VRC Vice Chairman Amanda Elliott

Mrs Amanda Elliott - Chairman

Amanda Elliott was elected to the VRC Committee in 2002, the second female committee member in 140 years.  In 2011 she became Vice Chairman making her the first  female executive office holder at the VRC. She has served as VRC representative of the Australian Stud Book and Director of Australian Genetics Testing, and is currently in charge of the Design Group for the proposed new Club Stand, as well as a member of the Masterplan sub-committee, Grounds and Gardens, and Disciplinary committees.  Amanda is a Director of a family pastoral company.

Amanda has a B.A. from the University of Melbourne, and extensive experience in sport, business and politics. She comes from a family with a long history of thoroughbred racing, breeding and administration.  Her father was also Vice Chairman of the VRC, and a long standing Committeeman of the Club. Her respect for the heritage, history and traditions of the VRC is extremely important to her.

Amanda is committed to ensuring the future of the VRC as the best race club in the world, and Flemington as the best racecourse, by keeping the strategic focus on the following important areas:

  • Membership – rights, privileges, assets and value for money
  • the racing program – quality racing and prize money
  • facilities – world class venues and customer experience 
  • the promotion of Flemington – both here and overseas 
  • influence and leadership in racing industry matters
  • a healthy balance sheet.

Amanda, a passionate racehorse owner and former breeder, plays tennis, enjoys most sports, interior design, and fashion.


Mr John O’Rourke - Vice Chairman 

Mr John O’Rourke was appointed to the VRC Board in November 2011. John is the founder and Chairman of Plenary Group, an international property infrastructure investment company, specialising in public-private partnerships.

Plenary Group controls a portfolio of some 30 infrastructure projects under development and operating contracts with Federal and State governments across Australia, Canada and the United States. These include the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

John is a lifelong racing enthusiast. He is a member of all the metropolitan race clubs and has current ownership interest in 15 horses.

As a Board Member, John is committed to maintaining Flemington’s deserved reputation as Australia’s premier racing facility. He is also keenly aware of the enormous contribution that the Melbourne Cup Carnival makes to the

Victorian economy, and hopes to see further leverage of the VRC’s investment in the event, for the benefit of our Members and all those in the industry who live and breathe racing.

John is married with three children. Outside of racing he is a keen follower of all sports, in particular golf, cricket and the Richmond Football Club.

VRC Director Peter Fekete

Mr Peter Fekete

A Member of the VRC Committee since 1999, Mr Fekete has enjoyed an extensive 30-year career as a Chartered Accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, specialising in audit and corporate advisory services, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

With a vast range of expertise and industry specialisations in the areas of transport, infrastructure, property, engineering and construction, Peter has greatly assisted the Club in the management of its finances.

Peter is a close follower of horseracing, a passion that heads a number of recreational interests outside his profession. Peter also enjoys skiing as well as playing a game of tennis every now and then. He is also a keen follower of Australian Rules football, being a passionate supporter of the Collingwood Football Club.

To ensure that the VRC remains one of the best clubs in the world, Peter's major focus is to work towards making a substantial contribution in the finance area to guarantee that our club remains financially strong: "This will, in turn, enable us to provide our Members with world-class facilities, services and racing."

VRC Director Katherine Bourke

Judge Katherine Bourke

Katherine L Bourke was elected to the VRC Committee in July 2004.

After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws Degree, she worked as a solicitor for five years and for 19 years she practised as a barrister at the Victorian Bar. In December 2007, she was appointed a judge of the County Court of Victoria.

Her main areas of practise were personal injuries and administrative law including racing appeals representing both stewards and licensed persons in the various codes. Her racing experience has involved owning and breeding horses and between 2000-2007, she was the Chairman of the Bookmakers and Bookmakers Clerks Registration Committee.

During her term on the Committee, Katherine would like to ensure that as Club Membership grows, infrastructure and services are maintained. She also believes that care must be taken to balance the needs of new Members with the expectations of established Members who have contributed for years to the strength and profile of the Club. Outside of her work and racing, Katherine's main interest is the Hawthorn Football Club.

VRC Director Elisa Robinson

Ms Elisa Robinson

Ms Elisa Robinson was elected as a Director of the Board in May 2011 and re-elected in 2013 and again in 2016. At the age of 29, she was the youngest Director ever elected in the 157 year history of the VRC as well as making her only the fourth ever female Board Member and first of Asian descent.

Elisa brings Senior Executive level commercial and legal expertise to the Board with significant experience in Construction, Engineering, Procurement, Infrastructure Projects/PPPs, Utilities / Telco, Technology, Finance and Corporate Advisory and Strategy. She is currently Senior Counsel – Energy Management for General Electric (GE) International across Australia and New Zealand.

Her previous Senior Leadership roles include General Manager – Commercial Structuring and Implementation for the National Broadband Network (“nbn”), General Counsel of Programmed FM, Senior Legal Counsel at UGL Limited and Corporate & Project Finance Lawyer at Minter Ellison. Elisa commenced her career in FMCG Marketing, Sales and Online Retail for over 6 years with Gillette, Cadbury Schweppes, Mars and Coles Online. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and a Masters of Business Administration from Melbourne Business School. In addition to undertaking Executive MBA studies at UCLA Anderson (USA), she is also currently completing her Masters of Marketing.

As a Board Member, her goal is to continually improve Members' facilities, privileges, affordability and rights through ensuring the VRC maintains a strong financial position and leverages its reputation as a World Leader in horseracing and significant contributor to the Victorian economy and tourism through the Melbourne Cup Carnival. She is driven to uphold the interests of all Members including the Club's history and traditions, and contributing to the long-term growth of the VRC through her membership of the Masterplan and Club Stand Sub-Committees.

