The significant impact Jarrod Harbrow has made on AFL as a sport, the club and wider community has been formally recognised, with the retired Gold Coast SUNS player nominated for the 2021 Madden Medal.
The highly coveted medal is set to be awarded on Friday by the AFL Players’ Association, with Harbrow one of nine nominees who have recently retired from the game.
The medal differs to other awards in its more holistic approach, taking into consideration community engagement and personal development across a player’s career, as well as traditional footballing achievements.
In addition to competing in 262 games across the SUNS and Western Bulldogs, Harbrow makes a compelling case for the accolade off the field, given his long-serving commitment to community work and First Nations advocacy.
He currently serves as the SUNS Indigenous Programs Coordinator, however the 33-year-old’s dedication to community has been evident throughout his career.
The five-time SUNS Community Award winner made such an impact within the Gold Coast community during his time as an athlete that the annual award is now named in his honour.
He was recognised as an AFL Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award finalist in 2018 and contributed to the AFLPA Indigenous Advisory Board.
Harbrow also started his own Harbrow Mentoring Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys and girls, above and beyond his dedicated community work within the club.
On field, the club’s games record holder took out the 2018 Best and Fairest Award and also represented Australia in two International Rules games in 2013.
Harbrow is in good company with the eight other 2021 nominees as follows: Eddie Betts, Bachar Houli, Grant Birchall, Nathan Jones, Marc Murphy, Shaun Burgoyne, Easton Wood and Neville Jetta.
The award is named after former AFL Players’ Association presidents Simon and Justin Madden in light of their substantial contribution to the game.