Ray Norman AO

Ray Norman AO
Hall of fame

Ray Norman AO

Administrator and Coach

Northern Territory coach and administrator, Ray Norman's involvement, began nearly 70 years ago and continues today. Norman’s employment history speaks for itself in terms of sporting commitment but also for his love of Australian Football. 

Norman arrived in the NT around 1950 where his employment took him to Arnhem Land communities. Among the staff, he managed in the federal department was Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) legend Ted Egan, who was critically involved with the creation of St Mary’s Football Club through his work on the Tiwi Islands. 

Norman was active in football development in remote regions in conjunction with his Aboriginal Affairs employment before moving to a senior administration role with the Darwin-based YMCA. His early days included being a member of an NTFL Junior Committee, which in 1969 coordinated school clinics and created an Under 15 Australian Football competition involving some clubs and secondary schools including Aboriginal boarding colleges Kormilda and St John’s College. 

He was then recruited as the first CEO of the Department of Sport, Recreation and Ethnic Affairs before his appointment as CEO of the Department of Health and Community Affairs, a period during which he also chaired the NT Government Hall of Champions Selection panel.

Norman’s YMCA work combined with his love of Australian Football established lifelong relationships for players and families in the remote Arnhem Land football community which continue today. 

He was awarded Life Membership of the Wanderers Football Club in 1974 following lengthy service as a Colts and senior coach in addition to committee membership. He was club president in 1969/70 and 1973/74 as well as holding various other League, Reserves and Colts coach roles from 1969 until 1974. His Colts premierships in 1969/70 and 1971/72 were highlighted by many talented players being drawn from Belyuen, Bagot and Arnhem Land communities such as Maningrida and Millingimbi.

At NTFL level, Norman was a multi-year board member before being elected president for two years in 1998/99 and 1999/00 during a tumultuous period of NT Football as the AFL restructured Australian Football nationally. 

Norman’s most public achievement was the leadership role he played along with a small group of fellow NTFL board members in negotiating the administration contracts and establishment of Cazalys Palmerston in the late 1990s. He was a foundation board member from 1998 until the present day with the financial contribution to the NTFL and member clubs, essentially guaranteeing ongoing operations until the incorporation of the NT in the AFL structure. He served as Cazalys Board Chairman from 1998/99 until 2001/02 with a second chairmanship tenure in 2006/07 until 2012/13. He was a foundation board member from the club’s establishment to the current day.


Life Member Wanderers Football Club 1974