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VRC board member quits as racing power struggle escalates

3AW News

FIRST on 3AW

Power struggles within the prestigious Victoria Racing Club have escalated with recently-returned director Elisa Robinson announcing her resignation from the board under what she calls “disappointing” circumstances.

‪Ms Robinson (pictured above, left) was backed in the December election by two board members — John O’Rourke and Peter Fekete — who publicly distanced themselves from chairman Amanda Elliott, citing governance issues.

Nonetheless, Ms Elliott was returned to the board, but the 68-year-old can’t re-nominate for another stint as chairperson due to the club’s age restrictions.

3AW understands tensions have been running high for several weeks at Flemington as debate rages as to whom whom should become the next chair.

It has been speculated that current CEO Neil Wilson was the man-in-waiting, however his contract as chief expires in coming weeks, meaning he would need to find another way to find a seat on the board.

Ms Robinson, also a non-executive director of the Royal Women’s Hospital, announced her resignation today in a letter to the club that has been seen by 3AW.

She did not explain her reasons for quitting.

But in a nod to the conflict plaguing the board, she wrote in the leaked letter that “although many of you are aware of my reasons, it is still disappointing to feel this action is necessary at this time, particularly in having wanted to respect the highest vote of confidence of the Members in being re-elected for a fourth time”.

The VRC is one of the most powerful sporting bodies in Australia’s, responsible for overseeing one of Victoria’s most valuable events, the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

3AW contacted Ms Robinson, but she did not want to comment.

(Image: Elisa Robinson with Victorian Governor Linda Dessau AC at the 2018 Melbourne Cup – via Instagram)

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