AFLW star shares heartwarming childhood letter that is now part of football folklore


Collingwood star Brianna Davey’s childhood note to former AFL boss Andrew Demetriou is warming hearts across the footy world after her victory in the AFLW best and fairest awards.

Davey’s handwritten letter, written in third grade has been declared an instant part of footy “folklore” after she completed her fairytale of playing professional football.

Davey and Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers shared the AFLW’s highest honour as they were crowned the best and fairest winners this week.

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The count was close throughout with the winners claiming 15 votes, ahead of Bulldogs’ Ellie Blackburn and Giants’ Alyce Parker on 14 and Melbourne’s Karen Paxman on 13 votes.

Davey said she was “overwhelmed” as the vote went right down to the wire.

“It’s an honour and obviously it went right down to the wire which I thought it would,” she said. “I didn’t even think I’d be up there in all honesty. But I’m just overwhelmed, which is my main emotion at the moment.”

Davey played Auskick as youngster and was told there wasn’t a place for her in the sport. She switched to soccer and played for the Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City as a goalkeeper as well as representing Australia 17 times before the AFLW allowed her to come back into the sport.

Her rise from being exiled from the sport to reaching the pinnacle of the game was summed up by her letter to Demetriou, the former AFL CEO, who left the game in 2014.

“Dear Andrew Demetriou, today I’m going to talk to you about girls to be able to play AFL footy,” the adorable note starts.

“The first reason is girls who have always dreamed to play AFL footy and love it, don’t get to because only boys are allowed to play footy. You have wrecked their dreams because girls really want to play AFL footy.”

The letter goes on to point out that the sport risked losing its female fanbase without serious advances in promoting a women’s professional competition.

The letter is signed off: “So come on Andrew, let these young girls wishes come true. All the girls will love you. From Bri Davey.”

Davey also posted her not to Instagram in the inaugural season of the AFLW – and the story of her football dream now has another chapter.

Her fairytale was discussed on AFL360 Wednesday night.

“So from that moment to the pinnacle of her sport, is just gorgeous,” Fox Footy host Gerrard Whateley said of the letter.

Footy journalist Mark Robinson said: “That is part of AFLW folklore now, the letter from the league medallist”.

Davey did not receive a reply from Demetriou, but said this week she isn’t sure if the letter was ever sent to the former AFL boss.

“I believe I was in year two or three, and we had to write a persuasive essay. Straight away I knew who I wanted to write to, and it was Andrew Demetriou,” Davey said on the Credit to the Girls Podcast.

“I basically told him how it was. ‘That’s it, women need to be playing AFL, end of story’.

“It probably got us over the line to where we are now. I think the letter pushed through 2017, that’s how we got there.”

Full list of 2021 AFLW Awards

Best and fairest: Brianna Davey (Collingwood) and Kiara Bowers (Fremantle)

Rising Star: Tyla Hanks (Melbourne)

Goal of the Year: Courtney Hodder (Brisbane)

Mark of the Year: Danielle Ponter (Adelaide)

2021 AFLW All-Australian team

Full backs:

Sarah Allan, Adelaide Crows

Meghan McDonald, Geelong Cats

Half backs:

Ruby Schleicher, Collingwood

Kate Lutkins, Brisbane Lions

Janelle Cuthbertson, Fremantle Dockers

Centres:

Monique Conti, Richmond

Kiara Bowers, Fremantle (VC)

Georgia Patrikios, St. Kilda

Half forward:

Jasmine Garner, North Melbourne

Katie Brennan, Richmond

Ellie Blackburn, Western Bulldogs

Full forwards:

Erin Phillips, Adelaide Crows

Chloe Molloy, Collingwood

Followers:

Breann Moody, Carlton

Brianna Davey, Collingwood (C)

Alyce Parker, GWS GIANTS

Interchange:

Ebony Marinoff, Adelaide Crows

Brittany Bonnici, Collingwood

Darcy Vescio, Carlton

Karen Paxman, Melbourne

Emma Kearney, North Melbourne

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Prince Harry wrote his ‘very hurt’ father a ‘deeply personal letter’ ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral – ‘because he couldn’t reach him any other way’ in the wake of his explosive Oprah Winfrey interview



Prince Harry wrote his father a ‘deeply personal’ letter in which he promised to ‘respect the institution’ before he flew back to the UK for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. 

The Duke of Sussex, 36, penned the note to Prince Charles after their relationship ‘hit rock bottom’ in the wake of his explosive Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan Markle last month.

His decision to reach out to his father also came after he accused Prince Charles of refusing to take his calls.

