Natalie Althouse and Scott Bertus win 2020 National Volunteer Awards

Natalie Althouse and Scott Bertus

AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) congratulates Natalie Althouse of the Darwin Buffaloes and Scott Bertus of the Katherine Camels who on Saturday were named winners of a 2020 Toyota AFL National Volunteer Award. 

The Toyota AFL National Volunteer Awards recognise outstanding volunteer contributions across nine categories. 

In October 2019 at a special ceremony at Government House, AFLNT announced its NT Volunteer of the Year Award winners, and they, in turn, were nominated for the Toyota AFL National Volunteer Awards:

  • Toyota AFL Community Football Volunteer - Daniel Buckler
  • NAB AFL Auskick Volunteer - Sharna Edwards
  • AFL Diversity Ambassador - Natalie Althouse
  • AFL Primary School Ambassador - Carol Putica
  • AFL Secondary School Ambassador - Matthew Aird 
  • AFL Disability Inclusion Volunteer - Coen McKinnon
  • AFL Junior Coach - Andrew Rock
  • AFL Senior Coach - Scott Bertus
  • AFL National Community Umpiring Service - John Rawsthorne

On Saturday morning via a national broadcast on Channel 7, Natalie and Scott were revealed amongst the big winners.

2020 AFL Diversity Ambassador Award winner - Natalie Althouse

Natalie has been involved in the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club since 2012, in the capacity of player, coach, official and volunteer. Her coaching role has broadened beyond NTFL Under 15 and Under 18 youth girls and extended to assisting the Men’s Premier League coach. 

In 2017, Natalie coached the Under 15 NT Kickstart Team to the Grand Final in the National Diversity Championships, in Byron Bay. Six of these girls were subsequently selected in the Woomeras squad.  One of the recognisable elements of the team was the diversity of cultures, and she proudly shared the fact that her team consisted of Aboriginal (from Tiwi, Nhulunbuy and Beswick) and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as players with Greek, Italian, African, Filipino and Samoan heritage.

Natalie also volunteers for other grades including strapping players, running water, timekeeping, scoring, team managing, being a runner for other senior grades along with coordinating and participating in team fundraisers and was the club well-being champion.

2020 AFL Senior Coach Award winner - Scott Bertus

The values Scott brings to the Katherine community reflect exactly what football should be about. A strong passion for both people and the game are projected in the form of an energetic coach, dedicated not only to the Katherine Camels Football Club but to the wider Katherine community.

Scott creates an environment that makes people want to take ownership and pride in the game, with players contributing as much off the field as on it. With Scott’s mentoring and an increase in professionalism, Camels players now have the confidence and sense of responsibility that has seen the club lead the way in assisting with the community's junior programs and becoming involved in umpiring. 

In addition to his own coaching commitments, he regularly attends all other club matches too, taking hours out of his weekend to familiarise himself with each team and identify players across the region.  He regularly assists with the women’s matches – as an extra coach on the bench or running water/messages, and facilitates training sessions that encompass the whole club, including women and younger players.

Natalie and Scott each receive a $1000 cash prize and an additional $500 prize for their affiliated group (Club, Auskick Centre, Umpire Group, School) or a charity of their choice.  The remaining NT nominees across the seven other categories each receive a $200 cash prize.

In February/March next year, nominations for 2021 will open which will now align the national program with its set dates, and anyone who has volunteered in 2020 or prior will be eligible for nomination in the available categories.