Almanac Book Review – The Footy Lady: Determining and Positive Influences

The Footy Lady – The Trailblazing Story of Susan Alberti

Written by Stephanie Asher

Reviewed by Yoshi Imagawa


She was one of guest speakers at the Sports Writers Festival in Melbourne last month. At an interview with Francis Leach, she talked about her life, her business, family, charity work and football.


Her interview was impressive, inspiring and encouraging. I enjoyed the Saturday evening session at the conference.


Francis gave me this book as one of his generous presents the following day – thanks mate for your generosity, and giving me another opportunity to touch a positive story.


The prologue is the summary of how her only child Danielle has ended her life with type 1 diabetes, and the subsequent medical research.


Through reading the book, I deepened my knowledge of Sue’s life, going through hard times but focusing on how to solve issues.


Sue, having met her first husband, Angelo, at a ballroom dance in the mid-1960s, then establishes their building business through hard work, before the birth of Danielle.


Angelo losing one eye because of an accident at a site and the discovery of Danielle’s type-1 diabetes didn’t defeat Susan at all. Angelo even worked at building sites under similar conditions and enjoyed motorbike rides, and Sue established medical research organisations to seek solutions for her daughter’s illness.


Sadly, Angelo was killed in a traffic accident in 1995. Then she took over his position. In order to do so, she undertook further education in building to be the first female registered builder in Victoria. Sue described tough situations working at building sites as a woman at the conference interview. It took her bravery to break the gender barrier.


Such attitudes helped to empower women, bring them into football and eventually, establish the AFLW. She broke the male-dominated culture of the footy world by becoming a board member at the Western Bulldogs in 2000.


Her work can’t be done without the help of others, and her strong networks. She doesn’t hesitate to ask people to help.


Her hard work and influence is inspiring and we can learn how to make things happen from Sue. And I admire her generosity not only to organisations, but also to the community, by offering scholarships, for example.


The never-give-up attitude is also what I admire about Sue, as well as her influence at her favourite footy club, the Western Bulldogs. She was nervous at the 2016 Grand Final and was even about to take the wrong route to the MCG changing room. But their 21-point win over Swans brought tears of joy.


As I questioned her at the conference, Sue talked up the never-give-up attitude at the club to players. Even though I am a Saints man, I was happy to see the Doggies win the flag in 2016, and Sue changing the culture positively at the kennel.


It is another great book to read for everyone and tips to improve our lives can be found inside.


Susan is the ripping woman in many fields.

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Neil Anderson says

    Thanks Yoshi. You have really found your strength in writing. Reviewing books. As I told you, I have put in my request for Susan’s book for Christmas. How lucky were you to meet her at the Sports Writers Festival.
    As a reminder of her generosity and philanthropy, there is a Susan Alberti Community Centre right outside the entrance to the Whitten Oval. It was people like Susan and Peter Gordon who helped save the club financially before Bevo came on the scene to orchestrate the premiership.

  2. G’day Neil,

    Thanks for your compliment on the writing skills. Reading books brought me not only improve writing skills by observing how writers present in print but also opportunities to challenge a new writing – writing book reviews here.

    I take new challenges here, like writing in the #almanac280 competition. Sadly I was not awarded, but I enjoyed the challenge. I admit I don’t reflect on my challenge well, but I should reward myself more for taking such positive path ways.

    The book is really great and I am happy that you made a request for Christmas on getting the book. I hope you enjoy reading.

    Attending the Sports Writers Festival was good and I made the right decision. Heard positive stories, got great books and thanks Yvette for advising me about reading books.



  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Fantastic work, Yoshi.
    Susan and yourself are both pioneers in your own unique ways. Never give up mate !!

  4. G’day Phil,

    Thanks for your warm words. I have to admit I am much behind to Sue, but I try to learn slightly from the Footy Lady for good in my life.

    I agree with you mate – never give up.



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