Former AFLUA CEO Peter Howe will be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary services to umpiring and the association spanning 45 years.

Peter always has, and always will be, an association man. During his own umpiring career days, he served his peers on the association, firstly on the social committee from 1984 to 1987 including two years as Social Secretary in 1986 and 1987, before joining the Executive Committee in 1989 as a non-running life member.

Peter joined the VFL Reserve Grade Panel in 1975, umpired the Under 19 Grand Final in 1976 and was promoted to the VFL Senior Panel in 1977.  He umpired his first VFL Senior game in 1980 and went on to umpire 102 senior matches before retiring in 1988. He was awarded AFLUA Life Membership in 1986.

In 1989, he was appointed as Field Umpires’ Observer and Coaching Video Editor (VFL/AFL) until 1993 before being appointed as VFL Development Squad Coach in 1994 and VFL Senior Squad Coach from 1995 to mid-2003. He was then appointed Assistant Field Umpires’ Coach (AFL) a position he held until 2011.

Peter joined the AFLUA in November 2011 after an initial approach to apply for the vacating CEO role was made to him by Shaun Ryan, on behalf of the AFLUA Executive. Peter was the successful applicant and impressed from the start with his enthusiasm for the AFLUA and importantly, its people.

Peter served under 5 presidents and even more executive members. His ability to adapt to these different styles and personalities enabled for smooth transitions and business as usual in the office. Peter oversaw negotiations for two Collective Bargaining Agreements. He also oversaw a rebranding of the AFLUA, the upgrade to its website, an expansion of its Member Benefits Program, the introduction of a number of new programs and services and the move from Carlton to the association’s current office in Docklands.

Peter’s strength was and remains his ability to listen and show genuine care and empathy. Having experienced the ups and downs of umpiring personally, Peter was perfectly armed with similar experiences, so he was able to guide, support and encourage the newest of members, to the very longest and hardened of members.

Since his retirement as CEO of the AFLUA in March 2020, Peter has continued to support the association in many ways. He is a regular attendee at the X-Umpires’ Lunch and golf days. To help preserve the history of the association, Peter had volunteered his time with Terry O’Donnell to video past umpires and gather their stories of life as an umpire during different eras.

Peter continues to support umpires in the Western Region Football League as the Umpire Development Coach, observing and providing feedback to young aspiring umpires, a role he has performed for many years.  He is a consistent sounding board and trusted consult for many current and recently retired AFL umpires as they face challenges both on and off the field and in their personal lives and is a support to many umpiring families on the passing of former members.

As the VFUA Employment Representative, he has also been a significant contributor to the successful negotiations with the AFL in finalising a new Employment Agreement, which will provide further resources, support, and opportunities for state league talent to progress to the AFL and AFLUA.

The AFLUA will celebrate the significant contributions Peter has made to umpiring and the Association at an upcoming AFLUA event.

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