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Supporting AFL Victoria and safer club canteens

ESV is an Official Partner of AFL Victoria.

We’ve proudly supported of the growth of country football and together raised awareness of gas and electrical safety issues in regional areas for more than nine years.

Safer Canteens Grants Program

In 2018, we developed the ESV Canteen grants program ‘Safer Canteens’ in partnership with AFL Victoria, to directly support local clubs financially, and raise awareness and understanding about energy safety at a community level.

In our first year we received over 150 grant submissions and another 113 in 2019.

The overwhelming response helped us understand the struggle many clubs face funding the replacement of canteen equipment. There are countless stories of old, broken down equipment being used by volunteers, who were potentially at risk of an appliance-related injury.

In addition to the grant fund, each successful club received a merchandise pack from ESV; including new menu boards and canteen counter mats – each displaying our energy safety messages.

Safer Canteens in 2020

In 2020, Director of Energy Safety Marnie Williams, announced the extension of our partnership for a further three years. This commitment ensures community football is supported during this difficult year and into 2022.

Over the next three years through the Safer Canteens grants program ESV will invest over $90,000 to replace old and sometimes dangerous equipment in football club canteens.

Victorian clubs competing in leagues affiliated with AFL Victoria can apply for a grant to purchase new electrical or gas equipment for their club’s canteen, to replace aged, faulty and dangerous equipment.

2020 Safer Canteens grants recipients announced

On 24 September, we announced the Victorian community football clubs who will receive an Energy Safe Victoria Safer Canteens grant in 2020.

So far this year we’ve delivered over $30,000 in direct funding to football clubs across Victoria, supporting clubs that have been through bushfires earlier in the year and most recently coronavirus (COVID-19). And we will boost this by an additional $10,000 in the next few weeks, with more clubs receiving a Safer Canteen grant than ever before.

We know how important football and netball clubs are to their communities, and in this difficult year we have increased our funding to support regional and suburban clubs by more than $15,000 compared to previous years of the grants program.

Read the media release and see the list of 2020 Safer Canteens grants recipients below.

Successful Clubs of 2020


Grant Amount

Benalla All Blacks Football & Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Berwick Football Club  $            600.00
Bundoora Senior Football Netball Club  $            861.00
Bunyip Football Club Inc.  $            999.00
Campbells Creek Football Netball Club  $            486.00
Coburg Districts Football Club Inc.  $         1,000.00
Coleraine Football Netball Club Inc.  $         1,000.00
Doveton Football Netball Club Inc.  $         1,000.00
Endeavour Hills Eagles Junior Football Club  $         1,000.00
Gormandale Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Imperial Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Irymple Football Netball Club  $            900.00
Lakes Entrance Football Netball Club  $            499.00
Lorne Football & Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Lyndale Football Netball Club  $            999.00
Mooroopna Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
North Warrnambool Eagles Football Netball Club  $            863.90
Paynesville Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Poowong Loch Junior Football Club  $         1,000.00
Rokewood Corinhap football netball club  $         1,000.00
Sale Football Netball Club Inc.  $            730.00
South Bendigo Football and Netball Club  $            969.00
St Michael’s Football Netball Club
(Horsham Saints FNC)
 $           702.13
Strathfieldsaye Football Netball Club Inc.  $         1,000.00
Strathmerton Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Sunshine Football Club  $         1,000.00
Talbot Football Netball Club  $            623.70
Traralgon football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Wandella Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Westerns Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Whorouly Football & Netball Club Inc.  $            900.00
Williamstown Seagulls FIDA FC  $         1,000.00
Woorndoo Mortlake Football Netball Club  $         1,000.00
Total grant funding $       30,132.73

ESV Canteen Hero

ESV is celebrating footy clubs’ unsung heroes – the canteen volunteers – by announcing the winner of our 2019 Canteen Hero award, Bert Van Lith from the Drysdale Football Netball Club.

ESV presented the award on Monday 28th October 2019 at the Club’s AGM. Unaware of the proceedings, Bert was surprised and sincerely humbled to receive the recognition and by his Club’s appreciation for his years of service. In addition to plaque and letter of congratulations from the Director of Energy Safety, Bert also received a $1,000 grant towards the purchase of new electrical or gas appliances for the Drysdale FNC canteen.

Following the successful handout of 30 Canteen Grants to AFL Victoria football clubs from across Victoria, totalling $25,000, we wrapped up our 2019 grants season with the inaugural award to recognise the contribution of volunteers to club canteens.

More than 70 nominations were submitted, and in a few cases, multiple nominations for the same Canteen Hero. We were thrilled to see so many clubs genuinely appreciative of the people who keep their meat pies warm and drinks cool throughout the season.

Ten finalists were selected and from those emerged our winner – Bert, from Drysdale. Commended by his Club for 40 years’ of service (20 in the kitchen), Bert has never missed a game and works tirelessly in the kitchen each Thursday night and weekend. During finals and on Grand final Day Bert co-ordinated the kitchen, committing to the fryers for over ten hours each day. His infamous ‘Berty’s Schnitz’ assured him the win, with the Club’s final comment on its submission stating, “every club needs a Bert”.

We also warmly congratulate our nine other finalists, listed below. It was a near impossible task to separate them from the winner with every nomination an inspiration and so well appreciated by their club. You are certainly your Club’s Canteen Hero.