New Racing Queensland board announced

RACING Minister Grace Grace today announced the full composition of the new Racing Queensland board.

Ms Grace said the four new appointees to the seven-member board of the State's peak racing industry body possessed exceptional talents.

"The new Racing Queensland board is a line-up of phenomenally talented individuals," she said. "They're passionate about racing and have the commercial acumen, strategic vision and expertise to take racing to a whole new level in Queensland.

"The new appointees, drawn from across Queensland, bring additional expertise and skills to those of the existing board members, and they're ready to hit the ground running. Their record of achievement in commerce, law, finance, marketing, tourism and racing are exactly what the industry needs.

"I can't think of a better qualified group of individuals to grow and prosper the racing industry across all three codes in Queensland."

Ms Grace said Mark Sowerby would join Margaret Reynolds and Dale Cartwright as the third board member with racing industry experience.

"Mark has more than 30 years' involvement in the thoroughbred racing industry and a strong background in business and investment," she said

"Leading Cairns businesswoman Sharon Dawson also joins the board as an independent director and Deputy Chair. The Urban List founder and digital entrepreneur Susannah George completes the line-up of independents, along with former Channel 7 executive and Sheffield Shield cricketer Max Walters."

Ms Grace said the government had delivered on its commitment to create a new Racing Queensland board comprised of three racing industry participants and four independents, as recommended by the MacSporran Commission.

"With its new board now in place, Racing Queensland board will drive new commercial and business opportunities in racing," she said.

Racing Queensland Chairman Steve Wilson said: "I'm really looking forward to working with our Minister and such a talented group with a diverse range of skills and experience. We are all passionate to help deliver great results and growth for racing across our state. "

Board Appointments - Racing Queensland

Independent Chair: Steve Wilson AM

Steve is the former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Wilson HTM Investment Group, one of Australia's leading stockbroking, funds and wealth management firms. He has an honorary doctorate of philosophy and was awarded the AM in 2011 for services to the financial services sector and the community. He also has knowledge of the racing industry as a successful thoroughbred breeding syndicate member. 

Industry member - Mark Sowerby

Mark is the founder and Managing Director of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd, an alternative asset manager. In March 2016, Blue Sky was admitted to the ASX index as one of Australia's top 300 listed companies with a market capitalisation in excess of $500m and 85 people across offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and New York. Mark raced horses across country NSW and now has an involvement in more than 25 thoroughbreds. He has a deep understanding of all aspects of the thoroughbred industry and an ongoing interest and passion for the industry, its participants and its future.

Industry member - Margaret Reynolds

Margaret is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Qld Breeders Owners Traineers Reinspersons Assn. She is a former Director of the Queensland Harness Racing Board and was also Secretary/Manager of North Qld Harness Racing Club.

Industry member - Dale Cartwright

Dale is the past President of the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club and was a committee member for six years. He was the past Vice-President of the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club and has been involved in greyhound racing for over 30 years. Dale chaired the meetings of the Queensland Greyhound Affiliation which dealt with industry and welfare issues in 2015.

Independent member and Deputy Chair - Sharon Dawson

Sharon is the Chief Executive Officer of the Dawsons Group, a diversified heavy engineering and services company with operations in Cairns, Townsville and Charters Towers. She is also a former member of the Advisory Committee for TAFE North and previously sat on the Management Committee for Advance Cairns. Sharon has a strong knowledge of country and regional racing.

Independent member - Susannah George

Susannah is the founder and Director of The Urban List, one of Australia's fastest growing and most influential digital lifestyle platforms, attracting an audience of more than 1.6 million readers per month. As a great Brisbane success story, The Urban List began in Queensland and now operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland.

Susannah was named "Woman of the Year" in the B&T Women in Media Awards in 2015 and won the Digital category for her work with The Urban List. Susannah has familial connections with the racing industry - her great grandfather Daniel O'Mara and Grandfather Judge Eddie Broad were both previous chairmen of the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club.

Independent member - Max Walters OAM FCA

Max was a Senior Executive with the Seven Network for 26 years and is a lifelong follower of racing across all codes. Max's initial background is finance and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. During his career, he has been responsible for highly successful marketing, promotional and broadcast agreements between the Seven Network and both the South Australian Jockey Club and the Brisbane Racing Club. Max was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2011 for Services to Cricket, the Community and the Media.