Gold Coast SUNS Head of Women’s Football Fiona Sessarago is one of three nominees for the Essendon Women’s Network’s Fujistu General Australia Football Woman of the Year.

The award recognises women who have made a significant contribution to the game of Australian Rules.

The award is aimed at recognising those who work within the football community at any level and who have demonstrated an impact over time on the advancement of women in football and inspired and advocated for other women.

Sessarago was the first full-time female development officer in the country when she joined the AFL Queensland team in 2001. After four years as a Gold Coast development officer, she moved to AFL Queensland headquarters at Coorparoo as Participation Program Officer. 

She worked with AFL Queensland Talent Manager Mark Browning to set up the Brisbane Lions Academy in 2007.

In 2012, she won the prime job as AFL National Auskick Manager, firstly based at AFL House then Gold Coast SUNS. Later she became Gold Coast Regional Manager, operating under the AFL Queensland umbrella from 2016-18 while playing a key role in the SUNS’ bid for an AFL Queensland licence at the end of 2018. She was an obvious and ideal choice as the first employee in the SUNS’ AFLW program – Head of Women’s Football, the role Fiona still holds today.

Fiona has been a key figure throughout the Gold Coast SUNS’ entire AFLW journey, playing a leading role in the club’s bid for a license in 2018 before being appointed as the first employee in the SUNS AFLW program. Fiona currently holds the role of Head of Women's Football. 

The passion that Fiona shows every day for the development and success of the SUNS women's team is exceptional.

Fiona is a recent recipient of the Queensland Football Hall of Fame (July 2023) and a finalist in the Gold Coast Women of the Year 2018. Fiona is well respected amongst the playing group, staff and industry leaders in the AFL and a worthy nominee for the Fujitsu General Australia Football Woman of the Year. 

She has been nominated alongside AFL Executive General Manager Football Laura Kane and Adelaide Crows Assistant Coach Courtney Cramey with the award winner to be announced on September 28 at Crown Palladium.