Former Senator John Williams believes the calibre and credentials of the newly formed board line-up of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) is a major vote of confidence in the industry.
The Minister Responsible for Racing, the Hon Kevin Anderson, announced on Wednesday that Mr Williams would lead the GRNSW board as its new Chair and that high-profile defamation lawyer and experienced board member Rebekah Giles had been appointed Deputy Chair.
A new addition to the GRNSW board is Helen Moore, Chief Operating Officer of the Collins Food Group and previously at Woolworths, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, while Matthew Waring, Kevin Gordon and Sandra Felli will continue in their board roles.
"I am very keen to work with the board and Tony (Mestrov GRNSW Chief Executive Officer)," Mr Williams said.
"I feel it sends a great message for the future to have a very stable, experienced board with a huge amount of knowledge, and I'm very confident the board will do an excellent job for GRNSW.
"It certainly does," he said when asked if the quality of the board reflects a newfound confidence in the industry.
"It's not a case where the Minister just appoints anyone who puts their hand up. He has been very pedantic in who has been selected and I think the selection process has worked very well.
"When you look at the directors, Rebekah has huge experience in the legal fraternity and as a board director, Helen is coming back on to the GRNSW board (having been on the board in 2019) and comes with a lot of experience and knowledge.
"Sandra has a huge background of experience in finance and finance management and risk, and Kevin and Matt are very experienced working face to face with the industry."
Before being appointed to the board, Mr Williams said he was "very impressed" with GRNSW and its transformational progress over the past five years.
"The industry is doing exceptionally well.
"Income is up, there's huge expenditure on welfare and care of the dogs, from rehoming under Greyhounds As Pets to the money invested in home care and training facilities for the industry, a significant amount spent on upgrading tracks and facilities, all with the safety of the animal as priority one," he said.
"I think the future looks excellent for the industry."
Mr Williams revealed his link with the greyhound industry dates back a long way through family involvement.
"In 1932, my grandfather built the first enclosed greyhound racetrack in South Australia on the old family farm, under lights," he said.
"He was a bookmaker with the greyhounds and so was my father and I used to bookmake at the greyhound racing under my father's licence.
"My father had greyhounds and as a young boy I used to lead my grandfather's greyhounds in the local show and in competitions, and often took home the ribbons.
"So my connection goes back a long, long time."
Mr Williams thanked and praised his predecessor Hugh Armenis and former board member Annette Mullen for their outstanding service and work during their tenures.
Mr Anderson said the new appointments would provide a fresh and innovative new outlook for GRNSW.
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.