Tigerland’s Stapleton sisters reap the rewards of elusive AFL premiership

Matilda Stapleton graduates with a Bachelor of Arts/Science.

Monash University’s Arts and Science new graduate Matilda Stapleton has benefitted the role modelling from her elder sister Molly, who studied Arts and Journalism in the same faculty.

During their journalism internships at Monash, Matilda and Molly both worked in sporting organisations and were lucky to end up at Tigerland during one of Richmond’s most successful eras of AFL.

Matilda, who recently graduated in the Robert Blackwood Hall at Monash’s Clayton campus, said the AFL finals campaign was the “biggest few weeks of my life” as a Tigers supporter experience officer.

“The workload was demanding and it was definitely a challenging time. I think it was adrenalin that pushed me through in the end,” Matilda said.

“There was definitely a buzz in the air (at Punt Rd) – a mixture between excitement, nervousness and anticipation.

“Everyone was working so hard because we all had a common goal – to do the best that we possibly could on and off the field. It was far tougher than anyone could imagine, but coming to work every day was always a pleasure.”

Matilda said the strong communication, interpersonal skills and general confidence she gained her my Arts degree has transcended into success in her role at Richmond.

“Monash challenged me to work diligently and step out of my comfort zone,” she said.

“From the very start of my degree, my course demanded professionalism, and this gave me a taste of what to expect in the ‘real world’.”

Molly Stapleton with the 2017 premiership cup.

Now working as Richmond’s social media officer after graduating from Monash journalism two years ago, Molly said her degree program helped equip her with social media skills, especially in managing effective customer feedback.

“When it comes to working in AFL, the season can be a bit of a roller coaster and our social media reflects this,” Molly said.  

“We can receive a lot of negative comments after a loss and always plenty of positive comments after a win.

“As the season unfolds, we always try to be mindful of how the fans are feeling as they’re obviously very important to us.”

Molly said she worked especially hard after Richmond won the AFL flag, so Tiger fans could enjoy the social media experience.

“It was amazing to follow the players’ journey so closely throughout the year and see it all pay off for them,” she said.

“At the same time, it was also quite stressful for me after the final siren, because I knew I had to get to work and get as much social content as I could. There was so much happening and I didn’t want to miss capturing anything.

“Jack Riewoldt getting up with The Killers was hilarious and everyone else must have through so too, because it was our highest video of all time on Facebook, with 1.3 million views). It was the perfect way to finish the night.”

Monash University’s Acting Head of Journalism Associate Professor Fay Anderson said the Stapleton sister’s contribution at Richmond reflected the diversity of experiences available to students and graduates.

“We are immensely proud and we would like to congratulate Molly and Matilda on their success,” Associate Professor Anderson said.

“Their work reflects the diverse and exciting opportunities that journalism at Monash affords our graduates.”