• Thank you for the highest vote of confidence on my 4th re-election

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Thank you for the highest vote of confidence and congratulations on my 4th re-election for a further term until 2022

I feel truly humbled and honoured to be publicly and privately supported by those who mean the most to me - my family, friends, colleagues, VRC Members, hardworking staff, sponsors, on and off course suppliers and the broader Racing industry and it's participants, both celebrated and behind the scenes.

Since my longstanding Board and career focus, personal interests & qualifications are in Marketing, Membership, Sponsorship, Communications/PR, Consumer Insights, Retail, Tourism, Hospitality, Operations, Digital & Social Media and Brand, I am going to continue concentrating on those areas moving forward.

As many other Directors have law degrees, governance expertise, subcommittee and office bearer involvement, finance, audit, risk and specialist legal backgrounds, I look forward to continuing being your Members' voice and working with my Board colleagues to:

1. deliver more value, entitlements and affordability for the Members;

2. attract new Members of all ages and interests, including providing more opportunities to learn about our Club, industry, equine athletes, breeding, training, punting and ownership in a fun, friendly, non-threatening and engaging way; and

3. working very hard to re-engage and woo back longstanding and lapsed Members who miss the Flemington Family of old and need to feel the love again.

Apologies for the delay in posting, I went to the 'Bool where Accordingly came a brilliant 2nd, hitting the line well. She's really finding her staying feet and confidence as a 4 year old Ocean Park. I am also back to my usual work behind closed doors in the business and leadership of the VRC.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and enjoy a well deserved Summer break All!

Welcome to my campaign!

I've always preferred behind the scenes but at this critical time, I need your continued support and vote to ensure:

*Sorry slideshow on slowest setting!

1. Members No.1 priority year round - member facilities, rights, offer & affordability; reduce costs; listen to & action feedback; reward loyalty in all forms; grow new & re-engage longstanding / lapsed 

2. your voice is heard - true, respectful, considered Members' voice, dedicated to future of our Club, finances, cost control, racing program and Flemington & Melbourne Cup Carnival legacy

3. VRC team supported + credited with developing fresh, innovative & sustainable ideas - celebrate our history-making past by adapting to Member & racing trends, take risks + sustainably push for world-class

4. encourage & celebrate Club membership, racing, owners, breeding + training knowledge; equine & jockey welfare front of mind - our Club is full of warmth, heart, humans(!) & love of horses at its centre

Love letter to the Club and Racing*

I have always kept my personal passion for racing and involvement under the radar because I don't seek anything other than being able to continue providing a sorely needed voice for Members. 

By plugging away for 9 years, whilst separately pursuing my corporate career, I have and continue to fearlessly champion Member feedback, ask the hard questions, push for simple / good governance, sound decision making, internal transparency, cost control and financial management and achievement of incremental change behind closed doors.  

It is not uncommon, even now, to meet people who marvel at why they haven't heard of me.  They can't believe hiding in plain sight is a longstanding VRC Director and that is just the way I like it.

A snapshot of my deep interest in all things racing:

- checking out the track, facilities, operations and services (like a mystery shopper, hence not wanting to draw attention), support all metro clubs and watch my runners, those of friends and other trainers (appreciate all participants including jockeys, vetenarians, transport and stable staff);

- slipping out of the city to watch trials and runners at Ballarat, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Kyneton, Warrnambool, Hanging Rock, Donald, Dunkeld and Geelong (often with 1-3 kids in tow);

- visiting stallion parades, checking out sales and catalogues and heading to the spellers to give my horses a pat and see how they're going;

- studying form and punting (can easily go months without and enjoy seeing if my form analysis of our equine superstars holds up), love there is incredible access to videos, sectionals, commentary, speed maps and tips;

- Racing.com in the background at our house, RSN and SEN in the car and when my hubby and I are out at Carnivals, Network 10 or Channel 7 on so the kids can spy us;