However the Prince of Wales still remains ‘very hurt’ by Harry and Meghan’s decision to take part in the controversial interview, which was aired while Prince Philip was in hospital, and the pair have not yet mended their fractured relationship.  

In his letter, Prince Harry ‘outlined his reasons for leaving’ his position as a senior royal in order to emigrate to California and said he would ‘respect the institution’, sources told The Mirror.

The Duke of Sussex, who decided to reach out to his father as he prepared to reunite with his family for the first time after stepping back as a senior royal, was ‘forced to write letters’ after a ‘complete communication breakdown’ with Prince Charles, sources claim.

A royal source told The Mirror: ‘He wrote a deeply personal note to his dad to try and set things straight but tensions are still running high and things haven’t exactly ironed out the way he had hoped.

‘There had been a kind of unspoken agreement between everyone to park whatever has been on each person’s mind, and solely concentrate on supporting the Queen ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral.  

‘The feeling inside the camp was that it wasn’t the time nor the place to go over things, especially at such an emotional time for everybody involved.’  

During his interview with Winfrey last month, Prince Harry said he felt ‘very let down’ by his father Prince Charles, accusing him of refusing to take his calls and then ‘cutting him off’ financially when he and his wife emigrated. 

Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking again, adding: ‘There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar.

‘He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship’.

When asked about if he remains close to Prince William he replied: ‘I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths’. 

Meghan also claimed that a relative of Prince Harry’s asked him ‘how dark’ their unborn child would be, with the Duchess claiming Archie being mixed-race was a ‘problem’ for the royals after Winfrey asked her if they were worried their son would be ‘too brown’. 

The former Suits star said she would not name the person because it would be ‘too damaging’ for them but she confirmed that the duke was asked the question – ‘how dark his skin might be when he’s born’ – ‘by family’. 

Earlier today a source revealed that Prince Charles ‘walked and talked’ with Prince Harry at Windsor Castle before taking part in a ‘family summit’ with both his sons after Prince Philip’s funeral.

It is not clear what was discussed at the meeting, but the source said they began the ‘long task’ of looking at condolence letters sent from around the world.’ 

The talks come as speculation whirls around when the Duke of Sussex will fly back to LA to be with pregnant wife Meghan Markle.

Prince Harry arrived in the UK on April 11, reportedly with his own US private security team.

According to the Telegraph, the Duke was met at Heathrow Airport by Met Police officers, who helped whisk him off to the royal residence of Frogmore Cottage – where he was placed into quarantine ahead of the funeral.

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Wesley College principal sends letter apologising, announces call to action after sex assault claims


The principal of a prestigious Melbourne private school has “apologised unreservedly” after claims of sexual assault and harassment surfaced.

The allegations, which include incidents involving sexual assault, groping and sexism, were mentioned in a petition created by students at Wesley College in a bid to prompt the school to take urgent action.

It comes just days after some students were caught publicly denigrating women in a TikTok video on a bus on Monday – the same day as the nationwide March4Justice rallies, which called for equality and an end to violence against women.

On Friday, Wesley College principal Nick Evans issued a statement to parents and guardians, saying being devastated was not enough and there needed to be a “call to action”.

“I apologise unreservedly to those affected on behalf of the College. Sadly, and as I have observed over the past few days on several occasions, Wesley College is a microcosm of Australian society,” the letter read.

“We are not alone in this scourge. We must face it with honesty, courage and a willingness to confront hard truths.”

Evans also said for the remainder of the term there would be a roll out of processes dubbed their “call to action”.

This will be a “phase of deep listening” with lunchtime forums where students can discuss the culture, as well as engaging external psychologists to “advise and support students”.

“If any other members of the College have testimonies they wish to share, I would encourage them to come forward,” the letter said.

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Federal MPs Daniel Mulino and Celia Hammond reveal they were aware of historical rape allegation against Cabinet Minister who was named in anonymous letter


Two more federal MPs — one Liberal and one Labor — have revealed they were aware of a historical rape allegation made against a Cabinet Minister before it became public last Friday.

Labor MP Daniel Mulino told the ABC he was contacted by the alleged victim in December 2019. She was Dr Mulino’s friend.

“She indicated to me that she was determined to proceed with a formal complaint and I supported her in that decision,” he said.

“I ensured that the complainant was receiving appropriate support. I am greatly saddened by the death of my friend. I know that this has been a devastating period for the woman’s family and close friends. My thoughts are with them.”

Dr Mulino said he had told the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police and South Australian Police he was willing to assist with any investigation.

Labor senator Penny Wong and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull were also contacted late in 2019 by the woman.

Neither spoke to police at the time because the alleged victim made it clear she was already speaking to police.

