THE formation of the newly established Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission took a significant stride forward in recent weeks with experienced administrator Judith Lind assuming her role as the organisation’s first Chief Executive Officer.
With over 30 years’ experience in the public sector, including senior positions at the Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and Australian Tax Office, Judith’s most recent role was as a senior executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, a post she vacated in the latter half of 2017.
“It was really a case of the stars aligning at the right time in terms of coming into this role,” said Lind when discussing her first foray into greyhound racing.
“Early last year I was acting CEO of ASADA and after being unsuccessful in getting that position full-time, I began having a number of conversations with myself about what my next professional step may look like.
“I’m a regular reader of the Financial Review of a Friday and last November the CEO position was advertised for the Commission and after giving it some thought and speaking to my husband I decided to apply – and to be very honest with no huge expectations at the time.
“I’d kept abreast of the journey the industry has been on in recent years and when I had a good look at the position I felt my skill-set and experience aligned very well with the role – particularly my regulatory and integrity background – so when I was offered the position I couldn’t have been happier.”
Born and bred in Canberra, Lind says ongoing work in forming the Commission is progressing well, with its Bathurst base scheduled to be up and running from July 1.
“I’m not a big city person so I’m really looking forward to calling Bathurst home,” said Lind, currently working out of the Sydney CBD.
“When I applied for the role I asked myself could I serve a purpose in re-establishing the industry and add value to participants and the community? I can say after beginning to meet stakeholders I’m really excited about what we can achieve.
“It’s vitally important from the outset we establish and build the right culture at the Commission, and whilst we will be moving to a completely regulated model, it’s essential that everyone invested in the industry comes along with us and feels a part of what we’re striving to achieve.
“When reforms and policies are developed we will be very consultative and provide time for understanding and education – you can’t achieve cultural reform overnight but on a lot of fronts it’s already heartening to see participants driving their own best practices.”
With an industry Code of Practice draft completed, Lind told The Recorder that the newly formed Animal Welfare Committee will meet for the first time in early March, the first of the draft paper’s consultative process.
“The Welfare Committee will see the solid Code of Practice draft and at some stage thereafter we will look to move to broader consultation,” added Lind.
“The Commission is currently focused on developing a detailed policy and implementation strategy for each of the key reforms including the code of practice, a new licensing and accreditation framework and a bond. All of the major reforms will go through a consultative process with participants and other key stakeholders.
“Something that has become apparent to me is the level of critical dependencies that will continue, between GRNSW and the Commission.
“When I initially came in I envisaged two very separate entities but as time goes on it’s becoming quite apparent the two will be intertwined on some level. We’ve recently started fortnightly meetings so we can begin to get a clearer understanding on what rests with whom and how that’s all best managed.”
With staff for the new Commission beginning to take shape – with a number of senior positions currently being advertised – Lind will soon embark on a roadshow of NSW to begin gathering the thoughts of industry stakeholders.
“I’m really looking forward to getting around and meeting the backbone of the industry,” declared Lind.
“I and the three Commissioners are committed to working with the industry and if we all adopt the same ethics and values I have no doubt we can continue building on a culture people want to be a part of.
“In the end everyone will play a part in the direction we head and I’m looking forward to setting the right foundation and culture for the industry’s new Commission.”