Congratulations to Gareth Andrews AM (1965) Wyvern of the Year 2022, on his appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for significant service to the Australian Football League as a player and administrator, to men’s health, and to the community.

Gareth came to Queen’s from Geelong College following his older brother Kenneth (Wyvern 1963) and followed by younger brother Charles (Wyvern 1971). He had a fun time at university, made more complex as he was also a VFL footballer playing for Geelong, which involved him hitchhiking each week to and from Queen’s to Geelong for training. Gareth played a total of 167 VFL games, which importantly included the premiership of 1974 with Richmond.

Gareth enjoyed College life with all its traditions; gowns at dinner, and even speed-eating making him feel part of the history not only of Queen’s but of the great universities of the world.

The classic pranks performed during his time in Queen’s were fun. One particular memory is of moving all the furniture from one of his peer’s rooms and setting it up, piece by piece on the roof above the administration area. Gareth was at Queen’s during the ‘Snips’ era.  Students had to pay the electricity they used in their individual rooms which lead to the creation of elaborate attempts to plug into the College power to avoid charges. The cutting of these electrical leads by then Master Owen Parnaby earned him the nickname ‘Snips’.

Gareth’s love of people has driven him to match every hour he has devoted to his business life with the same amount of time spent contributing to not for profits.

Gareth was co-founder of the Australian Football League Players’ Association (AFLPA) with Geoff Pryor (Wyvern 1966). Gareth was the Association’s President in 1965, and became the CEO of Richmond Football Club in 1978. He went on to become the Vice President of Geelong Cats, a position he held for 15 years (1998-2013), during which time the club became one of the success stories of Australian sport both on and off the field, including three premierships. Beyond the AFL field, Gareth has been Chairman of the Lord’s Taverners Victoria, a charitable association supporting indigenous, disadvantaged, deaf and blind young people to play cricket.

He is proud of his work as a board member with Project Rozana, an Australian-inspired multi-faith initiative raising funds for the treatment of critically ill Palestinian children from the West Bank and Gaza at Israel’s major hospitals.

He was also a Committee of Management and board member of Creating A Safe Supportive Environment (CASSE), an organisation of dedicated professionals who work with people at their most vulnerable. CASSE works particularly with First Nations people and children at risk, showing them how to discover a sense of pride, purpose and value.

In 2001, Gareth suffered from serious clinical depression, which he attributes to head injuries he received during his days playing football. On realising others were suffering too, Gareth shared his personal experience, opening up the conversation for many and leading him to establish Life Again. Initially a service and support mechanism for men, Life Again today delivers prevention-focused positive mental health programs to both men and women, organisations and communities.

Gareth is a humanist who lives life guided by his belief that we must understand, care about and look after our fellow man.


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