The woman went to New South Wales Police in 2020 but the investigation was suspended when she took her own life on June 24, 2020. The day before, she had told police she no longer wanted to proceed with the investigation.

South Australian Police are preparing a report into her death for the coroner.

Allegation aired following letter

A 31-page dossier outlining the allegation was sent by express post to the offices of the Prime Minister, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Senator Wong on Wednesday.

The ABC understands the AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw also received the correspondence but by email earlier that day.

The ABC has confirmed that Celia Hammond, a WA Liberal MP, was also sent the 31-page dossier.

This is presumably because she had been asked by the Prime Minister to lead an inquiry into the Liberal Party’s workplace culture, only for it to be rolled into a broader independent investigation.

“I received a copy of the correspondence on Wednesday,” Ms Hammond told the ABC.

“I gave it to the Australian Federal Police on Wednesday afternoon and I alerted the Prime Minister’s Office.”

The Prime Minister’s Office has not responded to questions about when it alerted the police about the letter, but a statement from a spokesman said reporting to the police ensured that any alleged crimes were properly investigated.

“As per the AFP Commissioner’s instruction, any complaints or allegations of this nature made to anybody — whether they’re parliamentarians or journalists — should be referred to the AFP,” the spokesman said.

Senator Hanson-Young and Senator Wong did not open the envelope until Friday morning.

AFP sent another letter containing an allegation

Sarah henderson wears a red blazer and speaks to reporters in Canberra
Liberal senator Sarah Henderson says she has received a letter alleging a woman was raped by a male Labor member of Federal Parliament.(ABC News: Luke Stephenson)

An allegation of rape against another federal politician has also been sent to the AFP.

Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson and Senator Hanson-Young confirmed they both received an email from a woman, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a man who is now a federal Labor MP.

In a statement, Senator Henderson said she sent the details to police.

“In immediately referring this matter to the AFP, I have followed the procedures set out by Commissioner Kershaw in his letter of 24 February 2021,” the statement said.

A Labor spokesperson said the appropriate action had been taken.

“The Australian Labor Party has seen media reports that Senator Henderson has received an allegation of sexual assault and has referred any relevant correspondence to authorities as is appropriate,” the spokesperson said.

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Piers Morgan accused of bullying in open letter from ITV workers


Controversial UK TV personality Piers Morgan has been accused of bullying by nearly 1200 people working in the TV industry.

In an open letter sent to the Good Morning Britain presenter’s bosses, a group of anonymous television professionals said they were “appalled” by Morgan’s “targeted abuse” towards a former colleague.

It comes after Morgan targeted a former TV researcher, Adeel Amini, on Twitter last week, writing that he would “rather employ a lobotomised Aardvark” than work with Amini again.

“You spent precisely two months working on Life Stories in 2010 & judging by your CV that was the pinnacle of your TV career,” he said in response to Amini’s initial tweet saying he would not wish to work with Morgan again after his experience on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.

RELATED: Piers slammed for ‘mean spirited’ response to baby news

Amini, now a producer and campaigner for freelancer rights, having co-founded mental health support body TV Mindset, did not tag or name Morgan in full in his original tweet.

In response to the heated exchange, a group of industry professionals and members to TV Mindset wrote to Morgan’s Good Morning Britain bosses, ITV CEO Carolyn McCall and Kevin Lygo, managing director of media and entertainment, expressing their concerns.

“As freelancers working within television, we feel a responsibility to speak out against bullying and harassment wherever we see it, including from on screen personalities who are all too often poorly reprimanded for unacceptable behaviour and abusive conduct,” the letter said.

“We believe silence in the face of harassment is complicity, which in turn allows abusive behaviour to continue behind the scenes at every level of program making. In particular, the abuses of on-screen talent are all too often overlooked, at the expense of the dignity, health and safety of the freelancers they target.”

RELATED: Piers Morgan’s brutal jab at Kendall Jenner

The letter was organised by an anonymous group of freelancers who said they had gathered support from 1188 unnamed industry professionals, including freelancers, commissioners, executive producers, CEOs and heads of department.

Morgan tweeted that the letter was “beyond parody” and that he was the victim himself.

Responding to the petition, McCall and Lygo said there would be no internal investigation into his conduct, given the matter did not relate to an ITV show.

The reply stated: “ITV takes any allegations of bullying and harassment in the workplace very seriously indeed, and we are clear there is absolutely no place for it in ITV.

“We have an independent whistleblowing helpline which we communicate through our induction process and which we monitor on an ongoing basis, in addition to our internal grievance procedures channels, which are open to both permanent members of staff and freelancers.

