The Rugby League Players Association has appointed former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie University, Dr Deidre Anderson, as the union’s first female chair.
Tasked with representing players contracted to clubs under the Australian Code, Dr Anderson will also be trying to enforce good behaviour from players following a troubled offseason.
The change in leadership comes after previous Chair, Russell Adams, resigned from his duties earlier in the year due to health reasons.
Mr Adams led the Association through an important era during his three years at the helm, most notably during the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations in 2017.
Dr Anderson said she was honoured to be appointed Chair of the RLPA and continue to play a key role in further advancing the Association in the coming years.
“The RLPA has continued to increase in its capabilities and responsibilities in recent years,” Dr Anderson said.
“As a Director for the past three years, I have enjoyed playing a role in that progression.
“I’m truly honoured to accept the role of Chair and I look forward to ensuring our members continue to have a strong Association behind them.
“We have an outstanding group of young men and women playing this game, so ensuring they are empowered and have the tools to thrive both during and after their careers is something that I am passionate about.
RLPA CEO and Managing Director, Ian Prendergast, thanked Mr Adams for his enormous contribution to the Association and welcomed Dr Anderson into the role.
“The significant role that Russell played during his time as Chairman cannot be understated,” Mr Prendergast said.
“On a personal level, I couldn’t be more thankful for the guidance and support he provided me over the past few years.
“On behalf of the RLPA and its members, I want to thank Russell for his significant contribution and commitment to the Association over the past few years.
“I also want to formally welcome Dee into the role of Chair and I look forward to building on the already significant work she has done for the RLPA as a Director in recent years.”
The RLPA also officially unveiled its 2019-21 Game Plan at the meeting, outlining its vision, values, purpose and key projects set to be delivered in the coming years.
Players in attendance at the AGM also voted that James Maloney be elected as a Director for another term.
Eloni Vunakece and Adam Blair also officially concluded their time as Directors of the RLPA, with their positions to be filled in the coming months following a review of the Board composition by the Nominations and Remunerations Committee.
Other current playing members on the Board of Directors – Jeremy Latimore, Tim Mannah and Joel Thompson – will continue their tenure, while further leaders will be appointed as casual vacancies in the coming months, including an elite women’s representative.
Current RLPA Board and Leadership
Deidre Anderson – Chair
Ian Prendergast – CEO and Managing Director
Jeremy Latimore – Director
James Maloney – Director
Tim Mannah – Director
Nimesh Shah – Director
Joel Thompson – Director
Cameron Smith – General President