Aside from being a passionate VRC member, racehorse owner and former breeder, Elisa is a member of the Geelong Football Club and Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club and her interests include spending time with family (she is married with 2 young sons and a daughter on the way), travel, food, wine, property, art / design, fashion and sports. She is also passionate about and welcomes opportunities to champion gender equality, diversity and youth, having spoken at a number of conferences and events. More recently, she has been pursuing her interest in art / design, digital media and retailing through being Founder & CEO of One Grange Road, an Australian design studio producing mid century inspired steel outdoor furniture.

Michael Ramsden

Mr Michael Ramsden

Mr Michael Ramsden was appointed to the VRC Board in December 2012. Michael brings a strong background in corporate finance and in working with a broad range of companies across many industries.

Michael, a qualified lawyer, also holds a Bachelor of Economics, is the Managing Director of Terrain Capital Ltd and is a Chairman of several public companies.

As well as a strong finance background he brings to the Board a strong racing background to assist the VRC to maintain its preeminent racing position.

His father, Andrew Ramsden, was a former Chairman of the VRC from 1998-2003.

Michael has had racing and breeding interests for many years.  He currently has interests in approximately 50 horse including Chautauqua, He’s Your Man and The Offer.  

Ms Sophie Cornell

Ms Sophie Cornell was elected to the VRC Board in December 2015.

Sophie holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Deakin University and is a Solicitor admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria. Sophie brings Commercial, Marketing, Human Capital, Legal, Governance and Strategic Development experience to the Board. She spent 10 years in Hong Kong, working predominately with Korn Ferry International where her experience covered Asia wide Executive Search, business development, culture and leadership development, management recruitment process outsourcing, talent strategy and workforce design, with a Fortune 500 client base.   

On Sophie’s return to Melbourne her interest in joining the property industry started with engaging in property and real estate related legal transactional work before joining Marshall White Real Estate to manage the industry-first Strategic Alliance Partnership between a leading Melbourne real estate business and a Big 4 Bank, NAB. Her experience covered legal contract negotiations, strategic development and working across with the Private, Retail, Business and Corporate Property divisions of the Bank and 4 businesses under Marshall White & Co.  

Sophie then joined Juwai.com, the  # 1 international real estate website for Chinese buyers overseas. Her role as Head of Development and Commercial covered building and managing a client base of some of Australia’s most successful real estate and property development businesses. Responsibilities covered product development and pricing strategy, sales, marketing, industry relations, governance, contract negotiations, and collaboration with property industry stakeholders across Australia to support growth strategy.       

Her current role is as Executive Manager for PEXA, the Property Exchange of Australia, a business poised to swiftly reform the buying and selling of real estate, moving settlements into the digital era. Her role covers working with top tier law firms and property developers, State government Departments, Land Registries, Peak bodies, National revenue offices and sponsors on operations and policy, communications and stakeholder management as well as development, management and delivery of  win-win commercial outcomes.

Sophie is the Chair of the VRC Community, Charity and Foundation sub Committee, which she is extremely passionate about as an extension of her Board role. This includes celebrating the history and tradition of the Melbourne Cup and our horse racing industry, deepening our philanthropic mission, and enhancing the Flemington & VRC brand whilst continuing a world leading membership experience for all VRC Members.

Sophie is a member of the MCC, Women of the MCC, the Carlton Football Club and is a proud mother to 5 boys.

Glenn Carmody - VRC Board of Directors

Mr Glenn Carmody

Glenn Carmody has more than 27 years’ experience working with EY, a leading global professional services firm. He has extensive experience in the areas of governance and finance and holds a Bachelor of Business as well as being a qualified Chartered Accountant.

He has held a number of leadership positions with EY, including his current role of leading the Consumer Products and Retail market segment across Oceania. This role is commercially focused and includes responsibility for delivering current year revenue growth as well as implementing a strategy for future long term growth and sustainability.

Glenn is married with three children. He has a long term interest in the racing industry and has been involved as an owner of racehorses for over 20 years. He and his wife also put together an all-female syndicate of friends and colleagues to buy horses at the Magic Millions sales. He is a long-time member of the VRC and a member of the MRC, MVRC, MCC and the Collingwood Football Club. Glenn is also on the Foundation for Very Special Kids which cares for children with life threatening conditions.

Throughout his professional career Glenn has developed strong financial and commercial skills. His current role requires a detailed understanding of trends relating to customer experience. He brings all of these skills to the VRC to assist the Club in continuing its strong finance and governance focus, maximising its investment in world class infrastructure and providing the best experience possible for members and their guests.

VRC Director Neil Wilson

Mr Neil Wilson - VRC Chief Executive Officer

Mr Neil Wilson was appointed as the VRC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in January 2018.

Neil has been a member of the VRC Board since December 2012 and was elected Honorary Treasurer in February 2017, ahead of stepping into the Interim Chief Executive role in June 2017. He remains a member of the Club Board in his capacity as CEO.

Neil is also a Director of the racing.com Board.

Neil brings a strong commercial background and a deep understanding of digital strategy and information technology to the Club.

He has had over 25 years’ experience in Information Technology working in corporate roles and as a founder of his own business (Charter Wilson) which was acquired by ASX listed company Oakton, a leading technology services company which employed over 1,200 people. Neil was the Chief Executive Officer of Oakton for nine years   until it was acquired by Dimension Data in 2014.

Neil is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Neil has had racehorse ownership and breeding interests for more than 20 years.

For more information, phone the Customer Service Centre on 1300 727 575 or email customerservice@vrc.net.au