Amanda Elliott has held a series of leadership roles in the racing industry and in February 2017 was appointed the VRC’s first female Chairman in its 153-year history.
Amanda was elected to the VRC Committee in 2002, making her the second female committee member ever appointed. She went on to become the first female Vice Chairman in 2011 and has been involved in most areas of the Club. Enhancing the raceday experience at Flemington for members, the public and all participants has been important to her.
During her time on the VRC board, Amanda has been the VRC representative in serving the Australian Stud Book as well as a Director of Australian Genetics Testing. She is head of the Design Group for the new Club Stand and Chairman of the Steering Group during construction.
Amanda has a B.A. from the University of Melbourne and has extensive experience at the highest levels of administration of 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 VRC continues to be the world’s largest membership-based racing club in the world, and Flemington remains a leader by keeping the strategic focus on membership experience, a strong racing program and world-class facilities.
In 2018, Amanda received the prestigious Lady of Racing Award from the Victorian Wakeful Club in partnership with Racing Victoria. This award celebrates women who have made an outstanding contribution to the thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.
Amanda is a passionate racehorse owner, actively involved in the sport of racing both in Australia and overseas. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, plays tennis and enjoys most sports along with an avid interest in interior design and fashion.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Ms Elisa Robinson was elected by the Members as a Director in May 2011, 2013 and 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 the fourth ever female Board Member and first of Asian descent.
Elisa brings Senior Executive level commercial and legal expertise with over 18 years’ experience in Construction, Engineering, Procurement, Infrastructure Projects/PPPs, Utilities/Telco, Technology, Finance and Corporate Governance, Advisory and Strategy. She is currently Head of Legal - Asia Pacific with Senvion, a global wind turbine manufacturer in the Renewable Energy industry.
Her previous Senior Leadership roles include Senior Counsel of GE Power for General Electric, General Manager – Commercial Structuring and Implementation for the National Broadband Network (“nbn”), General Counsel of Programmed Facilities Management, Senior Legal Counsel of 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 completed Laws and Commerce at Monash University, a Masters of Business Administration and Postgraduate Diploma of Management at Melbourne Business School and Executive MBA studies at UCLA Anderson (USA). In addition to completing a Masters of Marketing, she is also a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.
As a Board Member, her goal is to continually improve Members' facilities, privileges, affordability and rights through ensuring we maintain a strong financial position and leverage our 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 pursuing best practice governance and long-term growth 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 Geelong FC and Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. Her interests include spending time with family (she is married with 3 young children aged 5, 3 and 1), travel, food, wine, property, art / design, fashion and sports. As an advocate of diversity, in all its forms, she is proud to support world class healthcare, staff, support services and research across women’s life journey, including pregnancy, birth, women’s cancers, gynaecology and specialist newborn care, as a Non-Executive Director of the Royal Women’s Hospital Foundation, Melbourne.
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 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.
Neil Werrett was appointed to the VRC Board in March 2018. Neil has extensive experience in the property industry and is currently CEO of Galileo Group and Director of Sakura Real Estate Funds Management. He founded Galileo Japan Funds Management Limited in 2006 has been involved in the assessment of business and real estate opportunities in Japan since 1998. In Australia, he has been involved in the development of major residential projects in Sydney and Brisbane. Neil was employed for 24 years at AMP Henderson Global Investors. He is a Certified Practising Valuer.
Neil has strong horse racing interests, most notably ownership in undefeated mare Black Caviar and her progeny Oscietra and Prince of Caviar. Snitzerland, Go Indy Go, Samaready and Scarlet Lady are among his other Group 1 winning broodmares.
He holds ownership interests in Gailo Chop, Vengeur Masque, Chauffeur, Performer and Sandbar, as well as horses in Ireland, Japan and France.
Neil is a part-owner of the highly successful Vinery Stud in the Hunter Valley, which stands champion stallions More Than Ready, All Too Hard and Star Turn.
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.
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