. He nailed the objectives right from the first minute and his presentation was both captivating and entertaining. His understanding of what makes a business like our 'tick' was central to his presentation and gave his content great credibility. Definitely a highlight of our conference.

Philmac Pty Ltd

Kevin was fabulous - very down to earth and accommodating of the requests for photos with staff! He was very inspiring and has done so much work with kids that goes unheralded. Such a great Australian!

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