Second Annual Harvard Alumni Sports Lecture

The Harvard Club of Victoria and Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs Australia are offering a truly unique opportunity: the chance to hear from a panel of leading sports administrators who have agreed, under Chatham House Rules, to speak about two key issues affecting the direction and public face of sport in Australia.

This year, we are exploring the topics of leadership and innovation and how they have changed or remained the same pre and post lockdowns. Exploring the dynamic landscape of domestic and international growth and leadership, and sharing their insights into areas of controversy, are representatives of Australia’s major sporting industry:

Raelene Castle
Raelene joined Rugby Australia as the code’s first female Chief Executive Officer, beginning in the role in January 2018 until April 2020. She was previously the Chief Executive of NRL club Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Chief Executive of Netball New Zealand. Raelene has held several governance roles in sport, previously serving as a board director of the ANZ Championship netball, the International Federations of Netball Associations (IFNA), SANZAAR Rugby and World Rugby Council. In 2015, she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Business and Sport.

Mark Evans
Mark is an experienced international sports administrator who is currently the CEO at Global Rapid Rugby and Western Force. Prior to this, Mark was Chief Executive of Harlequins FC and Director of Rugby at Saracens FC. He was also the Chief Executive of NRL club Melbourne Storm. Mark founded Capacity Consulting which specialises in advising sports clubs and governing bodies on a range of revenue enhancing and strategic issues. Recently he has been working with a number of high-profile sports organisations including the NRL in Sydney, the RFL, RFU, Premier Rugby and the Rugby League World Cup 2021. He is also the chair of the UK Netball Super League.

Gerard Griffin
Gerard Griffin is the CEO of the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, which manages the operations and events at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong. Before joining the Trust in 2019 he spent 14 years at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in a variety of roles including General Manager of Venue and Events Services and General Manager of Projects and Strategy. Before his time at the MCG he worked at Xavier College and the Victoria Golf Club. Gerard has degrees in Horticulture and Turf Management and a Masters in Sports Administration. 

Tracey Holmes
Tracey is an internationally recognised broadcast journalist and anchor of both news/current affairs and sports programs. She is published author, has written extensively for daily newspapers, published academic work and has been a regular guest commentator for media outlets around the world. As an award winning interviewer, she has sat down with a collection of the world’s most interesting people – from Prime Ministers to Presidents, awe inspiring athletes to challenging and thought provoking academics to legendary entertainers. In 2020 her ABC program The Ticket was named ‘Sport Australia Best Analysis of Sport Business’ program.

Tom Parker
Tom is a China specialist with a focus on collaboration between Australia and China to broaden the bi-lateral relationship. A Mandarin speaker, Tom’s long-term engagement with China has resulted in impressive networks and successful business outcomes. He has held China focused roles in The Asialink Centre, Austrade (Beijing), City of Melbourne and as writer and reporter for the ABC in both China and Australia for Radio National’s Asia Pacific Program. In 2018, he joined the AFL in a newly created role as Head of China to drive commercial outcomes from the ongoing engagement and games being played in Shanghai.

Spencer Kassimir (OPM 48) will be returning to moderate this year’s discussion. Spencer is a co-founder of HAE Australia who graduated from HBS’s OPM 48 program. Since moving to Australia, has worked in the domestic sports industry and on international projects in the US, China and Europe. He currently heads up the sports lighting company SportsBeams Lighting Inc. as Chief Representative Australasia. Spencer was Rugby League’s Tom Brock Scholar for 2017–18, and has been a featured sports expert/analyst and repeating guest on Australia’s ABC Grandstand and on ESPN Los Angeles and the UK's Rugby Reloaded podcast series.

Join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking exchange of views, as some of our most influential sports administrators lead us through some very topical territory!

Please note: Attendees must maintain strict confidentiality with regard to the views expressed by the panel members in the course of this event. Accordingly, any and all audio or video recording is strictly prohibited.

Date: Wednesday 7th October 2020
Time: 12.00pm – 1.30pm via Zoom (Zoom details to be sent the week of the event)
Cost: Members and Guests $20. To book please click here
Funds raised from this event will support the HCV Non-Profit Fellowship Program and associated initiatives.
For further information: Please contact