The Third Annual Harvard Alumni Sports Lecture

Harvard Alumni and guests are warmly invited to attend a very special event: The Third Annual Harvard Alumni Sports Lecture, which is generously being hosted once again by Hall & Wilcox. Please note that this event has been rescheduled from Thursday the 26th of August to Wednesday the 13th of October.

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 innovation and entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship in 2021 along with managing damage control. Exploring the dynamic landscape of domestic and international sport, and sharing their insights into areas of controversy, are representatives of Australia’s major sporting industry:

Roy Masters AM
Roy Masters AM coached first grade rugby league for ten years in the Australian elite competition, being voted Western Suburbs Coach of the Century and was St George’s longest serving coach. He was also the longest serving board member of the Australian Sports Commission, being a director for 23 years. He initiated many projects, such as Aussie Sports, a system of modified rules for schoolchildren. Roy has written for the Sydney Morning Herald since 1988 and continues to produce a regular column. He also appears on ABC’s Offsiders.

Bridie O'Donnell
Dr Bridie O'Donnell graduated from the UQ Medical School and was an elite rower and Ironman triathlete during her full time clinical work. In 2008 she became a professional cyclist in Europe and then in 2013 returned to Melbourne to work as a behaviour change Physician. In 2017, Bridie was appointed the inaugural Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation and published 'Life and Death: a cycling memoir" in 2018. Bridie has recently graduated with an EMPA from ANZSOG, is a member of the AusCycling Ethics and Integrity Commission and is a non-executive Director of the Collingwood FC. She works as Executive Director of Public Events in the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

Kate Palmer AM
Kate is currently CEO of OneAthletics and has previously been Chief Executive of Netball Australia, leading the largest female participation sport in Australia and the Australian Sports Commission, Australia’s major sport funding body. Kate was appointed as a Director of the Richmond Football Club in February 2021 and a Director of Canteen Australia in September 2020. Kate has previously served as Chair of the Victorian Institute of Sport, a Trustee of the MCG Trust and Director of the International Netball Federation.

Frank Ponissi
Frank started at the NSWRL Coaching and Development Academy in 1990 which included 2 tours of South Africa working in the townships as part of the Aussie Sports Program in SA before then spending 9 seasons at the Manly Sea Eagles on their Coaching staff. He was also on the Australian Kangaroos Coaching Staff for the 1994 Kangaroo Tour and 1995 World Cup Tour both to the UK. Frank then had 5 years overseas coaching Rugby Union at clubs in France and England and the Springboks national team. In November 2007, Frank returned to Australia to become the Melbourne Storm’s first ever General Manager of Football, a position he still currently holds to this day.

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, he has worked in the domestic sports industry and on international projects in the US, China and Europe. Spencer currently heads up the sports lighting company SportsBeams Lighting Inc., which most recently were featured in the Super Bowl along with Formula1 Shanghai and Major League Soccer as Chief Representative Australasia. Spencer was Rugby League’s Tom Brock Scholar for 2017–18, is currently completing his PhD in sport from the Institute of Health and Sport at Victoria University 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!

Tickets are limited so book early to avoid missing out!

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 the 13th of October 2021
Time: 11.30 am (for 12 noon) – 2.30 pm. A light lunch will be served.
Venue: Hall & Wilcox, Level 11, Rialto South Tower, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne
Cost: $50 for HCV and HAE Members and their guests; $70 for Non-Members. Please click here to book (HCV members pls login first)
RSVP date: Wednesday 6th October 2021. Please book early, as numbers are limited.
For further information: Please contact
Cancellation: In the event of restrictions being placed on event numbers, we will reduce attendee numbers in order of tickets being booked. Guests will be given the option of a full refund or attending via Zoom with the difference in cost being refunded.

Funds raised at this event will support the HCV Non-Profit Fellowship Program and associated initiatives.

The Harvard Club of Victoria is very grateful to Hall & Wilcox for its generosity in hosting this event.