Speakers Profile - Samantha Lane

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An award winning journalist for The Age, Sam Lane also holds her own sitting beside some of Australia's best known comics on Network Ten's top rating AFL show Before the Game.

It's ridiculous, really, given her beginnings as a reluctant footy watcher, her unremarkable sporting record and the fact that she holds degrees in Politics and French.

A Quill award winner in 2010, and the AFL Players' Association's football writer of the year in 2007, Sam began covering AFL while studying at Melbourne University and now appears across all media- print, television, radio, and online. Last year Sam was a 2011 finalist for Best Reporting of an Issue in Sport at the ASC Media Awards, and was awarded the 2011 AFL Coaches Association Sports Consulting Media Award and the 2011 Vicsport Media Award.

She has a knack of balancing the serious with the irreverent, and on any given day is as likely to be writing hard-hitting front page news as an insightful, heart-felt feature story. She has co-hosted Channel 10's The Circle, and appears on the ABC series Agony Aunts, sharing her wit and wisdom on sex and relationships.

Sam continues to cover major sporting events for the Fairfax group including being named as the The Age Olympic Reporter for the 2012 London Olympics, covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth games, Australian Open tennis grand slams and the spring racing.

As well as covering AFL, she is The Age's cycling reporter and was recognised for her coverage of the sport at the 2009 Cycling Australia Awards, and also for securing an interview with Cadel Evans in France as he won the Tour de France 2011.

Looking for a start in journalism while she was still a student, and inspired by a love of Carlton that didn't hit until she was a teenager, Sam wrote to the editor of the club's quarterly magazine and convinced him to take on a teenage casual writer. It led to a job at afl.com.au and eventually The Age.

In 2003 Sam was offered the position of newshound on a new Saturday night footy program called After the Game. The following year, when it was reborn as Before the Game she became a full-time panel member joining Peter Helliar, Dave Hughes and Lehmo. Mick Molloy and Andrew Maher have since jumped aboard to deliver the news and a generous dose of humour every Saturday night during AFL season. The show airs nationally on Channel Ten and is in its ninth year.

Sam sits on the advisory committee to the Melbourne Vixen's board, has been an ambassador for the Basil Sellers Art Prize and Run Melbourne, and has on-going ambassadorial roles for Breast Cancer Network Australia and the Women for Carlton.

Addressing the corporate world or a group of kids, whether as a keynote speaker, MC or panel member, Sam is a natural and engaging presenter who can't help but bring a fresh take to any topic.