HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
John Jerome LUSSICK
An extraordinary 65 years of continuous involvement in country football, with the majority spent as an administrator of outstanding vision and influence, mark the CV of John Lussick. During a 15-year playing career with the Miling Football Club and 10 seasons of representative football with the Central Midlands Football League combined side, Lussick became a delegate to the CMFL and six years later (1956) he became President of the Miling Football Club. His subsequent continuous record of service includes:
- President of the Midlands combined Leagues (10 years)
- Executive member of the WA Country Football Championships (45 years)
- Executive member of the WA Country Football League (35 years)
- Vice President of the WA Country Football League (four years)
- President of the WA Country Football League (10 years)
- President East Fremantle Club Zone of the Great Northern, North Midlands and Central Midlands Football Leagues
- President of the Australian Country Football Council (12 years to 2009)
From the time Lussick first accepted the Presidency of the Central Midlands Football League in 1962, the term “Country Football” has grown from referring only to the south of the State to the whole of Western Australia and the annual budget of the Country Football Council has increased from $4000 to well in excess of half-a-million dollars. Lussick has been the greatest single influence in the growth of sponsorship for country football, which has allowed the game to grow and flourish from the Kimberley in the north to Esperance in the south-east and provide a dramatic increase in opportunities for country footballers, particularly indigenous players. His particular admiration for the talent of indigenous footballers saw Lussick firstly remove restrictions on their playing involvement in the Central Midlands Football League and later foster, through sponsorship and personal philanthropy, the growth of inter-team football in specific Aboriginal groups. Under the direction of Lussick, the Country Football League has taken the game deep into the desert country where many people still live tribal lifestyles and where hundreds of kilometres of travel in open trucks is required to participate as a player or spectator.
At the national level Lussick approached South Australia and then Victorian Country Football Leagues to press for interstate competition with the result that an interstate Carnival was played in 1990 in Victoria between country teams representing Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. Subsequent Carnivals have been held in South Australia, WA, Queensland and Victoria with Northern Territory and Tasmania first represented in 2000 thanks almost entirely to Lussick’s efforts.
Lussick has been awarded life memberships of the Miling Football Club, the Central Midlands Football League, the West Australian Country Football League and the West Australian Football Commission. He was also bestowed the Order of Australia in 1992. His dedication to country football has two bases – a deep love of the game and a deep-seated belief in its value as a cohesive force in country communities at local, State and national levels. No football person better illustrates the charter of the West Australian Football Hall of Fame than John Lussick.