Kelli Underwood receives the ultimate accolade from Football Media Association

Kelli Underwood

Gerard Whateley: ‘Kelli is a global pioneer in the coverage of sports’

Yesterday Mediaweek reported on the winners at the Australian Football Media Association (AFMA) 2021 Awards. Today we focus on the ultimate accolade announced this year – Lifetime Membership for broadcaster Kelli Underwood.

AFMA criteria for the Lifetime Membership is: The candidate should have a minimum of 20 year’s experience working in the Australian Football Media. They should be acknowledged by their peers as having reached a consistently high standard in their craft and generally occupied senior positions within their organisations.

After relocating to Melbourne from Adelaide two decades ago, Underwood landed her first major media role at 3AW. After five years with the Melbourne radio station, she then spent seven years covering sport for Network 10.

Underwood then signed on with the ABC where she remains today as the host of the weekly Offsiders TV program and a member of the Grandstand commentary team. She also works for Fox Sports where the duties include co-hosting The Back Page Live. Expect to see more of her too perhaps as Foxtel takes over netball coverage from 2022.

Kelli UNderwood

Kelli Underwood with The Back Page Live colleague Tony Squires

At the AFMA Awards this week, Underwood was announced a recipient of Lifetime Membership by the person she replaced as host on Offsiders, Fox Footy and SEN host Gerard Whateley.

“For those of us who haven’t played the game yet have the privilege to broadcast it, we follow in a rich tradition, a pathway forged by the likes of Mike Williamson, Peter Landy and Bruce McAvaney,” said Whateley.

“We could see what we wanted to be. For Kelli Underwood to achieve that dream she had to do it all herself – crack the stereotypes, explode the perceptions and excel in the face of scrutiny that few of us would encounter.

“Faced with those tasks she had soared. Kelli is a global pioneer in the coverage of sports and we are lucky to have her passion, ability and courage within our footy industry. All of us who have the privilege of working with or near her have seen first-hand the professionalism, intellect and creativity she possesses to make every coverage she is part of better.

“The best and most productive years of her professional life lie ahead, yet the mark she has already made is profound and inspiring and will echo through every future generation of the game.”

See also: “You can’t be what you can’t see” Kelli Underwood, Erin Molan, and Mel McLaughlin on International Women’s Day

To Top