This afternoon, Friday 24 February, the Parramatta National Rugby League Club Pty Limited announced the appointment of five new independent directors to its Board of Directors and the adoption of a new Club Constitution. These developments signal the completion of the most significant governance reform undertaken in the Club’s 70-year history.
See the video above to hear from Parramatta Eels CEO Bernie Gurr and Parramatta Eels Chairman Max Donnelly who spoke at the press conference.
The new Club Constitution mandates that all directors of the Club be independent and restores official recognition of all Life Members within the NRL Club. Some of the key changes made to the PNRL constitution include:
- Former Parramatta District Rugby League (PDRL) life members will become life members of PNRL.
- All directors of the PNRL Board must be independent and cannot be appointed without satisfying the independence criteria specified through the constitution.
- The performance of the directors will be the subject of an annual review to ensure accountability. Directors to have 3-year terms of office with one third of Directors retiring each year (2,3,2). Retiring directors can stand for re-election to a maximum term of 9 years.
- PNRL Directors will not receive remuneration for their service on the Board or any committee.
The five new Board members were appointed following a rigorous nomination process whereby a skills-based matrix was utilised to assist in the determination of the most suitable candidates. This process included formal applications from ninety-five candidates and a two-stage interview process.
The new Directors are:
- Anthony Shiner
Executive Director Digital – Telstra. Anthony has 20 years’ experience as a senior Telecommunications and Digital Technology executive.
- Colin James Robertshaw
Former senior banker with 36 years’ experience, most recently as National Head of Property Finance with Commonwealth Bank.
- Michael McRitchie
Founder and Chief Executive Officer - Satellite Office. Michael is the former CEO of DealsDirect and former Managing Director of Centrebet
- Vicki Leaver
Director - Legal Aid. Vicki previously held the role of Manager, Capability Development at RailCorp
- Sean McElduff
Chief Operating Officer, Financial Markets – Westpac. Sean has over 39 years of experience in banking and finance both domestically and offshore.
These five new independent directors will join the Parramatta Leagues Club nominated directors, Max Donnelly and Jim Sarantinos, to comprise the new seven-person Board of Directors of Parramatta National Rugby League Club Pty Limited. A meeting of the new Board took place this morning which confirmed the re-election of Max Donnelly as Chairman of the Board for the next twelve months.
Parramatta Eels Chairman Max Donnelly stated: “Following the significant changes we made to our Constitution, we are very pleased to welcome these highly accomplished business leaders who bring a range of skill sets and experience to our organisation and will help deliver on the Club’s strategic objectives”.
“When we consulted with our members on constitutional reform last year, it was clear that they overwhelmingly supported changes that would ensure we have highly reputable and qualified directors plus long term stability at Board level. We’re proud that our Club now has one of the most modern governance frameworks in Australia, thereby ensuring transparency, ethical standards and strong leadership for our members and supporters,” added Donnelly.
Parramatta Eels CEO Bernie Gurr added: “This is a pivotal moment for our Club. Max Donnelly and the nominations team have been working to enact constitutional reform and I believe they have delivered one of the most reputable Board of Directors in Australian sport. We are all totally committed to providing professional and ethical management for the Parramatta Eels, with our decisions to be governed by our core values of integrity, respect and excellence.”
“With the implementation of this new governance platform, we are well-positioned to move into a successful and stable era for our great Club.”