The Friends of Sydney University Football Club (the “Friends”) was founded in 1996 by Peter Hemming, Executive Chairman of Heathley Limited. This was at a time when rugby was moving towards professionalism. It was also a time when Sydney University Football Club was at risk of relegation.
An influential coterie of senior businessmen and professionals were approached with a plan to establish a specialised mentoring group. This group, the Friends, has made a critical contribution to what is now one of the most successful and sustainable rugby clubs in the world, Sydney University Football Club.
The Friends has grown significantly and currently has over 50 prominent senior business executives and professionals across many industries. All of them are committed to mentoring the players of the Club although, interestingly, only one third of them played rugby for Sydney University and only one half of the Friends attended the University of Sydney, but all are committed to assisting the players and the Club.
The Friends provides two significant contributions:
A mentoring programme for the players aimed to assist them in succeeding in their business and professional careers.
Annual donations from Members for the Sydney University Football Club Foundation.
The 23rd Annual Friends of Sydney University Football Club Dinner recently took place at St. Andrew’s College. The venue for the dinner was the College chapel which as the photos demonstrate, was a stunning location. The large crowd of Members of the Friends group were entertained by Jeff Phillips SC and keynote speaker, Tim Horan AM. David Mortimer AO performed the MC role to perfection and the guests including the Chancellor, Belinda Hutchinson AM, Friends Founder, Peter Hemming and stalwart Andrew Murray AM.
The Friends of Sydney University Football Club continue to provide funding and invaluable mentoring advice to the players of the SUFC.