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21/06/02 Four Do Battle for VRC Committee Position
The ballots are out and voting is underway for a sought after position on the committee of Melbourne's premier racing club, the Victorian Racing Club (VRC).

There are four candidates for the position. In an unprecedented move three of the four are women.

Kate O'Sullivan, Maxine Glennan and Amanda Elliott are all gunning to join the committee along with the only male candidate Gary Lechte.

Ballots for the vote have been sent to all VRC members and must be returned by 5pm on Thursday July 4.


A daughter of the former long serving VRC committeeman and vice-chairman Ian Bayles, Elliott is the 49-year-old former wife of Carlton (AFL) President John Elliott.

During a letter outlining her campagin Elliott emphasised about adding value to membership, improving services for all stakeholders, reducing costs and enhancing.

She also highlighted the role of the media, encouraging new initiatives, the fact the horse is paramount and saying she was always aware of "candidates whose letters contain a raft of promises."

"I claim no special wisdom in race club administration. I am fully aware that, if you give me this opportunity, I will be one voice in a committee. However, I will always ensure that your views are heard."

"My motivation in accepting this nomination is based on my genuine belief that I can make a difference, and add value to your membership," Elliott told members.

"The VRC is Australia's pre-eminent Thoroughbred Racing Club, with a national and international reputation for excellence. It is the envy of many other clubs, which is fantastic, but we must not take that success for granted. We must be conscious of competing industries, and we must strive to improve our services to all stakeholders."

"I got to know and love this sport first, and then the personalities and the business. I've been lucky enough to race some very good horses, but have also had my share of slow ones! I dream one day of breeding a champion," Elliott continued.


Having stood in the past without success 65-year-old Glennan is again standing for a place on the VRC committee.

A part owner of many horses during her life Glennan is member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Racing Museum and Chairman of the Australian Racing Museum Fundraising Committee.

As well Glennan is a member of TROA and a foundation member of the Victorian Wakeful Club. She is also a member of the MVRC, MRC, Warrnambool, Pakenham, Ballarat and Bendigo Racing Clubs.

She lists her aims and objectives to include "members' rights are to be paramount at all times, to use my first hand knowledge of members' requirements to make the beneifts of their VRC membership more accessible and enjoyable and to ensure the VRC continues to support Country Racing which is vital to our industry."

"Being a regular racegoer I have a genuine feel for the everyday issues that matter to members and a commitment to delivering the outcomes that members require and expect," she told members.

"At the same time by business background allows me to make a substantial contribution to the 'big picture' issues where significant dollars are being spent, such as the planned major re-development of the Flemington track."


Licenced motor car trader Gary Lechte is the only male of the four candidates running for the vacancy on the VRC committee.

The 45-year-old is the company director and fouding director of the Gary Lechte Group of Companies.

In a letter to members Lechte spelled out why he should be chosen ahead of the other candidates using a series of "reasons."

They included his "dedicated love of the sport is shared with my wife and four children; a proven track record as a leader and visionary having successfully operated my own business for many years; the belief the committee must be accountable to members and that its activities must always be open and transparent."

Lechte wound up his letter to members by saying that "the continued success of the VRC depends on the quality of the leadership and the direction and policies set by the Committee. For the reasons outlined (in his letter) I believe I have the necessary qualifications to work on your behalf as a member of the Committee."


O'Sullivan, a 33-year-old, and current Regional Manager of TABCorp, also emphasised the need for "maximising benefits you experience."

A member of the VRC for 14 years, O'Sullivan has been a breeder and owner of racehorses for 15 years.

"I will ensure my contribution enables our racing club to be at the forefront of domestic and international racing," O'Sullivan told members.

"It will require ongoing effort and innovation to continue to grow raceday attendances and my marketing and sales experience ably equips me for that challenge."

"A unique blend of industry knowledge, commercial experience and a genuine passion for thoroughbred racing - these are the skills and attributes I offer in support of my candidature. I ask you for the opportunity to make a contribution in delivering strategic, sustainable and tangible benefits for current and future members of the Victoria Racing Club."

A Special General Meeting of the Victoria Racing Club will be held in the Committee Room, Flemington Racecourse, at 3.30pm on Fruday 5th July 2002.

The purpose of the meeting is to elect a Member to fill the vacancy on the Committee created by the retirement of Mr David Bourke, CBE.

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