Joel Selwood has been announced as one of the four finalists for the 2022 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award alongside Harry Cunningham (Sydney Swans), Dylan Moore (Hawthorn) and Adam Saad (Carlton).

In its eleventh year, the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award recognises the values of the late former Melbourne Hall of Fame champion and Club President, Jim Stynes. These values are a commitment to the community, to helping others, to making a difference and to representing the game of football both on and off the field. 2022 saw many players impact their community, however, these finalists went above and beyond. 

Joel Selwood (Geelong Cats)

This past year, Cat's Captain Joel Selwood reached his 350-game milestone and broke league records for most games and wins as a captain, yet he has also reached an important and impressive milestone off field – passing 1000 hours with Cat's Community commitments, and that's just the recorded hours. 

From the beginning of his career, Joel made sure that he was showing up for the community. For 16 years he has visited schools, clubs, Auskick clinics, community camps, country days, and community appearances. This year alone, Joel has continued to embrace his role as a lead ambassador for the Geelong's GMHBA Healthy Heroes program, helping to empower primary school-aged children in the region to lead healthy, active lifestyles, with an additional focus on mental health and wellbeing. He is also a champion for inclusion and played a key role in launching the AFL Barwon region Access All-Abilities Auskick Clinics last November. He has been a NAB Auskick Ambassador for most of his career. Joel is a key figure in annual community camps and is also an ambassador for the Cotton On Foundation.

Watching Joel Selwood engage with the community is to witness heartfelt and authentic interactions that act as a reminder of the power of football, and of athletes, beyond the boundary.

Harry Cunningham (Sydney Swans)

For more than nine years, Harry Cunningham has shown unwavering community leadership in his position as Redkite Ambassador. Redkite is a lifeline for families facing childhood cancer, providing critical emotional, financial and practical support. Each year, Harry has used his public profile to galvanise support for Redkite, both with the Swans' fanbase and broader football community.

Harry has consistently visited the children's cancer ward at Sydney Children's Hospital across this time. His warm and sincere personality makes him a favourite among both parents and children as he works with Redkite's Music Therapist at patients' bedsides. When the pandemic hit, despite the challenges the club and players faced, Harry's first question was "how can we continue to support Redkite kids and families?" As hospital visits were forbidden, Harry continued his visits virtually and encouraged other players to participate. 

Through his involvement, Harry has helped to alleviate the constant stress facing families on the cancer ward, providing distraction and joy while creating long lasting memories. Harry is a role model to other players and continues to inspire younger players to get involved, generating essential funding, and making a huge difference to childhood cancer awareness in Sydney and across Australia. 

Dylan Moore (Hawthorn)

Dylan Moore has worked tirelessly in increasing social inclusion and destigmatising discussions of mental health and wellbeing across vulnerable communities. Dylan has become a key part of Beyond Blue, Australia's most well-known and visited mental health organisation, leading conversations across the Hawthorn Football Club with fans, members, and supporters. 

Besides Beyond Blue, Dylan has been an active ally for several different communities. As an ambassador for the Hawks Pride Group, he has led educational sessions across the Hawks' AFL, VFLW, VFL, Wheelchair AFL and AFL Blind and Netball teams. Dylan is doing his best to ensure that the football community is a safe and welcoming place for everyone. He has mentored members of the Hawks Wheelchair AFL team, led teammates to visit the Katherine region to deepen connections with the First Nations Communities, and provides regular support surrounding mental health, citing his own experiences and struggles. 

Dylan's volunteering has led to social change across multiple communities with his impact in lowering the perceived barrier to community participation and the stigma surrounding mental health. Dylan has worked closely with all these communities to ensure that he was being an active ally for all and has made a valuable and lasting change. 

Adam Saad (Carlton)

Adam has always been passionate about supporting young people to be proud of their culture, religion and identity. He believes that having strong role models, both within the community and within respective households, is critical in developing this pride. These beliefs are what led Adam to create the Adam Saad Pathways Academy in 2018. 

The Academy welcomes youth from different backgrounds and religions and uses football as a vehicle to build the foundations required for these young people to lead successful lives. In its second year at Carlton Football Club, the program has reached more than 77 participants in the past year alone. Adam's influence and presence in the Academy is a constant. He attends every session he can and leads them from the front by coaching. 

Besides leading practices Adam has attended fundraising events at local Mosques and gone down to local football clubs to share his knowledge and experience. Adam's passion and commitment has not gone unnoticed. Parents notice a change 

The 2022 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award will be presented as part of the broadcast of the 2022 Brownlow Medal on Monday, September 19.

"Celebrating excellency is what these awards are all about," said AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan.

"Though our players go to heroic measures on the field, the things they do off of it are equally as impressive. This year, we celebrate four players who have made a lasting impact on their local communities and shown the power that sport can have in our broader society." 

Past winners include Port Adelaide's Travis Boak (2021), Richmond's Bachar Houli (2020), GWS GIANTS' Stephen Coniglio (2019), Melbourne's Neville Jetta (2018), Port Adelaide's Jack Hombsch (2017), Geelong's Jimmy Bartel (2016), Carlton's Dennis Armfield (2015), West Coast Eagles' Beau Waters (2014), Gold Coast Suns' Zac Smith (2013) and Richmond's Daniel Jackson (2012).

Nominations for the award are formed from AFL Clubs and the AFL Players Association before the judging panel selects the four finalists. 

Proudly supported by Telstra, the AFL and the Jim Stynes Foundation, the winner will receive $40,000 to be donated to the charity or community program of their choice.

About the Jim Stynes Foundation

The Jim Stynes Foundation (JSF) perpetuates the work of the late Jim Stynes. Like Jim, the Foundation supports disadvantaged youth through his passion for sport, his allies, and his charitable inceptions.

Public in nature, the Jim Stynes Foundation is a Public Ancillary Fund (PuAF) that distributes funds to worthy and specifically chosen registered charities. As a PuAF the public are invited to and can contribute to the Foundation. All contributions are then distributed to registered charities, as determined by the Foundation's board.

The 2022 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award selection panel is chaired by Trisha Squires (Head of AFL Queensland) and includes:

- Sam Ludbey-Stynes – Jim Stynes Foundation
- Luke Darcy – Network Seven & Triple M
- Neil Mitchell – 3AW
- Andrew Dillon – AFL Executive General Manager Football Operations, Legal and Integrity
- Sarah Fair – AFL Executive General Manager - People
- Jude Donnelly – AFL, Head of Government Relations & Corporate Social Responsibility
- Brett Murphy – AFL PA Representative
- Jennifer Watt - General Manager, Commercial Operations and Partnerships MCC
- Kim Williams – Former AFL Commissioner