Meet the Ladder Board

Paul Marsh (Chairman)

Paul Marsh was appointed as CEO of the AFL Players’ Association in September 2014, the official representative body for male and female AFL players as well as more than 4000 alumni members. Paul led negotiations with the AFL towards a new six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the male AFL footballers. Delivering players, a package of $1.84 billion, inclusive of player wages, investments in player development, the Player Retirement Scheme, injury and hardship support, marketing activities and past players.

At the end of 2016, he secured a landmark agreement with the league on payment and conditions for female footballers ahead of the inaugural AFLW season which has since led to the first CBA for AFLW footballers in 2019 and a subsequent three-year deal for 2020 - 2022.

Paul was previously the CEO of the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA). Paul has been a Director of Ladder since 2015. He was also the Executive Chairman of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA), the international representative body of all professional cricketers and their associations and has been on the Board of the Athletes Alliance Australia (AAA) since 2007, including five years as Chairman.

Sarah Davies AM


Sarah has had a broad and wide-ranging career from executive roles in tertiary education in Australia to private sector consulting in HR, marketing and strategy in Australia, Europe and the Middle East. But for 15 years, her focus has been exclusively in the for purpose sector.

In October 2015, Sarah joined Philanthropy Australia as the CEO. It is the peak body and membership organisation for all individuals and organisations who are engaged, or want to be, in planned and thoughtful giving to bring about effective, positive social and community change.

Prior to joining Philanthropy Australia, she held CEO roles at The Reach Foundation and The Australian Communities Foundation.

In addition to her professional roles, Sarah has also served on a number of diverse Boards and committees. Her current community roles include Director of Kids Under Cover, board member of the Centre for Social Impact, Director of Ladder and Council Member of the National Museum of Australia.

Brad Sewell

Brad completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University in 2010 and completed his Masters of Business at Monash University in 2016. He finished his 12-year football career with the Hawthorn Football Club in 2014 as a 200 game player having won 2 Premierships and a Best and Fairest award. Brad was a member of the AFL Players' Association board for 6 years. He also sat on the Board for Zaidee's Rainbow Foundation for 2 years. Brad was appointed to the role of Ladder Strategic Partnerships Manager at the beginning of 2016, the same time he was appointed as a Director.

Elizabeth Lukin
Elizabeth is a strategic communications professional with over 25-years’ experience consulting to leaders in business, sport, government, NFP and membership organisations and unions.

Elizabeth was most recently General Manager of Corporate Affairs and Communications for the Australian Football League, following a career as an owner and director of one of Australia’s most successful public affairs, research and campaign agencies, Essential Media Communications. Elizabeth still works as a Corporate Affairs advisor to the AFL, and consults to organisations in the not for profit, Government and community sector. Elizabeth is also a Director of WorkSafe Victoria.

Sam Graham
Sam is the Head of States and Game Development at the AFL. Prior to this, Sam was the CEO of AFL NSW/ ACT for 5 years. Sam holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and is a qualified chartered accountant. Sam commenced as a graduate at KPMG in 1997, in KPMG’s corporate recovery division moving in 2001 to a role in strategic finance with Centrica plc, based in London. After a contract at Fosters Group in Melbourne in 2005, Sam joined the AFL in September of that year as Strategic Planner. In June 2011 he was appointed Manager – Strategy, and in September 2011 was appointed Manager – Club Services. Sam was appointed to the role of General Manager, Strategy & Club Services in May 2013. Sam has been a director of Ladder since June 2011.

James Avery
James Avery is the Chief Operating Officer of the GWS GIANTS Football Club. James joined the GWS GIANTS in 2015 during a key growth period for the organisation. Prior to this, James worked in corporate affairs roles for the AFL, England and Wales Cricket Board and Melbourne Storm.

John Ulkowski
John Ulkowski is the GM of Business Operations at the AFL Players’ Association, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.  John worked in various accounting roles between 1999 to 2005 at Moore Stephens, HLB Mann Judd / Stockford Limited and Lockwood & Wehrens, before moving to Hansen International taking up the position of Finance Manager.  After holding the position of Financial Controller at Aussie Farmers Direct for a short period in 2007/2008, John joined the AFL in March 2008 where he held various AFL State Body Finance Manager positions, which included AFL NSW/ACT, AFL NT and AFL Tasmania, as well for the GWS Giants from 2011 to 2013.  In May 2013, John was appointed the AFL Finance Manager, where he remained until moving to the AFL Players’ Association in June 2016 to take up his current position as GM of Business Operations. 

Jordan Roughead

Jordan Roughead is an AFL footballer who currently plays with the Collingwood Football Club. Prior to playing with the CFC, Jordan played with the Western Bulldogs from 2008-2018. While competing in the AFL, Jordan has completed a Bachelor of Business through RMIT University and is currently studying a Master of Business degree through Deakin University. Jordan has been involved in player leadership groups at both the CFC and WBFC, represented the players as an AFL Players' Association delegate, been involved in the development of the WBFC Reconciliation Action Plan, and worked closely with charity organisations Ladder and StandUp Events.

Alicia Eva

Alicia is the current AFLW Captain and Development Coach at the AFL club the Greater Western Sydney Giants. She has completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psych) and Graduate Diploma of Psychology, with aspirations to become a fully registered Psychologist. Prior to moving to Sydney from Melbourne in 2017, she worked as Drug and Alcohol Program Support Officer and Intake Worker in the community health setting.

More recently Alicia has worked as a Program Coordinator in the pilot Ladder Step Up program in Western Sydney, before taking on the new role as a Development Coach with the GWS Giants at the end of 2018. She is a newly appointed member of the AFL Mental Health Steering Committee and the AFLW Game Committee.

Whist balancing her football career, she has extensive experience working in high performance development programs for young footballers- both male and female. She has a passion for youth work and enjoys providing opportunities for young people to develop both on and off-field skillsets that assist in all areas of their lives.

Ben Ross - Company Secretary

Ben is a Private Client Adviser at Shadforth Financial Group, one of Australia’s leading Financial Advisory firms. Ben has completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Financial Planning and is also a Certified Financial Planner ®. Ben works with a wide-ranging client base, including high-net worth individuals, not-for-profit organisations, professional athletes and retirees.

Previously, Ben was an AFL Footballer for six seasons at North Melbourne and Hawthorn Football club.

ACNC Governance Standards

The Governance Standards are a set of core, minimum standards that deal with how charities are run (including their processes, activities and relationships) – their governance.

The Standards require charities to remain charitable, operate lawfully, and be run in an accountable and responsible way. They help charities remain trusted by the public and continue to do their charitable work.

Ladder is a registered Australian Charity with the ACNC and has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.

Governance documents

Ladder Project Limited - Agreement by Members and Constitution

The Ladder Project Foundation - Trust Deed

You can access our recent Annual Reports here.