The Geelong businesswoman re-writing The Play Book

March 3, 2023 BY

Diana Taylor released The Playbook: crossing the white line to success in life, business and the AFL last month to inspire others on their journey.

With 20 years’ experience as a lawyer, director, business owner, consultant, passionate AFL supporter, Geelong businesswoman Diana Taylor wears many hats and has written a book to help others achieve success.

“I’m a Geelong person, born and bred, I love Geelong, love working here, love being engaged in community in Geelong… I was one of the first student groups to proudly graduated from the Deakin University Law School,” Diana said.

Diana runs Diana Taylor Legal Consulting, and chairs various community groups including Anam Cara House Geelong and The Geelong Authority.

As the first female vice president of the Geelong Football Club, she is a local pioneer in the Australian Rules Football industry.

Taylor was the first female president of a men’s metropolitan football league, and the first woman appointed to the VFL Tribunal.

In 2012, she was a finalist in the AFL Woman of the Year Award.

“I first started following the Cats basically from birth; my nanna was a huge Cats supporter,” she said.

“I would sit with my nanna when she was in her kitchen cooking on a Saturday afternoon, listening to the football and Nanna would barrack hard for the Cats.

That’s my first memory of being a Geelong Cats supporter, and I probably would have been three years of age.”

Now, she is drawing on these diverse experiences in a new book, The Playbook: crossing the white line to success in life, business and the AFL, which was released last month.

“I’ve been fortunate to sit across businesses, to sit across the legal profession, and to sit across AFL football for the past 23 years, so there’s a lot of experience and advice, but also my understanding of what it takes to be successful, which is not only a focus on yourself, but also a focus and an understanding of the environment around you, and how to properly plan for success,” she said.

“I’ve written the book because I really want for people who want to achieve a goal, or to achieve a dream to be given the best possible chance to succeed, with their eyes wide open and with a clear plan to support their success.”

In her book, Diana tells stories and gives advice for those willing to sit with her through the rollercoaster of business, and sport.

“In the book, I talk about some highs, but I also talk about some personal failures and about the way in which those experiences can be used to support you as a person and to support you as you step forward and have a go again,” she said.

“I wanted to be honest and authentic about my experience and I hope that that will support other people’s experience and goals in their own lives.”

Diana also speaks to her experience in AFL, as she said she believes AFL is the most significant catalyst for social change in the wider Australian community.

“While I love the game, I also love what the game can do for our community and our society,” she said.

“It’s one of the reasons why I’ve invested so much of my life in supporting organisations, but particularly football organisations because of their power for good.”

Diana said she has watched this first-hand over the past 10 years in the industry.

“The introduction of AFLW has transformed the sporting landscape.

“It has brought equity and equality and the issues surrounding that to the floor of our communities and it is making a huge difference in the lives of families, women and young girls and how they see themselves and what their opportunities in the future can look like – I love that.”

Diana said she has also seen AFL take social responsibility in relation to gambling, with the Geelong Cat by no longer being involved in the pokies.

“I think the Geelong Cats’ success in the premiership in 2022 after 11 years of trying since their last one is just a testament to the human spirit and what is possible in sport.

“I think that is inspiring not only for Geelong Cats supporters, but I also think the country.

“I love the fact that the game itself teaches us lessons in resilience, in having grit, in never giving up, in continuing to climb the mountain.

“If you continue and push long enough, you will be successful.”

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