Sam Lane

Journalist, Author, Sports Presenter, MC & Keynote Speaker

Sam Lane is a pioneering broadcast journalist and author.

Her award-winning work spans print, television, podcast and radio.

Sam’s first book, ROAR, is the definitive account of the birth of the Australian Football League’s elite competition for women. Published in 2018, and later reprinted, ROAR was formally endorsed by Australia’s first woman Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

ROAR became part of the global movement for gender equity, diversity, and inclusion, with the AFLW catalysing profound change on and off-field. Sam’s keynote presentations on the topic, in Australia and abroad, have included one at the Australian Embassy in Paris.

Sam is currently writing the story of sporting luminary, Erin Phillips, due for publication in 2024.

A trailblazer on television, Sam covered men’s AFL on Channels Seven and Ten for more than 15 years. In 2013, she joined Channel Seven’s prime time Saturday night footy coverage and was part of Seven’s record-breaking broadcast of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Sam was a panellist on Channel Ten’s Before the Game for 10 years, and also featured in the ABC’s Agony Aunts. She has covered every AFLW season on Channel 7 telecasts since the competition’s inception in 2017, and hosts a weekly AFLW podcast on the ABC: The W – with Sharni and Sam.

Sam’s journalism awards include two Melbourne Press Club Quills, a Walkley, two VicHealth awards, the AFL Players’ Association and AFL Coaches’ Association media prizes, and an Australian Sports Commission media award.

As a keynote speaker, event MC, conference host and panel moderator Sam’s clients include QBE, Virgin Australia, Mercedes Benz Australia, National Australia Bank, Sport Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, CGU, Open Universities Australia and the Sydney, Geelong, and Richmond AFL football clubs.

She co-hosted the Australian national speaking tour of basketball legend Luc Longley in sold-out shows through 2022, and moderated live events with Australian of the Year Adam Goodes in 2019.

Sam is a member of the Board of Directors of The Chappell Foundation, raising funds for homeless youth. She sits on the Sydney Swans’ AFLW steering committee and is an ambassador for Flourish Australia. Sam was a member of the Australian Institute of Sport’s Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement Advisory Committee, chaired by Olympic icon Ian Thorpe.

In her distinguished journalism career, Sam wrote for Melbourne’s The Age and Sunday Age, and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers for 13 years, reporting from Beijing, London, Rio and Delhi at Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

She has reported from the men’s Tour de France three times, and the first women’s Tour de France in 2022 on ABC television, radio and podcast.

Sam wrote, produced, and hosted two series of the number one-rating The Originals podcast for AFL club, Richmond, in 2020-21.

Sam speaks French, studying at the Université Michel de Montaigne in Bordeaux to complete a Diploma of Modern Languages (French), and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne.

Sam Lane speaks about:

Keynote topics:

WOMAN IN MEDIA AND SPORTS MEDIA (Australia and internationally)

‘One-out in a traditionally male-dominated domain’ – a broadcast journalist in AFL men’s. Career began on TV, print and radio straight out of university – Channel 10’s Before the Game, then to Channel 7 Saturday night footy broadcasts, The Age sport department and ABC radio.

What were the roadblocks? How were they overcome? From a death threat over an article that eventually won a Melbourne Press Club Quill award.

THE “MOVEMENT BIGGER THAN SPORT”: WOMEN IN SPORT – game changing on and off field

The inside stories behind the birth of AFLW is the subject of my first book, ROAR – documenting the sexism, the homophobia and other roadblocks over decades and the ultimate celebration when AFLW arrived in 2017

Global rise of women in sport on field – pay and other equality battles, sexism, homophobia and other hurdles, leadership inequality.

Note: good for International Women’s week/day, corporate boardroom and corporate events, school/educational events and settings, writers festivals. Topics around diversity, inclusion, equity – Australia and global movement – on sports fields with flow-on effects in boardrooms.


“I once joked about playing full-forward for the Western Bulldogs. At the time, that was an impossible dream for any woman. But not anymore. The AFLW has unlocked a new wave of Australian sporting heroes for young girls, where ambition to play footy is no longer inhibited by gender.  Best on ground to Samantha Lane for this inspiring account of the resilience and determination it took to get the League to a national level, and showcasing the depth of talent amongst its players.” JULIA GILLARD AC, 27th Prime Minister of Australia

“A powerful and timely call to arms.” ROBERT MURPHY, AFL CHAMPION

“Sam Lane has written a book that will remain timely, for it addresses some fundamental societal issues through the prism of football. It also profiles a group of individuals who have pursued their individual passions in the face of general indifference, and seen that passion become the vehicle for potentially life-changing opportunities. Collectively and individually, these are stories with a long way to run.” THE FOOTY ALMANAC

PERSONAL: dads, mums, daughters

Story of an only child living in sole parent household settings. Sam lost her mum, Jane, at 10yo, moved in with her father, lifelong sports broadcaster Tim and eventually caught the sport and journalism bug and followed in his footsteps.

Have been paired for events with dad to tell the story ‘he said/she said Good Weekend Two of Us-style’. Can adapt the level of detail/depth to the crowd and occasion.


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