- always problem solving and thinking up new race program, raceday, pattern, marketing, sponsorship and member concepts. E.g. didn't get up but, keep an open mind and suspend traditional beliefs, could we move Kennedy Oaks Day to the Friday so we can roll into the weekend and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day?  I was told it had never been thought of before - more Members, guests, corporate attendees, spending, tourism with interstate and international visitors coming to 2 days, twilight etc. I know most people would much prefer to wake up without work the next day (sorry to staff & suppliers, I know opposite would be true for us); 

- like many owners and breeders, I have searched for and found our old racehorses and broodmares who are happily living in regional Victoria.  With our current crop of horses, I am already planning ahead for where they will move onto a happy retirement from the track.

I am someone who has not sought the limelight and is bad with compliments. Having found it hard to write this, I've even culled it and I don't post everything I do, lest anyone critiques me for being way too tragically obsessed. The eagle eyed among you may have noticed none of the above relies on being on the Board, in fact it'd probably be easier not to be.

But I recognise that, to be a true leader, protector and custodian of our Club and it's Members (who have always been my No. 1 priority and for which I have a reputation for within the Club), I need to share my passion, invite debate and, most importantly, shine some positive light on the good things and joy a day at the races, whether at Flemington or farther afield, can bring to not just Members, attendees and owners but those quietly putting on the show both on and off course.

If this is my last year on the Board, then I also use this opportunity to thank you all for the deep honour and privilege of serving as your voluntary representative and temporary custodian of the Melbourne Cup.  Every Cup Week, I am humbled and overawed by what our team has delivered, that I have been a tiny part of 160 years of history and that there's nothing I love more than to spend time on my own outside in any weather soaking it all in.

It has been a pleasure.

P.S  To address an incorrect rumour, and it is a shame this is necessary, I am absolutely not seeking election as Chair. Thank you for the flattery though (sorry, I did say I was bad with compliments).

P.P.S To address a correct rumour, I did do an hour long conference call with the Chairman while in labour. He wanted my views to be aired at the next day's Board Meeting and I was happy to oblige.  I did abruptly end the call though as I couldn't delay going in to the Women's any longer.

P.P.P.S  Photo of yesterday checking out Mr T again after taking my 6 year old son Charlie and niece Amber to Sunday morning Nippers.  Again, for the eagle eyed among you, I just bought my first ever brand new car at almost 40 years of age, a 2019 Toyota Rav 4 Cruiser Hybrid.

I'm not a car person at all and have never been told about nor notice other people's cars. But after a long wait to receive delivery 2 weeks ago, and easily achieving 900 kms to a tank on the way to watching Accordingly race on Jericho Cup Day, I can see why people are stopping me in car parks to ask what I think of the car (answer = incredible, I understand why there's such a massive wait and it won 2020 Drive Car of the Year).

*Campaign website specific version 

Introducing Kix (🤞 my name suggestion is approved)

Introducing Kix

Introducing Kix (🤞 my winning name suggestion is approved, runner up in the owners vote is Miss Perfect), she's a Scissor Kick x Perfect Hostess filly we're in from earlier in the year.

Apart from her breeding (and lovely that she now carries on the legacy of the Redoute's Choice line), I picked her as I've always loved a dark horse, simply stunning coat.

Even better that some of our co-owners and 1st time owner friends from Translator and Accordingly are in her too.

More importantly, love seeing the care our horses receive by young people in the industry such as Ayaka who clearly do what they do because they love horses.

Thank you to Nigel and the Blackiston team for your video updates to owners. Exactly what we want to see, the daily life, care and journey of horses in training.

Gives such an appreciation of the teamwork that goes on, day in day out, whether city or country, behind the scenes for us all to enjoy their extraordinary performances on track. No matter where they run, I'm the eternal optimist and always find the positive, whether onwards or upwards or a well deserved spell.

Senior Racing Experience, Qualifications and Interests

I was first elected in 2011 - the youngest ever VRC Director in 155 years, 4th ever female & 1st of Asian descent - with construction of the world class Club Stand a key achievement.

