A fiery Footy Fever Debate

August 17, 2023

On Friday 11 August, we held our annual Footy Fever Debate!

There were no-holds barred as our two teams tackled our contentious debate topic: AFL rule changes have improved the game.

At the start of the lunch, not a single hand was raised in favour of this statement, but our persuasive panellists managed to flip the audience’s opinion! Congratulations to Matthew Richardson and Matt Granland for their exceptional debating skills and thank you to Rohan Connolly and Shane McInnes for putting up a valiant fight.

In addition to spectating a fabulous debate, our generous audience helped us raise more than $190,000, helping us to continue providing the best quality of life to children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and tailored support for their families across Victoria.


We were thrilled to receive pledges for 37 nights of respite care, ensuring seriously ill children can continue to receive round-the-clock care at Victoria’s only children’s hospice, Very Special Kids House.


A big thank you to our MC Heidi Murphy for hosting a great afternoon, and our musicians Russell Robertson and Phil Ceberano for keeping everyone entertained throughout the afternoon.


We would also like to extend a special thank you to Andrew and Claire, who generously shared their story and journey with Very Special Kids. Their daughters Emily (6) and Olivia (4), pictured below, both have high complex care needs and are supported by Very Special Kids.

Speaking on stage Claire shared, “Very Special Kids is the respite, that round-the-clock care that other services aren’t able to provide… It can be quite a lonely journey, having children with life-limiting conditions, so the opportunity for not only the respite, but family support workers, counselling, as well as camps like Lord Somers Camp that we can meet other families and have some fun is amazing.”


Andrew added: “There’s just that element that if something happens to us, we have that back-up, which is incredible. It gives you a great sense of comfort… which is just amazing, and we can’t get that anywhere else. Just a massive help.”


Special thanks to our presenting partners 3AW and Lowe Living, supporting sponsors Crown, Lion, Vino Society and Helping Hand Group and all in kind supporters. Without your support, the Footy Fever Debate wouldn’t have been possible.


Thank you to everyone involved for a great afternoon. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!