Newly selected Collingwood Football Club women’s player Erica Fowler will return to her Sunshine Coast school Matthew Flinders Anglican College to meet senior girl students who are keen sports players on Tuesday, 30 October.
Graduating from Flinders with the Class of 2010, Erica now works as a paramedic in Brisbane and recently completed the AON University Rugby 7s series.
She credits Flinders – one of Australia’s leading academic schools – for giving her a strong foundation in life and is looking forward to ‘giving back’ by inspiring Flinders students to embrace every opportunity to explore their talents.
“I am grateful to Flinders for providing me with endless sporting, music and academic opportunities,” Erica said.
“At Flinders, I was taught how to be resilient, have faith within my own capabilities and to be committed to achieving what I set out to do,” she said.
“The exposure and caring learning environment established by my teachers enabled me to want to pursue both my professional career as a paramedic with the Queensland Ambulance Service and my sporting careers.”
Flinders Principal Stuart Meade welcomed Erica back to the College to meet with top sporting senior female students who are passionate about AFL and other sports, including swimming, touch football and hockey.
“We are thrilled when our Old Flinderians’ return to our College to share their successes and to mentor our students,” Stuart said.
“As an educator, this kind of supportive interaction between our students, past and present, is heartening to witness.
“We want our students to understand that by grasping opportunities here at school they are setting themselves up to enjoy a rich and fulfilling life in the future.
Erica will move to Melbourne in November to commence her professional career training with the Collingwood Football Club for the 2019 AFL Women’s season.
She considers herself a “late bloomer” as she became involved in AFL only two years ago when she was 24 years old.
“I am nervous about the move the Melbourne, but I am excited to start a new career,” she says.
’I’m passionate about AFL because it is challenging and incorporates a variety of different athletic attributes.
“It also provides a pathway for women’s sport on a national stage as well as with off-field opportunities for personal development.”
Erica hopes she can be a role model for young girls who are considering a career in sport.
Erica says upon graduating from Flinders she was passionate about studying to become a Paramedic.
“But never in my life would I have thought that one day I would be playing AFL for the Collingwood Football Club. To be able to enjoy both rewarding careers is something I am very grateful for.”
Her advice to students is to focus on your growth, both personally and in terms of what you can offer to others.
“And I would encourage young people wanting to succeed in life to continue to seek feedback from those around you, find your point of difference and take every opportunity you’re given to improve and gain experience.”
Erica is particularly grateful to her high school teacher Sheree Bell for her continued support.
“Mrs Bell has provided constant encouragement and support through the highs and lows I have faced, and I’m so grateful for her care.”