Carlton star forward Tayla Harris has been named as one of four finalists for the 2020 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.
Presented annually, the award recognises an AFL or AFLW player who best exemplifies the values of the late Melbourne Football Club President and Brownlow Medallist Jim Stynes, through their commitment to the community, helping others and making a difference in the way they play and represent the game on and off the field.
While Harris has been an advocate for female participation in football since entering the AFLW competition, after being subjected to gender-based abuse online in 2019, the 23-year-old has worked tirelessly to draw on her own experience in order to bring about positive, social change within the community.
Her passion to do so has been unwavering and this year she took a lead-role in engaging with the Club’s Carlton Respects Schools Program, while also embracing a new, voluntary ambassadorial role with Our Watch – an organisation that has been established to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children.
Further to this, she has continued to advocate against online bullying by engaging with Victoria’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, The Hon. James Merlino, calling for all Australians to understand the importance of preventing gender-based abuse online and explaining the effects it can have on someone.
Carlton CEO Cain Liddle said Harris’ nomination is a testament to the 23-year-old, who has championed her ability to positively impact the community.
“Tayla is renowned as one of the most influential identities across the game, based on her authenticity and passion she brings to everything she does,” Liddle said.
“Her nomination for this year’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award is extremely well-deserved, and as a club, we’re immensely proud to see her recognised for her commitment to investing in others and the community.
“The image of Tayla’s kick has become synonymous with the fight against gender-based discrimination and her determination to take a stand against online perpetrators was an inspiration to women and men right across the country.
“We commend Tayla for the way in which she conducts herself as a Carlton person, living out our club values to the highest degree and leading by example as a role model within society.”
The winner of the award will be announced during the 2020 Brownlow Medal count on Sunday 18 October. Should Harris win, she will follow in the footsteps of former Blue Dennis Armfield, who was honoured with the award in 2015.