I vividly remember walking into Greyhound Racing NSW for the first time back in 2017.
The industry had gone through some turbulent times in the previous 12 months, but it was instantly noticeable there was an enthusiasm for change and a great potential to build a new future.
Changes had to be made, and our focus was firmly placed on welfare. Over almost five years, this focus on all aspects, from racing to rehoming, has been constant.
Now, as I prepare to leave GRNSW, the significant leaps that have been made in greyhound welfare are among the proudest achievements during my time in the industry.
To see the amount of work that has gone into and the growth of Greyhounds As Pets programs is incredibly pleasing.
GRNSW now has the systems and processes in place for the success of its rehoming and welfare policies and programs to continue.
Another proud achievement that reflects on the entire team is the spectacular rise of racing. We have seen record prize money and returns to participants, major track upgrades, and I won't forget how people laughed when we spoke about introducing a race where the winner gets $1 million.
There are not many jobs I would have considered leaving GRNSW for, but the opportunity to be the CEO at Manly, a club that I played for and have had a lot to do with across the years, was too good to refuse.
I will leave with mixed emotions, particularly due to the close ties and friendships I have formed with greyhound industry participants and stakeholders.
It has been a tremendously satisfying experience to have been a part of this industry, both professionally and personally.
It has been an honour and privilege to be associated with the industry and everyone within it - to have personally witnessed their resilience in turning around an industry that was placed under a huge social spotlight in 2015-16 and also faced uncertain times during COVID-19.
The industry is in wonderful shape - in fact, it has never been in better shape across so many platforms - and Greyhound Racing NSW is the envy of all other jurisdictions in the country.
I want to thank participants for the way they have embraced everything we have undertaken at GRNSW.
Change is never easy, but the participants have given the GRNSW team unwavering support, and they deserve all the fruits of a successful industry.
A great lesson I have always lived by is that when you leave something, you leave it in better shape than you found it.
I am proud to say that due to working with an incredible team, supportive stakeholders and amazing participants, I am able to leave GRNSW that way.
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
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