Posted by Franz Huber
It’s good to have members with connections. Even better, if members have AFL legends as business partners. Our Corporate Member, the Bank of Queensland, Southport branch, is co-owned by Paul Smith and Simon Black.  “Simon who?” one of our members asked. “What is AFL?” asked another.  Well, the latter I can easily answer: Aussie Rules is team sport’s “poetry in motion”, a mix of choreography on grass, ‘Fast & Furious’ (on foot rather than on wheels) and aerial combat (without aircrafts). But faster. As to the former:  Click on this link to view the video we screened to open the meeting. It eloquently displays what Aussie Rules Football is all about.
Paul Smith skilfully “interviewed” Simon on his background. You can obtain a lot of data from his Wikipedia page, so let’s concentrate on some personal stuff: In one of his first sessions with Brisbane Lions super-coach Leigh Matthews, he learned about how tough it is to reach the Senior team in an AFL club:“I’ll be here in 2 years’ time, but I don’t know how many of you will be.”
Naturally, the glory years were mentioned: three consecutive Premierships in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and almost a fourth one in 2004. If ever there was a lesson in team play: “Play your role” the coach would insist, “and accept your role. Your individual reputation entirely depends on your team’s reputation.”
Today, Simon is coaching the Brisbane Lion’s “forward line and attacking systems” (watch that video again to see what is meant by this). In addition, he runs the Simon Black Australian Rules Academy, teaching young men the skills of playing Aussie Rules whilst gaining a Diploma in Sports Development or even a Bachelor of Business – Sports Management. “In the morning, we wear them out, in the afternoon we get them to study” he said.
Oh, did I mention that, in 2019, Simon also competed in the ‘Australian Survivor’ series? Not enough space here to describe it, click here for more details.
Photo (from left): Charles Thomasson, President Paul Seymour, Simon Black, Paul Smith