Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Leading Perth business identity, Tony Howarth AO, has been appointed Chairman of the RugbyWA Board of Directors.

Mr Howarth, who has been fulfilling the position as interim Chairman, takes over the role from the late Dr Russel Perry, who passed away in July from Motor Neurone Disease.

Mr Howarth has been involved in Western Australia rugby for some 25 years, including as a past President of Cottesloe Rugby Club, and has been a RugbyWA Board member since 2009. His executive career started in the banking and finance sector, and he came to Perth from Sydney in 1991 to take up the role of CEO of Challenge Bank Ltd. Other roles have included CEO of Hartleys Ltd, Chairman of Home Building Society and Deputy Chairman of Bank of Queensland. He chaired Alinta Ltd through its privatisation and initial public listing.

He is currently Chairman of Mermaid Marine Australia Limited, director of Alinta Energy and a non- executive director of Wesfarmers Limited and the BWP Trust.

He has had significant community involvement having been the inaugural Chairman of the Committee for Perth and spent 12 years on the UWA Senate. He is also a past President of Chamber of Commerce & Industry WA (CCIWA) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). He currently chairs St John of God Health Care Inc. Board and is a member of the Rio Tinto Community Development Fund. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of WA where he is an Adjunct Professor and is Deputy Chair of The Business School's Advisory Board.

“I’m honoured to be appointed Chairman of RugbyWA and being able to continue the excellent work that’s been taking place within the organisation and across rugby in the state,” Mr Howarth said.

“While our game in Western Australia has a number of unique challenges, it is built upon an extremely passionate rugby community which will continue to be the driving force behind our achievements locally, nationally and on the international stage.

“It’s an exciting period to be involved in rugby in Western Australia. Participation continues to grow and our community clubs are very proactive in continuing to hone their operations, as one of the most important stakeholders in our game; our junior development teams – including our Junior Gold Cup and WA Under 20’s team – have represented our state in the highest regard over the past two seasons; Women’s and Sevens rugby is an enormous opportunity for us in growing our game; our player pathway with the Future Force and Perth Spirit is stronger than ever before; and the Western Force, while not reaching the heights we would have wanted this season, have – over the past three seasons – put in place a rugby program that has enabled the team to better understand what is required to achieve sustained success, as well as progressing towards achieving that goal.

“While we all understand that there is still much work to be done across all levels of our game, there are a number of key opportunities for us to continue to grow the game in Western Australia and develop our aspiring players.”

The RugbyWA Board is also made up of Mr David Redpath (President), Mr John Edwards, Mr Charles Fear, Ms Marion Fulker, Mr Kevin Gallagher, Mr Hans Sauer, Mr Scott Staniforth (Player Representative) and Mr David Vaux.