For the second year in a row, Sydney Swans defender Harry Cunningham has today been named as a finalist for the 2023 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award. 

Cunningham has been nominated for the work he does with the club's charity partner Redkite. Redkite is a lifeline for families facing childhood cancer, providing critical emotional, financial and practical support.

Cunningham has been a strong supporter and ambassador of Redkite, Sydney’s charity partner, for more than 10 years. During this time the veteran defender has made regular ward visits, supported Redkite’s music therapy program and helped campaign for numerous fundraising activities to help families facing childhood cancer.
In 2020 when Covid impacted in-person visits to hospital, Cunningham proactively asked how he could continue to be involved and attended music therapy sessions with families via Zoom. In the same year he also supported the promotion of the ‘Crunch for Kids’ fundraising challenge, rallying 20 players and coaches to get involved in the promotion which raised more than $50,000. 
Each season Sydney and Redkite come together for the Swans Redkite Day and Cunningham is always at the forefront of the fundraising campaign. This year, the club raised a record-breaking amount of more than $43,000. The 184-gamer constantly leads from the front and took it upon himself to get other players involved with Redkite, educating his teammates that ‘small things can make a big difference’.

Harry Cunningham with teammates Isaac Heeney, Tom Papley and members of Redkite and The Wiggles

The AFL today announced the four finalists for the award, with Bailey Banfield (Fremantle), Ben Brown (Melbourne) and Sam Docherty (Carlton) named alongside Cunningham.

Now in its twelfth year, the prestigious award will be presented to the player who has best demonstrated the values of late Melbourne champion and former Demons’ President, Jim Stynes. From their commitment to helping others and making a difference in the community to the way they represent the game on and off the field, this award goes to the heart of the sport.

The 2023 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award will be presented during the broadcast of the 2023 Brownlow Medal on Monday 25 September.

Past winners include Geelong Cats’ Joel Selwood (2022), Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak (2021), Richmond’s Bachar Houli (2020), GWS GIANTS’ Stephen Coniglio (2019), Melbourne's Neville Jetta (2018), Port Adelaide's Jack Hombsch (2017), Geelong Cats’ Jimmy Bartel (2016), Carlton's Dennis Armfield (2015), West Coast Eagles' Beau Waters (2014), Gold Coast Suns' Zac Smith (2013) and Richmond's Daniel Jackson (2012).
Nominations for the award are formed from AFL Clubs and the AFL Players' Association before the judging panel selected the final four finalists.
Proudly supported by Telstra and the Jim Stynes Foundation, the winner will receive $40,000 to be donated to the charity or community program of their choice.