Gen Y leader, first female AFL-accredited coach
From being the only girl in the locker room to the only Gen Y in the Boardroom, Michelle Cowan has always defied convention. At just 21, Michelle became the first female AFL-accredited coach in Australia, going on to coach in the WA Football League and put West Perth through their paces.
Michelle’s achievements include: 2013 Football Woman of the Year; Inaugural Coach of Fremantle Football Club’s (Dockers) AFLW Team; 2014 AFL DSR Coach of the Year. She is an AFL Advisory board member; Head of Operations & Player Wellbeing- West Coast Eagles AFLW team and a professional motivational speaker.
More about Michelle Cowan:
Combining her two passions of being a mother and AFL coach, Michelle’s amazing story is a tribute to what all of us can achieve with enough guts, grit and determination. With over 18 years of coaching experience in the WAFL, AFL and AFLW Michelle’s long and successful career has contributed to the game’s exciting evolution.
At just 21 Michelle made history when she became the first woman to coach professional Australian football at any level when she was appointed assistant coach of the West Perth Football Club in the WAFL.
Her role at West Perth was followed by a three- year stint at South Fremantle Football Club as midfield coach.
Michelle later took on a dual role at Melbourne Football Club as the Senior Coach of their Women’s Team and Development Coach for the Men’s team before being appointed by Fremantle Football Club (Dockers) to be the inaugural coach of their AFLW team 2016-2018. In early 2019 Michelle was appointed as Assistant Coach of the West Coast Eagle’s AFLW team and in 2021 was offered the opportunity to become Head of Operations & Player Wellbeing for the team.
Michelle was awarded the AFL Football Woman of the Year in 2013 and in 2014 was announced as AFL DSR Coach of the Year.
Her achievements have made it so much clearer for the next generation of women in football proving that when it comes to football or business, gender is no longer a barrier to kicking goals.
Michelle Cowan talks about:
Michelle is an unbelievably engaging, empowering and energetic speaker. She’s a true trailblazer when it comes to breaking down traditional female barriers that surround women in business and sport. She uses her energy and raw enthusiasm to help empower women to be whatever they want to be in life. She’s an inspiration and true professional with a glowing personality that engages audiences from the second she walks onto the stage.
Her topics include:
• The Journey – Michelle shares her personal story of perseverance and passion.
• Team Dynamics – Leadership, Culture, Giving and Receiving Feedback.
• Match Fit – Michelle draws on the potent parallels between business and sport.
Alternatively, Michelle can tailor a presentation to suit your specific requirements or event theme.
Michelle’s honest account and energetic delivery of her personal journey was a true crowd favourite.
Michelle speaks from the heart and her experience as a Gen Y is really informative for Baby Boomer decision makers. She is a very entertaining presenter.
Following Michelle’s presentation I was reenergized and motivated. The team of staff who attended the session returned to work with a new outlook and drive to succeed.
-Recreation Facilities Manager
Bright, warm, engaging, topical — a bundle of energy and enthusiasm who brightened up an otherwise ordinary series of presentations. Michelle's speech was certainly a highlight of the day.
Michelle has the innate ability to inspire and motivate. She has a unique energy and is incredibly driven which has resulted in a myriad of personal achievements and has also encouraged success in others. Hearing Michelle speak makes you believe you can go that extra mile.
Powerful and a true inspiration. A must see.