Now in my 9th year, I bring 20+ years of Senior Executive level expertise to the Board in Consumer Retail, FMCG, Marketing, Sponsorship, Construction, Infrastructure, Energy / Renewables, Finance, Procurement, Corporate Strategy, Risk & Governance (Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia - 10+ years of experience required), Racing and Sports Administration.

Having completed Laws/Commerce (Marketing) at Monash, I hold an MBA, Master of Marketing & PDM from Melbourne Business School. I am also a proud UCLA Alumna, having completed an EMBA exchange at the Anderson School of Management (USA) after our 3rd child, Georgia Grace (Gigi) in 2017.

Aside from interests in numerous racehorses (including 2019 Victoria Derby runner Translator and up and coming Ocean Park mare Accordingly), I am a life long 4th generation AFL fan & player (Geelong member; current St Mary's Salesian player - may finally hang up my boots after snapping my ACL for the 2nd time though), Kooyong LTC (Tennis), NGV, Heide, Museums and Zoos Victoria, MRC and MVRC member.  I'm also involved in tourism and hospitality and very familiar with listening to and quickly actioning feedback as a 5 star rated AirBnB Superhost on the Mornington Peninsula.

I welcome opportunities to support diversity in all forms including age, gender and cultural.  I am especially passionate about supporting children and women of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances.  Supporting healthcare & research across the whole life journey, including pregnancy, gynaecology and cancers, is another key passion as a current Board Director of the Royal Women's Hospital Foundation, Melbourne, where I had our 3 young children in the world class public system.

Senior Legal, Finance, Commercial and Marketing Expertise

After 15 years in Construction and Major Projects, I have moved back into Consumer and Online Retail with my own furniture and homewares business, One Grange Road.  This provides me with flexibility to commit more time and skills to the business and leadership of the VRC.

My prior full time role was Head of Legal APAC for a global wind turbine manufacturer, EPC contractor & wind farm developer. As an APAC Senior Management Team member, I led the legal, governance & company secretarial functions in the Australian and APAC regions including working in Japan.

Previous roles include Senior Counsel of GE Power for Australia & NZ, General Counsel of Programmed FM, Senior Legal Counsel of UGL and a Commercial General Manager position at NBN Co Limited.

The latter full time role involved financial control, management, tracking and reporting against budgets / plans, Opex and Capex management, business, operational and relationship performance, stakeholder engagement and crisis management of sensitive matters.  I also led large, matrix teams responsible for Contract & Commercial Management of:

1. the Victorian & Tasmanian construction roll out;

2. Australia wide Transit network and all Operation & Maintainance (including Field Service Delivery, Network Assurance and Restoration) contractors; and

3. personal responsibility for NBN's primary relationship with it's largest Australian contractors, Visionstream & Service Stream.

In addition, I achieved execution of $1 Billion+ of construction contracts as lead negotiator of the MIMA. My performance, stakeholder engagement and dispute resolution skills, in the context of resetting positive supplier relationships and building trust, was recognised by then CEO Bill Morrow with a Terabyte Award, NBN's highest level of recognition.

I started my legal career with an excellent Private Practice grounding as a Projects & Corporate Finance lawyer at top tier law firm Minter Ellison in Melbourne and Sydney.

I kicked off my executive career for over 6 years in Consumer and Grocery Retail and FMCG Marketing & Sales with Gillette, Cadbury Schweppes, Mars Confectionery and Coles Online.   

My love of retail and being customer/member facing and focused started at 14 years and 9 months when I worked the check outs of Franklins Big Fresh, at what was then known as Doncaster Shoppingtown, while studying at Balwyn High.  I'm also very proud of Beverley Hills Primary School, it has grown into one of the State's highest performing schools, and it's motto "Strive to Achieve" (hope that's what it is still) continues to stand me in good stead.

Please refer to my LinkedIn Profile Elisa Sturzaker Robinson for more details of my Senior Legal, Finance, Commercial and Racing Experience

Deeply honoured to receive Full Membership of the Victorian Wakeful Club