“Our firm understanding is that in this instance, the tweet in question was not accusing Piers of bullying and harassment whilst working on Life Stories. Having spoken to both parties, there is therefore no internal investigation.”

It continued: “In terms of the separate issue of social media exchanges, we understand some producers wish to express their views on their personal platforms, and we also think it is widely understood that Piers is a prolific and longstanding user of social media where he is well known for engaging in robust, heated exchanges, when criticism is levelled against him.

“However, Twitter accounts and the decision to comment on each other are their personal choices. Piers is a freelance presenter and we do not control his output on social media, or the other media platforms he writes for.

“To reiterate, we are clear there is no room for bullying at ITV and it is not tolerated. We are supportive and engaged members of Coalition for Change, and we will continue to work productively with colleagues across the industry.”



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Eddie McGuire urged to step down as Collingwood president in open letter


An open letter advising Eddie McGuire to “step down immediately” as Collingwood president has been circulated among community leaders.

The Herald Sun first published the document on Monday night, reporting that recipients of the letter, which included senior First Nations figures, had been given until 5pm (AEDT) to sign it.

It comes one week after Collingwood’s ‘Do Better’ report into how it dealt with racism allegations was leaked, with McGuire labelling it a “historic and proud day” for the club – a statement that was widely condemned and he later apologised for.

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It was reported on Friday night that Collingwood board members were starting to ask whether it’d be in the club’s best interests for McGuire to see out the rest of this AFL season. McGuire late last year announced his intention to set up “a new era of Collingwood” and step down as Magpies president at the end of 2021.

The document, titled ‘An open letter to the Collingwood Football Club’, declared racism is “not a series of gaffes or ‘mishaps’ that can simply be brushed aside”.

Pies want to make a club for ALL | 00:34

It said Collingwood’s response to the Do Better report was “unacceptable and insulting to those who have suffered vilification by the club’s president, its supporters and within the club itself”, adding it “sets a dangerous example of how victims of racism should be treated in all facets of public life”.

“A finding of systemic racism is not an excuse for powerful individuals to avoid accountability by blaming a lack of policies or procedures,” the letter read.

“Since both Collingwood and the AFL have demonstrated they are not capable of responding to this report and its findings in an appropriate way, we as a community have no choice but to act,” it read.

“We say enough.”

The 35-page independent report released last week, which was commissioned by the Magpies, was prompted by premiership defender Heritier Lumumba’s claims of racism.

Collingwood crush Geelong | 02:02

The letter said many members of the Collingwood community “truly wish to see it transcend history” – but that it could “only happen with a radical shift in leadership”.

“We believe Eddie McGuire has proven himself incapable of leading the Collingwood Football Club through any meaningful transformation. We call on him to step down immediately,” the letter read.

“We stand with Heritier Lumumba and his call for Collingwood to acknowledge its failure to prevent him from being subjected to racism by his teammates, as well as the decision by senior club figures, including Eddie McGuire and Nathan Buckley, to punish and discredit him when he spoke up against racism and came forward with his experiences.

“We stand with Nicky Winmar, Michael Long, Adam Goodes, Joel Wilkinson and all those who have been subject to vilification by the club, its fans, and within the club itself. We support their right to acknowledgment, apology and compensation as recommended by the ‘Do Better’ report.

“We call on the Collingwood Football Club to appoint a person or people with significant and widely recognised credentials in truth-telling and reconciliation processes to oversee the implementation of all 18 recommendations of the CFC ‘Do Better’ report.”

The letter concluded with a call for Collingwood’s major sponsors, Nike, CGU Insurance, Emirates Airlines, LaTrobe Financial and Coles, to make “clear and unequivocal statements rejecting racism”.

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Cornes welcomes “landmark” letter from Collingwood players


Kane Cornes said the open letter Collingwood players released on Thursday night as a response to the racism report was a “landmark” day for the club.

After the historic report into allegations of systemic racism at the Pies was leaked on Monday, 150 players across Collingwood’s AFL, AFLW and Netball teams released a joint letter to say sorry about what might have occurred at the club in previous decades.

Cornes welcomed the letter, saying the playing group had done the right thing by releasing a combined statement after the report was made public earlier in the week.

“The letter was well written and it was the right thing to do,” he said on SEN SA Breakfast.

“It’s been signed by 120 players and staff from Melbourne, sorry is the first word and that’s a big tick – it’s the first word that should have come out of Eddie McGuire’s mouth when he faced the media and called it a proud day for the football club. He has since apologised for the use of the word ‘proud’.

“They’ve done the right thing there, I think it’s a landmark moment for the football club. I know Darcy Moore has been strong and Brodie Grundy has gone further and released a four-part tweet to reaffirm his apology.

