Kirby Bentley is an Australian Rules Footballer who was awarded a Scholarship within the 2007 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program, she was paired with Rechelle Hawkes AM as her Mentor.
Kirby was born in Perth in 1986 and rose to prominence as a netballer. She later switched to Australian Rules Football and became such a respected figure in the game that she had a tournament named in her honour.
Kirby is a proud Indigenous woman who played netball at the highest level for West Coast Fever and Western Sting, before making the change to Aussie Rules.
Kirby played for the Fremantle and Carlton Football Clubs in the AFLW. She was signed as a priority player by Fremantle in August 2016 ahead of the league’s inaugural 2017 season. She made her debut in round 1, in the club’s inaugural match against Western Bulldogs.
In 2017, Kirby played a State of Origin match for the Allies and injured her knee, which required surgery. She was delisted by Fremantle at the end of the 2018 season. In October 2018, she joined Carlton as a free agent.
Kirby is regarded as one of the greatest female Aussie Rules players, and is an advocate for Indigenous girls, especially in the AFLW community. The Kirby Bentley Cup is an Australian rules football trophy played as a 9-a-side round robin tournament for Aboriginal girls aged between thirteen and fifteen and was founded in 2014.
The inaugural Kirby Bentley Cup featured 10 teams and more than150 players. With the introduction of the AFL Women’s League, the Kirby Bentley Cup provides young Aboriginal girls with a great opportunity to display their skills and be identified for the state talent pathway.
Honours & Achievements
- 2007: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder.
- 2014: The Kirby Bentley Cup founded.
- 2016: Fremantle Football Club, Signed.
- 2017: AFLW, debut.
- 2018: Carlton Football Club, Signed.