Neale Daniher AM was born in 1961 in Ungarie, a tiny town in New South Wales, the third of eleven children. A talented all-round sportsman, Neale’s passion was Australian Rules; he played for Essendon Football Club in a promising but injury-plagued career between 1979 and 1990. He was part of the famous Daniher football dynasty: four brothers from the bush who played a combined 752 VFL/AFL games.
In football, his off-field achievements are in coaching at Essendon, Fremantle and Melbourne football clubs, as inaugural CEO of the AFL Coaches Association, and as general manager of football operations with the West Coast Eagles.
Neale co-founded FightMND in 2014 after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. The foundation raises awareness and vital funds for research to find a cure and better treatment for ‘The Beast’ that takes two lives every day in Australia.
In 2016, Neale received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award for services to community health and to Australian Rules football. He was promoted to Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours for “distinguished service to people with Motor Neurone Disease and their families through advocacy, public education and fundraising initiatives.
He and his wife, Jan, live in Melbourne and are the proud parents of Lauren, Luke, Bec and Ben, and grandparents of Cooper, Ollie, Rosie, Grace, Billie and Hazel.