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Rowing Australia welcomes new life member, confirms Board changes

Rowing Australia has welcomed a new Life Member, announced changes to its Board and handed down its 2022 Annual Report at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, May 27.

Life Membership is the highest honour afforded to those involved in rowing in Australia. It is reserved for those who have demonstrated significant, sustained and high-quality service that enhances the reputation and future of rowing by virtue of their considerable contribution to the sport nationally.

This year, the Rowing Australia Board and Council awarded Life Membership to Chris Grummitt, who has been a fixture on the Australian scene in a host of roles since he began rowing at Brisbane Boys College in 1981.

Chris earned a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport and also went on to have a successful career as a club, state and national coxswain, school, club and state coach and state and national administrator. He coached Queensland’s only winning Queen’s Cup crew and is only one of two people to cox and coach a King’s Cup crew.

But Chris’ greatest work for the sport has been his part in the revolutionising regatta management technology in Australia, from simple timing systems to the integrated system which now comprises the all-inclusive sports presentation package. He currently holds the position of regatta technology manager for Rowing Australia.

There were also important movements on the Rowing Australia Board, with current Director Ben Dodwell (McVilly-Pearce Pin number 481) re-elected to his post.

Ben is a triple-Olympian who has provided the Board with vast corporate experience as a leading funds manager and has made strong contributions as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and Chair of the Renumerations and Nominations Committee.

Rowing Australia welcomes Richard Finlayson to a Director role. Richard, McVilly-Pearce Pin number 397, first represented Australia in 1987 (Men’s Coxed Four) and was in the squad for the Men’s Eight at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 before embarking on a successful career in broadcasting.

He was the Chief Operating Officer of SBS from 2009-2013 before joining ABC as its Director of Television until 2017. He is currently the Director and Joint Chief Executive Officer of independent production house Wooden Horse.

Richard will serve in the Directorship vacated by Bryan Weir, who has stood down from governance duties.

Bryan has been a tireless servant to the sport of rowing and from May of 2015, the Rowing Australia Board. As an athlete, Bryan represented Australia in the Men’s Coxless Pair in the World Rowing Championships in Lucerne in 1974 and was part of the New South Wales King’s Cup Eight in 1976.

Before joining Rowing Australia, he was Deputy President of Rowing New South Wales, Board Member of the Sydney International Rowing Regatta and President of Mosman Rowing Club.

Outside of rowing, Bryan has been a partner at law firm Freehills, a divisional director at Macquarie Bank, operated a private investment advisory group and remains a Director at L.J. Hooker Ltd.

Rowing Australia President Rob Scott paid tribute to Bryan’s dedication and service on the Board and ongoing passion for the sport.

“Rowing Australia is better for the significant expertise, advice and dedication Bryan has contributed during his long and fruitful tenure on our Board,” Mr Scott said.

“On behalf of the Rowing Australia Board, Council and the wider rowing community, I would like to thank Bryan for his support and guidance during some transformational and challenging times across the sport.

“I would also like to welcome Richard to the Board and am looking forward to leveraging his expertise and input as we embark down the crucial Green and Gold Runway towards a Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“And it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Chris on his Life Membership of Rowing Australia. He joins a distinguished group and richly deserves the honour after decades of dedication and innovation across the sport.

“Thank you once again to the State Councillors, Presidents and Chief Executives who joined us for the AGM and I look forward to working together further as we enter a hugely exciting time for rowing ahead of Paris 2024.”

Please see the link below to view the Annual Report for 2022.

2022 Annual Report