“I feels to me, even though it’s taken probably 50 years too long to get here, that everyone is sort of moving on and what’s expected about how we live our lives and at sporting clubs.”







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Collingwood racism report, letter from players, apology, Heritier Lumumba, Eddie McGuire, press conference


All 150 active footballers and netballers associated with the Collingwood Football Club have released a letter apologising to anyone impacted by racism during their time at the club.

This week, a comprehensive, independent report on the club found, among other issues outlined in the 35-page report, “systemic racism” that needed addressing.

Following a controversial press conference held by four of the club’s influential figures, the Pies released a letter written and supported by all players and staff at the club.

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Fagan signs Lions extension | 00:24

FULL LETTER

The following letter has been written by the 150 footballers and netballers of Collingwood.

Sorry.

As athletes we are sorry to anyone who, through their association with our club, has been marginalised, hurt or discriminated against due to their race.

Through our silence we feel responsible for these injustices. We acknowledge it is not enough to simply show support for the principles of anti-racism and inclusion. We will confront the history of our club in order to learn, heal and determine how best to walk forward together.

Over the last 72 hours we have had the opportunity to digest the DO BETTER report. We also apologise to those members, fans and community who feel guilt and shame as a result of the systemic racism that has occurred within our organisation.

To all the young people who dream about one day pulling on the black and white stripes, we pledge as athletes to continue to help create a club that allows ALL of us to thrive, regardless of race.

Faithfully.

This letter is endorsed and supported fully by the 120 staff of Collingwood.

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Players from AFL, AFLW and netball teams release ‘sorry’ letter


Moore said the players wanted to use their voices to ensure that Collingwood’s future was “better and more diverse” and that they would “champion that change”.

In the open letter, the 150 players said:

“Sorry.

“As athlete we are sorry to anyone who, through their association with our club, has been marginalised, hurt or discriminated against due to their race.

“Through our silence we feel responsible for these injustices. We acknowledge it is not enough to simply show support for the principles of anti-racism and inclusion. We will confront the history of our club in order to learn, heal and determine how best to walk forward together.

“Over the last 72 hours we have had the opportunity to digest the DO BETTER report. We also apologise to those members, fans and community who feel guilt and shame as a result of the systemic racism that has occurred within our organisation.

“To all the young people who dream about one day pulling on the black and white stripes, we pledge as athletes to continue to help create a club that allows ALL of us to thrive, regardless of race.”

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Moore said the players had found it easy to come together and pen the statement. He said the press conference that president Eddie McGuire began with a reference to a “proud and historic day” – comments were widely lambasted – was not their focus, because the issue of the report was bigger than that.

“This statement was written on behalf of all the athletes, by a cross-section who were startled, humiliated and shocked by the contents of the report on Monday, and we found out at the same time as everyone else,” Moore said.

“We want to let the community know and our fans and everyone know that we’re sorry about what it said.

“The content of the report was so jarring for us because we feel really proud of our culture, we feel really proud of what we do at the club, in 2021 – to hear that historically that hasn’t always been the case was jarring for us.

“We aren’t in charge of administrating the club, we aren’t in charge of the strategic direction of the club, but what we can do is use our voices to ensure that … the future is better and more diverse. We feel all really passionately about ensuring that the club continues down this direction and we’re going to champion that change.

“I don’t think, I know that none of us have had the experience of what was outlined in the report and we need it to stay that way.”

Asked about the McGuire-led press conference on Monday, Moore said: “This issue is bigger than that event. It’s about the contents of that report and that’s our focus and that’s the focus of our letter as well.

“We’re looking at history in the eye and taking it on and learning from it. We’re not shying away.”

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Joe Biden says Donald Trump wrote a ‘very generous’ letter before departing WH, plans to talk to him


US President Joe Biden has said his predecessor Donald Trump has left him a “very generous” letter in the Oval Office before departing the White House. It is customary for outgoing presidents to write their successors a letter and leave it for them on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

However, given that the former president broke several of the past traditions, including by opting to skip Biden’s inauguration ceremony and never formally congratulated him on his election win, it was unclear until Wednesday whether Trump would maintain the tradition of outgoing presidents leaving notes for their successors.

“The President wrote a very generous letter. Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday.

The president said he plans to talk to Trump.

In her maiden news briefing on Wednesday night, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that she was with Biden when he was reading the letter in the Oval Office right before he signed the executive actions.

However, she declined to offer more details on the letter, saying, it “was private, as he (Biden) said to you all”.

“It was both generous and gracious, and it was just a reflection of him not planning to release the letter unilaterally, but I wouldn’t take it as an indication of a pending call with the former president,” Psaki said.



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